Religion in Asia (2022)[1]

  Islam (28%)
  Hinduism (26.1%)
  No religion (13.9%)
  Buddhism (8.1%)
  Christianity (8.4%)
  Ethnic religions (3.5%)
  New religions (1.3%)
  Other (1.5%)

Asia is the largest and most populous continent and the birthplace of many religions including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, 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.

Thus, the religious demographics of Asia are diverse, with no single religion representing an absolute majority of the population. Notwithstanding, Islam is the largest religion in Asia, with approximately 1.3 billion adherents as of 2022. The second largest religion is Hinduism, with about 1.2 billion adherents on the continent. Since the 1970s, the Muslim and Christian share of the Asian population has grown considerably throughout the history.

History

Asia is the birthplace of 11 major religions, whose written records include Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and the Baha'i Faith.

Indian religions

Main article: Indian religions

Dharmic religions are the oldest religions of Asia. All Indian religions originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions all have the similar concepts like dharma, karma, and reincarnation, but the interpretation of these concepts varies with each religion.

Hinduism

Main article: Hinduism in Asia

Temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal

Hinduism is the second largest religion in Asia with about 1.2 billion followers, mainly in South and Southeast Asia.[2] Hinduism, like all Dharmic religions, originates in India. More than 94% of the global Hindu population live in India. Demographically, it is the largest religion in India (80%), Nepal (85%), and the island of Bali (87%),[3] 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, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Afghanistan. As of 2020, India has a Hindu population of 1.10 billion, Nepal has a Hindu population of 23.5 million, and there are 14.5 million Hindus in Bangladesh.[4]

Hinduism is a fusion that resulted from incorporating the tribal cultures, tribal and folk religions, and tribal deities, which lead to the birth of all Dharmic Religions (Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, etc.). Its principles like karma, moksha, rebirth, reincarnation, renunciation, samsara are incorporated into Sramana traditions like Buddhism, Jainism, and the traditions predating the Buddha and Mahavira.

Buddhism

Gautama Buddha

Main articles: Buddhism, Theravada, Buddhism in Southeast Asia, and East Asian Buddhism

Buddhism was founded by Siddartha Gautama, who is known as the Buddha. Buddhism is the fourth largest world religion and the third largest religion in Asia, which is adhere by 12% of Asia's population.[5] It is the predominant religion and hold the majority population in Thailand (95%), Myanmar (89%), Cambodia (98%),[5][6] Sri Lanka (70%), Laos (67%), Mongolia (54%), Japan (20%.[7] - 36%[5] or 67%[8]), Bhutan (75%), Tibet (79%)[9] and Macau (80%).[10] Large Buddhist populations reside in Taiwan (35%), Singapore (33%), South Korea (22.9%), Malaysia (19.8%), China (18.2%), Hong Kong (15%), North Korea (13.8%), Nepal (10.7%), Vietnam (10%),[5] Ladakh (39.65%) and Sikkim (27.39%).[11] There are also strong Buddhist minorities in India, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Russia.

Before the advent of Islam, Buddhism was one of the most widely practiced religions in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.[12][13][14]

Jainism

Main article: Jainism

Jainism is an Indian religion. Jains are mostly found in India but are increasingly found throughout the world.[15] 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.[16][17] Jain libraries are the oldest in the country.[18][19] It has traditionally been confined to the Indian subcontinent. It is based on the teachings of Vardhaman Mahavir and also on 23 other Tirthankaras.

Sikhism

Main article: Sikhism

Sikhism is the fifth largest organized religion in the world,[20] with approximately 30 million adherents.[21] And one of the most steadily growing.[22] It is a monotheistic religion founded by Guru Nanak Dev in the 1500s. The religion professes its roots in the area of Punjab region, in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.

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, Myanmar, the Philippines, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Kuwait and U.A.E.

