List Of Religions And Spiritual Traditions

This article covers the list of religions and spiritual traditions.

While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, defined it as a

[…] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.”

A critique of the Indian model by Talal Asad categorized religion as “an anthropological category.” Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions, and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc.

The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with “faith” or “belief system“, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviours, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), or religious texts. Certain religions also have a sacred language often used in liturgical services. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, the commemoration of the activities of God or godsgoddesses sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, and reincarnation, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.

Some academics studying the subject have divided religions into three broad categories: world religions, a term which refers to transcultural, international faiths; indigenous religions, which refers to smaller, culture-specific, or nation-specific religious groups; and new religious movements, which refers to recently developed faiths. One modern academic theory of religion, social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct. See Myth

Religious traditions fall into super-groups in comparative religion, arranged by historical origin and mutual influence.

Further information: Eastern Religions and Western Religions
See also: Major religious groupsReligious denomination, and History of Religion

Embrace cultural and religious diversity

Embrace cultural and religious diversity

East Asian Religions

The East Asian religions or Taoic religions form a subset of Eastern religions. This group includes Chinese religion overall, which further includes ancestral worship, Chinese folk religion, Confucianism, Taoism and so-called popular salvationist organisations (such as Yiguandao and Weixinism), as well as elements drawn from Mahayana Buddhism that form the core of Chinese Buddhism and East Asian Buddhism at large. The group also includes Japanese Shintoism and Korean Sindoism (both meaning “Ways of Gods” and identifying the indigenous shamanic religion and ancestor worship of such peoples), which have received influences from Chinese religions throughout the centuries. Chinese salvationist religions have influenced the rise of Korean and Japanese new religions—for instance, respectively, Jeungsanism, and Tenriism; these movements draw upon indigenous traditions but are heavily influenced by Chinese philosophy and theology.

All these religious traditions, more or less, share core Chinese concepts of spirituality, divinity and world order, including Tao 道 (“Way”; pinyin dào, Japanese  or , and Korean do) and Tian 天 (“Heaven”; Japanese ten, and Korean cheon).

Main articles: Eastern Philosophy, Chinese philosophy, Japanese Philosophy, and Taoist philosophy

Eastern religions
East Asian Religions



Shinto-inspired religions


  • Way of the Five Pecks of Rice
    • Way of the Celestial Masters
      • Zhengyi Dao
  • Shangqing School
  • Lingbao School
  • Quanzhen School
    • Dragon Gate Taoism
  • Wuliupai (“School of Wu-Liu”)
  • Yao Taoism (a.k.a. “Meishanism”)
  • Faism (a.k.a. “Redhead Taoism”)
  • Xuanxue (a.k.a. “Neo-Taoism”)

Other Religions


  • Manchu shamanism


Religion in China

Chinese philosophy schools

Hand Candle Diwali Festival Of Lights Hinduism

Diwali Festival Of Lights

Indian religions

Indian religions, sometimes also termed as Dharmic faiths or Dharmic religions (Dharma), are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent; namely Hinduism (2 schools Vedanta and Yoga, and 7 denominations Ayyavazhi, Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, Smartism, and Śrauta), Jainism (Digambara, Śvētāmbara), Buddhism (Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana) and Sikhism. These religions are also all classified as Eastern religions. Although Indian religions are connected throughout the history of India, they constitute a wide range of religious communities and are not confined to the Indian subcontinent.

Main articles: Eastern PhilosophyIndian Philosophy, Jain Philosophy, Buddhist PhilosophyYoga Philosophyand Hindu Philosophy
See also: Indian religions and Religion in India


