Please read this first: The ReligionFacts Big Religion Chart is an attempt to summarize all the complexities of religions and belief systems into tiny little boxes on a single, quick-reference comparison chart. As we always warn with our comparison charts, this is no substitute for reading about religions in greater detail. But this religon comparison chart can (hopefully) be a useful and accessible way to "get the gist" of some unfamiliar groups and compare basic beliefs and practices of the world's religions.
We have been very inclusive with what is regarded as a "religion" for purposes of this comparison chart. The grounds for a group's inclusion in this index is generally that it provides a set of teachings and/or rituals that deal with the traditionally "religious" issues of ultimate reality, the meaning of life, and/or how to find fulfillment, spiritual health or salvation. All the groups listed below can be found in dictionaries of religion.
Inclusion of a group on this list does not mean that the group is a "religion" per se (note that Atheism is the first group listed!) or a "true religion" or that "[one listed group] is just as much a religion as [another listed group]." Similarly, if a group does not appear on this chart it doesn't mean it's not a religion. This is not an authoritative list of religions, simply a resource on worldviews and ways of life that hopefully some will find useful. The chart is not intended to be comprehensive and it will probably always be under construction.
I weep for humanity that there are almost as many Scientologists as there are practicing Jews in the world.