Thursday, April 7, 2016

F for Faith

Welcome to the "Believe it or Not- That's Incredible India!" series. India is home to some of the most astonishing wonders in the world. The rich culture, heritage, food, scriptures, architectural marvels and scores of known and unknown facts come together to create this multicolored melange that is India. Throughout this month, read about the various believe it or not facts about India and know what goes into the making of this incredible country!


India is a country of many faiths. Did you know that there are more than 24 lakh places of worship in India?! Also, did you know that the four popular faiths which are cumulatively followed by over 25% of the world’s population – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism - originated in India? 
Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest faiths and is said have originated about 4000 years ago in India. What is unique to Hinduism is there’s neither a founder of the faith nor an exact date of origin and yet it is the third largest followed faith in the world with about 900 million followers! About 80% of the country’s population are followers of Hinduism.
Jainism originated in 600 BC, Buddhism in 500 BC and Sikhism in 1500 CE.
Other than these four faiths that originated in India, there are numerous other faiths that are followed here.
Islam is India's and the world's second largest religion. There are more than 3 lakh mosques in India which is higher than the number of mosques in any other country including the Muslim world.
Judaism came to India in 200 BC and Christianity in 52 AD.  There are more than 5000 churches in India and the oldest European church in India dates back to the 15th century.
The Zoroastrians or Parses as they are called are Iranian descendents who immigrated to India in 7th century AD.
India is therefore known as a spiritual land where everyone is free to practice their own faith. Isn’t it amazing that India is virtually a beautiful kaleidoscope of various faiths that make its culture and heritage diverse and yet so rich and magnificent?

Perhaps that is why Max Mueller famously said, “If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India.”
Believe it or not – That’s Incredible India!

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