Largest Religions in the World

Largest Religions in the World

Religions often define a culture’s behaviors, morals, and customs, affecting all walks of life. Music, art, marriage, funerals, holiday celebrations — you name it, religion often casts its influence one way or another. And that’s not to mention, religious places of worship are some of the most-visited among locals and tourists alike.

But when it comes to religions of the world, how many do you know? There are hundreds of religions that you have likely never even heard of. These religions date as far back as several-thousand years to as recently as just 60 years ago. There are religions that are concentrated in a very small portion of the globe and ones that have adherents (or followers) in the majority of the world’s countries.

So, which ones are the world’s most popular? In this blog post, we will take a closer look at some of the largest religions in the world, exploring their origins, beliefs, and where they are most practiced.



Number of adherents: 600,000

Percentage of all religions: 0.01%

Countries it’s most popular in:

  • Jamaica
  • Anglophone Caribbean
  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Anglophone parts of Africa

Religion demographics came from Pew Research Center.

About Rastafarianism

Rastafarianism, with its distinctive cultural and spiritual roots, is a religion that originated in Jamaica in 1930. It emerged following the coronation of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I. The movement is deeply spiritual and is rooted in the belief that Selassie is of divine power. To understand the essence of Rastafarianism, it’s crucial to delve into its historical and ideological origins.

The roots of Rastafarianism can be traced back to the 18th century when Ethiopianism and Pan-Africanism emphasized an idealized Africa, particularly during the time of slavery. Selassie is believed to be a descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Jamaican preachers began speaking of him as the ruling authority over King George V when Jamaica was still a colony of England.

Modern Rastafarians believe in the Christian God, called Jah. They believe that Christ came to Earth, although Emperor Selassie is regarded as the messiah and rebirth of Christ. Being Rastafarian means believing that you are being tested by God, and Rastafarians await their deliverance from captivity and their return to Zion, the symbolic name for Africa. This religion might be more familiar to some because the legendary Bob Marley used his music to bring global attention to Rastafarianism.

Unitarian Universalism

Credit to

Number of adherents: 800,000

Percentage of all religions: 0.01%

Countries it’s most popular in:

  • United States
  • Philippines
  • Canada
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

About Unitarian Universalism

Unitarian Universalism, while smaller in numbers compared to some major world religions, has a rich and diverse history that spans centuries. It originated from the Protestant Reformation and had its roots in Poland and Eastern Europe in the 16th century. By the mid-17th century, it had found its way to England, and today, there are approximately 1,000 congregations in North America.

One of the unique aspects of Unitarian Universalism is its inclusivity. The North American church of this religion is much more about “humanism” than theism. Unitarian Universalism welcomes a wide range of beliefs, including Christians, Jews, Buddhists, humanists, neopagans, and more.

The foundation of North American Unitarianism rests on several core principles:

  • The unity of God and rejection of the Trinity
  • The importance of reason in understanding the Bible
  • The significance of human nature in discovering religious truths
  • God as having a loving nature
  • The rejection of the concept of original sin

This religion has also been influenced by philosophical thinkers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, further emphasizing the importance of individual thought and exploration of spirituality.

In conclusion, the world is a diverse place with a multitude of belief systems and religions that shape the lives of billions of people. Rastafarianism and Unitarian Universalism, though smaller in terms of global adherents, offer unique perspectives on spirituality and have made meaningful contributions to the rich tapestry of religious diversity. As we continue to explore the largest religions in the world, we gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural and spiritual diversity that defines humanity

Leave a Comment