Schools of Buddhism

  • Mahayana
  • Nikaya Buddhism (incorrectly called “Hinayana”)
    • Humanistic Buddhism 
    • Theravada
      • Sangharaj Nikaya (Bangladesh)
      • Mahasthabir Nikaya (Bangladesh)
      • Dwara Nikaya (Burma)
      • Shwegyin Nikaya (Burma)
      • Thudhamma Nikaya (Burma)
        • Vipassana tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw and disciples
      • Amarapura Nikaya (Sri Lanka)
      • Ramañña Nikaya (Sri Lanka)
      • Siam Nikaya (Sri Lanka)
      • Dhammayuttika Nikaya (Thailand)
        • Thai Forest Tradition
          • Ajahn Chah
      • Maha Nikaya (Thailand)
        • Dhammakaya Movement
  • Vajrayana
    • Chinese Esoteric Buddhism
    • Newar Buddhism (Nepal)
    • Indonesian Esoteric Buddhism
    • Shingon Buddhism
    • Tantric Theravada
    • Tendai Buddhism
    • Tibetan Buddhism
      • Bon (Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal)
      • Gelug
      • Kagyu
        • Dagpo Kagyu
          • Karma Kagyu
          • Barom Kagyu
          • Drukpa Lineage
        • Shangpa Kagyu
      • Nyingma
      • Sakya
      • Jonang
      • Bodongpa
  • Navayana (Neo-Buddhism or Ambedkarite Buddhism)
  • Kirat Mundhum (Nepal)

New Buddhist movements

  • Secular Buddhism
  • Vipassana movement
  • Shambhala Buddhism
  • Diamond Way Buddhism
  • Triratna Buddhist Community
  • New Kadampa Tradition
  • Share International
  • True Buddha School
    • Nipponzan-Myōhōji-Daisanga
  • Hòa Hảo

Global variants of Buddhism

Guru Nanak founded Sikhism. Guru Nanak founded Sikhism.


Sikhs and Sikhism
Sects of Sikhism

  • Khalistan movement
  • Singh Sabha Movement
  • Akhand Kirtani Jatha (AKJ)
  • Amritdhari Sikh
  • Brahm Bunga Trust (Dodra)
  • Bhaniara Bhavsagar
  • Bhindrawale Jatha
  • Damdami Taksal (DDT)
  • Haripagni
  • Kahna Dhesian
  • Mahant Sikh
  • Minas (Mirharvan)
  • Namdhari Sikh (Kuka)
  • Nanakpanthi
  • Neeldhari Panth
  • Nihang (Akali)
  • Nirankari
  • Nirmala Panth
  • Nirvair Khalsa Daal
  • Non-Denominational Kesdhari
  • Prof. Darshan Singh Khalsa (SGGS Academy)
  • Radhaswami Sikh
  • Ramraiyya (Ram Rai)
  • Ravidassia Dharam
  • Sanatan Sikh Sabha
  • Sant Mat Movement
  • Sant Nirankari Mission
  • Sehejdhari Daal
  • Sikh Dharma International (SDI)
  • Sindhi Sikhi
  • Tapoban Tat-Gurmat
  • Udasi Sikh


Hindu denominations

  • Hindu Atheism 
  • Ayyavazhi
  • Brahmanism (Brahman)
  • Shaivism
    • Aghori
    • Indonesian Shaivism
    • Kapalika
    • Kashmir Shaivism
    • Kaumaram
    • Nath
      • Adinath Sampradaya
      • Inchegeri Sampradaya
    • Pashupata Shaivism
    • Shaiva Siddhanta
    • Veerashaivism (Lingayatism)
  • Shaktism
    • Kalikula
    • Srikula
  • Smartism
  • Śrauta
  • Tantrism
    • Baul
    • Kaula
  • Vaishnavism
    • Brahma Sampradaya
    • Ekasarana Dharma
    • Kapadi Sampradaya
    • Mahanubhava
    • Nimbarka Sampradaya
    • Pranami Sampraday
    • Rudra Sampradaya
      • Pushtimarg
      • Charan Dasi
    • Sri Vaishnavism
      • Ramanandi Sampradaya
      • Swaminarayan Sampraday
        • Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS)
        • International Swaminarayan Satsang Mandal (ISSM)
        • International Swaminarayan Satsang Organisation (ISSO)
        • Narnarayan Dev Yuvak Mandal (NNDYM)
      • Thenkalais
        • Manavala Mamunigal Sabha
      • Vadakalais
        • Munitraya Sampradayam
    • Varkari

