Major Religions of India


India is a country of diverse cultures and religions. It is home to some of the oldest religions in the world, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It also has a large population who follow Islam and Christianity. Despite this diversity, there are many common elements that bind all these faiths together. In this blog article, we will take a look at the major religions of India.

What are the major religions of India?

1. Hinduism As of 2022, the Percentage of the Indian population that follow Hinduism in India is about 80.5%.

There are about 1 billion Hindus in India. Hinduism is also one of the most diverse religions, with hundreds of different gods and goddesses representing different aspects of life. Hindus in India believe that all life is sacred and should be respected. They follow the teachings of the Vedas, which form the basis of Hinduism.

Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion and one of the oldest major living religions. It is also a diverse religious system, with beliefs spanning monotheism and polytheism, as well as nontheistic schools such as Jainism and Buddhism.

Hinduism has no founder or single founder; it developed over time from various roots and traditions within the Indian subcontinent. It is one of the  major religions of India

2. Islam

As of 2022, the Percentage of the Indian population that follow Islam in India is about 19.4%.

Islam is the second largest religion of India, accounting for 19.4% of the population. Indian Muslims are the world’s third-largest Muslim population after those in Indonesia and Pakistan. There are about 172 million Muslims in India. Islam is the second major religion of India

Islam is the second most followed religion in India after Hinduism.

It is not a native religion of India. It was brought to India by Arab traders and Sufi preachers from Central Asia. The history of Islam in India goes back to the 7th century when Hazrat Amir bin Qasim Sindhi invaded the lower part of the Sindh and Balochistan regions in modern-day Pakistan.

Islam is a monotheistic religion and its followers are called Muslims. Islam, which means “submission to the will of Allah”, believes in one God who has sent prophets to guide mankind throughout history.

3. Christianity

As of 2022, the Percentage of the Indian population that follow Christianity in India is about 2.3%.

Christianity is one of the major religions of India, after Hinduism and Islam. Christians are found all over India but are concentrated in the south, especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle in 52 CE. He established communities of believers at Kodungalloor (Muziris) in Kerala and Mylapore near Chennai (Madras). The first Christian missionaries to India were St. Bartholomew and Thaddeus, both of whom arrived in Kerala in 52 CE. They were followed by Thomas the Apostle, who brought Christianity to the Malabar Coast of Kerala in 52 CE. He established communities of believers at Kodungalloor (Muziris) in Kerala and Mylapore near Chennai (Madras).

Christianity has had a long history in India, with some denominations being present for almost 2,000 years.

It is India’s third largest religion, after Hinduism and Islam.

Christianity became the dominant religion in Kerala during the reign of King Cheraman Perumal (c. 7th Century CE). During this time, Nestorian missionaries arrived in India and established many churches. These churches were later taken over by Syrian Christians who came to Kerala as traders from Persia.

4. Sikhism

As of 2022, the Percentage of the Indian population that follow Sikhism in India is about 1.72 % making it the fourth major religion of India

Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak in 1469 CE. The Sikh religion is based on the teachings of ten gurus, or spiritual teachers, who are revered and highly respected. The first guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1539), was born in Punjab. He founded Sikhism and stressed equality among all people regardless of caste, gender or race.

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion and believes in one God, who is formless and cannot be represented by any image. They believe in the oneness of all creation and that everyone has an equal right to live their lives according to their own choices. Sikhism teaches that all people are equal, regardless of gender and caste, and should work together to make the world a better place. Sikhs believe in karma (the law of cause and effect) and reincarnation (being reborn into another body after death).

It is one of the smallest major world religions of India with around 30 million adherents and is based on spiritual practices that are believed to have been transmitted from teacher to student by word and example.

5. Buddhism

As of 2022, the Percentage of the Indian population that follow Buddhism in India is about 1.5%.

Buddhism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as “The Buddha”. The goal of Buddhism is to end suffering by removing desire and karmic impurities from one’s mind. It also includes an ethical component, with emphasis placed on cultivating good character and morals.

Buddhism is a religion, a philosophy, and a way of life. It originated in India in the 5th century BCE. The Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama), who lived from about 563 to 483 BCE, is traditionally considered to be the founder of Buddhism.

Buddhism is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha (the awakened one). He was born into an aristocratic family around 560 BCE near Lumbini in present-day Nepal. At age 29 he renounced his princely lifestyle to seek enlightenment through meditation and asceticism. After six years of extreme self-denial and meditation, he finally attained enlightenment when he attained what Buddhists call “enlightenment” or “bodhi,” which means awareness or understanding. He spent another seven weeks under intensive spiritual practice before teaching what he had discovered for 45 years until his death at 80 years old.

Buddhism is the fifth major religion of India

6. Jainism

As of 2022, the Percentage of the Indian population that follow Jainism in India is about 0.4%.

It was founded by Lord Mahavira, also known as “The Great Hero”. Vardhamana Mahavira lived from 599-527 BCE. He was born in 599 BCE and died at the age of 72 in 527 BCE. His teachings are recorded in scriptures called Purva-Mimamsa Sutras and “Panchanga” which is an ancient Indian calendar used by Jains for timekeeping.

The followers of this religion are called Jains or Jainas; they have been living in India for more than 2,500 years (since 600 BCE). Jainism is an Indian religion that teaches nonviolence and respect for all life forms. Jains believe in the eternal law of karma: good deeds will lead to happy lives while bad deeds will lead to suffering.

