Why is Hinduism spreading in Russia
Christianity has spread across all five continents over the centuries. Around 2.05 billion people today profess to be part of the largest of the world's religions, i.e. almost a third of the world's population.
Christianity has an undisputed supremacy especially in Europe and on the American continent, in the north and south of which some natural religions have been preserved, albeit only in extremely sparsely populated and not yet industrialized retreat regions. In sub-Saharan Africa there are scattered Protestant and Catholic majorities, with a focus on the south and west. On the Asian continent, Christianity is mainly represented by the Orthodox and Orientals of Russia and by the predominantly Catholic Philippines. In Indonesia, almost 20 million people profess the Christian faith, mostly Protestantism. In Australia, as in New Zealand, the almost equally large faith groups of Anglicans and Catholics together with Orthodox Christians make up a little over half of the population.
Islam has expanded the important area of expansion, which it conquered especially in the 7th and 8th centuries, in all four directions and in particular in South and Southeast Asia, namely in Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, as well as in the northern half and on found a large number of followers on the east coast of Africa. In the north, Russia forms the limit of its area of distribution. On the European continent, Muslim majorities can only be found in Turkey and Albania, while the Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Bulgaria form larger minorities.
The largest number of professing Jews have lived in Israel since the end of the diaspora, which lasted for almost two millennia. In addition, there are smaller or larger Jewish communities almost all over the world, especially in the USA; the most important are those of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Buddhism, especially Mahayana Buddhism, which emerged at the beginning of the Christian era, and Lamaism, also known as Tibetan Buddhism, under the head of the Dalai Lama, has spread mainly in East Asia, especially in large parts of China, in Myanmar (Burma), Laos , Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Hinduism, which emerged from the Vedic religion and is closely linked to the Indian caste system, has around 890 million followers in India. The number of Sikhs, a religious community founded in the 15th century, whose teachings mix elements of Hinduism with those of Islam, is much smaller. The approximately 23 million followers of this religious reform movement live largely in the Indian state of Punjab and in scattered communities, especially in North America, Great Britain and the Philippines.
With the exception of the European continent, there are natural religions worldwide. They are predominantly found in regions that are sparsely populated than average and in which the geographical peripheral location, climatic unfavorable conditions or political conflicts have prevented the emergence of modern forms of production and a corresponding social wealth. One encounters natural religions in the last remaining retreats in South America, at the level of the Arctic Circle, in Oceania, the inner regions of Australia and in the southern half of Africa.
The map provides an overview of the distribution of the various religions on earth and of their dominance in certain parts of the world. A cartographic representation of religious and denominational affiliations inevitably leads to certain distortions. For example, the regional distribution of a religion, due to the very different population density, provides hardly any conclusive evidence of its real social significance. On the other hand, huge religious minorities, such as the almost 140 million Muslims in India, can be lost in the schematic representation. The large number of non-denominational people, which is not insignificant in Russia after 74 years of state atheism, must also be disregarded in the graph.
But regardless of the inevitable generalizations and the relatively uncertain data in this area, the cartographic representation can provide clues for the spread of the various religions. Knowing the religion that is dominant in a part of the world allows important conclusions to be drawn about the genesis of a cultural landscape and the nature of the forces at work in it.
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