Does the larger religion consider the faith group to be part of its tradition? If the answer to both of these questions is no, then the faith group is probably a distinct religion. If the answer to both questions is yes, the faith group is a division within the larger religion (and thus not a world religion, but a division of a world religion). If the answer to only one of the questions is yes, there is a judgment call to be made, but of course we give more weight to a group's self-concept. For example, tenrikyo arose in the 1830s in Japan in a shinto context. The founder explained that her new revelations came from various Shinto kami (gods).
Major Religions Ranked by size
To manage this question we have chosen once again to use the most commonly-recognized divisions in comparative religion texts. These definitions are primarily sociological and historical, not doctrinal or theological in nature. We recognize that within many religious traditions there are deeply felt arguments for excluding certain groups from their description of their religion. For example, councils of Muslim leaders have voted to no longer accept Ahmadis as valid Muslims, although Ahmadis consider themselves orthodox Muslims. Many evangelical write Protestants churches exclude all non-evangelical or non-Protestant groups from their definitions of Christianity. On the other hand, some hindu writers are so inclusive that they claim as Hindus adherents of any religion that arose in a hindu environment, including Buddhists, jains and sikhs. These definitions are theological in nature and of little use in this statistical context. Groups such as Rastafarians, mandeans, tenrikyo, and the Church of Scientology are too small, too new or too unimportant in world history to be included in most surveys of "major world religions." Thus, in including such groups in this listing it is not always possible. Where classification is unclear, we've used two criteria:. Does the faith resume group consider itself to be part of (or the definitive version of) a larger religion?
It is important to note that data for the size of various religions within business a given country often come from government census figures or official estimates. Such governmental endeavors are interested primarily in physical population demographics, such as how many people live in a household and how many telephones there are per person. These studies are not theological treatises. They merely classify hindus as all people who call themselves Hindu, muslims as all people who call themselves Muslim, Christians as all people who call themselves Christian. From a sociological and historical perspective, most religions have arisen from within existing religious frameworks: Christianity from Judaism, buddhism from Hinduism, babi baha'i faiths from Islam, etc. For the purposes of defining a religion we need to have some cutoff point. Should sikhism be listed as a hindu sect (as in many older textbooks or a world religion in its own right?
(Obviously these classifications include both majority manifestations of these religions, as well as subgroups which larger branches sometimes label "heterodox. Classical World Religions Ranked by Internal Religious Similarity: Most Unified to most diverse baha'i zoroastrianism sikhism Islam jainism Judaism taoism Shinto Christianity buddhism Hinduism no "value judgement" is implied by this list. There are adjectives with both positive and negative connotations which describe both ends of this spectrum. From night an academic, comparative religions viewpoint, there is no basis for "prescribing" whether it is better for a religion to be highly unified, cohesive, monolithic, and lacking in internal religious diversity, or whether it is better to be fragmented, schismatic, diverse, multifaceted and abounding. In a practical sense, most people actually practice only one form of whatever religion they belong. Buddhism, for example, if viewed as a whole, can be understood to have a large amount of internal variation, including the Theravada and Mahayana branches, all of their sub-schools, various revivalist sects, as well as Tibetan and modern Western forms. But most actual Buddhists are not actually involved in all of these; rather they practice one, internally cohesive, fairly unified form, such as the geluk order of Tibetan Buddhism, or Japanese Amida-buddha worship. How is classification done for official government figures?
So broad is this religious "umbrella" that it includes clearly polytheistic, tritheistic, monotheistic, pantheistic, nontheistic, and atheistic traditions. The babi baha'i tradition, on the other hand, is probably the most unified of the classical world religions. It is almost entirely contained within one very organized, hierarchical denomination, the bahai faith, based in haifa, israel. But there are small schismatic groups, such as the Arizona-based "Orthodox" Baha'is, azali babis (probably defunct and four or five others. All adherents of a single religion usually share at least some commonalities, such as a common historical heritage and some shared doctrines or practices. But these rules can't be pushed too far before being overburdened by exceptions. A listing of doctrinally and organizationally meaningful divisions or denominational "branches" (such as Catholic, eastern/Orthodox Christian, sunni Islam, Shiite Islam, evangelical Christian, mahayana buddhism, Theravada buddhism, etc.) would clearly be useful, but that is the subject of a different list: Major Branches of Major World. In the following list the classical world religions are listed with the most cohesive/unified groups first, and the religions with the most internal religious diversity last. This list is based primarily on the degree of doctrinal/theological similarity among all the various sub-groups which belong to these classifications, and to a lesser extent based on diversity in practice, ritual and organization.