Abrahamic religions

Main article: Abrahamic religions

Judaism

Judaism is the predominant religion in Israel (75.6%), which has a nominal Jewish population of about 6.1 million.[23]

Outside of Israel there are small diaspora communities of Jewish people living in Turkey (17,400),[24] Azerbaijan (9,100),[25] Iran (8,756),[26] India (5,000) and Uzbekistan (4,000).[27]

Christianity

Main article: Christianity in Asia

CSI - The first Anglican Church in India[28]

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Christ, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, called the Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament which are brought together in the Christian Bible as canonical scripture.[29] It is the world's largest religion with about 2.4 billion followers and is culturally and traditionally diverse.[30] Christianity is a widespread minority religion in Asia with more than 286 million adherents according to Pew Research Center in 2010,[31] and nearly 364 million according to Britannica Book of the Year 2014.[32] constituting around 12.6% of the total population of Asia.

Only six countries are predominantly Christian: Asian Russia which predominantly adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church; Cyprus, which is predominantly Orthodox; the Philippines, which is the third-largest Roman Catholic nation in the world;[33] Timor Leste, which is the most overwhelming Christian (99.6%) and Roman Catholic nation in Asia (97.6%);[34] Armenia, which was the first state to adopt a Christian denomination as its state religion; and Georgia (88.1).[35] 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.[36] Christianity is also a large minority religion in Kazakhstan (26%),[37] Singapore (18.3%),[38] and Kyrgyzstan (17%).[39]

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Asian countries with large Christian populations are Philippines (84 million),[33] China (68 million),[40] India (30 million),[41] Indonesia (28 million), Kazakhstan (4.7 million),[39] South Korea (15 million),[39] Vietnam (7 million),[42] Georgia (4.6 million),[43] Armenia (3.2 million),[44] Malaysia (2.6 million),[45] Japan (2.5 million),[39] Pakistan (2.5 million),[46] Uzbekistan (2.5 million),[47] Syria (1.8 million),[48] Sri Lanka (1.5 million),[49] East Timor (1.2 million)[34] and Taiwan (one million).[50]

There are still large ancient communities of Middle Eastern Christians and Arab Christians in Lebanon,[39] Iraq,[39] Iran,[51] Turkey,[52][39] Syria,[39] Jordan,[39] 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.[53]

Islam

Main article: Islam in Asia

Mosque in Afghanistan

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 (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. Islam is the single largest religion in Asia with about 1.3 billion adherents.[54][1] Asia constitute in absolute terms the world's Muslim population.[55] South and Southeast Asia are home of the most populous Muslim countries, with Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh having more than 100 million adherents. According to U.S. government figures, in 2006 there were 20 million Muslims in China. In 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 86% Muslim and is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Pakistan is 97% Muslim, Bangladesh is 89%. India's Muslim population is 14% of the total, approximately 200 million people, which grew because of pluralist mindset of native Indian religions.[56] Around 6-11 percent, some 6 - 12 million people in the Philippines are Muslim.[57][58][59][60][61] Thailand's Muslims make up 4.6 percent of the population, or approximately 3 million people.[62] 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, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon are the 27 Muslim majority states in Asia with most having Sharia as constitution and being non-secular with ban on recognition of other religions.

Baháʼí Faith

Main article: Baháʼí Faith in Asia

Baháʼí Temple (Battambang, Cambodia)

The Baháʼí 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[when?] the largest national population of Baháʼís is in India with between 1.7 million[63] to over 2 million,[64] 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.[65] In other places, like Kazakhstan there are 25 Local Spiritual Assemblies.[66]

In modern-day Iran, the religion is severely persecuted (see Persecution of Baháʼís). In neighboring Turkmenistan, Baháʼí Faith is effectively banned,[67] and individuals have had their homes raided for Baháʼí literature.[68]

Druze

Main article: Druze

Druze dignitaries celebrating the Nabi Shu'ayb festival at the tomb of the prophet in Hittin, Israel.

Druze are an Arabic-speaking esoteric ethnoreligious group[69] originating in Western Asia who self-identify as The People of Monotheism (Al-Muwaḥḥidūn).[70] Jethro of Midian is considered an ancestor of Druze, who revere him as their spiritual founder and chief prophet.[71][72][73][74][75] It is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion based on the teachings of Hamza ibn Ali ibn Ahmad and the sixth Fatimid caliph, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, and Ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and Zeno of Citium.[76][77] Druze do not identify as Muslims.[78][79][80]

The number of Druze people worldwide is between 800,000 and one million, with the vast majority residing in the Levant.[81] The Institute of Druze Studies estimates that 40–50% of Druze live in Syria, 30–40% in Lebanon, 6–7% in Israel, and 1–2% in Jordan. About 2% of the Druze population are also scattered within other countries in the Middle East.[82]

