Asia is the world’s largest continent and is home to many different religions. Those religions include Sikhism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism. Although many of these religions have their roots in Asia, they have now spread across the world. 

Many people associate Asia with Buddhism and tend to think it’s the only religion that is practiced there, but this is far from the truth. Buddhism may have a large following on the continent, but there are quite a few other religions that have equal clout. 

If you plan to travel to Asia and want to get schooled on the religions there then we can help. It is a great idea to understand what folks practice in the region you so you can be culturally aware and understand what is going on around you when you arrive in Asia. 

Photo credit: Thedailybeast.com

Sikhism

This religion is ranked fifth in the world, with more than 30 million followers across Asia as well as Canada and the UK and it is one that keeps growing every other day. This religion was born in the northern region of India. 

Sikhism is based upon the concept of peace, but there is a warrior element that allows adherents to do what they must to protect human rights for all. It is just over 300 years old, but has grown in followers across the world as new populations spread up in North America.

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Vegetarianism is promoted in the religion as it is believed all God’s creatures are equal. 

Hinduism

This is perhaps one of the largest and oldest religions practiced in Asia, boasting over one billion followers. More than 25% of Asians practice this religion, and it is subdivided into several denominations such as Smartism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism, and Shaivism. They believe in history, and it is believed to have originated from the time of the Indus Valley Civilization period.

They don’t have one particular founder or even leader, but it’s instead a blend of practices, lineages, and traditions that people have practiced for centuries. Several religions, such as Jainism and Sikhism, trace their origins from Hinduism as well. 

Hinduism is the main religion in Nepal, with 81% of the population practicing it, Bali with 83.5% and India with 80% of the population practicing it, and other minority groups in Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Bangladesh Bhutan.

Islam

This is another prominent religion practiced in Asia, with more than 1.1 billion followers. They follow the teachings of Mohammed, which are found in their holy book called the  Quran. This religion is practiced in large parts of Asia like Indonesia, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

Buddhism

This is the third largest religion practiced by more than 12% of Asians. It is ranked as the fourth largest religion in the world, with more than 520 million followers scattered all over the world. The founder is Siddartha Gautama, also known as Buddha. 

South Korea has the largest population of people who practice Buddhism, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Nepal, Taiwan, Japan, and China.

Jainism

This religion is mostly practiced in India, and a few people also follow the same in the other parts of Asia. These people have greatly influenced and contributed to the political-economic and ethical spheres of India. 

Their ancient tradition is in scholarship, and no wonder they have the highest number of literate people across India. You will also find Jain libraries scattered all over the country and most of their teachings of Vardhaman Mahavir and other 23 Tirthankaras.

Photo credit: Theculturetrip.com

 

Bottom Line

Culture and religion is so very interesting as it contributes to creating unique cityscapes and experiences you might not find in your homeland. More than 20% of Asians are unfiltered, this means you will always find a few individuals who don’t practice any religion, and at least one in every ten is a Buddhist.

If you travel to Asia, you will find that folks are very willing to share with you the teachings of their religion. And because of that, you can also visit some of the oldest monuments in the world and feel welcomed.

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