Home page of the religiousTolerance
How is "size" determined? With a working definition of "a religion" and a method for measuring size, criteria for what constitutes a "major" religion essay must be determined, otherwise this list could be impractically inclusive and long. "Major religions for the purposes of this list, are: Large - at least 500,000 adherents Widespread - appreciable numbers of members live and worship in more than just one country or limited region Independent - the religion is clearly independent and distinct from a broader. There are countless definitions of religion. But only one can be used in making a ranked list.
We are using the groupings most described used in contemporary comparative kindle religion literature (listed above). Each of these "world religions" is actually a classification of multiple distinct movements, sects, divisions, denominations, etc. None of these world religions is a single, unified, monolithic organization. The diversity within these groupings varies. Hinduism is often described as a collection very different traditions, bound by a geographical and national identity.
But after the influential British writers began to classify sikhism as a distinct, major world religion, the rest of the world soon followed their example. Baha'is are the most recent entrant to the "Classical" list. The religion is only about 150 years old. On their official website, baha'is claim 5 million adherents worldwide, established in 235 countries and territories throughout the world. While most comparative religion textbooks produced during this century either ignore them or group them as a muslim sect, the most recent books give them separate status and often their own chapter.
Baha'is have achieved this status partially through their worldwide geographical spread and increasing numbers, and partially by constantly insisting that they are indeed the "newest world religion." The classical set of twelve is not necessarily the most accurate reflection of the present, real-world religious situation. (This fact is briefly addressed below.) we agree with the prominent comparative religion scholar Irving Hexham (an evangelical Christian, and a professor at the University of Calgary) who wrote:.there is an overemphasis on certain narrowly defined academic traditions in Religious Studies to the neglect. In other words academics are happy to study other academics regardless of what is actually happening in everyday life. I believe that the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints, joseph Smith, is a far more influential figure and deserves as much attention as the father of modern theology, freidrich Schleiermacher, yet current textbooks and course offerings invariably mention Schleiermacher but. By recognizing the importance of living religions, popular piety and sociological studies I hope more balance will enter Religious Studies. source : Irving Hexham, concise dictionary of Religion, 1998. The m "Major Religions" list presented on this web page differs from classical lists because it draws more from an extremely large body of contemporary affiliation data, rather than relying heavily on the lists and texts of past commentators (Hudson Smith, noss, barrett, etc.). There are many distinct religions or religious movements which have more adherents than some of the classical world religions, but which are not part of the classical list for various reasons. These reasons include: the religions which are not included on the classical list are too new (Scientology, neo-paganism) they are concentrated in only one country (cao dai, ch'ondogyo, tenrikyo) they lack identifiable central organizations or unifying scriptural literature (neo-paganism, new Age, spiritism) their adherents primarily.
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After many centuries, with the increased Western awareness of Eastern history and philosophy, and the development of Islam, other religions were added to the list. Many far Eastern ways of thought, in fact, were given the status of "world religion" while equally advanced religious cultures in technologically less developed or pre-literate societies (such as in Australia, africa, south America, and Polynesia) were grouped together as pagans or "animists regardless. It's true that by the standards applied at the time, the far Eastern religions Westerners encountered were often in a different category altogether than the religions they classified as pagan. One can not directly compare, for example, the local beliefs of the polynesian islands of Kiribati during the 1500s to the organizational, political, literary and philosophical sophistication of Chinese taoism during the same period. But one could certainly question whether Japanese Shintoism, as an official "world religion was theologically or spiritually more "advanced" than African Yoruba religion, which was classified simply as animism or paganism. During the 1800s comparative religion scholars increasingly recognized Judaism, Christianity, islam, hinduism, and Buddhism as the most significant "world religions." even today, these are considered the "Big five" and are the religions most likely to be covered in world religion books. Five smaller or more localized religions/philosophies brought the list of world religions to ten: Confucianism, taoism, jainism, Shinto and Zoroastrianism. Beginning around 1900 write comparative religion writers in England began to take note of the sikhs which had begun to immigrate there from India (part of the British Empire at the time). Sikhs, if mentioned at all, had been classified as a sect of Hinduism during the first three hundred years of their history.
