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Religions in India

India is a country where religious diversity and religious tolerance is established in both law and custom. Throughout the history of India, religion has been an important part of the country's culture. India is the birth place of four of the world's major religious traditions; namely Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.  A vast majority of Indians associate themselves with a religion.

By the time of the Maurya Empire, India had two philosophical streams of thought, the Shramana religions and the Vedic religion, parallel traditions that have existed side by side for thousands of years. Buddhism and Jainism are continuations of Shramana traditions, while modern Hinduism is a continuation of the Vedic tradition. These co-existing traditions have been mutually influential.

Zoroastrianism and Judaism also have an ancient history in India and each has several thousand Indian adherents. India has the largest population of people adhering to Zoroastrianism and Bahá'í Faith. Bahá'ís make up 0.2% of the Indian population

The Constitution of India declares the nation to be a secular republic that must uphold the right of citizens to freely worship and propagate any religion or faith (with activities subject to reasonable restrictions for the sake of morality, law and order, etc.). The Constitution of India also declares the right to freedom of religion as a fundamental right.

As a result, many temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras, etc. have been constructed over the long period and have become popular destinations to the tourists of all religions from all over the world.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 August 2010 17:21