World Religion Facts
Adults might think that "kids" aren't interested in religion-but you know that's not the case! You know that, as a young adult, you're trying to figure out who you are, what's important to you, and how you want to live your life. If part of your identity search leads you to questions such as: What does this life really mean? Is truth really out there? Why are we here?...then this section is for you!
We think the search for a deeper meaning in life-whether it is for religion, or truth, or justice-is worthwhile. And we think the Web is a great source for information. But we're not stupid. We know that many hate groups and cults are out there recruiting like crazy for new members-and we know that they're trying to use the Web to attract us. A lot of the information such groups put on the Web is manipulative and distorted. So we wanted to put honest, impartial information out there. This site gives an overview of the major religious traditions and spiritual styles of the world, so that you have a chance to make a sound decision about what you believe. We also offer links to great, credible sites where you can find more information if you're interested.
If you already know what you believe, that's great! We welcome you to use this site to deepen you understanding of your own tradition, as well as to learn a bit about other world religions. We believe that there is too much violence and hate in this world today-did you know that war and internal conflict forced 50 million people to flee their homes in the 1990s?!??! (source: Human Development Report 2000) In the face of such staggering injustice, we believe that religions today should be coming together to promote peace, rather than division and bloody conflict. We hope that this site will encourage all people of faith, from every tradition, to work together against the destructive and divisive forces in our world...May you find what you are looking for.
World Religion Estimates*
*It's always important to question how statistical information is gathered. For example, according to the Information Please Almanac, few religions aside from Christianity keep statistical records-and even within Christianity, Protestants and Catholics use different criteria to determine membership. In addition, in China the same person might consider him or herself a Confucian, a Toaist, and a Buddhist.
Most statistics have what's called a skew-that is, each study has a particular bias, and a particular way of arranging and presenting data. Whenever you see a statistic, you must ask yourself, "Who performed this study? How did they perform the study, and how are they arranging the data?" That way you can determine the study's skew. You do not have to dismiss a study because of its skew; the study can still be valid. It is, however, important to think critically-that is, objectively and "looking at the big picture", so to speak- about every study, so that you don't get taken in by figures that are seriously manipulated and skewed.
2012 Center for Youth Studies