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List of Religions in India, Facts about the Major Religions in India

List of Religions in India: India is home to 1.4 billion people – about one-sixth of the world’s population – who belong to different races and religions. While 94% of the world’s Hindus live in India, there are also substantial populations of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and followers of folk religions. India’s vast population includes not only the vast majority of the world’s Hindus but also the second largest group of Muslims in a single country after only Indonesia.

In Hindi: List of Religions in India

List of Religions in India: भारत 1.4 अरब लोगों का घर है – दुनिया की आबादी का लगभग छठा हिस्सा – जो विभिन्न जातियों और धर्मों से संबंधित हैं। जबकि दुनिया के 94% हिंदू भारत में रहते हैं, वहां मुस्लिम, ईसाई, सिख, बौद्ध, जैन और लोक धर्मों के अनुयायियों की भी पर्याप्त आबादी है। भारत की विशाल आबादी में न केवल दुनिया के हिंदुओं का विशाल बहुमत शामिल है, बल्कि केवल इंडोनेशिया के बाद किसी एक देश में मुसलमानों का दूसरा सबसे बड़ा समूह भी शामिल है।

The Major Religions in India: List of Religions in India

  • About 1.2 billion people in the world currently practice Hinduism, of which a total of 95 per cent live in India.
  • At first, Christianity came to India around 52 CE when Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, first visited the country.
  • And Sikhism originated in Punjab, a state located in northern India, around the late 1400s.
  • Also, by 2050, the Muslim population in India will exceed 310 million, making it the largest Muslim population in the world.

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Hinduism

About 1.2 billion people in the world currently practice Hinduism, with 95 per cent living in India. Due to this high number, it is easily the most popular religion in the region, with about 79.8 per cent of India’s total population identifying as Hindu.

Experts have dated Hinduism to 4,000 years ago. Even though many people associate it with the early Indus Valley Civilization, it does not have a specific beginning but has been established over many years. Based on different practices and philosophies, it is more a way of life than a religion in the traditional sense. As a general rule, Hindus follow a strict moral code, believing in concepts such as reincarnation and karma.

Most Hindus are monotheistic, meaning they worship a single deity – in this case, Brahmin – but they recognize the existence of other deities. In addition, they do not eat meat such as beef as many animals, especially cows, are considered sacred.

List of Religions in India
Hinduism (List of Religions in India)

In Hindi:

दुनिया में लगभग 1.2 बिलियन लोग वर्तमान में हिंदू धर्म का पालन करते हैं, जिसमें से 95 प्रतिशत भारत में रहते हैं। इस उच्च संख्या के कारण, यह आसानी से इस क्षेत्र में सबसे लोकप्रिय धर्म है, जिसमें भारत की कुल आबादी का लगभग 79.8 प्रतिशत हिंदू के रूप में पहचाना जाता है।

विशेषज्ञों ने हिंदू धर्म को 4,000 साल पहले का बताया है। भले ही कई लोग इसे प्रारंभिक सिंधु घाटी सभ्यता से जोड़ते हैं, लेकिन इसकी कोई विशिष्ट शुरुआत नहीं है, लेकिन कई वर्षों में स्थापित किया गया है। विभिन्न प्रथाओं और दर्शन के आधार पर, यह पारंपरिक अर्थों में धर्म की तुलना में अधिक जीवन जीने का तरीका है। एक सामान्य नियम के रूप में, हिंदू पुनर्जन्म और कर्म जैसी अवधारणाओं में विश्वास करते हुए एक सख्त नैतिक संहिता का पालन करते हैं।

अधिकांश हिंदू एकेश्वरवादी हैं, जिसका अर्थ है कि वे एक ही देवता की पूजा करते हैं – इस मामले में, ब्राह्मण – लेकिन वे अन्य देवताओं के अस्तित्व को पहचानते हैं। इसके अलावा, वे गोमांस जैसे मांस नहीं खाते हैं क्योंकि कई जानवर, विशेष रूप से गायों को पवित्र माना जाता है।

Islam

Islam is not only the second largest religion in the world with 1.8 billion followers, but it is also the second most popular religion in India. It is practised by about 14.2 per cent of its total population. This is a significant drop in the number of people devoted to Hinduism, but it still equates to about 172 million people. India has the third largest population of Muslims in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.

Although it is much older, experts place Islam in the 7th century. It first originated in Mecca – a city in modern Saudi Arabia – during the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Unlike Hinduism, Islam is a monotheistic religion. It preaches the word of Allah – or God – which was originally revealed to Muhammad through a messenger.

It became a major religion in India around the same time that Arab traders first visited the country. These merchants were accompanied by missionaries who managed to convert various Indian communities to Islam. The construction of mosques and further missionary work cemented Islam as a permanent addition to India’s religious melting pot.

