What is the main belief in Hinduism

Religions in India

The Hindus make up the majority of the population in India with over 80%. The second largest religious group are Muslims with 13.4% of the population, followed by the Christian community with 2.3%. Sikhism is assigned around 1.9%, Buddhism 0.8% and Jainism 0.4%. A large number of regionally very different forms of religion are grouped under “Other” and make up around 0.6% of the population.

Hinduism in India

Hindu forms of religion have their origin in the Vedic period in India and especially in the so-called Vedas. It was not until the 19th century that this large number of different beliefs was summarized under the term “Hinduism”. Before that, mostly only the term “Hindu” was used, which primarily referred to non-Muslim and non-Christian beliefs. Because of this diversity, there is neither a single religious founder nor a common creed in Hinduism, nor is there a central religious institution. Shivaism, Vishnuism and Shaktism are seen as the main currents today.

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Islam in India

Islam did not come to India until the conquest in the 12th century. The majority of Muslims are of the Sunni faith, but there are also more than 20 million Shiites in India. This means that the country has the second largest number of Shiites after Iran and the third largest Muslim population in the world.

Christianity in India

First missionaries and later the European colonial rulers brought Christianity to India. The Christian community makes up only a very small proportion of the population in India today and can still be found mainly in the coastal regions of Goa and Kerala, as well as in the large metropolises.

Sikhism in India

Sikhism is particularly widespread in the north-western regions of India, in the Punjab. Although his followers make up only a small part of the population, Sikhs enjoy a very high reputation in politics and society. This is mainly due to their military successes and political influence. For example, the Prime Minister of India (until 2014), Manmohan Singh, belonged to Sikhism.

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Buddhism in India

Like Hinduism and Sikhism, Buddhism originated in India. For a long time there were only a few small groups in the Himalayan region, in Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunchal Pradesh. Then there is the Tibetan exile community, with its headquarters in Dharamsala. For several decades now, Buddhism has enjoyed increasing numbers of followers across India. Buddhism is particularly popular in the state of Maharashtra.

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Jainism in India

Most recently, Jainism also has its roots in India and developed parallel to Buddhism. Today most of the approximately 4.4 million Jainists live in large cities in India and belong to the middle or upper class.

Other religions

A large number of regionally different forms of religion are summarized under “Other”. These include, for example, the group of the Parsees, some small Jewish communities or the vastly diverse forms of belief of the indigenous population in rural areas of India (Adivasis - native inhabitants). For more information about some of the Adivasi you will encounter while traveling with DIAMIR, see “Ethnic groups of India”.

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