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Religion in Asia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Asia is the largest and most populous continent, with a wide variety of religions, and was the birthplace of many religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, Jainism, Christianity, Judaism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism. All major religious traditions are practiced in the region and new forms are constantly emerging. Asia is noted for its diversity of culture.

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Transcription

In all times and places in our history, human beings have wondered, "Where did we come from? What's our place in the world? What happens to us after we die?" Religions are systems of belief that have developed and evolved over time in response to these and other eternal mysteries, driven by the feeling that some questions can only be answered by faith and based on an intuition that there is something greater than ourselves, a higher power we must answer to, or some source we all spring from and to which we must return. Hinduism means the religions of India. It's not a single religion but rather a variety of related beliefs and spiritual practices. It dates back five millennia to the time of Krishna, a man of such virtue that he became known as an avatar of Vishnu, an incarnation of the god in human form. He taught that all life follows karma, the law of cause and effect, and our job is to do our duty, or dharma, according to our place in society without worrying how things turn out. When we die, we are reincarnated into a new body. If we followed our dharma and did our proper duty in our past life, we get good karma, which sends our soul upward in the social scale. Our rebirth into the next life is thus determined by what we do in this one. The wheel of rebirths is called samsara. It's possible for a very holy person to lead a life with enough good karma to escape the wheel. This escape is called moksha. Hinduism teaches that everything is one. The whole universe is one transcendent reality called Brahman, and there's just one Brahman but many gods within it, and their roles, aspects, and forms differ according to various traditions. Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the preserver who sometimes takes on human form, and Shiva is the transformer, or Lord of the Dance. Durga is the fiercely protective divine mother. Ganesha has an elephant head and is the wise patron of success. Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world. And although most Hindus live in India, they can be found on every continent, one billion strong. Now, let's travel west, across deserts and mountains to the fertile crescent about 4,000 years ago. Judaism began with God calling Abraham and Sarah to leave Mesopotamia and migrate to the land of Canaan. In return for their faith in the one true God, a revolutionary concept in the polytheistic world of that time, they would have land and many descendants. From this promise came the land of Israel and the chosen people, but staying in that land and keeping those people together was going to be very difficult. The Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, but God freed them with the help of the prophet Moses, who received the Ten Commandments and later hundreds more. They conquered the Promised Land, but could only keep it for a few hundred years. Israel sits at a crossroads through which many armies marched over the centuries. And in the year 70, the Romans destroyed the temple in their capital, Jerusalem. So, the religion transformed itself from a temple religion with sacrifices and priests to a religion of the book. Because of this, Judaism is a faith of symbolism, reverence, and deep meanings tied to the literature of its history. The many sacred scriptures make up the Hebrew bible, or Tanakh, and hundreds of written discussions and interpretations are contained in an expansive compendium of deeper meanings, called the Talmud. Jews find rich, symbolic meaning in daily life. At the Passover meal, every item on the menu symbolizes an aspect of the escape from slavery. The importance of growing up is emphasized when young people reach the age of bar and bat mitzvah, ceremonies during which they assume responsibility for their actions and celebrate the weaving of their own lives into the faith, history, and texts of the Jewish people. There are 14 million Jews in the world today, 6 million in Israel, which became independent following the horrors of genocide in World War II, and 5 million in the United States. But now let's go back 2500 years and return to India where Buddhism began with a young prince named Siddhartha. On the night he was conceived, his mother, Queen Maya, is said to have been visited in her sleep by a white elephant who entered her side. Ten months later, Prince Siddartha was born into a life of luxury. Venturing forth from his sheltered existence as a young man, he witnessed the human suffering that had been hidden from him and immediately set out to investigate its sources. Why must people endure suffering? Must we reincarnate through hundreds of lives? At first he thought the problem was attachment to material things, so he gave up his possessions. He became a wandering beggar, which