The Lebanese Druze are believed to constitute about 5.2 percent or 250,000,[83] Syrian Druze are believed to constitute an estimated 3.2 percent of the population (as of 2010),[84] or approximately 700,000 persons (including residents of the Golan Heights).[85] In 2019, there were 143,000 Druze living in Israel, 1.6% of the total population of the country.[86] The Jordanian Druze are believed to constitute about 0.5% of the total population of Jordan, which is around 32,000.[87]

East Asian religions

Main article: 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

Main article: 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

Main article: 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."[88]

Laozi is traditionally regarded as the founder of Taoism and is closely associated with "original", or "primordial", Taoism.[89] Whether he actually existed is commonly disputed;[90][91] however, the work attributed to him – the Daodejing – is dated to the late 4th century BC.[92]

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, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Vietnam and among the Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese diaspora communities.

Chinese folk religion

Main articles: Chinese folk religion and Chinese folk religion in Southeast Asia

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.[93]

Shinto

Shinto purification rite after a ceremonial children's sumo tournament at the Kamigamo Jinja in Kyoto

Main article: Shintoism

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 centuries. 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 the 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.[94] 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.[95]

Mugyo

Main article: Korean Shamanism

Muism ("religion of the Mu")[96][97] or sometimes Sinism (Shingyo, "religion of the gods", with shin being the Korean character derivative of the Hanja),[98] encompasses a variety of indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Korean people, the Korean sphere and the Korean diaspora.[99] 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.[100]

Vietnamese folk religion

Five-colored flag (cờ Ngũ sắc)

Main article: Vietnamese folk religion

Vietnamese folk religion or Vietnamese indigenous religion (Vietnamese: tín ngưỡng dân gian Việt Nam, tôn giáo bản địa Việt Nam, sometimes just called đạo Lương, Chữ Hán: 道良), is the largest religion in Vietnam with about 45.3% of the Vietnamese population[101][102] that are associated with this religion. Vietnamese folk religion is not an organized religious system, but a set of local worship traditions devoted to the thần, a term which can be translated as "spirits", "gods" or with the more exhaustive locution "generative powers". These gods can be nature deities or national, community or kinship tutelary deities or ancestral gods and the ancestral gods of a specific family. Ancestral gods are often deified heroic persons. Vietnamese mythology preserves narratives telling of the actions of many of the cosmic gods and cultural heroes.

The Vietnamese indigenous religion is sometimes identified as Confucianism since it carries values that were emphasized by Confucius. Đạo Mẫu is a distinct form of Vietnamese folk religion, giving prominence to some mother goddesses into its pantheon. The government of Vietnam also categorises Caodaism as a form of Vietnamese indigenous religion, since it brings together the worship of the thần or local spirits with Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, as well as elements of Catholicism, Spiritism and Theosophy.[103][104]

Iranian religions

Main article: Iranian religions

Zoroastrianism

See also: Zoroastrianism in India and Zoroastrians in Iran

Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd

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,[105] 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.[106] In Iran, there were some 25,000 according to the 2011 census.[107] In 2012, the numbers for Zoroastrians in Asia were; India (61,000), Iran (15,000 / 22,271), Persian Gulf Countries (1,900), and Singapore (372).[108]

