The world’s principal religions and spiritual traditions may be classified into a small number of major groups, although this is by no means a uniform practice. Different religions were respected as academic differences in pursuit of the same truth. In Islam, the Quran mentions three different categories: The Muslims,The Believers Of Divine Books, and The Idol worshipers. Similarly the classification of religions in different in different religious beliefs.

Christianity believes in one God, while the central figure in Christianity is Jesus (or Christ), a Jew who came into this world by Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. Christians can read of the life of Jesus, as well as his ancestors, in the Christian holy text, the Bible. They also believe Jesus is the son of God, thinking that God has become a human being and the savior of humanity. The latest edition of the world Christian encyclopedia stated that 33% of the world population is christian. The major christian groups are Roman Catholics, Protestants and Anglicans.
Islam is the second largest religion of the world. It originated in the 7th century with the teaching of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The teaching of Islam are based on the Holy Quran (revealed by God) and the traditions. The Muslims believe in the oneness of God and that Muhammad (PBUH) is the last prophet. There are five major beliefs in Islam. There are about 57 Muslim countries in the world. The total number of Muslims exceeds 1.6 billion. Shia and Sunni are two largest sects in Islam.
Hinduism is not a religion with a formal creed but it is a complex result of 5,000 years of continuous cultural development, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. Hinduism believes in polytheistic and recognizes thousands of Gods and deities like Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Durga(Kali). Hindus worship cows and believe in reincarnation. Currently the total number of Hindus in the world is about 1.1 billion, majority of whom lives in India (880 million).
Atheist/Secular:- This is a highly disperate group and not a single religion. Although atheists are a small subset of this grouping, this category is not synonymous with atheism. A broader meaning is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is distinguished from theism, which in its most general form believes in the deity existence. The first individuals to identify themselves as “atheist” appeared in the 18th century. Today, about 2.3% of the world’s population describes itself as atheist, while a further 11.9% is described as nonatheist. Between 64% and 65% of Japanese describe themselves as atheists, and 48% in Russia. Currently the total number of atheists in the world is 1 billion.
Buddhism is a non-theistic religion. It was founded by Gautoma Buddha in the 6th century B.C in reaction to Brahmanical despotism and rigidity of the caste system. Buddhism seeks to emulate Buddha’s example of perfect morality, wisdom and compassion culminating in a transformation of consciousness known as enlightenment. The central beliefs of Buddhism are based on “Four Noble Truths”. By 700 A.D Buddhism had spread to China, Japan, Tibet, Korea and Sri Lanka. However, it lost its following in India, the place of its origin. Presently there are about 860 million Buddhists in the world.
Sikhism was founded by Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1538). At Sultanpur, he received a Vision to preach the way to enlightenment and God. He taught a strict monotheism and brotherhood of humanity. Sikhism rejects idol worship, and the oppressive Hindu concept of castes. The Sikh homeland is Punjab, in India, where today Sikhs make up approximately 61% of the population. This is the only place where Sikhs are in majority. Sikhs have emigrated to countries all over the world-especially to English Speaking countries and East Asian nations. According to most of the estimates, there are 36 and 40 million Sikhs in the world.
Judaism developed among the wandering tribes of Hebrews, Israelites and Jews which flourished three millenniums before Christ. Abraham is the traditional partriarch of the Jewish people. Later on, Moses received God commandments at Mount Sinai, collectively known as “Turat”. The Judaism reached its height of glory and power under the kings David and Solomon. Turat is the sacred text of Jews. Its record of history, revealed law and mysteries of universe. Jews believe in single eternal and invisible God who created the world. There are three main sects of modern Judaism Viz. Orthodox Judaism, Reformist Judaism and Conservative Judaism. The total number of Jews in the world is about 19.9 million. Jews’s, majority lives in USA and a large number of Jews population was killed in Nazi concentration camps during the second world war.
Shinto is an ancient Japanese religion. Shinto is one of the “Classic eleven or twelve major world religions”.  Shinto creation stories tell about the history and lives of the “Kami” (deities). The Kami are the Shinto deities. The world “Kami” is generally translated “God” or “Gods”. However, the kami bear little resemblance to the Gods of monotheistic religions. Estimates of the number of adherents are hopelessly unreliable. Some sources give numbers in the range of 12.8 to 13.2 million. One source estimates 10000 followers of Shinto in North America. Essentially all followers of Shinto are Japanese.
Jainism traces its roots to a succession of 24 Jinas (those who overcome, or conqueror) in ancient East India. The first Jina is traditionally believed to have been a giant who lived 8.4 million years ago. The most recent and last Jina was vardhamana. Jainism contains many elements that are somewhat similar to parts of Hinduism and Buddhism. The world’s almost 4 million Jains are almost entirely located in India. There are about 11 million Jians all over the world.
Bahai’s Faith:- The Bahai Faith is also the youngest of the world’s main religions. It was founded in Iran during the mid 19th century by Siyyid Ali-Muhammad (1819-1850 CE). He assumed the title Bab (the Gate) and prophesized the future arrival of “one greater than Himself”. Bahai’s believe in a single God who has repeatedly sent prophets into the world through whom he has revealed the “world of God”. Prophets include Adam, Krishna, Buddha, Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus). The Bahai Faith is still looked upon by many Muslims as a breakaway sect of Islam. There are about a million followers of this religion in all over the world.
May 15, 2010 | G Abbas | 1 Comment | 802 views