he discovered certainly made him no happier. Then he overheard a music teacher telling a student, "Don't tighten the string too much, it will break. But don't let it go too slack, or it will not sound." In a flash, he realized that looking for answers at the extremes was a mistake. The middle way between luxury and poverty seemed wisest. And while meditating under a bodhi tree, the rest of the answer came to him. All of life abounds with suffering. It's caused by selfish craving for one's own fulfillment at the expense of others. Following an eight-step plan can teach us to reduce that craving, and thus reduce the suffering. On that day, Siddhartha became the Buddha, the enlightened one. Not the only one, but the first one. The Buddhist plan is called the Eightfold Path, and though it is not easy to follow, it has pointed the way for millions to enlightenment, which is what Buddhahood means, a state of compassion, insight, peace, and steadfastness. From the time he got up from under that tree to the moment of his death as an old man, the Buddha taught people how to become enlightened: right speech, right goals, a mind focused on what is real, and a heart focused on loving others. Many Buddhists believe in God or gods, but actions are more important than beliefs. There are nearly a billion Buddhists in the world today, mostly in East, Southeast, and South Asia. 2,000 years ago in Judaism's Promised Land, Christianity was born. Just as Hindus called Krishna "God in Human Form," Christians say the same thing about Jesus, and Christianity grew out of Judaism just as Buddhism grew out of Hinduism. The angel Gabriel was sent by the God of Abraham to ask a young woman named Mary to become the mother of his son. The son was Jesus, raised as a carpenter by Mary and her husband Joseph, until he turned 30, when he began his public career as the living word of God. Less interested in religiousness than in justice and mercy, Jesus healed the sick in order to draw crowds and then taught them about his heavenly father -- affectionate, forgiving, and attentive. Then, he would invite everyone to a common table to illustrate his Kingdom of God, outcasts, sinners, and saints all eating together. He had only three years before his unconventional wisdom got him into trouble. His enemies had him arrested, and he was executed by Rome in the standard means by which rabble-rousers were put to death, crucifixion. But shortly after he was buried, women found his tomb empty and quickly spread word, convinced that he had been raised from the dead. The first Christians described his resurrected appearances, inspiring confidence that his message was true. The message: love one another as I have loved you. Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus in December at Christmas, and his suffering, death, and resurrection during Holy Week in the spring. In the ceremony of baptism, a washing away of sin and welcoming into the Christian community, recall Jesus's own baptism when he left his life as a carpenter. In the rite of Communion, Christians eat the bread and drink the wine blessed as the body and blood of Jesus, recalling Jesus's last supper. There are two billion Christians worldwide, representing almost a third of the world's people. Islam began 1400 years ago with a man of great virtue, meditating in a mountain cave in the Arabian desert. The man was Muhammad. He was visited by a divine messenger, again the angel Gabriel, in Arabic, Jibril, delivering to him the words of Allah, the one God of Abraham. In the next few years, more and more messages came, and he memorized and taught them. The verses he recited were full of wise sayings, beautiful rhymes, and mysterious metaphors. But Muhammad was a merchant, not a poet. Many agreed the verses were indeed the words of God, and these believers became the first Muslims. The word Muslim means one who surrenders, meaning a person who submits to the will of God. A Muslim's five most important duties are called the Five Pillars: Shahada, Muslims declare publicly, there is no other God but Allah, and Muhammad is his final prophet; Salat, they pray five times a day facing Mecca; Zakat, every Muslim is required to give 2 or 3% of their net worth to the poor; Sawm, they fast during daylight hours for the lunar month of Ramadan to strengthen their willpower and their reliance on God; and Hajj, once in a lifetime, every Muslim who is able must make a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, rehearsing for the time when they will stand before God to be judged worthy or unworthy of eternal life with Him. The words of God, revealed to the prophet over 23 years, are collected in the Quran, which literally translates into "the recitation." Muslims believe it to be the only holy book free of human corruption. It's also considered by many to be the finest work of literature in the Arabic language. Islam is the world's second largest religion, practiced by over one and a half billion Muslims around the globe. Religion has been an aspect of culture for as long as it has existed, and there are countless variations of its practice. But common to all religions is an appeal for meaning beyond the empty vanities and lowly realities of existence, beyond sin, suffering, and death, beyond fear, and beyond ourselves.

