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Most Religious Countries in the World in 2024

Religion has been a fundamental aspect of human civilization for millennia as it shaped cultures, societies, and individual lives. From ancient faiths to the rise of modern religions, the world has witnessed diverse spiritual beliefs and practices. In today’s globalized world, understanding the religious landscape of different countries is not only fascinating but also crucial in promoting cross-cultural understanding and respect. Let’s explore the seven most religious countries in the world, their histories, traditions, and the number of adherents. 

Read More: Most Ancient Religions in the World

Top 7 Most Religious Countries Worldwide

  • Israel
  • Saudi Arabia
  • India
  • Iran
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Qatar
  • Egypt 

1- Israel

Israel is a small country in the Middle East but it has a complex religious history that has shaped its identity and culture. As a homeland for the Jewish people, Israel has attracted Jewish immigrants worldwide.

The origins of Judaism can be traced back to the Iron Age when the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were established. During this time, the Israelites developed a distinct monotheistic religion centered on the worship of Yahweh. The prohibition of intermarriage, emphasis on family history and genealogy, and the development of religious markers like the Sabbath and dietary restrictions helped differentiate the Israelites from their Canaanite neighbors.

Today, Israel’s population is religiously diverse, with Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, and others calling the country home. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, as of December 2023, the population of Israel stands at approximately 9,842,000. About 7,208,000 people are Jews, including about 503,000 living in the West Bank.

Around 2,080,000 citizens are identified as Arabs, some identifying as Palestinians, including Druze, Circassians, all other Muslims, Christian Arabs, and Armenians. The remaining are classified as “others”.

Religion plays an outsized role in Israeli society, with the government and many aspects of daily life influenced by religious considerations. However, the level of religious observance among Israeli Jews varies widely.

A 2021 survey by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics found that among Israeli Jews aged 20 and above, around 45% identified as secular or non-religious, while 33% practiced “traditional” religious worship. The ultra-Orthodox community, known as Haredim, accounted for only 10% of the population.

Many secular Israelis view their Jewish identity as more cultural than religious, defined by the Hebrew language and historical experience rather than religious observance. However, the ultra-Orthodox community adheres to a strict interpretation of Jewish law and a code of conduct that governs various aspects of life, including dietary restrictions and clothing choices.

Read More, Why Does the US Support Israel?

2- Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia holds a special place in the Islamic world as the birthplace of Islam and the location of its two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina. The country’s religious history is deeply associated with the life of Prophet Muhammad and the origins of the Islamic faith.

In the 18th century, a religious scholar named Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab joined forces with Muhammad bin Saud, the ruler of Diriyah, to revive the original and pure form of Islam. The alliance laid the foundation for the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which was established in 1932. The Saudi government has since played a crucial role in preserving and promoting Islamic traditions throughout the country.

Today, Saudi Arabia is the fastest-growing Muslim nation, with over 30 million inhabitants, 93% of whom are Muslim. The vast majority of Saudi Muslims are Sunni. However, a significant minority, estimated at around 10% of the population, are Shia Muslims. 

The Saudi government follows a literal interpretation of the Quran and strict enforcement of religious codes and practices. The interpretation has been upheld by clerics who run the judiciary and religious police, although recent reforms under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have seen a softening of some of these strict rules.

The King of Saudi Arabia holds the official title of “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,” reflecting the country’s sacred responsibility to care for the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. The Saudi government allocates significant funds from its annual budget to maintain and expand these holy sites to enable greater numbers of Muslim pilgrims to perform the “Hajj” each year. 

Read More: 10 Different Religions In The US

3- India

India is a land of immense religious diversity, with several faiths that have coexisted for centuries. At the heart of India’s religious identity lies Hinduism, the faith of the vast majority of its people. According to recent census data, Hindus account for 79.8% of India’s total population, with approximately 1.25 billion followers. 

Hinduism’s roots can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization, with its rich mythology, diverse deities, and philosophical traditions that have shaped the Indian subcontinent for millennia.

