What is the biggest religion in asia


Religions in Asia

Asia has around 4.4 billion inhabitants. More than a billion people are followers of Islam, which is the largest religion in Asia. Hinduism takes second place with around 896 million people, 436 million belong to Buddhism and around 336 million are Christians. In addition there are 432 million Chinese who belong to their own folk religions. Almost 600 million Asians are without religion.

All religions that are part of the world today have their origins in Asia. These include Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism.

Islam - the largest religion in Asia

With around 26%, Islam is the religion with the most followers in Asia. Subgroups are Sunni and Shiite Islam. It is predominant in the following countries: Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Ubudiah Mosque in Malaysia

Islam, which has around 1.6 billion followers worldwide, was founded in the 7th century by the prophet Mohammed. The basis is on the one hand the Koran, the holy scripture of Islam, which is considered the word of God, on the other hand the Sharia, the so-called religious law of Islam. It is supported by five pillars that describe the five main duties: the Islamic creed, compulsory prayer, the poor tax, fasting in Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Hinduism - predominant especially in South Asia

Hinduism is in third place worldwide, but in second place in Asia. It is mainly lived in South Asia, especially in India, Nepal and Bhutan. India is also considered the country of origin. The history of Hinduism cannot be limited in time. In its early form, however, it goes back to the 18th century BC.

Hinduism in Kathmandu - the capital of Nepal

While many religions are based on one statement, Hinduism is not a uniform religion and thus has different religious traditions that overlap and influence one another, both in scriptures, as well as in rituals, in the doctrines of faith and, last but not least, in the world of the gods. Hindus believe in a constant cycle of life and death, thus also in reincarnation.

Buddhism - 3rd place in Asia

Buddhism can be found mainly in the south and east of Asia. It is divided into Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. It predominates in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia and Sri Lanka. Around half of the Buddhists in Asia live in China.

Statues in Wat Xieng Khuan Buddha Park near Vientiane

Historically, Buddhism can be traced back to the 4th century BC. It is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who taught the Dharma and is considered the founder of Buddhism. The four noble truths are taught in this religion. The First Noble Truth says that life is marked by suffering, which symbolizes birth, old age, illness and death. The Second Noble Truth says that suffering is caused by greed, hatred, and delusion. By avoiding this, one eventually arrives at happiness, which is what the Third Noble Truth expresses. In the Fourth Noble Truth, one is shown the path to happiness on the Noble Eightfold Path.

Christianity - only in fifth place in Asia

If Christianity is the largest religion worldwide with over two billion followers, it only ranks fifth in Asia with less than ten percent. Christianity has numerous denominations, including the four most important: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican. In Asia, Christianity predominates, especially in Russia, Georgia and Armenia.

Christian mountain church in Armenia

The religion emerged from Judaism and goes back to Jesus of Nazareth, who lived as an itinerant preacher in the 1st century AD and is considered the Son of God. Most Christians believe in one God as a trinity consisting of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. But there are also smaller groups that call themselves anti-Trinitarians and do not recognize the Trinity.

Chinese popular belief

Around a tenth of the Asian population feels they belong to the Chinese popular belief. Behind this there is no church, no uniform rites, no own theology and no uniform belief. Rather, numerous elements are combined here: ancestor worship, Buddhism, folk beliefs, Confucianism, Fengshui, geomancy, Daoism and also local cults.

The worship of ancestors and local deities is especially important for popular belief. Men and women are viewed as deities who have actually lived and who are said to have special powers and deeds. They are limited to individual areas or issues.