How Well Do You Know the World's Major Religions?

By: Allison Lips

How Well Do You Know the World's Major Religions?
Image: Sangkhom Simma/Moment/Gettty Images

About This Quiz

Growing up, most of us are told not to talk about politics or religion. However, the latter is an important part of billions of peoples' lives. Some countries have an official religion, such as the 27 Middle Eastern and North African countries with Islam as their state religion. Others, such as the United States, have none and are home to a cornucopia of religious practices. 


In the United States, we celebrate Christmas with our Christian friends, wish our Jewish friends "shanah tova" for Rosh Hashanah, and our Muslim friends "Ramadan mubarek" during Ramadan. Unless you have a conversation with a member of each religion, you may not know much more than a few basic facts.

Regardless of your religion or lack of, you will want to take this quiz to find out how accurate your knowledge is and learn a few things to share with your friends. After all, Scientology is more than Tom Cruise and Rastafarianism is practiced by more than just Bob Marley. You may be surprised at how much each religion has in common, so let's celebrate the similarities and embrace the differences.

Are you a religious scholar? Test your knowledge of world religions with these questions!

Which sect of Christianity is associated with the pope?
Baptist
Anglican
Catholic
The longest reigning pope was Pope Pius IX. He was pope for 31 years, 7 months and 23 days.
Methodist

Advertisement

Mecca is a holy city for people who practice which religion?
Buddhism
Judiasm
Christianity
Islam
Devout Muslims pray toward Mecca five times a day. At least once in their lifetime they also attempt to visit Mecca.

Advertisement

Which religion celebrates Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah?
Judaism
Rosh Hashanah is referred to as the "Jewish New Year." It is the first two days of the month of Tishri. These days usually fall in September or October on the Gregorian calendar.
Islam
Sikhism
Hinduism

Advertisement

Which of these is not an Abrahamic religion?
Judaism
Christianity
Buddhism
Judaism, Christianity and Islam are called the Abrahamic religions because the Prophet Abraham is recognized as a common forefather. Judaism believes the Prophet Abraham is the ancestor of the Israelites. Islam believes Abraham's son, Ishmael, is the ancestor of the Arabs.
Islam

Advertisement

What state do Buddhists seek to reach?
Meditation
Heaven
Siddhartha Gautama
Nirvana
The term nirvana literally means "becoming extinguished." Buddhists use it to refer to the elimination of hatred, desire and ignorance.

Advertisement

Which religion has over 2 billion followers worldwide?
Christianity
The Roman Catholic Church makes up most of the total. It accounts for 1.1 billion members.
Sikhism
Islam
Hinduism

Advertisement

What is Siddhartha Gautama better known as?
The Buddha
The Buddha was born in the 6th century. He was born in Lumbini, which is modern-day Nepal.
Abraham
Jesus
Muhammad

Advertisement

Where is the Holy See located?
Vatican City
The pope is in charge of both Vatican City and the Holy See. However, the former refers to a physical location and the latter refers specifically to the government of that location.
Mecca
Jerusalem
New York City

Advertisement

Which of these is not a historically Indian religion?
Jainism
Christianity
There are over 900 million Hindus worldwide. The majority live in India and Nepal.
Hinduism
Sikhism

Advertisement

What is Islam's holy book called?
the Bible
Quran
Muslims believe that the Quran collects revelations Muhammad received. When Muhammad was 40 years old, he received the first one. He continued to receive them until his death.
the Torah
Kama Sutra

Advertisement

What is Christianity's holy book called?
Quran
the Bible
The Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament tells the story of Earth's creation, while the New Testament tells the story of Jesus and Christianity's beginnings.
the Torah
the dictionary

Advertisement

What religion uses the Torah?
Jainism
Islam
Buddhism
Judaism
During a typical week, the Torah is read on three days: Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Additionally, it will be read on holidays, even if that holiday does not fall on one of the aforementioned days.

Advertisement

Which religion is the Prophet Muhammad associated with?
Islam
Muhammad founded Islam. In 570, he was born in Mecca. In 622, he was forced to emigrate to Medina, Saudi Arabia with his followers.
Christianity
Judaism
Sikhism

Advertisement

What is the chief religious official of a synagogue called?
Priest
Imam
Rabbi
Rabbis guide other Jews through Torah study. The word rabbi is Hebrew for "master" or teacher."
Reverend

Advertisement

What is a Muslim prayer leader called?
Imam
The Arabic word Imam means "leader" or "pattern." An Imam leads the five daily prayers, which make up the Second Pillar of Islam.
Rabbi
Priest
the Pope

Advertisement

Which word refers to the Hindu concept that every action will have a future reaction?
Nirvana
Karma
In Hinduism, karma can occur across lifetimes. Something a person does now may not see a reaction until he is reborn. Hindus call the process of reincarnation samsara.
Allah
Jesus

Advertisement

What is a native Japanese religion?
Judaism
Shintoism
Practitioners of Shinto believe in kami, which is loosely translated into English as "spirits." Kami can be forces of nature and the essence of existence.
Christianity
Islam

Advertisement

What religion takes its name from the Punjabi word for "learner?"
Christianity
Buddism
Islam
Sikhism
Sikh tradition states that Guru Nanak founded the religion in the late 15th century. The first 10 leaders of the Sikh religion have the title Guru.

