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Religion > Religions > A note: Countries Compared

Edria Murray, Staff Editor

Author: Edria Murray, Staff Editor

In response to Barbarajean and chutney:

The largest religious groups in the world are:

  • Christianity (including catholic, protestant, orthodox, pentecostal, evangelical etc): 2.1 billion adherents (31.5% of the worlds population)

  • Islam (including Shi'ite, Sunni etc): 1.3 billion adherents (19.5%)

  • Non-Religious (including secular, agnostic, atheist, those not affiliated with any formal religion etc): 1.1 billion (16.5%)

  • Hinduism : 900 million adherents (13.5%)

  • Traditional indigenous religions (including African tribal and diasporic): 400 million (6.0%)

  • Chinese traditional religions (including Taoism and Confucianism, and
    traditional nonscriptural religious observance.
    : 394 million adherents (5.9%)

  • Buddhism: 376 million adherents (5.6%)

  • Sikhism: 23 million (0.34%)

  • Judaism: 14 million (0.21%)


Other religions account for 60 million people (0.91%).

It is important to note that definitions of religions and adherence vary and religious statistics are influenced by many factors including official government position and perceived benefits / detriments of belonging to a particular religion.



For information on the religions in each country see the religions page in the religion category.

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION
Albania all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice
Azerbaijan religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; percentages for actual practicing adherents are much lower
Canada based on the 1991 census
Central African Republic animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
China officially atheist (2002 est.)
Cote d'Ivoire the majority of foreigners (migratory workers) are Muslim (70%) and Christian (20%)
El Salvador there is extensive activity by Protestant groups throughout the country; by the end of 1992, there were an estimated 1 million Protestant evangelicals in El Salvador
Fiji Fijians are mainly Christian, Indians are Hindu, and there is a Muslim minority (1986)
Haiti roughly half of the population also practices Voodoo
Kenya a large majority of Kenyans are Christian, but estimates for the percentage of the population that adheres to Islam or indigenous beliefs vary widely
Luxembourg 1979 legislation forbids the collection of religious statistics
Nepal only official Hindu state in the world (1995)
North Korea autonomous religious activities now almost nonexistent; government-sponsored religious groups exist to provide illusion of religious freedom
Tokelau on Atafu, all Congregational Christian Church of Samoa; on Nukunonu, all Roman Catholic; on Fakaofo, both denominations, with the Congregational Christian Church predominant

Citation

"Countries Compared by Religion > Religions > A note. International Statistics at NationMaster.com", CIA World Factbook, December 2003. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Religion/Religions/A-note

Interesting observations about Religion > Religions > A note

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In response to Barbarajean and chutney:

The largest religious groups in the world are:

  • Christianity (including catholic, protestant, orthodox, pentecostal, evangelical etc): 2.1 billion adherents (31.5% of the worlds population)

  • Islam (including Shi'ite, Sunni etc): 1.3 billion adherents (19.5%)

  • Non-Religious (including secular, agnostic, atheist, those not affiliated with any formal religion etc): 1.1 billion (16.5%)

  • Hinduism : 900 million adherents (13.5%)

  • Traditional indigenous religions (including African tribal and diasporic): 400 million (6.0%)

  • Chinese traditional religions (including Taoism and Confucianism, and
    traditional nonscriptural religious observance.
    : 394 million adherents (5.9%)

  • Buddhism: 376 million adherents (5.6%)

  • Sikhism: 23 million (0.34%)

  • Judaism: 14 million (0.21%)


Other religions account for 60 million people (0.91%).

It is important to note that definitions of religions and adherence vary and religious statistics are influenced by many factors including official government position and perceived benefits / detriments of belonging to a particular religion.



For information on the religions in each country see the religions page in the religion category.

Posted on 23 May 2005

Edria Murray, Staff Editor

Edria Murray, Staff Editor

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