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For more information, see the Wikipedia article:

A religion is a system of beliefs that asserts the existence of at least one of:

  1. a human soul or spirit,
  2. a deity or "higher being", or
  3. the continuation of the self after the death of one's body.

As an uncountable noun, religion is a "way of living" or the set of customs or rituals that follows from such beliefs.

For more information, see the Wiktionary article:

It is notoriously difficult to define what does and does not constitute a religion, due to the sheer variety of human religious beliefs and practices. Taoism and Confucianism, for instance, are sometimes described as philosophies rather than religions.



Many religions are subdivided into sects or denominations, resulting in a huge number of labels for the religious to choose from. The major world religions are typically, however, divided into three large groups:

  1. Abrahamic religions
  2. Dharmic religions
  3. Taoic religions

Largest world religions

According to 2005 data collected by, the religious traditions with the most "adherents" around the world (including traditions outside of the three major divisions listed above) are:

  1. Christianity (2.1 billion)
  2. Islam (1.3 billion)
  3. Non-religious, including secularism, atheism, agnosticism and nontheism (1.1 billion)
  4. Hinduism (900 million)
  5. Chinese folk religion (394 million)
  6. Buddhism (376 million)
  7. Primal indigenous or "pagan" (300 million)
  8. African traditional and diasporic (100 million)
  9. Sikhism (23 million)
  10. Juche (19 million)
  11. Spiritism (15 million)
  12. Judaism (14 million)
  13. Bahá'í Faith (7 million)
  14. Jehovah's Witnesses (6.5 million)
  15. Jainism (4.2 million)
  16. Shinto {4 million)
  17. Cao Dai (4 million)
  18. Zoroastrianism (2.6 million)
  19. Tenrikyo (2 million)
  20. Neo-Paganism (1 million)
  21. Unitarian Universalism (800,000)
  22. Rastafari movement (600,000)

Major approaches to religion

Other belief systems

(This list is being merged into the one above. Stand By...)

External links

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