The Buddha, Laozi, and Confucius in a Ming dynasty painting
"Three laughs at Tiger Brook", a Song dynasty (12th century) painting portraying three men representing Confucianism, Taoism (Daoism), and Buddhism laughing together.
Religious symbols from left to right, top to bottom: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, the Baháʼí Faith, Eckankar, Sikhism, Jainism, Wicca, Unitarian Universalism, Shinto, Taoism, Thelema, Tenrikyo, and Zoroastrianism
Budazhap Shiretorov (Будажап Цыреторов), the head shaman of the religious community Altan Serge (Алтан Сэргэ) in Buryatia.
The Yazılıkaya sanctuary in Turkey, with the twelve gods of the underworld
A map of major denominations and religions of the world
The patriarch Abraham (by József Molnár)
The Torah is the primary sacred text of Judaism.
Jesus is the central figure of Christianity.
Muslims circumambulating the Kaaba, the most sacred site in Islam
The Baháʼí Lotus Temple in Delhi
The Temple of Heaven, a Taoist temple complex in Beijing
Folk depiction of Ganesha in Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, Udaipur, India
Depiction of Lord Vishnu
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple houses the Padmanabhaswamy Temple treasure.
The 10th century Gommateshwara statue in Karnataka
Wat Mixay Buddhist shrine in Vientiane, Laos
An 1840 miniature of Guru Nanak
Chickasaw Native cultural/religious dancing
Peyotists with their ceremonial tools
Altay shaman in Siberia
Temple to the city god of Wenao in Magong, Taiwan
Shango, the Orisha of fire, lightning, and thunder, in the Yoruba religion, depicted on horseback
Sacred flame at the Ateshgah of Baku
Ranjit Singh established secular rule over Punjab in the early 19th century.
Average income correlates negatively with (self-defined) religiosity.

Usually defined as a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that generally relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.

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Village Feast. Facsimile of a woodcut of the Sandrin ou Verd Galant, facetious work end of 16th century (edition of 1609)
Procession in Honor of Isis depiction of the Egyptian Navigium Isidis festival by Frederick Arthur Bridgman (1903)
A Festival at Antwerp, Belgium, 17th century
Country Festival in Swabia

A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect of that community and its religion or cultures.


Dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; is considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspires awe or reverence among believers.

Kobayashi Eitaku painting showing the god Izanagi (right) and Izanami, a goddess of creation and death in Japanese mythology.

French sociologist Émile Durkheim considered the dichotomy between the sacred and the profane to be the central characteristic of religion: "religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden."


Supernatural being who is considered divine or sacred.

Kobayashi Eitaku painting showing the god Izanagi (right) and Izanami, a goddess of creation and death in Japanese mythology.
Pantheists believe that the universe itself and everything in it forms a single, all-encompassing deity.
Statuette of a nude, corpulent, seated woman flanked by two felines from Çatalhöyük, dating to c. undefined 6000 BCE, thought by most archaeologists to represent a goddess of some kind.
Yoruba deity from Nigeria
Egyptian tomb painting showing the gods Osiris, Anubis, and Horus, who are among the major deities in ancient Egyptian religion.
A 4th century BC drachm (quarter shekel) coin from the Persian province of Yehud Medinata, possibly representing Yahweh seated on a winged and wheeled sun-throne.
The Kirkby Stephen Stone, discovered in Kirkby Stephen, England, depicts a bound figure, who some have theorized may be the Germanic god Loki.
Vellamo, the goddess of water in Finnish mythology, pictured as a mermaid in the coat of arms of Päijänne Tavastia.
4th-century Roman sarcophagus depicting the creation of man by Prometheus, with major Roman deities Jupiter, Neptune, Mercury, Juno, Apollo, Vulcan watching.
The zoomorphic feathered serpent deity (Kukulkan, Quetzalcoatl)
Deities of Polynesia carved from wood (bottom two are demons)
Holy Trinity (1756–1758) by Szymon Czechowicz, showing God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit, all of whom are revered in Christianity as a single deity.
The tetragrammaton in Phoenician (12th century BCE to 150 BCE), Paleo-Hebrew (10th century BCE to 135 CE), and square Hebrew (3rd century BCE to present) scripts.
Padmavati, a Jain guardian deity
Investiture of Sassanid emperor Shapur II (center) with Mithra (left) and Ahura Mazda (right) at Taq-e Bostan, Iran
The Greek philosopher Democritus argued that belief in deities arose when humans observed natural phenomena such as lightning and attributed such phenomena to supernatural beings.