Bhakti movements

Bhakti movement

Contemporary Sant Mat movements

Contemporary Sant Mat movements

  • Sant Mat
    • Advait Mat
    • Dadupanth
    • Kabir Panth
    • Nanak Panth
    • Radha Soami
      • Radha Soami Satsang Beas
      • Radha Swami Satsang, Dinod
    • Ravidassia
    • Sadh
      • Divine Light Mission


Hindu reform movements

  • Adi Dharm/Brahmoism
    • Brahmo Samaj
  • Ananda Marga
  • Arya Samaj
  • Chinmaya Mission
  • Hindutva
  • Mahima Dharma
  • Matua Mahasangha
  • Ramakrishna Mission
  • Satsang
  • Satya Dharma
  • Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Hindu philosophy major schools and movements

Hindu philosophy

Nepalese religions

  • Bön (Tibet / Nepal)
  • Kirat Mundhum
  • Newar Buddhism
  • Yumaism

Nāstik (Heterodox Indian)

Āstika and Nāstika


Jain schools and branches

  • Digambara
      • Bispanthi
      • Digambar Terapanth
      • Kanji Panth
    • Taran Panth
  • Śvētāmbara
    • Murtipujaka
    • Sthānakavāsī
    • Svetambar Terapanth
Abrahamic religions

Abrahamic religions: A mosque, a church, and a synagogue together in Istanbul.

Middle Eastern Religions

Middle Eastern religions originated in the Middle East; namely Abrahamic religions (JudaismChristianity, and Islam) and Iranic religions. Smaller minority religions, such as the Bahá’í FaithDruze, NusairismManichaeism, SabianismBábismYazidismMandaeismGnosticismYarsanismSamaritanismShabakismIshikismAli-Illahism, Alevism, Yazdânism and Zoroastrianism are also present in the Middle East.

Main articles: Christian Philosophy, Jewish Philosophy, and Islamic Philosophy
See also: Western Religions and Western philosophy


Eastern Christianity

Western Christianity


Nontrinitarian denominational families

Traditional Christian groups
Modern Christian groups



Shia Islam

  • Isma’ilism
    • Mustaali
      • Atba-i-Malak
        • Atba-i-Malak Badar
        • Atba-i-Malak Vakil
      • Alavi Bohra
      • Dawoodi Bohra
        • Progressive Dawoodi Bohra
      • Hebtiahs Bohra
      • Sulaymani Bohra
    • Nizari
    • Satpanth
  • Twelver
  • Zaidiyyah
  • Khurramites (Historical)


Sunni Islam


  • Ahmadiyya
    • Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam
  • Al-Fatiha Foundation
  • Ali-Illahism
  • Black Muslims
    • American Society of Muslims
    • Five-Percent Nation
    • Moorish Science Temple of America
      • Moorish Orthodox Church of America
    • Nation of Islam
      • United Nation of Islam
  • Din-i Ilahi
  • European Islam
  • Ittifaq al-Muslimin
  • Jadid
  • Jamaat al Muslimeen
  • Liberal movements within Islam
    • Muslim Canadian Congress
      • Canadian Muslim Union
    • Progressive British Muslims
    • Progressive Muslim Union
  • Mahdavia
  • Quranism
    • Tolu-e-Islam
    • United Submitters International
  • Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi
    • Messiah Foundation International
  • Xidaotang
The Star of David (or Magen David), is a generally recognized symbol of modern Jewish identity and Judaism.

The Star of David


See also: Sephardic Judaism
Jewish Religious Movements


Karaite Judaism



Rabbinic Judaism

Main article: Rabbinic Judaism



Historical Judaism




  • Bobo Ashanti
  • Nyabinghi
  • Twelve Tribes of Israel

Black Hebrew Israelites

Main article: Black Hebrew Israelites

  • African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem
  • Church of God and Saints of Christ
  • Commandment Keepers
  • Nation of Yahweh
  • One West Camp
    • Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ
    • Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge





  • Azali
  • Bahá’í Faith
    • Bahá’ís Under the Provisions of the Covenant
    • Orthodox Bahá’í Faith


See also

Kwakwaka'wakw Cedar sisiutl mask.

