Here are some fast facts about Hinduism:
- Hinduism is the dominant religion of India, about 85% of the over one billion persons living in India are known to the world as Hindus.
- Hinduism is often thought of not as a single religion, but as a family of religions.
- About 95% of all Hindus in the world live in India. Most of the remaining five percent live in areas immediately adjacent to India. Approximately18 million Hindus live in the kingdom of Nepal, which is the only nation where Hinduism is the state religion.
- Although Indians are perhaps the most religious people on earth, India is officially a secular nation and it prides itself of being the world’s largest democracy.
- There are about 15 million Hindus living in the Muslim states of Pakistan and Bangladesh, which were part of India prior to its independence of Great Britain.
- At the end of 20th century, the Hindu population in the United States and Europe were estimated at 2 million. The vast majority of these were Indian immigrants.
These facts make apparent the importance of the Indian subcontinent for Hinduism. Unlike other great religions like Christianity, Islam and Buddhism; Hinduism has not as yet taken root in a natural way outside the land of its origins. These geographical immobility is due in part to Hinduism’s decided lack of proselytizing impulses. In part is also due to the importance of India itself for the Hindu traditions.