Eastern Asia

Country Population Christian Muslim Irreligion Hindu Buddhist Folk religion Other religion Jewish
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
Mainland China China 1,341,340,000 68,408,340 5.10 24,144,120 1.80 700,179,480 52.20 100,000 0.01 244,123,880 18.20 293,753,460 21.90 9,389,380 0.70 600 - 1,000 <0.01
Hong Kong Hong Kong 7,053,947 1,048,150 14.30 126,900 1.80 3,955,050 56.10 35,000 0.53 930,600 13.20 902,400 12.80 105,750 1.50 0 0.00
Macau Macau 540,560 38,880 7.20 1,080 0.20 83,160 15.40 200 0.04 93,420 17.30 318,060 58.90 5,400 1.00 0 0.00
Taiwan Taiwan 23,220,670 1,277,100 5.50 10,000 0.04 2,948,940 12.70 9,000 0.01 4,945,860 21.30 10,263,240 44.20 3,761,640 16.20 0 0.00
Japan Japan 126,540,000 2,024,640 1.60 233,080 0.16 72,127,800 57.00 160,000 0.12 45,807,480 36.20 506,160 0.40 5,947,380 4.70 0 0.00
North Korea North Korea 24,350,000 487,000 2.00 0 0.00 17,361,550 71.30 10 0.00 365,250 1.50 2,995,050 12.30 3,141,150 12.90 0 0.00
South Korea South Korea 48,180,000 14,164,920 29.40 103,773 0.20 22,355,520 46.40 50,000 0.11 11,033,220 22.90 385,440 0.80 96,360 0.20 0 0.00
Mongolia Mongolia[117] 3,296,866 42,859 1.3 105,500 3.2 1,338,528 40.6 N/A N/A 1,704,480 51.7 82,422 2.5 23,078 0.7 N/A N/A
Total 1,573,980,000 87,472,510 5.56 24,719,860 1.57 820,002,340 52.10 260,000 0.01 308,820,470 19.62 309,220,410 19.65 22,447,060 1.43 600 - 1,000 <0.01

Southeastern Asia

Country Population Christian Muslim Irreligion Hindu Buddhist Folk religion Other religion Jewish
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
Brunei Brunei 408,540 37,600 9.40 300,400 75.10 1,600 0.40 2,000 0.50 34,400 8.60 24,800 6.20 400 0.10 0 0.00
Cambodia Cambodia 14,143,680 56,560 0.40 282,800 2.00 28,280 0.20 10,000 0.10 13,701,660 96.90 84,840 0.60 0 0.00 0 0.00
Indonesia Indonesia 275,361,267 29,008,731 10.53 231,069,932 83.91 8,385,396 3.04 4,677,535 1.69 2,023,719 0.73 122,043 0.04 73,911 0.02 20 0.00
Laos Laos 6,200,000 93,000 1.50 0 0.00 55,800 0.90 1,000 0.01 4,092,000 66.00 1,903,400 30.70 43,400 0.70 0 0.00
Malaysia Malaysia[118] 33,200,000 3,021,200 9.10 21,082,000 63.50 597,600 1.80 2,025,200 6.10 6,208,400 18.70 0 0.00 298,800 0.90 0 0.00
Myanmar Myanmar[119] 51,483,949 3,192,005 6.20 2,213,810 4.30 51,483 0.10 257,419 0.50 45,254,391 87.90 411,872 0.80 102,967 0.20 0 0.00
Philippines Philippines[120] 108,667,043 92,746,021 85.34 6,981,710 6.42 1,095,000 1.00 30,634 0.02 2,173,400 2.00 259,000 0.23 5,352,805 4.92 28,473 0.02
Singapore Singapore[121] 5,700,000 1,077,300 18.90 889,200 15.60 1,140,000 20.00 285,000 5.00 1,772,700 31.10 0 0.00 535,800 9.40 0 0.00
Thailand Thailand 69,120,000 622,080 0.90 3,801,600 5.50 207,360 0.30 100,120 0.20 64,419,840 93.20 60,000 0.09 0 0.00 0 0.00
East Timor Timor-Leste[122] 1,343,875 1,338,500 99.60 2,690 0.20 0 0.00 271 0.02 0 0.00 1,120 0.08 0 0.00 0 0.00
Vietnam Vietnam 94,700,000 7,765,400 8.20 175,700 0.20 28,031,200 29.60 201,200 0.21 15,530,800 16.40 42,899,100 45.30 351,400 0.40 0 0.00
Total 660,328,354 138,958,397 21.04 266,477,182 40.35 39,593,719 6.00 9,312,430 1.40 155,211,310 23.50 45,766,175 6.90 6,759,483 1.00 28,493 0.00

