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  • Writer's pictureStrange Puma

Top 10 Oldest Religions in the World

Updated: Mar 18, 2023

Religion- the belief in a god or gods and the activities connected with this.


#01 - Hinduism

Hinduism is not just the oldest religion in the world, but it also has a huge following, with over 1.4 billion people according to mythological beliefs. It's said that Hinduism dates back more than 90,000 years, but according to current research, Hinduism is considered to be about 12,000 to 15,000 years old, and some research indicates that it's more accurately 24,000 years old. In any case, though, Hinduism is considered to be the oldest religion in the world, and most scholars believe now that modern Hinduism started somewhere between 2300 and 1500 BC in the Indus Valley near modern-day Pakistan. Unlike other religions, Hinduism has no founder but is instead a fusion of various beliefs that existed. A Hindu holds the view that God is the owner of the entire universe and that everything within it is also God.


​World Population

~17%

In Figures (2023)

1,400,000,000 (1.4 billon)

​People who follow Hinduism are -

Hindus


 
#02 - Christianity


The religion has approximately 2.3 billion followers and originated in the Israel-Palestine region of the world. Christianity started before 100 AD. And indeed clarified by 300 ad. before the advent of other modern religions. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the son of Almighty God, and they revere the holy book known as the Bible. And according to the Pew Research Center, Christians actually remain the world's largest religious group, making up about one-third of Earth's 8 billion people, like 31%. But the report also shows that Christianity is actually on the decline.

​World Population (2023)

31.11%

In Figures (2023)

​2,382,000,000 (2.382 billion)

People who follow Christianity are -

Christians


#3 - Islam


Islam is said to have been founded in Saudi Arabia and has over 1.9 billion followers today. It is a monotheistic religion in which Muslims believe in the unity of Allah, the Almighty, and the Prophet. The origins of Islam began in 622 Ad. And in a short span of time, it spread to every corner of the globe. Now, according to a report by the Pew Research Center, there are 1.9 billion Muslims in the entire world, and that number is projected to increase to 2.9 billion by the year 2060. Keeping all these things in mind, it would not be wrong to say that Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world.

​World Population (2023)

24.9%

​In Figures (2023)

​1,907,000,000 (1.907 billion)

Sunnis

​87 - 90%

Shia

​10 - 13%

​People who follow Islam are known as -

Muslims


 
#04 - Taoism

Taoism has 12 million followers all around the world, and it originated in China. It was a tradition of Chinese origin that teaches the lessons of living in peace and harmony. However, Taoism can also be found in other religions, and it's said that this religion started between the fourth and third centuries BCE. TTaoism is a spiritual ideology that emphasizes one's perspective on life and the outside world. This organized religious tradition is also known for its care for nature, peace, and going with the flow. Taoism also spread through the migration of people to other nations, like Singapore and Malaysia.

​World Population (2023)

0.7%

​In Figure (2023)

8,700,000 (8.7 Millon)

​China (Percent/Figure)

​4.4% / 62,144,000

Taiwan (Percent/Figure)

​44% / 10,376,000

People who follow Taoism are -

Taoists


 

#05 - Buddhism


Buddhism is a religion that originated in India, and it really spread throughout the Indian region, and it has over 512 million followers. Buddhism is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who is known as the Buddha, and Buddhism is the main religion in many Asian countries, and it is a religion about suffering and the need to end suffering. One key concept in Buddhism is Nirvana, that's the most enlightened and blissful state that a human being can attain. Karma, reincarnation, and impermanence are the three main tenets of this philosophical framework. Buddhism gained popularity in India because, at a period when the caste system was strictly enforced, its teachings gave individuals freedom of choice and inspired hope and aspiration.

​World Population (2023)

7.1%

​In Figure (2023)

​512,000,000

​Country With Most Buddhism

​China

People who follow Buddhism are -

Buddhists


 

#06 - Confucianism

This religion has almost 6 million followers and originated also in China. Confucianism is also known as Ruism, and it's defined as a tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a humanistic or rational religion, a way of governing, or simply a way of life. Now, Confucianism is a way of life, as they say, and it was coded as a religion. Confucianism is based on five guiding principles: Jen, Li, Xin, Chung, and Yi. The base of Jen is kindness and human nature. Li is a code of decency and respect. Xin refers to loyalty and being truthful to oneself and others, which helps people gain respect. According to Chung, a key Confucian principle, loyalty strengthens the ties that bind the nation's rulers to its people. Some believe that the foundation of human virtue is righteousness. One must be able to distinguish between good and wrong and constantly adhere to the Yi principle.

