Monday, September 2, 2013

changing views on religion and god (and world religions history and demographics)

"Some believers accuse skeptics of having nothing left but a dull,
cold scientific world. I am left with only art, music, literature,
theater, the magnificence of nature, mathematics, the human
spirit, sex, the cosmos, friendship, history, science, imagination
dreams, oceans, mountains, love and the wonder of birth. That'll do me."
Lynne Kelly
Followers of each major religion:
Christianity:   2,000,000,000
Islam:             1,570,000,000
Hinduism:       1,080,000,000
Buddhism:          500,000,000
Shinto:                 27,000,000
Sikhism:               24,000,000
Judaism:               14,000,000
Baha'i:                    7,600,000
Jainism:                  5,000,000
Non-Believers (Atheists): ~500,000,000 (~150,000,000)
Confucianism & Taoism are two for which it is difficult to give a figure.
Buddhism total may be higher. Buddhism can be
considered a philosophy in addition to a religion.
Also, many Buddhists may be atheists since the
Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) is not God.


Religion in the United States. More people are saying "no" to religion.
 Religions of the world. Islam is growing the fastest.

 Great Britain
"Religion is a mere question of geography."
Edward Gibbon
Non-believers in Europe (darker = more atheists)
Distribution of atheists and agnostics
Distribution of Islam

Distribution of  Catholicism

Distribution of Protestantism

Distribution of Eastern Orthodox

Distribution of Hinduism

Distribution of Buddhism

Shi'a and Sunni each have various sects.

Mahayana (including Vajrayana) 62%
Theravada 38%
Jews comprise less than 1% of the world's religious population.
 Jews make up about 2% of the United State's population.
Almost as many Jewish people live in the
United States as do in Israel. Large populations
in Paris and London also.
Sunni / Shiite (Shi'a) distribution

Islam by country              Sunni              Shias      Ibadi
 Ibadi Islam is primarily in the country of Oman.

Distribution of Sunni and Shia branches of Islam

In terms of population, the largest (predominately) Sunni countries are Indonesia,
Pakistan, Bangladesh and Egypt. The (predominately) Shi'a / Shi'ite countries with
the largest populations are Iran and Iraq. Other Muslim sub sects are Ibadhi (mainly
in Oman), Druze (Lebanon), Alawite (Syria) and Alevi (Turkey). 

Being Arab is an ethnic distinction. 42% of Arabs are Muslims (Sunni, Shi'a and other)
58% of Arabs are Christians (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant)



Only 1/3 of one percent of the Muslims in the
world live in all of the Americas.

Majority of Christians in the world are Catholic.
Majority of Christians in the United States are Protestant.

Baptist (red), Lutheran (orange) and Methodist (green) are the Protestant Churches
with the highest populations in the U.S.A. 
Catholics are represented by blue and
Mormons are shown in brown.

A Religious person / Not a religious person / A convinced Atheist / Don't know or No response






 click on images to make larger
Most Populous Countries in 2013 (main religion(s))
1. China  1,359,830,000 (Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhist (or mix))
2. India  1,233,630,000 (Hinduism)
3. United States  316,623,000 (Christianity: Protestant, Catholic)
4. Indonesia  237,641,326 (Islam)
5. Brazil  201,032,714 ( (Christianity: Catholic, Protestant)
6. Pakistan  184,187,000 (Islam)
7. Nigeria  173,615,000 (Islam, Christianity)
8. Bangladesh  152,518,015 (Islam)
9. Russia  143,400,000 (Christianity: Eastern Orthodox)
10. Japan  127,310,000 (Shinto, Buddhism)
11. Mexico  118,395,054 (Christianity: Catholic)
12. Philippines  98,327,000 (Christianity: Catholic, Protestant) 
All three Muslim countries are Sunni.



Many Sunni Muslims believe that
Shi'as are not truly Muslims.

Two main sects of Buddhism.
Theravada is older and more strict one might say.
Some believe that the Theravada school is more pure
than Mahayana (like Sunni over Shiite).

 Duhkha is like desire or suffering due to desire.
Buddhism can be divided into two major schools: Theravada and Mahayana. Today, Theravada is the dominant form of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma (Myanmar) and Laos. Mahayana is dominant in China, Japan, Taiwan, Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, Korea and most of Vietnam.
You will sometimes hear there are three major schools of Buddhism, the third being Vajrayana. Vajrayana is associated with Tibetan Buddhism as well as a Japanese school called Shingon. But Vajrayana is founded on Mahayana philosophy, and is more accurately understood as an extension of Mahayana. 

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