Contents

Dharmic religions

Dharmic religions are the predominant and oldest religions of Asia. Most of Asia's population follows Indian religions. All Indian religions originated in South Asia. These religions all have the concepts of dharma, karma, and reincarnation.

Hinduism

Hindu god Brahma
Hindu god Brahma

Hinduism is the second largest and the oldest religion in Asia with more than 1 billion followers.[1] Demographically, it is the largest religion in India (80%), Nepal (81%), and the island of Bali (83.5%),[2] with strong minorities in the Asian nations of Bhutan, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Mayanmar, the Philippines, and Afghanistan. Hinduism is subdivided into a number of major currents, the primary ones being Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Smartism and Shaktism. The vast majority of present-day Hindus can be categorized under one of these four groups, although there are many other, partly overlapping, allegiances and denominations.

Hinduism predates recorded history and is thought to have had a beginning during the Indus Valley Civilization itself. It has no single founder; rather, it is a diverse melange of traditions, practices, and lineages. Jainism, and Sikhism emerged in ancient India from Hinduism.

Jainism

Jainism is an Indian religion. Jains are mostly found in India but are increasingly found throughout the world.[3] Jains have significantly influenced and contributed to ethical, political and economic spheres in India. Jains have an ancient tradition of scholarship and have the highest degree of literacy for a religious community in India.[4][5] Jain libraries are the oldest in the country.[6][7] It has traditionally been confined to the Indian Subcontinent. It is based on the teachings of Vardhaman Mahavir and also on 23 other Tirthankaras.

Buddhism

Buddhism is the fourth largest world religion and the 3rd largest in Asia, which is 12% of Asia's population.[8] It is dominant and the majority in Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, Tibet, Laos, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.[8][9] Large Buddhist populations live in China (18.2%), Japan (36.2%), Taiwan (35%), Macau (17%), North Korea (13.8%), Nepal (10.7%), Vietnam (10%), Singapore (33%), Hong Kong (15%) and South Korea (22.9%).[8] It also has strong minorities in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Russia. Buddhism was founded by Siddartha Gautama, also known as Buddha.

Before the rise of Islam, Buddhism was one of the most widely practiced religions in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia.[10][11][12]

Sikhism

Guru Hargobind, the sixth Guru in Sikhism
Guru Hargobind, the sixth Guru in Sikhism

Sikhism is the fifth largest organized religion in the world,[13] with approximately 30 million adherents.[14] And one of the most steadily growing.[15] It is a monotheistic religion founded by Guru Nanak Dev in the 1500s. The religion professes its roots in the area of Punjab, whose territories form part of India and Pakistan.

This system of religious philosophy and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat (literally the counsel of the gurus) or the Sikh Dharm. Sikhism originated from the word Sikh, which in turn comes from the Sanskrit root śhiṣhya meaning "disciple" or "learner", or śhikṣha meaning "instruction".

Sikhism is the 4th largest religion in India with 2% of the total population being Sikh. There is also a large concentration of Sikhs in Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, the Philippines, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Hongkong, Singapore, Indonesia, Kuwait and U.A.E.

East Asian religions

East Asian religions (also known as Far Eastern religions, Chinese religions, or Taoic religions) form a subset of the Eastern religions.

Confucianism

Confucianism was founded in ancient China by Confucius (551 B.C.E. - 479). Confucianism is a complex of moral, social, political, philosophical, and religious concerns that permeated the culture and history of East Asia. Confucianism emphasizes family, social hierarchy, and personal integrity and is manifested in practices and attitudes rather than institutions and is centered on the family and local society. It was, however, considered the state religion of East Asian countries in some periods. Today the Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese diasporas have brought Confucianism to all parts of the world.

Taoism

Taoism (also romanized Daoism) is a diverse philosophical and religious tradition that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (also romanized "Dao"), a term that means "way", "path" or "principle". The concept is shared with other Chinese philosophies and religions. In Taoism, however, Tao denotes both the source and the driving force inherent in everything that exists. It is ultimately ineffable: "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao."[16]

Laozi is traditionally regarded as the founder of Taoism and is closely associated with "original", or "primordial", Taoism.[17] Whether he actually existed is commonly disputed;[18][19] however, the work attributed to him – the Daodejing – is dated to the late 4th century BC.[20]

Taoist propriety and ethics vary according to the particular school, but in general tends to emphasize wu-wei (action through non-action), "naturalness", simplicity, spontaneity, and the Three Treasures: compassion, moderation, and humility.

Significant Taoist communities can be found in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam and in the Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese diasporas.

