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Religion in India

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By swarnalatha
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Religion in India is characterized by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. India is the birthplace of four of the world's major religions; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Throughout India's history, religion has been an important part of the country's culture. Religious diversity and religious tolerance are both established in the country by the law and custom.

According to the 2001 census,[1] 80.5% of the population of India practice Hinduism. Islam (13.8%), Christianity (2.4%), Sikhism (1.9%), Buddhism (1.5%) and Jainism (0.4%) are the other major religions followed by the people of India. There are also numerous minor tribal traditions, though these have been affected by major religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity.

The amount of diversity in the religious belief systems of India today, is a result of both the existence of many native religions and also, the assimilation and social integration of religions brought to the region by travellers, immigrants, traders, and even invaders and conquerors such as the Mughals.

Zoroastrianism and Judaism also have an ancient history in India, and each has several thousands of Indian adherents. India has the largest population of people adhering to Zoroastrianism (i.e. Parsis and Iranis) and Bahá'í Faith in the world,[2][3] even though these religions are not native to India. Many other world religions also have a relationship with Indian spirituality, such as the Baha'i faith which recognises Buddha and Krishna as manifestations of the God Almighty.[4]

The Indian diaspora in the West has popularised many aspects of Hindu philosophy such as yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic medicine, divination, karma, and reincarnation.[5] The influence of Indian religions has been significant all over the world. Several organisations, such as the Hare Krishna movement, the Brahma...

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