Monotheistic religions accept only one deity (predominantly referred to as "God"), whereas polytheistic religions accept multiple deities.

Sacred space

Deemed to be sacred or hallowed.

Kobayashi Eitaku painting showing the god Izanagi (right) and Izanami, a goddess of creation and death in Japanese mythology.

One or more religions may consider sacred locations to be of special significance.


Several terms redirect here.

Peasant funeral in the Mam Turk mountains of Connemara, Ireland, 1870
Funeral of Indian Syro-Malabar Catholic, Venerable Varghese Payyappilly Palakkappilly on 6 October 1929.
A Hindu cremation rite in Nepal. The samskara above shows the body wrapped in saffron red on a pyre.
1779 Algerian funerals
Equipment for washing and preparing bodies at Afaq khoja] Mosque, Kashgar.]
The lying in state of a body (prothesis) attended by family members, with the women ritually tearing their hair (Attic, latter 6th century BCE)
Funeral with flowers on marble
Tomb of the Scipios, in use from the 3rd century BCE to the 1st century CE
A western-style funeral motorcade for a member of a high-ranking military family in South Korea.
The tombstone of Yossele the Holy Miser. According to Jewish bereavement tradition, the dozens of stones on his tombstone mark respect for the Holy Miser.
Traditional flower arrangement for funeral (Denmark)
Funeral for a child, 1920
Beethoven's funeral as depicted by Franz Xaver Stöber.
John Everett Millais – The Vale of Rest
Medieval depiction of a royal body being laid in a coffin.
Order of exercises, local memorial service in Nashua, New Hampshire for U.S. President William McKinley on September 19, 1901, shortly after his assassination.
A funeral parade of Marshal Mannerheim in Helsinki, Finland, on February 4, 1951. Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral on the background.
The burial of a bird
Photograph (1871–2) of a Toda green funeral.
Traditional "crossed-ladders" for a fire department funeral
Funeral procession in Beijing, 1900
A traditional armband indicating seniority and lineage in relation to the deceased, a common practice in South Korea.
Sudangee or last offices being performed on a dead person, illustration from 1867
Yukgaejang is a spicy soup with a beef and vegetables in it. It is a Korean traditional food and served during funerals.
Soju is a Korean vodka and it is served during funerals.
Funerary dance ritual. A blacksmith carries the dressed body. Kapsiki people, North Cameroon.
Terracotta warriors of Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum.
Ming Tomb in Beijing, China.

Customs vary between cultures and religious groups.

Religious organization

Religious activities generally need some infrastructure to be conducted.

A Muslim organization in Johor, Malaysia.

Some countries run the activities of one or more religions as part of their government, or as external organizations closely supported by the government.


Invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication.

Praying Hands by Albrecht Dürer
A kneeling position with raised hands expressed "supplication" in classical antiquity. The word for "prayer" and for "supplication" is identical in ancient languages (oratio, προσευχή, תְּפִלָּה etc.), with no terminological distinction between supplications addressed to human as opposed to divine powers.
Statuette known as "Praying German" or "supplicating barbarian". It is not known if this figure was originally set in a context of religious prayer or of military surrender.
The valkyrie Sigrdrífa says a pagan Norse prayer in Sigrdrífumál; illustration by Arthur Rackham
Old woman praying by Théophile Lybaert
David Prays for Deliverance, 1860 woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Karolsfeld
Captain Samuel Cass, a rabbi, conducting the first prayer service celebrated on German territory by Jewish personnel of the First Canadian Army near Cleve, Germany, 18 March 1945
Orthodox Jewish men praying in Jerusalem's Western Wall
Jesus praying in Gethsemane. Depicted by Heinrich Hofmann
Muslims in prostration at the Umayyad Mosque in Syria
Buddhists praying with incense at Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand
Shakta Hindus in Dhaka, Bangladesh, pray to the goddess during Durga Puja, October 2003
A Sikh holy man, doing Sikh prayer (Ardās)
Many Thelemites recite "Resh" (Liber Resh vel Helios, or "Liber CC") facing the direction of the ever-present sun as it rises in the East, triumphs in the (northern-hemisphere) South, sets in the West, and "hides" in the North. Image shows a close-up of the Stele of Revealing.
To pray over an individual while laying hands on them is a form of faith healing in Christianity.