Chinese folk religion

Chinese folk religion is a label used to describe the ethnic religious traditions which have been a main belief system in China and among the Han Chinese ethnic group for most of the civilization's history. This group of diverse beliefs comprises Chinese mythology and includes the worship of various shen (神, shén; "deities", "spirits", "awarenesses", "consciousnesses", "archetypes") which can be nature deities, Taizu or clan deities, city deities, national deities, cultural heroes and demigods, dragons and ancestors. Chinese folk religion is sometimes categorized with Taoism, since over the world institutional Taoism has been attempting to assimilate or administer local religions. More accurately, Taoism can be defined as a component of Chinese religion, since it sprang out of folk religion and Chinese philosophy. Chinese folk religion is sometimes seen as a constituent part of Chinese traditional religion, but more often, the two are regarded as synonymous. With around 454 million adherents, or about 6.6% of the world population, Chinese folk religion is one of the major religious traditions in the world. In China more than 30% of the population adheres to folk religions or Taoism.[21]

Shinto

Kami-no-michi is almost unique to Japan and the Japanese diaspora. It is a set of practices carried out to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written records of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in the 7th and 8th century. Still, these earliest Japanese writings do not refer to a unified "Shinto religion", but rather to disorganized folklore, history, and mythology. Shinto today applies to public shrines suited to various purposes such as war memorials, harvest festivals, romance, and historical monuments, as well as various sectarian organizations.

Shinto is the largest religion in Japan, practiced by nearly 80% of the population, yet only a small percentage of these identify themselves as "Shintoists" in surveys.[22] According to surveys carried out in 2006 and 2008 show that 3% to 3.9% of the population of Japan are members of Shinto sects and derived religions.[23]

Mugyo

Muism ("religion of the Mu")[24][25] or sometimes Sinism (Shingyo, "religion of the gods", with shin being the Korean character derivative of the Hanja),[26] encompasses a variety of indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Korean people, the Korean sphere and the Korean diaspora.[27] In contemporary South Korea, the most used term is Muism and a shaman is known as a mudang (무당, 巫堂). The role of the mudang, usually a woman, is to act as intermediary between a spirit entity, spirits or gods and human beings.

Women are enlisted by those who want the help of the spirit world. Shamans hold gut, or services, in order to gain good fortune for clients, cure illnesses by exorcising negative or 'bad' spirits that cling to people, or propitiate local or village gods. Such services are also held to guide the spirit of a deceased person to higher realms. Today this religion is a minority, but has in recent years seen a resurgence.[28]

Vietnamese folk religion

Iranian religions

Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism was once the state religion of the Persian Empire, but is now a minority mostly found in India and Iran. It worships a monotheistic god, Ahura Mazda, and was founded by Zoroaster. Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra, in Avestan), probably founded some time before the 6th century BC. The term Zoroastrianism is, in general usage, essentially synonymous with Mazdaism, i.e., the worship of Ahura Mazda, exalted by Zoroaster as the supreme divine authority.

In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil originates from Him. Thus, in Zoroastrianism good and evil have distinct sources, with evil (druj) trying to destroy the creation of Mazda (asha), and good trying to sustain it. Mazda is not immanent in the world, and His creation is represented by the Amesha Spentas and the host of other Yazatas, through whom the works of God are evident to humanity, and through whom worship of Mazda is ultimately directed. The most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, of which a significant portion has been lost, and mostly only the liturgies of which have survived. The lost portions are known of only through references and brief quotations in the later works of (primarily) the 9th-11th centuries.

The total number of currently practicing adherents of Zoroastrianism is unknown. A 2004 estimate gives a range of 124,000 to 190,000,[29] roughly half of them in India (the Parsi and Irani groups).

