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Valid arguments can be made for different figures, but if the same criteria are used for all groups, the relative order should be the same.

This document is divided into the following sections:

Baha'is are the most recent entrant to the "Classical" list.

Further details and sources are available below and in the  main database.
Although the Prophet engaged in military action on a number of occasions, these were battles to survive, rather than conquest, and took place at a time when fighting between tribes was common.

The religion is only about 150 years old.

A major source for these estimates is the detailed country-by-country analysis done by David B.
The word "traditional" is preferable to "folk" because "folk" might imply only the local, tribal customs and beliefs such as ancestor worship and nature beliefs.


But only one can be used in making a ranked list.

But this list accounts for the religions of over 98% of the world's population.
From a worldwide and historical perspective, Vodoun is properly classified as a branch of African diasporic religion, in the same way that Lutheranism is a subset of Christianity.

This world religions listing is derived from the statistics data in the  database.
It is important to note that data for the size of various religions within a given country often come from government census figures or official estimates.

The diversity within these groupings varies.

On his return from a battle, the Prophet said: "We are finished with the lesser jihad; now we are starting the greater jihad." He explained to his followers that fighting against an outer enemy is the lesser jihad and fighting against one's self is the greater jihad (holy war).

How is classification done for official government figures?

Such governmental endeavors are interested primarily in physical population demographics, such as how many people live in a household and how many telephones there are per person.

These studies are not theological treatises.

But most actual Buddhists are not actually involved in all of these; rather they practice one, internally cohesive, fairly unified form, such as the Geluk order of Tibetan Buddhism, or Japanese Amida-Buddha worship.

In recent years the most common meaning of Jihad has been Holy War.

They merely classify Hindus as all people who call themselves Hindu, Muslims as all people who call themselves Muslim, Christians as all people who call themselves Christian.

A war is not a Jihad if the intention is to:

From a sociological and historical perspective, most religions have arisen from within existing religious frameworks: Christianity from Judaism, Buddhism from Hinduism, Babi & Baha'i faiths from Islam, etc.

Ibn Khaldun's words are an accurate description of Sufis today.

The Qur'an has many passages about fighting. Some of them advocate peace, while some are very warlike. The , the Jewish and Christian scripture, shows a similar variety of attitudes to war.