Hinduism, Third Largest Religion in World, Hindus
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The World's Third Largest Religion

The World's Third Largest Religion!

Hinduism differs from Christianity and other Western religions in that it does not have a single founder, a specific theological system, a single system of morality, or a central religious organization. It consists of thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE.



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Shiva, Hinduism, Largest Religion, Popular Religion, Lord Shiva, Hindu Gods
Lord Shiva; Popular God of Hinduism

Lord Ganesh, Hinduism Gods, Elephant God of Hinduism, Popular Religions, Ganesh
Lord Ganesh; Popular God of Hinduism

Hinduism has grown to become the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam.  It claims about 837 million followers - 13% of the world's population.  It is the dominant religion in India, Nepal, and among the Tamils in Sri Lanka.  According to the "Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches," there are about 1.1 million Hindus in the U.S.  The "American Religious Identification Survey" is believed to be more accurate.  They estimated smaller number: 766,000 Hindus in 2001. Still, this is a very significant increase from 227,000 in 1990.  Statistics Canada estimates that there are about 157,015 Hindus in Canada.

Ganesh, Lord Ganesh, Elephant God, Religion, Largest Religion
Lord Ganesh; Popular God of Hinduism

Lord Vishnu, Vishnu, Religious Gods, Popular Religions, Statues of Gods
Lord Vishnu; Popular God of Hinduism

Hinduism is generally regarded as the world's oldest organized religion.  Most forms of Hinduism are henotheistic religions.  They recognize a single deity, and view other Gods and Goddesses as manifestations or aspects of that supreme God.  Henotheistic and polytheistic religions have traditionally been among the world's most religiously tolerant faiths.  However, until recently, a Hindu nationalistic political party controlled the government of India.  The linkage of religion, the national government, and nationalism led to a degeneration of the separation of church and state in India.  This, in turn, has decreased the level of religious tolerance in that country.  The escalation of anti-Christian violence was one manifestation of this linkage. 



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