Advertisement

Which religion uses the yin-yang symbol?
Sikhism
Islam
Judiasm
Taoism
The main principles of Taoism involve unity and opposites. The yin-yang symbol symbolizes the belief that the world is made of complementary forces, such as light and dark.

Advertisement

Adherents of which religion attend Sunday services at Kingdom Hall?
Catholicism
Buddhism
Judaism
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses publish two magazines: The Watchtower and Awake! Both are available in over 200 languages.

Advertisement

What country is associated with Rastafarianism?
Jamaica
The Rastafari movement began in the 1930s. Former Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie is important to the movement. Some Rastas regard him as a prophet, while others view him as the second coming of Christ.
United States
United Kingdom
Iraq

Advertisement

What religion's name is Spanish for "The Way of the Saints?"
Shintoism
Santeria
In Santeria, Orishas are spirits. Followers of Santeria believe that rituals, such as eating with the spirits, need to be practiced for the spirits to continue to exist.
Rastafarianism
Christianity

Advertisement

Which religion did Joseph Smith found?
Islam
Catholicism
Buddhism
Mormonism
Mormons are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons believe that Joseph Smith received the information in the Book of Mormon from an angel called Moroni.

Advertisement

Which religion did L. Ron Hubbard found?
Scientology
Scientologists believe that auditing helps them achieve spiritual enlightenment. Someone undergoing an audit is called a preclear.
Hinduism
Islam
Sikhism

Advertisement

What is a non-belief in God called?
Islam
Mormonism
Christianity
Atheism
The Pew Research Center found that not everyone who self-identifies as an atheist is irreligious. Based on the center's research, 26 percent of atheists say they are spiritual and 3 percent say they are religious.

Advertisement

Which religion is named after a Chinese philosopher?
Islam
Christianity
Hinduism
Confucianism
Confucianism is not considered an organized religion. Rather it is considered a world view, political ideology, a scholarly tradition and a way of life.

Advertisement

Which religion prays in a mosque?
Judaism
Hinduism
Islam
Mosques may look different. However, each one has a mihrab, which is shallow recess in a wall indicating the direction of Mecca.
Christianity

Advertisement

What ceremony does a Jewish boy have when he turns 13 years old?
Mass
Bar mitzvah
A bar mitzvah does not rely on having a special ceremony. A boy has one once he turns 13. At that time, he is considered an adult in Judaism with all the corresponding rights and obligations.
Shul
Hanukah

Advertisement

What month-long holiday do Muslims fast during?
Hanukah
Ramadan
Ramadan lasts approximately 30 days. At the end, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.
Yom Kippur
Easter

Advertisement

What holiday do Jewish people fast during?
Hanukah
Christmas
Passover
Yom Kippur
In Judaism, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year. The name means "Day of Atonement." The day is spent in synagogue, praying for forgiveness.

Advertisement

What is the first day of Lent called?
Christmas
Taco Tuesday
Good Friday
Ash Wednesday
Members of the Roman Catholic Church attend mass on Ash Wednesday. To obtain the ashes, palms from the previous Palm Sunday are burned.

Advertisement

Which of these is a Pagan witchcraft tradition?
Islam
Shintoism
Wicca
While there is variation in Wiccan beliefs, most Wiccans believe in the Goddess and respect nature. Practitioners can be lone witches or belong to a coven, which usually have 10 to 15 members.
Rastafarianism

Advertisement

What does Easter celebrate?
The new year
Family
The resurrection of Jesus
Easter ends Lent, which is a 40-day fasting period. Many Easter traditions predate Christianity and come from pagan times.
The existence of Sunday

Advertisement

What is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people called?
Rabbi
Pope
Cardinal
Dalai Lama
Currently, Tenzin Gyatso is the Dalia Lama. He is the 14th Dalai Lama. The first and second Dalai Lamas were given the title posthumously.

Advertisement

The cross is associated with which religion?
Christianity
All Christian denominations use it as a visual identifier. It is simultaneously a symbol of suffering and one of salvation.
Islam
Judaism
Wicca

Advertisement

You Got:
/35

Featured