World Religions Briefly Explained religion

The religions with the most believers in the world are the so-called world religions. Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism are considered world religions. The order of execution does not constitute a rating.


With over 2,2 billion followers, Christianity has the world's greatest popularity among all religions.

world religions
World religions - Image by Barbara Mack from Pixabay

With around 730 million followers, Christianity is by far the most important religion in Europe and has had a significant historical influence on the development of the respective societies since its existence.

At the center of the Christian faith is the Jewish traveling sermon Jesus of Nazareth, whose work was recorded in the New Testament and is regarded as the "Son of God". Christianity is a monotheistic religion and postulates the Trinity, with which the essential unity of God from father, son and Holy Spirit is meant.

The largest church within Christianity is the Roman Catholic Church with approximately 1,2 billion members. The Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches follow. The cross, as a symbol of redemption, is the main symbol of Christianity to this day.


Central to Islam is the Prophet Muhammad, who in the early 7. Century AD lived and is regarded as "ambassador of God". The Koran, as the immediate revelation of God to Muhammad, is the sacred scripture of Islam, and in its validity comparable to the Bible of Christianity.

As a monotheistic religion, Islam places Allah (Arabic for "God") at the center of the faith, to which all believers have to submit according to the writings of the Koran. With around 1,6 billion followers, Islam is the second largest religion in the world after Christianity and has its strongest distribution in both North Africa and Asia. Alone about 200 million Muslims live in Indonesia. The most important symbol of Islam is the image of the crescent moon.


The founder of Buddhism is Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in Nepal in the 6th century BC and is now revered by Buddhists as a "historical Buddha" and thus stands next to a large number of "mystical Buddhas".

As the fourth largest world religion, Buddhism is predominant in Asia and has most of its followers in China. Buddhist teachings describe for believers the search for the “Middle Path”, which is the only way to experience enlightenment. Extremes such as asceticism or hedonism contrast with this.

Buddhism combines the teaching of the cycle of life, death and rebirth with Hinduism. The believer finds fulfillment by breaking out of that cycle into nirvana. One of the most important scriptures of Buddhism is the Dhammapada, an anthology of Buddha wisdom. The Dharma wheel, which symbolizes the return of the spirit, acts as the central sign.


After Christianity and Islam, Hinduism is the third largest world region, with just under a billion followers. In contrast to Christianity and Islam, Hinduism does not find a unified idol. Hinduism is made up of various religious currents, some of which are very different in terms of traditions and philosophies.

One of the greatest currents is Shivaism, in which the deity Shiva plays a central role. In addition to Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu are two other main gods. One element for almost all Hindus is belief in the eternal cycle of life, death and rebirth.

The sacred syllable "Om" is considered the most important symbol of Hinduism and is often preceded by religious verses. The central scripture is the Bhagavad Gita, which is in the form of a spiritual poem. The country of origin of Hinduism is India.


Coloring page Judaism - MenorahAlthough the Jewish religion, with about 14 million followers compared to other world religions far fewer followers, but is still one of the most influential religions of the earth. As a monotheistic religion, Judaism focuses on the "God of Israel" and is based on written teachings (Torah) and oral traditions (including the Talmud).

Both Christianity and Islam originated from Torah teachings and thus have their origin in the Jewish religion. The central symbol of Judaism is the Star of David, which is also of political importance and adorns the national flag of Israel, for example.

Moses, who founded the Jewish religion around 1200 BC, is regarded as the founder of the religion. Chr. Founded when, according to the teachings, he received the Torah from God on Mount Sinai.


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