Developing A Universal Religion/Present Day Religions/Some Major Religions

Over half of the world’s population claim to be either Christian (over 2 billion), Muslim (about 1.2 billion), or Hindu (nearly 0.8 billion).[1] Buddhists number over 0.3 billion. No other religion is supported by more than 200 million people, with most other doctrines claiming just a few million. Surprisingly, the founding monotheistic religion, Judaism, reports less than twenty million adherents. By way of comparison, over 0.9 billion people state that they do not follow a religion of any sort, and more than 0.2 billion call themselves atheists and deny the existence of any god.


  1. A number of sources have been invaluable in researching this chapter: Microsoft Encarta DVD-ROM Reference Suite 99. Microsoft Corporation; Noss, Man’s Religions; Chris Richards, general editor, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of World Religions (Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element Books Limited, 1997), and a variety of web sites. The statistics were taken from the World Christian Encyclopaedia. Another source for statistics is