How Many Religions Are There in India?

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India is home to at least nine recognized religions. The major religions practiced in India are Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. Zoroastrianism, Judaism and the Baha’i Faith are also practiced in India.

India is considered the birthplace of some of the world’s major religions. Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism originated in India, and the largest number of people that follow Zoroastrianism and Baha’i faith are found in India, although these religions do not have Indian roots. India has the third largest population of Muslims in the world. Hinduism is considered one of the oldest religions in the world, and there is evidence that it existed during prehistoric times. Islam came to India in the 7th century, but only after the Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent did it become a major religion. The exact origins of Christianity in India are unclear, but it was an established religion by the third century AD. The Christian population includes Catholics, Protestants and Oriental Orthodox Christians. Jews arrived in the city of Kochi in 562 BCE, and more followed in the year 70 CE as exiles from Israel. Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism, and he preached universal brotherhood irrespective of caste, color or religion.