Kwakwaka’wakw Cedar sisiutl mask.

Indigenous (ethnic, folk) religions

Indigenous religions or Nature Religions consist of the traditional customs and beliefs (Paganism, Animism, Totemism, Shamanism) of particular ethnic groups, refined and expanded upon for thousands of years, often lacking formal doctrine.

Indigenous religions, formerly found on every continent, but now marginalized by the major organized faiths. Despite this, they often persist as undercurrents of folk religion. This category includes African traditional religions, Asian ShamanismNative American religionsMesoamerican ReligionInuit Religion, Austronesian and Australian Aboriginal traditionsEthnic religion, and arguably Chinese folk religion (overlaps with Far Eastern religions).

Indigenous religion is a category used in the study of religion to demarcate the religious belief systems of communities described as being “indigenous“. This category is often juxtaposed against others such as the “world religions” and “new religious movements“. The term is commonly applied to a range of different belief systems across the Americas, Australasia, Asia, Africa, and Northern Europe, particularly to those practiced by communities living under the impact of colonialism.

Main articles: Aztec philosophy and Indigenous American Philosophy


  • Haitian Vodou
  • Hoodoo
  • Louisiana Voodoo
  • Rastafarianism
  • Abakuá
  • Candomblé
    • Candomblé Bantu
    • Candomblé Jejé
    • Candomblé Ketu
  • Comfa
  • Convince
  • Cuban Vodú
  • Dominican Vudú
  • Espiritismo
  • Jamaican Maroon religion
    • Kromanti dance
  • Kélé
  • Kumina
  • Montamentu
  • Myal
  • Obeah
  • Palo
  • Quimbanda
  • Santería
  • Tambor de Mina
  • Trinidad Orisha
  • Umbanda
  • Winti



Uralic (Eurasian)




  • Australian Aboriginal traditions
  • The Dreaming
  • Batak Parmalim
  • Dayak religion
    • Kaharingan
    • Momolianism
  • Javanese Kejawèn
  • Karo Pemena
  • Malaysian folk religion
  • Philippine Dayawism
    • Tagalog beliefs
  • Papuan mythology
  • Polynesian mythology
    • Hawaiian religion
    • Māori religion
  • Sumbese Marapu
  • Sundanese Wiwitan





    • Bon
    • Burmese folk religion
    • Benzhuism
    • Bimoism
    • Bathouism
    • Bongthingism
    • Donyi-Polo
    • Heraka
    • Kiratism
    • Qiang folk religion
    • Sanamahism
Fantasy Robot Girl Emotion Biomechanically

Human robot

New Religious Movements

New religious movements, a heterogeneous group of religious faiths emerging since the nineteenth century, often syncretizing, re-interpreting, or reviving aspects of older traditions such as Western esotericismModern Paganism, Hindu derived religionsNew ethnic religionsEntheogenic religionsNew Thought, some inspired by science-fiction, Political Religions, and Parody religions.

cult is a social group that is defined by its unusual religiousspiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or by its common interest in a particular personality, object, or goal.

Main articles: New Religious Movement and List of new religious movements
See also: Academic Study of New Religious Movements and New Religious Movements: An Overview


New Thought

History of New Thought


Modern Paganism

Earth Religion
Matriarchal Religion
List of Neopagan movements

Ethnic neopaganism

Polytheistic reconstructionism

  • Armenian neopaganism
  • Baltic neopaganism
    • Dievturība
    • Druwi
    • Romuva
  • Caucasian neopaganism
    • Abkhaz neopaganism
      • Council of Priests of Abkhazia
  • Celtic neopaganism
  • Heathenry (a.k.a. Germanic neopaganism)
  • Hellenism
  • Italo-Roman neopaganism
  • Kemetism
    • Kemetic Orthodoxy
  • Semitic neopaganism
  • Slavic neopaganism
    • Native Polish Church
    • Peterburgian Vedism
    • Rodzima Wiara
    • RUNVira (a.k.a. Sylenkoism)
    • Union of Slavic Native Belief Communities
    • Ynglism
  • Uralic neopaganism
    • Estonian neopaganism
    • Finnish neopaganism
    • Hungarian neopaganism
  • Zalmoxianism
  • Zuism

