Overview

The analysis of the idea of religion shows that it is very complex, and rests on several fundamental concepts. It implies first of all the recognition or rejection of a divine person within and behind the forces of nature. In the highest religions, this supernatural Being is seen as a spirit, one and indivisible, everywhere present in nature, but distinct from it.

In the lower religions, the various phenomena of nature are associated with a number of distinct personalities, though it is rare that among these numerous nature-deities one is not honored as supreme. Ethical qualities corresponding to the prevailing ethical standards, are attributed by the different peoples to their respective deities.

All religions have three common aspects: creeds, codes and cults; theology, morality, and liturgy; beliefs, values and rites; words, works and worship. The first speaks mainly to the intellect, the second to the will, and the third to the feelings and imagination. (Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Kreeft and Taceli, InterVarsity Press, 1994, p. 380.)

By Popularity


  • Christians 32.71%
    • Roman Catholics 17.28%
    • Protestants 5.61%
    • Orthodox 3.49%
    • Anglicans 1.31%

  • Muslims 19.67%
  • Hindus 13.28%
  • Buddhists 5.84%
  • Sikhs 0.38%
  • Jews 0.23%
  • Other religions 13.05%
  • Non-religious 12.43%
  • Atheists 2.41%


Based on 2002 estimates.