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An update from Evaneos
India

Learn more about religions in India

In India, religious influences can be seen in the streets, via buildings and their architecture, but you can also find numerous sculptures and paintings.

A wide religious diversity

Four religions arose from India: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. As well as Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism which have coexisted for many years.

According to a census from 2001, the majority of the population (80%) is Hindu, which amounts to 827 million believers. Next come the Muslims (14%), Christians (@%), Sikhs and then Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Jews and Jains.

Hinduism is a bit like the backbone of Indian culture. The religion is based on a series of renaissances and reincarnations which end with the salvation of the sole called Moksha. Having a good karma or doing good deeds can lead to the release of this cycle.

The 500 million followers of Islam, the religion of the Prophet Muhammed based on the Quran, makes India one of the biggest Muslim nations in the the world.

Zoroastrianism is one of the main religions to believe in only a single God, omnipotent and invisible. Dead persons are left in silent towers.

Jainism has similarities with Hinduism, particularly with the presence of Moksha, which is obtained by vowing to non-violence and by complete respect of all aspects of life.

Sikhism is a mix between Hinduism and Islam. The religion believes in a unique God and opposes idolatry. A significant aspect of their religion is not cutting your hair and putting it in a turban.

Temple in honour of Ganesha

An officially secular country

The country's constitution makes India a secular country, which prohibits religious discrimination and calls for freedom of belief. But in Indian civil law, certain religions are applied such as the Sharia and Hindu law. Religious life is very important in social life in India, and although Indians are generally tolerant with regard to other people's faiths, inter-religious marriages are rare and community tensions, mainly between Hindus and Muslims, continue to cause riots and sometimes even deaths. In 2003, an Islamist group dropped a bomb in the centre of Bombay and killed around fifty people. The last attacks date back to 2006, when a triple bombing killed 23 people in Benares, a holy Hindu city. All to be taken into account with all trips to India.

Marie Foucaut
46 contributions
Updated 19 November 2015
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