This document is divided into the following sections: main list of major religions of the world online Brief explanation/introduction Links to alternative lists of world religions The Classical World Religions List Parameters of this list Parameter 1: What is a religion? (for this list) - classical World Religions Ranked by Internal Religious Similarity parameter 2: How is size determined? (for this list) Brief discussion of how the size and boundaries of specific religions was determined Religious groups not included on the main list Alternative summary listings of major world religions and numbers of adherents: Christian Science monitor (1998 top 10 Organized Religions in the. Read the site's introduction (from:. Edu/emuseum/cultural/ religion here The Classical World Religions List There are twelve classical world religions. This is the list of religions described most often in surveys of the subject, and studied in World Religion classes (some of them more for historical rather than contemporary reasons baha'i buddhism Christianity confucianism Hinduism Islam jainism Judaism Shinto sikhism taoism Zoroastrianism The "World's Major. 271 baha'i buddhism Confucianism Hinduism Islam Judaism Orthodox Eastern Church Protestantism Catholicism Shinto taoism In modern Western thought, the first writers to divide the world into "world religions" were Christians. Originally, three religions were recognized: Christians, jews and pagans (i.e., everybody else).
explanations for why they do not qualify as "major world religions" on this list. This world religions listing is derived from the statistics data in the m database. The list was created by the same people who collected and organized this database, in consultation with university professors of comparative religions and scholars from different religions. We invite additional input. The m collection of religious adherent statistics now has over 43,000 adherent statistic citations, for over 4,300 different faith groups, covering all countries of the world. This is not an absolutely exhaustive compilation of all such data, but it is by far the largest compilation available on the Internet. Various academic researchers and religious representatives regularly share documented adherent statistics with m so that their information can be available in a centralized database. Statistics and geography citations for religions not on this list, as well as subgroups within these religions (such as Catholics, Protestants, karaites, wiccans, Shiites, etc.) can be found in the main m database.
Valid arguments can be made for different figures, but if the same criteria are used for all groups, the relative order should be the same. Further details and sources are available below and in the m main database. A major source for these estimates is the detailed country-by-country analysis done by david. Barrett's religious statistics organization, whose data are published in the Encyclopedia britannica (including annual updates and yearbooks) and also in the world Christian Encyclopedia (the latest edition of plan which - published in 2001 - has been consulted). Hundreds of additional sources providing more thorough and detailed research about individual religious groups have also been consulted. This listing is not a comprehensive list of all religions, only the "major" ones (as defined below). There are distinct religions other than the ones listed above.
Compare the business culture of the uk with that of Japan
Christianity anglican, catholic, evangelical, jehovah's Witnesses, latter-day saints, orthodox. Pentecostal, islam, hinduism, buddhism, sikhism, judaism, baha'i. Zoroastrianism more links (sizes shown are approximate estimates, and are here mainly fuller for the purpose of ordering the groups, not providing a definitive number. This list is sociological/statistical in perspective.). Christianity :.1 billion, islam :.5 billion, :.1 billion. Hinduism : 900 million, chinese traditional religion : 394 million, buddhism : 376 million primal-indigenous : 300 million. African Traditional diasporic : 100 million, sikhism : 23 million Juche : 19 million Spiritism : 15 million Judaism : 14 million Baha'i : 7 million jainism :.2 million Shinto : 4 million cao dai : 4 million Zoroastrianism :.6 million Tenrikyo. Levels of participation vary within all groups. These numbers tend toward the high end of reasonable worldwide estimates.