These Are The World's Most Popular Religions

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Mar 07, 2024 - 10:45 AM

Religion has played a pivotal role in shaping the beliefs, values, and cultures of societies around the world.

While estimating the exact number of followers for each faith poses a considerable challenge, Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes that figures from reputable sources like Britannica and Pew Research provide valuable insights into the global religious landscape.

The Religions With the Most Followers

Below are the seven most popular religions, based on Britannica’s analysis and estimates:

Note: These estimates provide a broad perspective on the distribution of followers for each religion, recognizing the inherent difficulty in accurately counting global adherents.

There are three major religions with over 1 billion followers: Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism.

Buddhism is also a big player, with 500 million followers worldwide. After this, there’s a significant dropoff, with the next three largest religions (Shintō, Sikhism, and Judaism) adding up to fewer than 150 million followers between them.

It’s also worth mentioning that practically speaking, many of these popular religions have various sects, denominations, branches, or interpretations that they can be further grouped into.

For example, Christianity itself can be further categorized into denominations such as Catholic (50.1%), Protestant (36.7%), Eastern Orthodox (9.4%), Oriental Orthodox (2.5%), and other smaller Christian denominations (1.3%).

What Religions Missed the Cut?

Not captured in the above visual are many smaller organized religions, as well as folk and traditional religions, that are distributed all around the world.

Examples of notable religions that did not make the top seven list include: Taoism, Muism, Cao Dai, Baháʼí Faith, Jainism, Tenrikyo, Wicca, and Zoroastrianism.

Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of people also practice African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions, and Australian aboriginal religions.