Religion is something that is derivative from a group of people’s beliefs regarding the principles of life, the supernatural and the afterlife (if any). It is a code of conduct that determines how people spend their lives. Most often, religion or the lack of it, determines their set of values or moral code or even ethical values. A culture is inherent upon what religions a group of people follow, hence the diversity of culture in the world. Here is an overview of branches of religions in the world as well as list of religions, including their beliefs, to help you understand religion better.
Branches of Religions
The three basic categories of religion branch out from Polytheism (belief that there are many gods), Monotheism (beliefs that there is only one God) and Atheism (belief that there is no God). However, there is also Deism which reflects that nature and scientific principles are an incarnation of God and Agnosticism which denotes the position of those people looking for an answer but have been unable to deduce whether God exists or not.
These basic beliefs give birth to the hundreds of religions prominent in the world today. There are some religions that are more prominent than others and here are a few major religions in the world which have been listed below.
List of Religions in the World
Christianity is a religion which has been around for a long time. It is the world's largest religion.
They believe in a supernatural or metaphysical all-knowing and all controlling God. Jesus is savior of humanity and the Son of God
The number of people who follow the religion: 2,400 million people (called Christians)
Major areas of the followers of that religion: Vatican City, Samoa, Romania, Greece, etc.
A short video that helps you have a more comprehensive knowledge of Christianity:
Islam is the second largest religion in the world. The word "Islam" means 'submission to the will of God'.
They believe in Monotheism—Allah in Arabic word
The number of people who follow the religion: 1,600 million people (called Muslims)
Major areas of the followers of that religion: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Maldives, Morocco, Mauritius, Turkey, etc.
This short video provides brief answers to what is Islam:
Buddhism was inspired by Gautama Buddha and his act of meditation. They believe in a state of Nirvana which they can achieve through good acts in the world. They believe they can be reincarnated seven times.
They believe that they have to worship the spirit of Buddha and hold it sacred as he is the one who discovered enlightenment
The Number of people who follow the religion: 400 million people (called Buddhists)
Major areas of the followers of that religion: Cambodia, Thailand and Burma
This short video provides answers to what is Islam, its history and beliefs:
Judaism was founded in the Middle East over 3500 years ago. They believe in one God and they think he has appointed a certain set of people who will set an example of holiness in the world
The Number of people who follow the religion: 14 million people (called Jews)
Major areas of the followers of that religion: Israel
The video describes the story of Judaism:
Among the list religions, Hinduism does not have a single founder, scripture, nor a set of agreed teachings. Foundation of Hinduism is set on polytheistic beliefs which allow the many sects of the religion to interpret it as they see fit according to the deity they choose to consider primary in worship.
They practice polytheism and worship thousands of different deities
The Number of people who follow the religion: 1 billion people (called Hindus)
Major areas of the followers of that religion: India, Nepal and Mauritius
Taoism is a widely recognized religion, and it is still practiced in many Asian areas of the world.
They believe in living with harmony with Tao who is considered to be the force behind everything in existence
The Number of people who follow the religion: 4 million people (called Taoists)
Major areas of the followers of that religion: Taiwan and China
What is Daoism and what does the Yin and Yang symbol mean:
Atheism is a set of principles based on cold hard logic. They strive to look for answers to the universe without the intervention of a metaphysical being.
The atheists do not believe in a God
The Number of people who follow the religion: 1.1 billion people (called Atheists)
Major areas of the followers of that religion: Estonia, Japan, Denmark and Sweden
Sikhism has passionate followers but they do not have followers in large numbers all over the world.
They follow the teachings of the ten main gurus of the religion and believe that they are the disciples of God himself.
The Number of people who follow the religion: 25 million people (called Sikhs)
Major areas of the followers of that religion: India
In this list of religions, Mormonism is a somewhat less recognized religion even though it is still practiced in some countries such as Jamaica or Cuba.
Mormonism originated in 1820s in what was called the Second Great Awakening
The Number of people who follow the religion: 4 million people (called Mormons)
Major areas of the followers of that religion: Cuba and Jamaica
Other major religions in the world
Juche (19 million followers)
Spiritism (15 million followers)
Bahá'í (7 million followers)
Jainism (4.2 million followers)
Shinto (4 million followers)
Caodaism (4 million followers)
Tenrikyo (2 million followers)