List of Religions in India
Islam
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Christianity

With approximately 2.3 billion adherents, Christianity is the largest religion in the world. Now in India, it is the third most popular religion. About 2.3 per cent of its total population adheres to Christian beliefs.

Similar to Islam, Christianity is a monotheistic religion, but God is regarded as a single entity composed of three components: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And the Son refers to Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, only to be resurrected three days later. Also, Christians believe in the Second Coming, that one day Jesus will return to earth. It is described in the Bible, the holiest Christian text, which is divided into two parts: the Old and the New Testament.

And Christianity first came to India around 52 CE when Thomas the Apostle first visited the country. As one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, Thomas founded many churches and converted many Jews and Hindus. Continuous missionary work over the centuries fueled his early efforts.

Christianity

Sikhism

The fifth most popular religion in the world is Sikhism with approximately 25 million followers. While they make up only 1.7 per cent of India’s total population, Sikhs have the highest numbers anywhere in the country. Of these, 1.7 per cent live in Punjab, a state largely located in northern India.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sikhism originated in Punjab in the late 1400s. It is mainly based on the spiritual teachings of Guru Nanak and the nine other Gurus who continued his work. Similar to Hinduism, it is considered a philosophy, similar to a religion. So while many Sikhs deny the following claim, scholars argue that Sikhism first developed within Hinduism.

It is a monotheistic religion that preaches equality. Sikhs believe that if you lead a good life, you will get the reward of being with God after death, but if not, you will be reborn and forced to live again. Interestingly, there is no one day of the week designated for worship, unlike Christianity, which upholds the belief that Sunday is the Lord’s day.

List of Religions in India
Sikhism

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Buddhism

With approximately 535 million adherents, eight to ten per cent of the world’s population identify as Buddhist. While Buddhism was founded in India some 2,500 years ago, it has become more popular in other Asian countries such as Cambodia and Thailand. Today, 0.7 per cent of India’s total population follows Buddhist beliefs.

Buddhism traces its roots to Siddhartha Gautama-Buddha in the 5th century BCE when he had attained an enlightened, spiritual state. Buddha is not considered a deity; In fact, Buddhists do not believe in any one deity. Rather, they channel, like Buddha, energy to achieve inner peace. Because of this, meditation is a very common practice.

Buddhism as a religion and a common way of life preaches selflessness and tolerance of others. It is constantly evolving and adopts the familiar concepts of reincarnation and karma.

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List of Religions in India
Buddhism

Jainism

At present, there are six million Jain followers in the world. Out of this six million, about 4.5 live in India, which is 0.4 per cent of the total population of the country.

Even though Jainism has always existed according to its official doctrine, experts trace its beginnings to the Indus Valley Civilization. In short, it is a religion based purely on selflessness. It preaches that the path to inner peace is through compassion and concern for others. It is strict in its non-violent philosophy.

Like Buddhists, Jains also do not believe in any particular deity. However, they believe that apart from humans, all animals and plants also have souls and therefore should be treated with respect. They also believe in reincarnation; To attain true liberation is to break from this cycle and to place the soul in a state of eternal bliss.

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Jainism

Zoroastrianism

The oldest religion in the world is Zoroastrianism. Recent estimates claim that there are no more than 200,000 Parsis left, most of whom live in Iran and India. Nevertheless, they make up only about 0.1 per cent of the total population of the latter.

Also, the religion is named after the prophet Zoroaster, although it is unclear when exactly he lived. Zoroaster had a vision of supreme power, a philanthropist whom he called Ahura Mazda. From that moment, Zoroastrianism evolved into a religion that centred largely around the dualistic concept of good versus evil. Considering its ancient beginnings, many experts argue that it influenced other major religions, including Christianity and Islam.

Zoroastrianism originated in Persia about 4,000 years ago. Zoroastrian refugees were forced to flee the region during the Muslim conquest of Iran in the 7th century. To escape persecution, many of their numbers found sanctuary in India.

Zoroastrianism
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FAQs on List of Religions in India

Which was the first religion?

According to many scholars, Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world, with its roots and customs dating back more than 4,000 years. Today, with approximately 900 million adherents, Hinduism is the third-largest religion after Christianity and Islam. About 95 per cent of the world’s Hindus live in India.

Who created Christianity?

The movement was started by Jesus of Nazareth in Israel in the first century. His followers proclaimed him the prophetic messiah of the prophets and became known as a Christian (Cristiano, “follower of Christ”).

Who created religion in India?

Brahmanism is the religion of the majority in India. It has ancient roots and many of its important religious and philosophical texts were written in the first millennium BC. In the middle of the first millennium two new religions were introduced, one by Mahavira, the founder of Jainism and the other by Buddha.

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