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Top 10 World Religions

Written by Top 100 Arena on 2012-08-25
Around the world there are many beliefs about how best to commune with the Divine. While some adherents to these beliefs are convinced theirs is the only way, most people simply find the path that speaks to them and quietly follow it. The following is a list of the top 10 world religions, via demographics obtained from www.adherents.com.

10 Judaism

Item 10

Jewish people believe that the Hebrews, a nomadic tribe from Mesopotamia, were chosen by God. It is very difficult to obtain a conversion to Jewish religion, as the cornerstone of the religion is that you have to be born into it, thus bearing the blood of one of the Twelve Tribes that the nation of Israel was split into when they settled the land that is today called by that name. It is the first of three religions fathered by the figure Abraham.

9 Juche

Item 9

This interesting spiritual belief is the official religion of North Korea, although if you tell them it’s a religion they will deny it. The word is Korean for “self-reliance” and is a set of philosophies revolving around that concept for North Korea. It is a very nationalist belief, but still a religion. More info

8 Sikhism

Item 8

Sikhs are expected to embody the qualities of a "Sant-Sipāhī"—a saint-soldier. One must have control over one's internal vices and be able to be constantly immersed in virtues clarified in the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book. It originated in the Punjab area of India in about the 15th century CE.

7 Confucianism

Item 7

Confucianism is a philosophical system that is based on the teaching of the Chinese scholar Confucius. These teachings circulate around tradition and strict observance of law. Despite the religion purge of China during the rule of Mao, millions of Chinese still practice Confucianism.

6 Taoism

Item 6

Taoism is the Chinese compliment to Confucianism. It focuses on following the flow of nature and losing yourself in your work. It also questions reality on a regular basis, asking the adherent to adjust their mind of accommodate things that may not typically fit. Like Confucianism, Taoism survived the purge.

5 Buddhism

Item 5

In Buddhism, suffering is the root of all humanity, but by following the “Eight-fold” path of the Buddha, suffering can be alleviated. Buddhism started out in India, but traveled across China and into Japan. It is still practiced in all three regions, usually in conjunction with another tradition, such as Taoism, Shintoism, and Confucianism.

4 Hinduism

Item 4

Called the oldest living religion in the world, Hinduism is a conglomeration of spiritual practices and philosophies rather than a strict set of beliefs. It is practiced chiefly on the Indian subcontinent. There is no known origin of Hindu practice.

3 Secular Non-religious or Atheist

Item 3

While it may seem strange to call a lack of religion or belief in God a religion, this is indeed the case. So many people identify themselves as secular, non-religious, or atheist that no discussion of religion can be had without addressing this group. The majority of this group consider themselves “theists,” that is, they believe in a supreme deity but don’t adhere to any particular path.

2 Islam

Item 2

AN adherent to Islam is called a Muslim, and Muslims follow the Quran, which they believe is the word of God to the letter. The Quran contains three elements: stories and mythology regarding how Islam came to be, rules and laws for living, and spiritual advice. As any religious fundamentalists do for their faith, fundamentalists of this religion have made it extremely controversial.

1 Christianity

Item 1

The most widely-practiced religion in the world, Christianity revolves around two concepts: the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and the Bible being the inerrant word of God. As you can see, there is friction between this religion and the other two Abrahamic religions, Judaism and Islam, because all three believe they have the direct line to God.

Religion, when viewed as an idea or philosophy rather than as an ideology, can be a growth experience for the adherent. As an ideology, religion can be constrictive and oppressive. But religion exists, and understanding it can give you an insight into the people who practice it based on what they believe.

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