Syncretic neopaganism

  • Adonism
  • Christopaganism
    • Christian Wicca
  • Church of All Worlds
  • Church of Aphrodite
  • Feraferia
  • Goddess movement
  • Huna
  • Ivanovism
  • Neo-Druidism (Druidry)
    • Ár nDraíocht Féin
    • Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids
    • Reformed Druids of North America
  • Neoshamanism
  • Pow-wow
  • Radical Faeries
  • Ringing Cedars’ Anastasianism
  • Summum
  • Technopaganism
  • Wicca
    • British Traditional Wicca
      • Gardnerian Wicca
      • Alexandrian Wicca
      • Central Valley Wicca
      • Algard Wicca
      • Chthonioi Alexandrian Wicca
      • Blue Star Wicca
    • Seax-Wica
    • Universal Eclectic Wicca
    • Celtic Wicca
    • Dianic Wicca
    • Faery Wicca
    • Feri Tradition
    • Georgian Wicca
    • Odyssean Wicca
    • Wiccan church


  • Church of the Universe
  • Neo-American Church
  • Santo Daime
  • Temple of the True Inner Light
  • Tensegrity
  • THC Ministry
  • União do Vegetal

Western esotericism

New ethnic religions


  • Ausar Auset Society
  • Black Hebrew Israelites
    • Church of God and Saints of Christ
    • Commandment Keepers
    • Nation of Yahweh
    • One West Camp
      • Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ
      • Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge
  • Dini Ya Msambwa
  • Five-Percent Nation
  • Kemetism
  • Moorish Science Temple of America
    • Moorish Orthodox Church of America
  • Mumboism
  • Nation of Islam
    • United Nation of Islam
  • Nuwaubian Nation


  • Ariosophy
  • Black Order
  • Christian Identity
  • Creativity
  • Neo-völkisch movements
    • Wotansvolk
  • Order of Nine Angles
  • Thule Society

Native American


Cargo cults

  • John Frum
  • Johnson cult
  • Prince Philip Movement
  • Vailala Madness

New Age movement

Other new religions

Post-theistic and naturalistic religions

Religious naturalism

UFO religions

  • Aetherius Society
  • Heaven’s Gate
  • Raëlism
  • Scientology
  • Unarius Academy of Science
  • Universe people

New Hindu derived religions

Parody religions

  • Church of Euthanasia
  • Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (a.k.a. “Pastafarianism”)
  • Church of the SubGenius
  • Dinkoism
  • Discordianism
  • Dudeism
  • Iglesia Maradoniana
  • Invisible Pink Unicorn
  • Jediism
  • Kibology
  • Kopimism
  • Landover Baptist Church
  • Last Thursdayism
  • Pataphysics
  • Sillinism (Aerican Empire)
  • Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
  • Dogeism
  • The church of Volgograd
  • Aghori
  • Shrekism
  • Satanicism
  • The Church of Molossia

Political Religions

Secular Religion

Mountain of Gods, Nemrut- turkey

Mountain of Gods, Nemrut- turkey

Historical Religions

Historical religions of the ancient world shared many of the same patterns with each other even though the cultures may never have had any contact with each other. Such as Prehistoric religionAncient Egyptian ReligionAncient Mesopotamian ReligionBrahmanismReligion in pre-Islamic ArabiaInca mythology, ancient Greece and Rome, and their Hellenistic descendants.

Religious history begins with the invention of writing about 5,200 years ago (3200 BCE). The prehistory of religion involves the study of religious beliefs that existed prior to the advent of written records.

Bronze Age

Classical antiquity

Other religions

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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