The largest number of Zoroastrians in Asia can be found in India; according to the 2001 census, they amounted 69,000.[30] In Iran, there were some 25,000 according to the 2011 census.[31] In 2012, the numbers for Zoroastrians were; India (61,000), Iran (15,000 / 22,271), United States (14,405), Canada (6,442), Great Britain (5,500), Australia (2,577), Persian Gulf Countries (1,900) Pakistan (1,675), Singapore (372).[32]

Shamanism and Animism

Shamanism and Animism have historically been practised in Asia, and is still practiced in most of Asia.[33][34][35]

[36][37]

Abrahamic religions

Judaism

Judaism is the predominant religion in Israel (75.6%), which has a nominal Jewish population of about 6.1 million,[38]

Outside of Israel there are small diaspora communities of Jewish people living in Turkey (17,400),[39] Azerbaijan (9,100),[40] Iran (8,756),[41] India (5,000) and Uzbekistan (4,000).[42]

Christianity

CSI - The first Anglican Church in India[43]
CSI - The first Anglican Church in India[43]

Christianity is a widespread minority religion in Asia with more than 286 million adherents according to Pew Research Center in 2010,[44] and nearly 364 million according to Britannica Book of the Year 2014.[45] constituting around 12.6% of the total population of Asia.

Only six countries are predominantly Christian: Asian Russia which is predominantly the Russian Orthodox Church ;Cyprus, which is predominantly Orthodox; the Philippines, which is the third-largest Roman Catholic nation in the world;[46] Timor Leste, which is the most overwhelming Christian (99.6%) and Roman Catholic nation in Asia (97.6%)[47] ; Armenia, which was the first state to adopt a Christian denomination as its state religion; and Georgia. Christianity also accounts for 29.2% of South Korea's population (54.5% of its religious population) and is now the predominant religion in South Korea, Christianity is also a large minority religion in Lebanon accounting for 40% of its population.[48] Christianity is also a large minority religion in Kazakhstan (26%),[49] Singapore (18.3%),[50] and Kyrgyzstan (17%).

Asian countries with large Christian populations are Philippines (84 million),[46] China (68 million),[51] India (24 million),[52] Indonesia (23 million), Kazakhstan (16.5 million), South Korea (15 million), Vietnam (7 million),[53] Georgia (4.6 million),[54] Armenia (3.2 million),[55] Malaysia (2.6 million),[56] Japan (2.5 million), Pakistan (2.5 million),[57] Uzbekistan (2.5 million),[58] Syria (1.8 million),[59] Sri Lanka (1.5 million)[60], East Timor (1.2 million)[47] and Taiwan (one million).[61]

There are still large ancient communities of Middle Eastern Christians and Arab Christians in Lebanon, Iraq, Iran,[62] Turkey,[63] Syria, Jordan, Israel and Palestine numbering more than 3 million in West Asia. There are also a large populations of expatriate workers which include a sizeable Christian communities live in Arabian Peninsula numbering more than 3 million.[64]

A 2015 study estimates about 6,968,500 Muslims convert to Christianity in Asia, most of them belonging to some form of Protestantism.[65]

Islam

Mosque in Afghanistan
Mosque in Afghanistan

Islam is the largest religion in Asia with approx. 1.1 billion adherents.[66] Islam is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur'an, a book considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله Allāh) and by the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah and composed of hadith) of Muhammad, considered by them to be the last prophet of God. South Asia and Southeast Asia are home of the most populous Muslim countries, with Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh having more than 100 million adherents each. According to U.S. government figures, in 2006 there were 20 million Muslims in China. In the Western Asia, the non-Arab countries of Iran and Turkey are the largest Muslim-majority countries. In South Asia, Pakistan and Bangladesh are the countries with the largest Muslim-majority. In Central Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan are the countries with the largest Muslim-majority.

Indonesia is 87 percent Muslim and is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Pakistan is 97 percent Muslim, Bangladesh is 90 percent Muslim. India's Muslim population is 14.2% of the total, approximately 190 million people.[67] Around 6-11 percent, some 6 - 12 million people in the Philippines are Muslim.[68][69][70][71][72] Thailand's Muslims make up 4.6 percent of the population, or approximately 3 million people.[73] Also Sri Lanka's Muslims make up 10 percent of the population, or approximately 2.5 million people

Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kuwait, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Maldives, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Lebanon are the 23 Muslim majority states in Asia

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a minority Muslim sect, originated on the Asian continent in 1889 in Qadian, India. The community had 10 million members as of the 1980s. As of 2008, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been established in all Asian countries except for Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia and North Korea. Ahmadis are most persecuted in Asia, particularly in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia.

