Religion in Asia

Religion in Asia

Asia is the world's most populous and largest continents, with millions of different peoples following a wide variety of different religions. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as many other beliefs.

Abrahamic religions

Abrahamic religions all originated in Asia.

Bahá'í Faith

The Baha'i faith is sometimes considered an Abrahamic religion, but is quite different from Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It was founded by Baha'ullah in what was then Persia. Today the largest national population of Bahá'ís is in India with between 1.7 million [Source: Year 2000 Estimated Baha'i statistics from: David Barrett, World Christian Encyclopedia, 2000; Total population statistics, mid-2000 from Population Reference Bureau] to 2.2 million, [ [ National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India] ] where there is also the Lotus Temple. Significant populations are found in many countries including Vietnam and Malaysia where "about 1%", some 260000, of the population are Bahá'ís. [ [ National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Malaysia] ] In other places, like Kazakhstan there are 25 Local Spiritual Assemblies.cite web
coauthors = Government of Kazakhstan
title = Religious Groups in Kazakhstan
work = 2001 Census
publisher = Embassy of Kazakhstan to the USA & Canada
year = 2001
url =
accessdate = 2008-05-21
] But in modern day Iran the religion is severely persecuted- see Persecution of Bahá'ís - and in neighboring Turkmenistan it is effectively bandedcite web
last = compiled by Wagner
first = Ralph D.
title = Turkmenistan
work = Synopsis of References to the Bahá'í Faith, in the US State Department's Reports on Human Rights 1991-2000
publisher = Bahá'í Academics Resource Library
url =
accessdate = 2008-05-25
] and individuals have had their homes raided for Bahá'í literature.Citation
last = Corley
first = Felix
author-link = Felix Corley
title = TURKMENISTAN: Religious communities theoretically permitted, but attacked in practice?
newspaper = F18News
date = 2004-04-01
url =
] For further information see Bahá'í Statistics for Asia.


Christianity in Asia is a minority religion but widespread. Only two countries are predominantly Christian- the Philippines, the 4th largest Catholic Nation in the world, and East Timor. There is also a large Christian community in Lebanon (40%) and South Korea (30%). There are also many Christians in China, Russia, Israel and India.


Islam is the majority religion of Asia. South Asia and Southeast Asia contain the most populous Muslim countries, with Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh having more than 100 million adherents each. According to U.S. government figures, in 2006 there were 20 million Muslims in China. In the Middle East, the non-Arab countries of Turkey and Iran are the largest Muslim-majority countries.


Judaism is the majority religion of Israel.


Qadiani is the religion of only men. The point of this religion is to be naked at church and show god what you look like naturally. Also they celebrate three seasons. The Anus seasons which is in Late November through May. The Chikiowa season from May to July. Also there is the Huytioperd season from July to November.

Dharmic religions

The Dharmic religions all originated in South Asia. They all have the concepts of reincarnation, karma and dharma.


main article|Buddhism in Asia Buddhism is the majority religion in Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Myanmar, North Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. It also has strong minorities in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal and Russia . Buddhism was founded by Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha in Nepal and India.


Hinduism is the majority religion in India and Nepal, with strong minorities in Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, and the United States.. It used to be the majority religion of all of Southeast Asia before Islam and Buddhism. It influenced Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, all founded in the Indian Subcontinent. It is one of the oldest Religions.


Jains are mostly found in India. Jainism is the fourth largest of Dharmic religions (aka Indian religions).


Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world. It is a monotheistic religion.Founded by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the 1500s, the religion professes its roots in the area of Punjab, whose territories form part of India and Pakistan. Sikhism, aided by Sufi movement, formed cornerstone of Bhakti movement in the subcontinent during the latter half of the Second Millennium.

Taoic religions

The Taoic religions are Taoism, Confucianism and Shinto. Far Eastern religions is a similar grouping, but includes Chinese folk religion.


Shinto is more commonly practiced in Japan than elsewhere.


Confucianism was founded in China by the famous philosopher, Kong Fu Zi (more commonly known in English-speaking countries as Confucius). Confucianism is a complex system of moral, social, political, philosophical, and quasi-religious thought that has had tremendous influence on the culture and history of East Asia. Some consider it to be the state religion of East Asian countries because of governmental promotion of Confucian values.

hamanism / Animism

Shamanism has historically been practised in northern Asia as far west as northern Europe.

Iranic religions


Zoroastrianism was once the state religion of the Iranian Empire, but is now a minority mostly found in India and Iran. It worships a monotheistic god, Mazda, and was founded by Zoroaster. It is the original Iranic religion, and spawned Manichaeism and Mazdakism.


Manichaeism was founded by the prophet, Mani. It was once a strong minority in Iran and a majority in Central Asia.

ee also

*Major world religions
*African religions
*Religion in Europe
*North America
*South America


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Asia — • Article intended to give a rapid survey of the geography, ethnography, political and religious history of Asia, and especially of the rise, progress, and actual condition of Asiatic Christianity and Catholicism Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Asia — Superficie 44.579.000 km² …   Wikipedia Español

  • Religion in South Korea — is dominated by the traditional Buddhist faith and a large and growing [ [ Presidential Election in South Korea Highlights Influence of Christian Community] Pew Forum on Religion Public Life. Retrieved on 23… …   Wikipedia

  • Asia — For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). Asia …   Wikipedia

  • Religion in Israel — Western Wall and Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem Religion in Israel is a central feature of the country and plays a major role in shaping Israeli culture and lifestyle, and religion has played a central role in Israel s history. Israel is also the… …   Wikipedia

  • Religion in Japan — The primary religions in Japan are Buddhism and Shintō (神道, the way of the gods ). Most Japanese people do not identify as exclusively belonging to just one religion, but incorporate features of both religions into their daily lives in a process… …   Wikipedia

  • Religion in Europe — thumb|250px|Predominant religious heritages in EuropeReligion in Europe history, and its various faiths have been a major influence on European art, culture, philosophy and law. The majority religion in Europe is Christianity. Many countries in… …   Wikipedia

  • Asia Minor — • The peninsular mass that the Asiatic continent projects westward of an imaginary line running from the Gulf of Alexandretta (Issus) on the Mediterranean to the vicinity of Trebizond (Trapezus) on the Black Sea Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Religion in Indonesia — Religion plays a major role in life in Indonesia. It is stated in the first principle of the state ideology, Pancasila: belief in the one and only God . A number of different religions are practiced in Indonesia and their collective influence on… …   Wikipedia

  • Religion in Korea — encompasses a number of different traditions. Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, and traditional shamanism all play a role in Korea s religious tradition. The modern separation of Korea into North and South Korea has also shaped religious… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.