Last updated: 2021
This is a world map of religions. Generally, the level of detail varies. For some countries, only province-level information or only rough estimates are available. For other countries, religion data is available down to every village.
Two notes: First, some of the religions (Alawism, Alevism, Druze faith etc.) are often classified as sub-groups of Islam, but sometimes classified as older gnostic religions dissimulating as Islam. Dr. Michael Izady, whose great maps I used for the Middle East, argues for the classification as pre-Islamic religions who need to dissimulate as Muslims to avoid persecution.
Second, in Asia, it is often impossible to map the religions as it is usual for people to follow two or more religions (such as folk Shinto and Buddhism in Japan or Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese folk religion in China). Therefore, some religions "share" a colour. China is based on this recent map. In North Korea, the largest religion seems to be Korean folk religion, closely followed by Cheondoism (a syncretic religion based on Korean religion and Confucianism). In South Korea, I included all provinces with Christianity as largest religion as Protestant. In all of these provinces, Protestantism was larger than Catholicism, however, in some of these Buddhism was larger than Protestantism alone. However, Christianity is still the largest religion in those regions, so it would be more misleading to show Buddhism instead.
|Religion||Branches||Category||Derived from||Founder||Date of founding||Area of origin||Adherents||Where to look on the map|
|Middle Eastern Religions|
|Judaism||Rabbinic (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform)||Abrahamic, Jewish||Early Judaism ← Ancient Mesopotamian religion||Abraham||1000 BC? (Judaism)||Middle East||14m||Israel|
|Samaritanism1||Abrahamic, Jewish||Early Judaism ← Ancient Mesopotamian religion||Abraham||1000 BC? (Judaism)||Middle East||few (<800)||West Bank (Palestine)|
|Christianity||Nestorianism (Church of the East)||Abrahamic, Christian||Early Christianity ← Judaism||Jesus (Religion) / Nestorius (Church)||30 (Christianity) / 431 (Nestorian Schism)||Middle East||<1m||Middle East|
|Oriental Orthodoxy||Abrahamic, Christian||Early Christianity ← Judaism||Jesus (Religion) / Pope Dioscorus I (Church)||30 (Christianity) / 431 (Nestorian Schism)||Middle East||86m||Middle East, Horn of Africa|
|Eastern Orthodoxy||Abrahamic, Christian||Early Christianity ← Judaism||Jesus (Religion) / Leo of Ohrid (Church)||30 (Christianity) / 1054 (Great Schism)||Europe||287m||Eastern Europe, Russia|
|Catholicism (Latin & Eastern)||Abrahamic, Christian||Early Christianity ← Judaism||Jesus (Religion) / Pope Leo IX (Church)||30 (Christianity) / 1054 (Great Schism)||Europe||1,200m||worldwide|
|Protestantism (various denominations)2||Abrahamic, Christian||Catholicism ← Early Christianity||Jesus (Religion) / M. Luther, J. Calvin, Henry VIII, J. Wesley, ...||30 (Christianity) / 1517 (Luther) and later||Europe||800m||worldwide|
|Mormonism||Abrahamic, Christian||Methodism ← Anglicanism (Protestantism)||Joseph Smith||1820s||North America||17m||USA|
|Mandaeism||-||Abrahamic, Gnostic||Gnosticism ← Early Christianity||(John the Baptist?)||1st century||Middle East||0.07m||Iraq|
|Islam||Sunni||Abrahamic, Islamic||Early Islam ← Judaism + Nestorianism + Arabic polytheism||Muhammad (Religion) / Abu Bakr (Denomination)||610 (Islam) / 632 (Islamic Schism)||Middle East||1,455m||worldwide|
|Shia (Mainstream Shia)||Abrahamic, Islamic||Early Islam ← Judaism + Nestorianism + Arabic polytheism||Muhammad (Religion) / Ali ibn Abi Talib (Denomination)||610 (Islam) / 632 (Islamic Schism)||Middle East||162m||Middle East|
|Ibadi||Abrahamic, Islamic||Khariji Islam ← Early Islam||Muhammad (Religion) / Abdullah ibn Ibadh (Denomination)||610 (Islam) / 657 (Kharijite secession)||Middle East||3m||Oman, Zanzibar|
|Ahmadi3||Abrahamic, Islamic||Sunni Islam ← Early Islam||Muhammad (Religion) / Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (Denomination)||610 (Islam) / 1889 (Denomination)||South Asia||20m||Pakistan|
|Alawism4||-||Abrahamic, Gnostic, Islamic||unclear (Islam or pre-Islamic?)||Ibn Nusayr||10th century||Middle East||2m||Syria|
|Nusairism4||-||Abrahamic, Gnostic, Islamic||unclear (Islam or pre-Islamic?)||Ibn Nusayr||10th century||Middle East||0.3m||Syria|
|Alevism4||-||Abrahamic, Gnostic, Islamic||unclear (Islam or pre-Islamic?)||?||?||Middle East||25m||Middle East|