Southern Asia

Country Population Christian Muslim Irreligion Hindu Buddhist Folk religion Other religion Sikh
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
Afghanistan Afghanistan 31,415,280 30,000 0.01 31,315,770 99.7 0 0.00 0 0 0 0.00 0 0.00 20,000 0.06 0 0.00
Bangladesh Bangladesh[123] 165,158,620 450,000 0.3 150,360,405 91.04 0 0 13,130,110 7.95 1,107,466 0.61 594,760 0.40 198,190 0.12 0 0.00
Bhutan Bhutan 730,440 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 170,980 25.00 545,310 74.70 13,870 1.90 0 0.00 0 0.00
India India[124] 1,210,854,977 27,819,588 2.30 172,245,158 14.23 2,867,303 0.24 966,257,353 79.80 8,442,972 0.70 0 0 12,389,437 1.04 20,833,116 1.72
Maldives Maldives 320,000 0 0 320,000 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nepal Nepal 28,760,000 140,000 0.45 1,370,000 4.6 0 0 24,170,000 84 3,080,000 10 1,108,520 3.70 20,000 0.07 0 0.00
Pakistan Pakistan[125] 207,684,000 2,637,586 1.27 200,560,446 96.47 0 0 4,444,437 2.14 0 0.00 0 0.00 20,767 0.01 20,768 0.01
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka[126] 20,860,000 1,552,161 7.62 1,967,523 9.66 0 0.00 2,561,299 12.8 19,455,980 70.30 0 0.00 6,400 0.00 0 0.00
Total 1,665,783,317 31,077,174 1.87 556,171,779 33.39 2,867,303 0.17 1,011,009,840 60.69 32,631,728 1.96 1,717,150 0.10 12,648,394 0.76 20,853,884 1.25

Central Asia

Country Population Christian Muslim Irreligion Hindu Buddhist Folk religion Other religion Jewish
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 16,030,460 3,975,440 24.8 11,285,120 70.4 673,260 4.2 5,000 0.01 32,060 0.2 48,090 0.3 16,030 0.1 0 0.00
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan 5,333,440 607,620 11.40 4,690,400 88.0 21,320 0.40 1,000 0.01 0 0.00 5,330 0.1 0 0.00 0 0.00
Tajikistan Tajikistan 6,880,000 110,080 1.6 6,652,960 96.7 103,200 1.5 9,000 0.01 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan 5,040,000 322,560 6.4 4,687,200 93.0 25,200 0.5 6,000 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan 27,440,000 631,120 2.3 26,534,480 96.7 219,520 0.8 16,000 0.01 1,000 < 0.01 1,000 < 0.01 0 0.00 1,000 < 0.01
Total 60,720,000 5,646,820 9.30 53,850,160 88.69 1,042,500 1.72 55000 0.01 33,060 < 0.05 54,420 0.10 16,030 < 0.05 1,000 < 0.01

West Asia

Country Population Christian Muslim Irreligion Hindu Buddhist Folk religion Other religion Jewish
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
Armenia Armenia 3,091,245 3,043,650 98.50 <1,000 0.10 40,170 1.30 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 3,090 0.10 0 0.00
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 9,191,720 275,700 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
Bahrain 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
Cyprus 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 Iran 85,000,000 340,000 0.4 82,025,000 96.5 1,275,000 1.5 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 1,360,000 1.6 0 0.00
Iraq 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 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 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 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 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 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
State of Palestine 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 Qatar 1,760,000 242,880 14.2 1,152,800 65.5 15,840 0.90 242,880 15.1 54,560 3.10 0 0.00 12,320 0.70 0 0.00
Saudi Arabia 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 Syria 20,410,000 2,122,640 10 18,940,480 92.80 408,200 2.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
Turkey 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
United Arab Emirates UAE 7,510,000 946,260 14 5,775,190 70 82,610 1.10 495,660 10 150,200 2.00 0 0.00 60,080 0.80 0 0.00
Yemen 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 310,787,248 12,759,354 3.87 290,758,294 92.59 4,238,495 1.16 1,562,736 0.28 514,257 0.10 172,635 0.10 712,838 0.30 5,821,928 2.02


Shamanism and animism

Shamanism and animism have historically been practised in Asia, and is still practiced in most of Asia.[109][110][111][112][113]

Irreligion

According to a Pew Research Center survey in 2012 religiously unaffiliated (including agnostics and atheists) make up about 21.2% of Asia population.[114] 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%).[114]

Other sources say that in the People's Republic of China, 59% of the population claim to be non-religious.[115] 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.[116]

Religious distribution

See also

References

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