Hinduism is not the only indigenous religion in India that has made a lasting impression. Jainism, founded in the 6th century BCE, has a devoted following of around 6 million adherents. Sikhism, which emerged in the 15th century in the Punjab region, is another prominent Indian faith, with over 30 million followers who revere the teachings of the prominent Sikh gurus.

On the other hand, Islam and Christianity also have a significant following, with Muslims accounting for 14.2% of the population, or around 200 million people, and Christians making up 2.3% of the population, or roughly 28 million individuals.

Despite this religious diversity, India has maintained a delicate balance, with the various faiths influencing one another over the centuries. For instance, the Mughal emperors were known for their religious tolerance, and the Sikh faith itself is a synthesis of Hindu and Islamic elements.

However, in recent decades, there have been concerns about rising religious tensions and the potential for communal conflicts. The growth of Hindu nationalist movements, coupled with occasional outbreaks of violence against religious minorities, have raised fears about the erosion of India’s secular foundations.

4- Iran

Long before the arrival of Islam, Iran was home to diverse religious beliefs. The ancient Persians practiced Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions, which influenced the region’s spiritual and cultural development. The smaller communities of Jews, Christians, and adherents of other faiths also found a home in Iran.

Religious pluralism was tolerated and accommodated by the ruling dynasties, as the expansion of the Persian Empire necessitated official policies of religious tolerance. However, the adoption of Shia Islam as the state religion in the 16th century under the Safavid dynasty marked a significant shift in the country.

The Safavid rulers’ decision to embrace Shia Islam was driven by a desire to support their political legitimacy and forge a distinct national identity. This move empowered the Shia clerical establishment, which subsequently sought to implement different policies towards religious minorities.

Today, the vast majority of Iranians, around 89%, identify as Shia Muslims. This makes Iran one of the few countries in the world with a Shia-majority population. The 9% are Sunni Muslims, while the remaining 2% are adherents of other faiths, including Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, Mandeans, Hindus, and Yarsanis.

In recent years, Iran has witnessed a significant shift in the religious beliefs of its population. Contrary to the government’s claims that 99.5% of Iranians are Muslim, a 2020 survey by the Group for Analyzing and Measuring Attitudes in Iran (GAMAAN) found that only 40% of respondents identified as Muslim. The survey also revealed a rise in secularization, with 9% identifying as atheists and 7% as spiritual but not religious.

Read More, Islamic Empires In History

5- United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates, each with its unique history and culture. At the heart of the UAE’s religious identity lies Islam, which is the official state religion. According to estimates, around 76.9% of the total population are Muslims. However, the UAE’s religious diversity extends far beyond just Islam.

The arrival of Islam in the region dates back to the 7th century when envoys from the Prophet Muhammad himself arrived to spread the faith. His preachings marked the beginning of the UAE’s connection with the Islamic tradition. Over the centuries, the country has been home to various Islamic schools of thought, with the Sunni Maliki and Hanbali schools being the most prominent.

While the majority of Emiratis adhere to Sunni Islam, there is also a significant Shia Muslim population, estimated to be around 5-10% of the total Emirati population. The government has made efforts to accommodate the Shia community and allowed them to maintain their own mosques and religious practices.

The UAE’s religious diversity extends far beyond just Islam. Christians, who make up around 9% of the population, have been granted the freedom to practice their religion, with the construction of over 52 churches across the country. The UAE has also been home to small Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh communities.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the UAE is the government’s commitment to promoting interfaith harmony and tolerance. In 2019, the UAE announced the construction of the Abrahamic Family House, an interfaith complex that will house a mosque, a church, and a synagogue. This initiative symbolizes the country’s dedication to understanding and cooperation among the Abrahamic faiths.

Read More: Religious Leaders of Christianity

6- Qatar

Qatar is a small Middle Eastern country that has a rich religious history. The core religion of Qatar is Islam. The vast majority of the country’s population, estimated at around 95%, follows the Sunni branch of Islam.

