Religion is an important component of the spiritual life of humanity, are largely determined by the formation of attitudes and value systems of individual nations, but also affects the political and socio-economic situation of entire countries and regions.
most widespread and influential religions in the world are Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. They are called world religions. Besides the world have a national religion, which are ethnically defined nations (Hinduism, Judaism, Shintoism, etc.).
most numerous on the number of believers is Christianity, there are 2 thousand years. Christian faith professes almost a third of the world's population, mostly in Europe, America and Australia. Christianity is divided into three streams: Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. Now 60% of all Christians of the world - Catholics. Single center of the Catholic Church is the Vatican, where the constant residence of the head of the church - the pope.
Orthodoxy - for Christianity, which issued after the separation of churches in 1054. In the Orthodox faith, no single center, however, there are autocephalous national churches headed by patriarchs.
Among followers of Protestantism, there are: Lutherans, Anglicans, Baptists, Adventists, Mormons, etc.
second largest number of believers and the youngest world religion - Islam is also not uniform. Devotees of Islam (Muslims) are divided into Sunnis and Shiites. Sunnis, in contrast to the Shiites, along with the Koran - the sacred book of Islam - the source of faith believe the Sunnah - the sacred scripture of the prophet Muhammad.
third of the number of believers world religion - Buddhism unites supporters of the narrow path (Hinayana) and admirers of the Long Way (Mahayana).
The largest by number of adherents among religions is Hinduism. It exists more than 5,000 years and acknowledges polytheism. Among the major Hindu gods - Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Kali.
Judaism originated in Palestine 4 thousand years ago. Jews believe in one God, indicated by the great prophets in their own revelations. At one time, this belief gave rise to Christianity and Islam.
Chinese is the national religion, Confucianism and Taoism. The ancient nature worship and ancestor of the Japanese took shape in modern Shinto.
traditional local beliefs, the so-called primitive religion professed by the aborigines of Australia, the separate tribes of Asia and Africa, American Indians, the peoples of northern Russia.