There’s no escaping religion. It has enormous societal, cultural, political and historical implications. It’s been blamed for wars and praised for bringing people together. But it is practiced in some form across the world by billions of people every day. Even the atheists have to get in on the act. Washington hosted tens of thousands of people as they descended on the National Mall for the Reason Rally, which was billed as the largest gathering of atheists in history.
The goal of the Reason Rally was to showcase the presence and power of the nonreligious voting bloc, and to demand that reason be put at the forefront of our public and political discourse. The rally excites and empowers attendees about that message so they take it back home and apply it at the local and state levels.
Getting a group of atheists together is a lot like herding cats… so the rally also serves to celebrate secular, atheist, agnostic, humanist, freethinking, and nonreligious identities with speakers, bands, entertainment, and political leaders.
So what are the world’s major believing and non-believing constituencies?
Below are estimates of the world religions based on the best data available. Click the infographic below to see a larger, more legible version.
Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Adherents.com, and Wikipedia.org
Caitlin Orr and Richard Johnson / National Post