The goal of a Jain is to reach spiritual freedom by eliminating desire, attachment, and ignorance. Jainism is based on the principle of non-violence (Ahimsa) and places great emphasis on self-control, tolerance for all living beings, non-attachment to worldly things, and renunciation of violence, and austerities. It prescribes a path of purification through three progressive stages of spiritual development for the soul to attain supreme knowledge and bliss.

Jainism is a religion that seeks spiritual liberation through self-effort. For this reason, it has been called an ascetic religion because it puts a great deal of emphasis on fasting and other forms of self-denial. It is the sixth major religion of India.

7. Zoroastrianism

As of 2022, the Percentage of the Indian population that follow Zoroastrianism in India is about 0.06%

Zoroastrianism is the religion of the Persian people and was founded by the prophet Zoroaster in ancient Iran. There are approximately 200,000 Zoroastrians in the world today, with most of them living in India.

Zoroastrianism is an ancient religion founded by the Iranian prophet Zoroaster around 1000 BCE. It is one of the world’s oldest monotheistic faiths and emphasizes free will, humankind’s responsibility for its actions, and a future judgment day for all souls before which they must be judged by God. Followers of this religion fled to India in the seventh century to escape Muslim invaders.

Zoroastrians came to India in the 7th century CE when refugees from persecution in Persia found safety in the Indian subcontinent. Today, it is one of the world’s smallest religions with about 200,000 followers. The Parsis, a minority community in India, are the descendants of these immigrants who settled in Gujarat and Mumbai. during the rule of the Persian emperor Cyrus (559-529 BCE).

The central text of Zoroastrianism is called Avesta; it contains 21 books written in two languages: Avestan and Old Persian. The core doctrines of Zoroastrianism are monotheism, belief in a final judgment, heaven and hell, angels who watch over humans, as well as dualism between good and evil.

Zoroastrianism used to be a major religion of Iran, but now its followers are found mostly in India. It may not be one of the major religions of India but it has a respectable number of followers.

8. Bahai faith

As of 2022, the Percentage of the Indian population that follow the Bahai faith in India is about 0.02%.

The Bahai faith was founded in 19th century Persia by Baha’u’llah (1817-92), a Persian nobleman who claimed to be the latest prophet in a line that included Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. Bahai faith is the youngest of the world’s independent religions.

Baha’is are expected to be loyal to the country in which they reside and believe that all people are capable of reaching spiritual maturity.

It upholds the unity of God and His Manifestations, meaning that there can be only one true religion in each age. It teaches that humanity’s purpose on earth is to create peace on earth through justice, unity, and righteousness amongst all people regardless of race or gender while protecting our natural environment so as not to destroy it as we have done before ourselves through wars over resources such as oil. Bahai faith is one of the major religions of India.

9. Tribal (incl. Sarnaism, Bon, animism, Kirat Mundhum, Donyi-Polo)

The tribal (incl. Sarnaism, Bon, animism, Kirat Mundhum, and Donyi-Polo) religions are the religions of the indigenous peoples of the India and Indian Subcontinent. They have survived for centuries on the fringes of dominant Hindu and Muslim societies. There are about 70 million tribal people in India today who live in remote areas and practice their own religion.

Tribal religions were not recognized as distinct from Hinduism until the 1960s when they were identified as Adivasi faiths by scholars.

Adivasi religions are a blend of Hinduism and tribal beliefs. They include the worship of local deities who are often linked to natural features such as hills and trees. Most tribespeople also believes in spirits, ancestors, and ghosts. These spirits may be either benevolent or malevolent depending on how they were treated during life. The traditional tribal religions are based on the worship of spirits, gods, and goddesses. They include animism, shamanism, and totemic practices.

Animism is the belief that all things have souls or spirits, including humans. It is often associated with nature worship and ancestor worship. Shamanism involves magical rituals performed by a priest called a shaman who communicates with spirits through trance dancing or chanting. Totemism refers to the belief that each tribe has an animal as its guardian spirit or “totem” from which members derive their identity.

10. Atheist or “Nastik”

The percentage of People who are atheists in India is roughly .5%, with a higher percentage in urban areas.

The term “nastik” is sometimes used interchangeably with “atheist,” but it has a more general meaning: one who does not believe in any form of God or divine power. It includes agnostics and those who consider themselves spiritual but not religious.

India has the third largest atheist population in the world after China and Russia. The majority of atheists in India are urban dwellers, but there is a growing number of atheists among tribal people as well. The term “Nastik” was used to describe those who rejected all forms of religion. It is derived from the Sanskrit word “nastika” which means “one who denies.” Indian philosophers such as Carvaka and Charvaka, who lived during 200 BCE-300 CE, were considered atheists by their contemporaries because they did not believe in a creator god or afterlife. But the number of atheists is increasing due to education and exposure.

Nastiks may not be categorized as a major religion in India, nastiks are in huge numbers. Due to modernity, it won’t be a surprise if this class of believers keeps growing in number. Nastiks may not consider themselves religious but as a whole, they can be classified as one of the major religions of India!


India is indeed a country of diverse traditions and religions that coexist peacefully. It is also a land of great philosophers and thinkers who have contributed significantly to human knowledge, culture, and philosophy. It is also one of the oldest civilizations in the world and has played an important role in shaping our modern world.

I encourage you to explore this beautiful country, its people, and traditions on your own I hope you enjoyed reading this article about the major religions of India. It can be a lot of fun to explore, and sometimes it can help you understand the world better. If you have any questions about this article, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.


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India Chakra
Author: India Chakra

India chakra

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