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Religion today influences and forms some of the most sacred, essential values commonly shared across the globe. In cultures that exist all over the world, it is the forms one of the most dominant institutions of society. For many, it explains individual suffering and social virtues, helping people find the meaning and purpose of life.

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The collective message of all religions, which is social welfare, is another aspect of why religious beliefs can be very important to the world that strives to move towards more equity and harmony. Although there are many beliefs and rituals that influence religious practice across the globe, the most followed include Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Here’s a look at how powerful each of these religions is and what their beliefs and history mainly entails.

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Christianity

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The most powerful religion in the world is Christianity with 2.4 billion adherents. This religion is followed by 33% of the world’s population which is bigger than any other number on this list. Christian beliefs, though slightly varied mostly among three main sects, believe in the father, the son and the Holy Spirit as one God or the Holy Trinity.  These sects are mainly Protestantism, Catholic Christianity and Orthodox Christianity.

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Islam

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Islam is the second most powerful religion in the world with adherents of 1.8 billion. It is also the fastest growing religion despite being relatively newer to religions like Christianity and Judaism. The religion Islam believes in one sovereign God with Muhammad(PBUH) as His last Prophet. The teachings of Islam come from the Quran, the holy scripture of Islam. The adherents of Islam comprise 24.1% of the world’s population.

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Hinduism

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With 1.15 billion adherents all over the world who make 15% of the world’s population. While Hinduism has multiple deities whose importance can vary from person to person, most Hindus believe that Brahma is the Creator, Vishnu is the preserver and Shiva or Maheshwar is the destroyer. The goal of the religion is to break the cycle of life and death which can be attained through “moksha” or salvation.

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Buddhism

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Buddism has 521 million adherents in the world which compromise 7% of the world’s population. The founder of the religion was Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, who was the son of Śuddhodana, the King of Shakya. He raised his son in a sheltered life of luxury which Buddha rejected after seeing the harsh realities of life. The prince started a spiritual journey renouncing worldly pleasures and fasting to elevate his mind. His later life comprised of teaching the world the importance of self-discipline and how to enlighten one’s mind which continues to inspire the world to date.

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