Bahá'í Faith

Bahá'í Temple (Battambang, Cambodia)
Bahá'í Temple (Battambang, Cambodia)

The Bahá'í Faith is an Abrahamic religion although it is quite different from Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. It was so founded by Bahá'u'lláh in what was then Persia (also known as Iran). Today the largest national population of Bahá'ís is in India with between 1.7 million[74] to 3.2 million,[75] where there is also the Lotus Temple. Significant populations are found in many countries including Vietnam and Malaysia where "about 1%", some 260,000, of the population are Bahá'ís.[76] In other places, like Kazakhstan there are 25 Local Spiritual Assemblies.[77]

In modern-day Iran, the religion is severely persecuted (see Persecution of Bahá'ís). In neighboring Turkmenistan, Bahá'í Faith is effectively banned,[78] and individuals have had their homes raided for Bahá'í literature.[79] For further information, see Bahá'í Statistics for Asia and Category:Bahá'í Faith by country.

Irreligion

According to a Pew Research Center survey in 2012 religiously unaffiliated (including agnostics and atheists) make up about 21.2% of Asia population.[80] According to the same survey, the religiously unaffiliated are the majority of the population in four Asian countries/territories: North Korea (71%), Japan (57%), Hong Kong (56%), and Mainland China (52%).[80]

Other sources say that in the People's Republic of China, 59% of the population claim to be non-religious.[81] However, this percentage may be significantly greater (up to 80%) or smaller (down to 30%) in reality, because some Chinese define religion differently. Some Chinese define religion as practicing customs (which may be done for cultural or traditional reasons), while others define it as actually consciously believing their religion will lead to post-mortem salvation or reincarnation. A Dentsu statistic states that 46% of Vietnamese and 51% of Japanese are irreligious.[82]

Religious distribution

Eastern Asia

Country[83] Population Christian Islam Irreligion Hindu Buddhist Folk religion Other religion Jewish
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
 Mainland China 1,341,340,000 68,408,340 5.10 24,144,120 1.80 700,179,480 52.20 20,000 0.00 244,123,880 18.20 293,753,460 21.90 9,389,380 0.70 0 0.00
 Hong Kong 7,050,000 1,008,150 14.30 126,900 1.80 3,955,050 56.10 28,200 0.40 930,600 13.20 902,400 12.80 105,750 1.50 0 0.00
 Macau 540,000 38,880 7.20 1,080 0.20 83,160 15.40 0 0.00 93,420 17.30 318,060 58.90 5,400 1.00 0 0.00
 Taiwan 23,220,000 1,277,100 5.50 10,000 0.04 2,948,940 12.70 0 0.00 4,945,860 21.30 10,263,240 44.20 3,761,640 16.20 0 0.00
 Japan 126,540,000 2,024,640 1.60 253,080 0.20 72,127,800 57.00 30,000 0.02 45,807,480 36.20 506,160 0.40 5,947,380 4.70 0 0.00
 North Korea 24,350,000 487,000 2.00 0 0.00 17,361,550 71.30 0 0.00 365,250 1.50 2,995,050 12.30 3,141,150 12.90 0 0.00
 South Korea 48,180,000 14,164,920 29.40 96,360 0.20 22,355,520 46.40 0 0.00 11,033,220 22.90 385,440 0.80 96,360 0.20 0 0.00
 Mongolia 2,760,000 63,480 2.30 88,320 3.20 990,840 35.90 0 0.00 1,520,760 55.10 96,600 3.50 0 0.00 0 0.00
Total 1,573,980,000 87,472,510 5.56 24,719,860 1.57 820,002,340 52.10 78,200 0.00 308,820,470 19.62 309,220,410 19.65 22,447,060 1.43 0 0.00