Today, most major religions involve prayer in one way or another; some ritualize the act, requiring a strict sequence of actions or placing a restriction on who is permitted to pray, while others teach that prayer may be practised spontaneously by anyone at any time.


An Eastern Christian icon depicting Emperor Constantine and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Various depictions of Jesus
Crucifixion, representing the death of Jesus on the Cross, painting by Diego Velázquez, c. 1632.
The Law and the Gospel by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1529); Moses and Elijah point the sinner to Jesus for salvation.
The Trinity is the belief that God is one God in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
Midnight Mass at a Catholic parish church in Woodside, New York City, U.S.
Show on the life of Jesus at Igreja da Cidade in São José dos Campos, affiliated to the Brazilian Baptist Convention.
An early circular ichthys symbol, created by combining the Greek letters ΙΧΘΥΣ into a wheel, Ephesus, Asia Minor.
The Bible is the sacred book in Christianity.
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, the largest church in the world and a symbol of the Catholic Church.
The 7th-century Khor Virap monastery in the shadow of Mount Ararat; Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as the state religion, in AD 301.
The Monastery of St. Matthew, located atop Mount Alfaf in northern Iraq, is recognized as one of the oldest Christian monasteries in existence.
Kadisha Valley, Lebanon, home to some of the earliest Christian monasteries in the world.
Christendom by A.D. 600 after its spread to Africa and Europe from the Middle East.
An example of Byzantine pictorial art, the Deësis mosaic at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont, where he preached the First Crusade. Illustration by Jean Colombe from a copy of the Passages d'outremer, c. 1490.
Martin Luther initiated the Reformation with his Ninety-five Theses in 1517.
Michelangelo's 1498–99 Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica; the Catholic Church was among the patronages of the Renaissance.
A depiction of Madonna and Child in a 19th-century Kakure Kirishitan Japanese woodcut.
A Christian procession in Brazil, the country with the largest Catholic population in the world.
Trinity Sunday in Russia; the Russian Orthodox Church has experienced a great revival since the fall of communism.
The global distribution of Christians: Countries colored a darker shade have a higher proportion of Christians.
Pope Francis, the current leader of the Catholic Church.
St. George's Cathedral in Istanbul: It has been the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople whose leader is regarded as the primus inter pares in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, the seat of the Ethiopian Orthodox.
A 6th-century Nestorian church, St. John the Arab, in the Assyrian village of Geramon in Hakkari, southeastern Turkey.
Saint Mary Church; an ancient Assyrian church located in the city of Urmia, Iran.
A 19th-century drawing of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery receiving the Aaronic priesthood from John the Baptist. Latter Day Saints believe that the Priesthood ceased to exist after the death of the apostles and therefore needed to be restored.
Unitarian Church of Transylvania in Cluj-Napoca.
A copy of the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas, a famous Christian apologetic work.
Christians fleeing their homes in the Ottoman Empire, circa 1922. Many Christians were persecuted and/or killed during the Armenian genocide, Greek genocide, and Assyrian genocide.
Countries with 50% or more Christians are colored purple; countries with 10% to 50% Christians are colored pink
Nations with Christianity as their state religion are in blue
Distribution of Catholics
Distribution of Protestants
Distribution of Eastern Orthodox
Distribution of Oriental Orthodox
Distribution of other Christians
Links between interdenominational movements and other developments within Protestantism
Historical chart of the main Protestant branches

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.


Fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the whole of the individual's or society's knowledge and point of view.

Religious practices will tie closely to a religion's worldview.
Some religious symbols in clock-wise order from top: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baháʼí Faith, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Slavic neopaganism, Celtic polytheism, Heathenism (Germanic paganism), Semitic neopaganism, Wicca, Kemetism (Egyptian paganism), Hellenism (Greek paganism), Italo-Roman neopaganism.
The linguistic map of the world (as seen here, as at October 2019) does not correspond precisely to the worldviews of the world.
In terror management theory, one's worldview helps to alleviate the anxiety caused by awareness of one's own mortality.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is an ancient Mesopotamian epic poem that is often regarded as the earliest surviving great work of literature and the second oldest religious text.

A religion is a system of behaviors and practices, that relate to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements, but the precise definition is debated.


Nonreligious population by country, 2010.

Irreligion or nonreligion is the absence or rejection of religion, or indifference to it.