India, the land of spirituality and philosophy considers religion as an integral part of its entire tradition. The worship of various religions and its rituals play a significant role in every aspect of human life in the country.
India is the birthplace of two great religions of the world, namely, Hinduism and Buddhism. It is also the birthplace of one of the oldest religions of the world, Zoroastrianism, and home to an ancient religion, Jainism. Sikhism is another very recognizable religion which began here bringing together the best aspects of Hinduism and Islam. Followers of religions originated in other countries such as Islam, Christianity, Bahaism and Judaism also form a part of the population of secular nation, India.
Hinduism is the dominant faith. According to 2001 Census, 80.5% of the population of the country are designated 'Hindu'. It is one of the ancient religions in the world, which began about 6000 years ago. Besides Hindus, Muslims are the most prominent religious group and are an integral part of Indian society. There are approximately13.4% Muslims (over 100 million), 2.3% Christians (over 20 million), 1.9 % Sikhs (18 million) and others including Buddhists (6 million), Jains, Parsis (Zoroastrians), Jews, and Bahais, less than 2 percent.
Hindus and Muslims are spread throughout the country. Muslims are found mostly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala. They represent a majority in Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadweep. Christian concentrations are found in the northeastern states like Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya and the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Goa. Sikhs are a majority in the state of Punjab whereas Buddhists are found in large numbers in Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Bengal and Sikkim. Though a tiny minority, Jains are found all over India. Majority of Jains live in the states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Gujarat