Southeastern Asia

Country[83] Population Christian Islam Irreligion Hindu Buddhist Folk religion Other religion Jewish
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
 Brunei 400,000 37,600 9.40 300,400 75.10 1,600 0.40 1,200 0.30 34,400 8.60 24,800 6.20 400 0.10 0 0.00
 Cambodia 14,140,000 56,560 0.40 282,800 2.00 28,280 0.20 0 0.00 13,701,660 96.90 84,840 0.60 0 0.00 0 0.00
 Indonesia 239,870,000 23,747,130 9.90 209,166,640 87.20 240,000 0.10 4,077,790 1.70 1,679,090 0.70 719,610 0.30 239,870 0.10 0 0.00
 Laos 6,200,000 93,000 1.50 0 0.00 55,800 0.90 0 0.00 4,092,000 66.00 1,903,400 30.70 43,400 0.70 0 0.00
 Malaysia 28,400,000 2,669,600 9.40 18,090,800 63.70 198,800 0.70 1,704,000 6.00 5,026,800 17.70 653,200 2.30 56,800 0.20 0 0.00
 Myanmar 47,960,000 3,740,880 7.80 1,918,400 4.00 239,800 0.50 815,320 1.70 38,415,960 80.10 2,781,680 5.80 95,920 0.20 0 0.00
 Philippines 105,000,000 89,000,000 85.00 5,127,000 5.50[84] 7,350,000 7.00 10,000 0.00 1,758,000 1.50 1,398,900 1.50[85] 93,260 0.10 28,473 0.03
 Singapore 5,090,000 926,380 18.20 727,870 14.30 834,760 16.40 264,680 5.20 1,725,510 33.90 117,070 2.30 493,730 9.70 0 0.00
 Thailand 69,120,000 622,080 0.90 3,801,600 5.50 207,360 0.30 69,120 0.10 64,419,840 93.20 60,000 0.09 0 0.00 0 0.00
 Timor-Leste 1,120,000 1,115,520 99.60 1,120 0.10 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 1,120 0.10 0 0.00 0 0.00
 Vietnam 94,700,000 7,765,400 8.20 175,700 0.20 28,031,200 29.60 151,200 0.16 15,530,800 16.40 42,899,100 45.30 351,400 0.40 0 0.00
Total 593,410,000 116,571,210 21.33 245,594,630 40.38 31,903,260 4.70 6,932,110 1.17 143,582,660 24.20 47,540,670 8.01 1,374,780 0.23 28,437 0.00

Southern Asia

Country[83] Population Christian Islam Irreligion Hindu Buddhist Folk religion Other religion Jewish
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
 Afghanistan 31,410,000 31,410 0.10 31,315,770 99.70 0 0.00 10,000 0.03 0 0.00 0 0.00 20,000 0.06 1 0.00
 Bangladesh 165,870,000 297,380 0.20 149,000,000 90 80,000 0.05 13,530,790 9.10 743,450 0.50 594,760 0.40 30,000 0.02 0 0.00
 Bhutan 730,000 3,650 0.50 1,460 0.20 0 0.00 164,980 22.60 545,310 74.70 13,870 1.90 0 0.00 0 0.00
 India 1,224,610,000 30,615,250 2.50 189,000,000 14.40 870,000 0.07 973,564,950 79.50 9,796,880 0.80 6,123,050 0.50 28,166,030 2.30 10,000 0.00
 Maldives 320,000 1,280 0.40 314,880 98.40 0 0.00 960 0.30 1,920 0.60 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
   Nepal 29,960,000 149,800 0.50 1,378,160 4.60 89,880 0.30 24,177,720 80.70 3,085,880 10.30 1,108,520 3.70 20,000 0.07 0 0.00
 Pakistan 211,100,000 2,777,440 1.60 204,194,370 96.40 20,000 0.01 3,298,210 1.90 20,000 0.01 30,000 0.02 20,000 0.01 0 0.00
 Sri Lanka 20,860,000 1,522,780 7.30 2,044,280 9.80 0 0.00 2,836,960 13.60 14,455,980 70.30 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
Total 1,630,170,000 35,367,580 2.21 480,947,000 30.08 1,059,880 0.07 1,017,574 570 63.65 28,649,420 1.79 7,870,200 0.49 28,236,030 1.77 10,000 0.00

Middle Asia

Country[83] Population Christian Islam Irreligion Hindu Buddhist Folk religion Other religion Jewish
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
 Kazakhstan 16,030,000 3,975,440 24.8 11,285,120 70.4 673,260 4.2 0 < 0.1 32,060 0.2 48,090 0.3 16,030 0.1 0 < 0.1
 Kyrgyzstan 5,330,000 607,620 11.40 4,690,400 88.0 21,320 0.40 0 < 0.1 0 < 0.1 5,330 0.1 0 < 0.1 0 < 0.1
 Tajikistan 6,880,000 110,080 1.6 6,652,960 96.7 103,200 1.5 0 < 0.1 0 < 0.1 0 < 0.1 0 < 0.1 0 < 0.1
 Turkmenistan 5,040,000 322,560 6.4 4,687,200 93.0 25,200 0.5 0 < 0.1 0 < 0.1 0 < 0.1 0 < 0.1 0 < 0.1
 Uzbekistan 27,440,000 631,120 2.3 26,534,480 96.7 219,520 0.8 0 < 0.1 10,000 < 0.1 10,000 < 0.1 0 < 0.1 10,000 < 0.1
Total 60,720,000 5,646,820 9.30 53,850,160 88.69 1,042,500 1.72 0 < 0.1 42,060 < 0.1 63,420 0.10 16,030 < 0.1 10,000 < 0.1