​World Population (2023)

0.09%

In Figure (2023)

​6,000,000 (6 million)

People who follow Confucianism are -

Confucians


 

#07 - Shinto

This religion has around 4 million followers, and even though it's a very old religion, it definitely doesn't have the number of followers that really shows how old the religion actually is. The origin of this religion is in Japan, and Kaminomichi is the traditional religion of Japan that focuses on ritual practices to be practiced diligently to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past. The fundamental concept of Shinto is to encourage peace and purity in all aspects of life. It is believed that human beings are good by nature and that evil is the work of demonic spirits. Hence, the goal of Shinto is to make offerings and pray to the kami in order to drive away evil spirits. Shinto, unlike many other religions, has no founder, a holiest place, and a set of specified prayers. The kami are Shinto gods. Kami are worshipped spirits that resemble natural phenomena like the wind, rain, mountains, and trees. Extraordinary people have the potential to reincarnate as kami.

​World Population (2023)

0.05%

​In Figures

4,000,000 (4 million)

​Country With the Most Shinto Religion

​Japan

People who follow Shinto are -

Shintoists


 

#08 - Jainism

Jainism is said to be perhaps the most peaceful religion on the planet, with 4.2 million followers. Jainism is a very old religion as well, and it is said that Hinduism can be traced to Buddhism and Jainism as organized representatives. A harmless and selfless life is the key to enlightenment and cheerfulness, according to the ancient Indian faith of Jainism. Today, Jains represent about 2%of India's overall population. The Jain community in India is centered in Rajasthan and Gujarat, and many of them migrated to East Africa and from there to Britain, where the community numbers around 30,000. The freedom of the soul is what Jainism seeks to accomplish. Unlike many other religions, Jains do not believe in a god or gods, however, they do believe in holy (or at least ideal) beings that are worthy of worship. Jains shouldn't eat or drink anything that contains meat products or animal flesh.

​World Population (2023)

0.05%

In Figures (2023)

​4,200,000 (4.2 million)

​Originated Country

India (Bihar)

​People who follow Jainism are -

Jains


 

#09 - Judaism

The religion of Judaism has 14 million followers and it originated in the Israeli-Palestine region. It is an Abrahamic religion and it is one of the oldest in the world. Islam and Christianity are comparable to Judaism. These religions uphold the unity of God and the moral beliefs found in the Hebrew Scriptures. Judaism is a religion of Israel and is one of the oldest religions dating back about 4000 years. Jews consider that there is only one God and that He has made a covenant, or unique arrangement, with them. Their God speaks to believers through prophets and both rewards and punishes evil deeds. The majority of Jews think that although their Messiah hasn't yet arrived, but one day he will.

World Population (2023)

0.18%

​In Figures(2023)

14,700,000

People who follow Christianity are -

Jew, Hebrew Yĕhūdhī or Yehudi


 

#10 - Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism has its origins in Persia and has 2.6 million followers worldwide. Zoroastrianism was founded historically in the sixth century BC. Also, the Zendavesta book's teachings are the basis for this religion. And this book is the religious book of Zoroastrians. But today only a few excerpts from it are actually available. Its oldest parts can be found in the period immediately after Rigavita. Its native language is Avastan, which is closely related to Sanskrit. But now Zoroastrianism survives in various different isolated areas and more prosperously in India, where astrologers are known as Parsis, seen as descendants of Persian immigrants. The fundamental contrast between good and evil and the belief that God, Ahura Mazda, created the world so that the two forces may interact and the evil one would be defeated is the epicenter of Zoroastrianism.

​World Population (2023)

0.03%

In Figures (2023)

2,600,000 (2.6 million)

​People who follow Zoroastrianism are -

Parsi


 

Tell us which you belong to which religion.

  • Hinduism

  • Christianity

  • Islam

  • Taoism



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