The 5 largest religions in the world (and their history in Brazil)

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Ricky Joseph

What are the major religions of the world? Even if there is a notion about which religion is the most dominant, many people are still in doubt when it comes to say whether it is Christianity, Islam or some other belief.

However, it is worth noting that regardless of which is the major religion, the fact is that faith is what moves tourists around the world in search of sacred places and representative for each religion.

Thinking about this universe of faith, discover in this list the largest and also most traditional religions in the world.

Major religions of the world: which ones and amount of devotees

Christianity on one side, Islam on the other. Looking like this, it seems that we are about to talk about conflicts that have gained ideological biases based on religion, like those of the Middle Ages. But, at least here, the subject is the beliefs with the largest number of believers in the world.

With more than 2.1 billion followers, Christianity is the largest religion in the world, but sees the gap diminish. Islam is the second largest, with about 1.8 billion, consolidating itself as the fastest growing doctrine in recent years.

Along with others such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism, they also play the role of major world religions.

1. Christianity

Orthodox leader with the Catholic leader.

Christianity has about 2.2 billion adherents worldwide. The name of the religion originates from Jesus Christ who, according to the belief of his followers, came into the world to bring salvation to man. This religion is monotheistic (worships only one God). Within Christianity there are divisions, forming branches called:

  • Catholicism : represents the people who follow the Roman Catholic Church, which has as its highest authority the Pope. In the world there are about 1 billion Catholics.
  • Orthodox : is a Christian religion, whose origin comes from a separation that took place in the Catholic Church in the eleventh century and dispersed in the East. The main churches are the Orthodox Catholic and Russian Orthodox.
  • Protestants The emergence of this Christian branch is linked to the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther was who led the revolt against the sale of forgiveness by the clergy, besides being contrary to the dogmas practiced by the Catholic Church, such as the impossibility of deception by the Pope and also the veneration of saints.

Christianity in Brazil

Brazil is overwhelmingly Christian, and the largest Catholic country in the world. An estimated 64.6% of the population is Catholic. Christianity was introduced to Brazil by Portuguese missionaries in the early 16th century. Protestantism began to establish itself as the second largest branch of Christianity in the country from the 19th century onwards.

2. Islam


The silver medal in the list of religions is held by the Muslims. According to projections, in twenty years they will be more than a quarter of the world population.

If this scenario comes true, the number of Muslims in Brazil will more than double and a quarter of Israel's population will be practicing Islam. In addition, France and Belgium will become more than 10% Islamic.

It is a monotheistic religion that emerged in the seventh century and was created by Muhammad, its main leader. The holy book is the Koran. Currently has about 1 billion adherents worldwide and is the fastest growing. Islam is widespread especially in Asia and Africa, but there are many followers in European countries.

Islamism in Brazil

Brazil is home to the largest Muslim population in South America. Islam arrived in Brazil during the 16th century with the arrival of African slaves. Today, there are an estimated 1.5 million Muslims in Brazil, representing about 1% of the population. Although Islam is a minority religion in Brazil, it has been gaining more presence in recent years.

3. Hinduism

Representation of Shiva.

It is a religion practiced mainly in Asia, has a set of precepts, religious doctrines, based on the sacred scriptures of the Vedas, book that keeps texts, hymns, praises and rituals.

Hindus represent about 80% of the population in India and Nepal. Even with much variety, they are only the third largest religion in the world. However, they boast a more original title: the largest religious monument on the planet. It is the Angkor Wat temple, later converted into a Buddhist monastery, with about 40 square kilometers and was built in Cambodia in the twelfth century.

Hinduism in Brazil

Most Hindus in Brazil are migrants from other countries, particularly India and Nepal. Today, there are Hindu temples and community centers throughout Brazil, and the religion continues to grow in popularity. Hindus in Brazil celebrate all the major festivals of the Hindu calendar, including Diwali and Holi. They also maintain many of the traditional customs and beliefs of Hinduism,such as yoga and meditation.

4. Buddhism


It is a religion created by Buddha, a prince named Siddhartha Gautama. It arose in India in the sixth century B.C.E. In Buddhism there is no hierarchy and belief in gods, only a spiritual leader, the Buddha. In the world there are about 400 million followers, mainly in Asia.

Buddhism seeks the full realization of human nature. Existence is a continuous cycle of death and rebirth, in which present and past lives are interconnected.

In Japan, it is the country's second largest religion: 71% of the population is practicing.

Buddhism in Brazil

Buddhism first arrived in Brazil in the early 20th century, brought by Japanese immigrants. Most Brazilian Buddhists live in the state of São Paulo, where there are several temples and centers. In addition to meditation practice, Brazilian Buddhists are also involved in social justice work, including environmentalism and human rights activism. How Buddhismcontinues to grow in Brazil, its impact on society is likely to continue to increase.

5. Judaism

Jew reading the Torah.

It began in Palestine, between the 9th and 5th century B.C.E. It is a monotheistic religion, its patriarch is Abraham. Currently there are 14 million followers worldwide.

Currently, most of the world's Jews live in Israel and the United States, to where they migrated fleeing Nazi persecution. Even so, Jews represent only 1.7% of the U.S. population. Meanwhile, in Argentina, Jews are 2% of the population.

Judaism in Brazil

Brazil has a long history of Judaism, dating back to the early 16th century, when Sephardic Jews fleeing persecution in Portugal settled in Brazil. These early settlers were joined by Ashkenazi Jews in the late 19th century, who came to Brazil in search of economic opportunities.

Today, Brazilian Jews are active in all aspects of Brazilian society and culture. They have made significant contributions to the country's economy, politics and the arts.

The number of people with no religious affiliation grows

According to the Pew Research Center, there are already more than 1.2 billion people with no religious affiliation. For these people, the idea of a god or gods is simply too far-fetched to believe in. Others may have been raised in a religious family but never felt a personal connection to their faith. And still others may find the ritual and structure of organized religion stifling orembarrassing.

Whatever the reason, a growing number of people are choosing to live without religion. And while there are challenges that come with this choice, there are also many benefits. People who do not affiliate with any religion report feeling more free and autonomous than those who do. They often feel less burdened by rules and expectations, and more able to forge their own pathIn a world increasingly polarized along religious lines, the ability to think for oneself can be a valuable asset.

Ricky Joseph is a seeker of knowledge. He firmly believes that through understanding the world around us, we can work to better ourselves and our society as a whole. As such, he has made it his life's mission to learn as much as he can about the world and its inhabitants. Joseph has worked in many different fields, all with the aim of furthering his knowledge. He has been a teacher, a soldier, and a businessman - but his true passion lies in research. He currently works as a research scientist for a major pharmaceutical company, where he is dedicated to finding new treatments for diseases that have long been considered incurable. Through diligence and hard work, Ricky Joseph has become one of the foremost experts on pharmacology and medicinal chemistry in the world. His name is known by scientists everywhere, and his work continues to improve the lives of millions.