West Asia (Middle East)

Country[83] Population Christian Islam Irreligion Hindu Buddhist Folk religion Other religion Jewish
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
 Bahrain 1,260,000 182,700 14.50 885,780 70.30 23,940 1.90 123,480 9.80 31,500 2.50 0 0.00 2,520 0.20 7,560 0.60
 Iraq 31,670,000 253,360 0.80 31,353,300 99.00 31,670 0.10 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 20,000 0.06 0 0.00
 Israel 7,420,000 148,400 2.00 1,380,120 18.60 230,020 3.10 0 0.00 22,260 0.30 14,840 0.20 7,420 0.10 5,609,520 75.60
 Jordan 6,190,000 136,180 2.20 6,016,680 97.20 0 0.00 6,190 0.10 24,760 0.40 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
 Kuwait 2,740,000 391,820 14.30 2,030,340 74.10 0 0.00 232,900 8.50 76,720 2.80 0 0.00 8,220 0.30 0 0.00
 Lebanon 4,230,000 2,170,090 47.30 2,592,990 55.30 12,690 0.30 0 0.00 8,460 0.20 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
 Oman 2,780,000 180,700 6.50 2,388,020 85.90 5,560 0.20 152,900 5.50 22,240 0.80 0 0.00 27,800 1.00 0 0.00
 Palestine 4,040,000 96,960 2.40 3,943,040 97.60 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
 Qatar 1,760,000 242,880 13.80 1,191,520 67.70 15,840 0.90 242,880 13.80 54,560 3.10 0 0.00 12,320 0.70 0 0.00
 Saudi Arabia 27,450,000 1,207,800 4.40 25,528,500 93.00 192,150 0.70 301,950 1.10 82,350 0.30 82,350 0.30 82,350 0.30 0 0.00
 Syria 20,410,000 1,061,320 5.20 18,940,480 92.80 408,200 2.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
 United Arab Emirates 7,510,000 946,260 12.60 5,775,190 76.90 82,610 1.10 495,660 6.60 150,200 2.00 0 0.00 60,080 0.80 0 0.00
 Yemen 24,050,000 48,100 0.20 23,833,550 99.10 24,050 0.10 144,300 0.60 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
Total 141,510,000 6,516,570 4.61 125,859,510 88.94 1,026,730 0.73 1,700,260 1.20 473,050 0.33 97,190 0.07 220,710 0.16 5,617,080 3.97
 Armenia 3,090,000 3,043,650 98.50 0 0.00 40,170 1.30 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 3,090 0.10 0 0.00
 Azerbaijan 9,190,000 275,700 3.00 8,905,110 96.90 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
 Cyprus 1,100,000 805,200 73.20 278,300 25.30 13,200 1.20 0 0.00 2,200 0.20 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
 Iran 73,970,000 390,000 0.20 73,600,150 99.50 73,970 0.10 20,000 0.03 0 0.00 0 0.00 147,940 0.20 90,000 0.00
 Turkey 72,750,000 291,000 0.40 71,295,000 98.00 873,000 1.20 0 0.00 40,000 0.05 20,000 0.03 145,500 0.20 20,000 0.03
Total 191,510,000 4,594,900 2.40 185,394,330 96.81 1,000,340 0.52 30,000 0.02 42,200 0.02 20,000 0.01 316,530 0.17 20,000 0.01
Asia 4,054,967,400 286,589,204 7.07 985,154,511 24.30 858,059,957 21.16 1,025,258,470 25.28 481,820,400 11.88 364,948,996 9.00 52,639,460 1.30 160,090 0.00


See also

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