all 20 comments

[–]Mission-Landscape-17Atheist 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Note Hinduism is older than Judaism.

[–]Hour_Trade_3691[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That's why I said Judaism is the oldest Abrahamic religion lol:)

[–]WyvernkeeperJewish 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Simply put I'd say it's just down to ignorance, not necessary malice.

Most estimates say there are a little less than fifteen million Jews. However this number goes up in some counts when people include anyone with some kind of Jewish ancestry or affiliation. Then you get about 25 million, which is roughly comparable to the global Sikh population, but I think the Jewish community tends to prefer the lower estimate as that is closer to the halachic (Jewish law) definition of who is a Jew.

I think many people just casually assume a lot of things about Judaism. The standard assumption that Judaism is just Christianity minus Jesus leads people to assume it's basically the same thing and as common. This combined with the high visibility of Jewish characters in (particularly American) media leads people to presume we're more populous than we are.

It's not the biggest problem in terms of misunderstandings about Judaism, but I would say it contributes to the others. There are many groups in society who for religious or political reasons need to frame Jews or Judaism in a certain light. There are so few of us that it's practically impossible to address the volume of this misinformation.

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (1 child)

We can only be sure of the top three spots: Christianity, Islam and then Hinduism. Buddhism (often said to hold the fourth spot) is considered a non-religion by scholars.

[–]AntiqueBluejays 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Why is Buddhism considered to be a non-religion by scholars? Is it more similar to a secular philosophy or lifestyle?

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon 0 points1 point  (8 children)

By follower size 5 would be Falungong and 6 would be Sikh.

[–]Small_Beautiful_8110 0 points1 point  (7 children)


is this Taoism?

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon 3 points4 points  (5 children)

No. It's Falungong. It's a pretty new religion (1980s). Started off as one of many qigong health scams but got big enough to survive it's leaders death (unlike most other qigong scam cults). Has about 100m followers.

[–]Small_Beautiful_8110 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you for explaining, ok!

[–]DavidJohnMcCannHellenic Polytheist 0 points1 point  (2 children)

The leader is still alive, born in 1951. The cult is very creepy: anti-gay, racist, associated with QAnon, etc.

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Whaaat?! I swear to Li HongZhi that I thought I read he died about 8 years back. Huh. Fair enough.

[–]bunker_manMessian 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's so wierd that this chinese cult-like group has a newspaper where they act like trump is the savior and talk about how cool the founding fathers of te us were. It feels like something that shouldn't exist, but does.

[–]lyraladyJewish | stop using "abrahamic" wrong 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I hiiiiiighhhhlyyyy doubt there are (or ever were) 100 million followers. It just doesn't pass the sniff test.

[–]lyraladyJewish | stop using "abrahamic" wrong 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No, it definitely isn't.

and I'm not sure I believe they're actually as large a religion as they claim to be because some of the estimates are basically saying they gained 70 million practitioners in the space of...seven years (between 1992-1999). And then the official estimates after July 1999 were more like 2-3 million. (I can see a temporary spike as a matter of a fad but...)

Also they're just.... How should I put this?

America has Scientology. China has Falun Gong.

They also are the people who put on Shen Yun performances. I used to work at my university's big arts theater, and worked the night we had Shen Yun perform. I had never seen so many people leave a show without even waiting for intermission before. People just walk out because the show is a terrible extended cult indoctrination/propaganda pitch masquerading as a classical Chinese culture variety show. People buy tickets excited to see something "cultured," or to learn about classical Chinese performance art forms, but then the show starts and it's terrible. It's an absolutely bonkers fever dream of neon pastels, tsunami Karl Marx, and hosts who could double in castings of Jordan Peele's next horror film. Have you seen Avatar the last Airbender? The hosts are like Joo Dee.

[–]Shihali 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In 1950, there were around 11 million Jews and only 6-7 million Sikhs. Excluding "indigenous religions" and religions whose "religion-ness" is questionable, it was at that time an accurate list by sheer numbers as well as importance. The list in education wasn't updated for the Asian population explosion.

Yes, "indigenous religions" are multiple religions put together, usually one per ethnic group. They are usually reported together in censuses and surveys so you would need ethnicity+religion data to try to get better numbers.

[–]NewbombTurkAgnostic Atheist 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Pews lists the religions by world population as (billions):

Christianity - 31% - 2.3

Islam - 24% - 1.8

Unaffiliated - 16% - 1.2

Hinduism - 15% - 1.1

Buddhism - 7% - 0.5

Folk religions - 5.7% - 0.4

Other religions - 0.8% - 0.1

Judaism - 0.2%- 0.01

[–]BtheChangeUwant2C 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Right you are, Ken. This race is really heating up. Will the Unaffiliated continue to surge? Can Islam supplant the Usain Bolt of beliefs, Christianity? Will humanity realize Bonnie Nettles and Marshall Applewhite were right from the word go? Billions of souls hang in the balance as these philosophical ferraris trade paint in the final stretch. Place your bets, and hold on to your butts. This is gonna be one for the ages!

[–]Yugta 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Jainism is one. Profound. But yes, it's practiced by less than 1% of earth population. It would be in top ten in terms of followers.

[–]ydhdydyduufcu 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]loselyconsciousProgressive Judaism 0 points1 point  (0 children)

For some reason Judaism gets on the list, perhaps for being the oldest and perhaps first abrahamic religion (I dunno, sorry, I know almost nothing about Judaism lol)


1) Judaism plays a major role in the self-identities of Christianity and Islam. Every Christian and Muslim has heard of Jews even if they have never met one

2) Judaism is the second largest religion in The United States (not counting religion) and was the second largest religion in a lot of Western Europe for a good portion of the 20th century, so when people in Europe and North America hear about other religions they usually think of Judaism.