The origins of Islam’s prominence in Qatar can be traced back to the 7th century CE when the Arabian Peninsula and its surroundings were gradually converted to a new religion. The spread of Islam was facilitated by Arab traders and missionaries who traveled throughout the region, spreading the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.

One of the unique aspects of Qatar’s religious history is the role of the ruling Al Thani family. The Al Thanis have traditionally been patrons of Islamic institutions and have played a massive role in promoting Islamic values and practices within the country.

The close relationship between the ruling family and Islam has had a profound impact on Qatar’s social and political landscape. The government has actively supported the construction of mosques, the promotion of Islamic education, and the implementation of Islamic laws and regulations.

However, it is important to note that Qatar, like many other modern Muslim-majority countries, has also experienced a degree of religious diversity and pluralism in recent decades. While Islam remains the dominant faith, the country has also seen the presence of other religious communities, including Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists, who have been granted the freedom to practice their faiths.

In recent years, Qatar has also emerged as a regional hub for Islamic finance and banking. The country’s wealth and influence have allowed it to play a significant role in funding and supporting various Islamic institutions and initiatives throughout the region.

7- Egypt 

The majority of Egyptians, around 85-95% of the population, practice Islam. Egypt also has a significant Christian minority, primarily Coptic Christians, who make up around 10% of the population.

Egypt was the birthplace of one of the world’s oldest civilizations, therefore the country’s religious landscape has its origins in ancient times. The ancient Egyptians had a complex polytheistic religion, with a pantheon of gods and goddesses that were central to their beliefs and way of life. From the sun god Ra to the goddess Isis, these deities were revered and worshiped in elaborate temples and rituals.

The arrival of Christianity in Egypt during the 1st century AD marked a significant shift in the country’s religious landscape. The Coptic Christian Church, which is one of the oldest Christian denominations, took root and flourished in Egypt. Over the centuries, Coptic Christians have faced periods of persecution and discrimination, but they have remained a vital part of Egyptian society.

The Arab conquest of Egypt in 641 AD led to the gradual Islamization of the population, with the majority of Egyptians eventually converting to the new faith. The country’s Islamic identity was further enhanced under the rule of the Fatimid dynasty, which established Cairo as the capital of their caliphate.

Today, the vast majority of Egyptians identify as Muslims. The country’s religious landscape is dominated by the Al-Azhar University, one of the oldest and most prestigious Islamic institutions in the world. The university has played a crucial role in shaping the country’s religious discourse, promoting a moderate and tolerant form of Islam that has helped to maintain social and political stability in Egypt.

Despite the overwhelming dominance of Islam, Egypt’s religious diversity is still evident in the presence of the Coptic Christian community, as well as smaller groups of Jews, Baha’is, and other religious minorities. 

Read More: Why Islam Is the Fastest Growing Religion in the World?


The religious landscape of the world is notably marked by countries where faith plays a central role in daily life and governance. Israel, a predominantly Jewish state, associates religion deeply with national identity and culture. Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, enforces adherence to Islamic laws. India, a melting pot of religions, prominently features Hinduism alongside significant Muslim, Christian, Sikh, and other communities. Iran, an Islamic Republic, integrates Shia Islam into its political and social frameworks. 

The United Arab Emirates and Qatar, while modern and cosmopolitan, remain rooted in Islamic traditions, balancing rapid development with religious values. Egypt showcases Islam in its cultural and societal norms. These nations highlight how religion shapes their identities, laws, and lifestyles, as it reflects their spiritual commitment.


1- Which Religion dominate the World in 2024?

Christianity is the most followed religion worldwide, with around 2.382 billion adherents. 

2- What Will be the World’s Largest Religion in 2050?

According to various surveys, Islam will be the largest religion by 2050. 

3- Which Religion do the people of the USA follow?

The United States Constitution’s First Amendment states that there shall be no official religion in the nation but the majority of the population follows Christianity.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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