|Druzism5||-||Abrahamic, Gnostic, Islamic||Ismailism ← Shia Islam; others6||Hamza ibn Ali ibn Ahmad & al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah||1017||Middle East||1.5m||Levant|
|Zoroastrianism||Restorationists, Progressives, Traditionalists||Iranian||Persian polytheism ← Indo-Iranian folk religion||Zoroaster||1500 BC (?)||Iran||0.1m||Iran|
|Yezidism7||-||Iranian, Gnostic||possibly: Yazdanism ← Indo-Iranian folk religion||?||?||Kurdistan (?)||0.3m||Syria, Iraq|
|Yarsanism4||-||Iranian, Gnostic, Islamic||possibly: Yazdanism ← Indo-Iranian folk religion||Sultan Sahak||late 14th century||Iran||1m||Iraq|
|Shabakism4||-||Iranian, Gnostic, Islamic||possibly: Yazdanism ← Indo-Iranian folk religion||?||?||Iraq (?)||0.25m||Iraq|
|Manichaeism||Neo-Manichaeism||Abrahamic, Gnostic||Gnosticism ← Early Christianity||?||?||Iraq (?)||0.25m||Map shows "Mother Church" in Tehran|
|Bahai Faith||Bahai, Azali8||Abrahamic||Babism ← Shia Islam||Bab (Babism) / Baha'ullah (Bahai Faith)||1863||Iran||7.5m||Iran + 8 worldwide temples on map|
|Hinduism||Shaivism, Viashnavism, Shaktism, others...||Dharmic||Brahmanism ← Vedic religion||?||as early as 1500 BC||India||1,100m||South Asia, worldwide|
|Jainism||Digambara, Svetambara||Dharmic||Shramana tradition ← Vedic religion||Mahavira||570 BC||India||6m||India|
|Buddhism||Theravada||Dharmic||Early Buddhism ← Shramana tradition||Gautama Buddha||532 BC (Early Buddhism) / 250 (School)||India||120m||South East Asia|
|Mahayana||Dharmic||Theravada Buddhism ← Early Buddhism||?||c.100||India||185m||East Asia|
|Vajrayana||Dharmic||Mahayana Buddhism ← Theravada Buddhism||?||c.500||India||6m||East Asia|
|Sikhism||-||Dharmic||Hinduism ← Brahmanism||Guru Narak||c.1500||India||25m||India|
|East Asian Religions|
|Shenism||-||Taoic, Chinese, Shamanic||= Chinese folk religion||?||?||China||454m||China|
|Taoism||-||Taoic, Chinese||Shenism (Chinese folk religion)||Laozi||550 BC||China||182m||China|
|Confucianism||-||Taoic, Chinese||Shenism (Chinese folk religion)||Confucius||520 BC||China||6m||China|
|Cheondoism||-||Taoic, Korean||Korean folk religion||Cheo Je-u & Son Byeong-hui||early 1900s||Korea||4m||North Korea|
|Sinism||-||Korean, Shamanic||= Korean folk religion||?||?||Korea||15m||North Korea|
|Hoahaoism||-||Dharmic, Vietnamese||Buddhism||Hu???nh Phú S???||1939||Vietnam||1.3m||Vietnam|
|Caodaism||-||Taoic, Vietnamese||Christianity, Taoism, Confucism, Buddhism (syncretic religion)||Ngô V??n Chiêu||1926||Vietnam||4.4m||Vietnam|
|Shintoism||-||Taoic, Japanese, Shamanic||= Japanese folk religion||?||?||Japan||100m||Japan|
|Tenrikyo||-||Taoic, Japanese||Shintoism||Nakayama Miki||1838||Japan||2m||Japan|
|Bön||-||Tibetan, Shamanic||= Tibetan folk religion||Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche||6th century (?)||Tibet||0.1m||Tibet|
|Tengrism||-||Altaic, Shamanic||= Turkic & Mongolic folk religion||?||?||Central & North Asia||0.5m||China, Russia|
|Neopaganism||various9||= Revival of extinct pagan religions||various||c.18/19th century||>1m||Map shows Asatru temple in Iceland|
|Animism||(thousands of religions)||232m||worldwide|
1: Samaritanism is historically a distinct branch of Judaism that differs from mainstream Judaism (Pharisaic/Rabbinic) and is often seen as a separate religion today.
2: Protestant denominations include Lutheranism, Calvinism, Anabaptism, Baptism, Anglicanism, Methodism, Pentecostalism, Presbyterianism, Congregationalism, and many more.
3: The Ahmadiyyas refers to themselves as Muslim, but are often seen as heretic by other Muslims (including the Pakistani census).
4: These religions often dissimulate as sects of Shia Islam to avoid persecution, but probably have non-Islamic roots.
5: Druzism split from Ismailism, a sect of Shia Islam, and is now mostly seen as a separate, non-Islamic religion.
6: Besides Shia Islam, Druzism incorporates elements of Gnosticism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Neoplatonism, Pythagoreanism, and other philosophies. 7: Yezidism is usually seen as non-Islamic but may dissimulate as Sunni Islam to avoid persecution.
8: The Azali Faith is a separate but related religion with considerably fewer followers than the Bahai Faith. Both the Azali faith and the Bahai faith derive from Babism.
9: e.g. Asatru (Germanic neopaganism), Rodnovery (Slavic neopaganism), Olympianism (Greek neopaganism), Kemetism (Egyptian neopaganism), Zuism (Sumerian neopaganism)
If you find this interesting you may also like this family tree of religions.