18 Religions You Didn’t Know Existed 

There are so many religions in the world, not just the big ones such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. There are many you won’t have even heard of that still play such a significant role in people’s lives. Here are 18 religions you didn’t know existed. 


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This faith originated with the Shabak people in northern Iraq. It’s a religion that incorporates aspects of many others. For example, World Atlas writes, “The religion incorporates certain elements of the Islamic, Christian, and Yezid practices.” It’s a religion that’s been threatened and has faced attacks. 


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This religion is based on ancient Norse mythology and involves the worship of ancient Germanic and Scandinavian Viking gods. The deities that they worship include Thor, Odin, and Freyja. Practicing this religion involves communal blots and sumbel ceremonies. The religion became official in the 1970s. 

Falun Gong

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This is a new religious movement that was founded in the early 1990s. The religion is most known for its truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Since it started, it’s faced suppression from Chinese authorities due to how outspoken it is. The Chinese government even named it a “heretical cult.”


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Jainism is one of the world’s oldest religions and was founded in India at least 2,500 years ago. There are five principles of Jainism, which are nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy, and non-possession. The religion consists of a strict vegan diet and lots of walking barefoot.  


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History 18 writes, “Yazidism is a syncretic and monotheistic religion rooted in the pre-Zoroastrian religious traditions of western Iran, directly linked to the broader Indo-Iranian heritage.” The central figure in Yazidism is Melek Taus, known as the Peacock Angel. The religion combines pre-Zoroastrian beliefs with other influences. 


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Rastafari is both a religion and a political movement. It was developed in the 1930s in Jamaica, following the coronation of Haile Selassie I. The beliefs of this religion are mainly focused on returning Black diaspora to Africa and the use of marijuana spiritually. You’ll find many followers with dreadlocks and a love for reggae music. 

Church of Maradona

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This is more of a parody religion that was established to honor Diego Maradona, who was a soccer player in Argentina. The symbol for this religion combines “Dios” (God in Spanish) with Maradona’s shirt number, which was 10. It shows just how big of an impact this player had on society. 


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This modern pagan religion was created in the 1950s by Gerald Gardner. It first surfaced in the United Kingdom. It focuses on worshipping a Great Goddess and a Great Horned Dog. Wicca also celebrates the moon and sun cycles and is commonly associated with religion. 


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This is another parody of religion. It was created by the comedian George Carlin and is centered around the fact that when you die, your soul ends up on the roof, like a frisbee. It’s supposed to be a humorous take on religion and something lighthearted to reflect the afterlife. 


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Caodaism is a Vietnamese religion that was founded in the early 20th century. It combines many elements from other religions, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, and Islam. It also includes unique practices such as seances and vegetarianism. The faith aims to connect humanity through a common divine source. 


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This is a modern pagan religion that aims to revive Slavic pagan beliefs. Rodnovery focuses on worshipping nature and celebrating seasonal cycles. The religion is known to have rituals that are often held in sacred groves or natural settings. Rodnovery is present in Russia, Poland, and Ukraine. 

The Mandaean Religion

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This religion is primarily practiced in Iraq and Iran. It’s a religion that practices frequent baptisms and looks up to John the Baptist. It’s one of the oldest religious minorities in both Iraq and Iran and has texts that teach soul purification and creation. 

Baha’i Faith

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This religion was founded in the early 19th century and established in Persia by Baha’u’llah. The main purpose of the Baha’i Faith is to emphasize the spiritual unity of mankind. The religion accepts prophets from major world religions because it wants to see global harmony. 


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Ifá is a divination system that originated in West Africa. For example, Beating Broke writes, “It centers on the Orishas, similar to Candomblé, and uses an intricate system of divination to guide adherents in making decisions and understanding their destinies.” It uses a complex divination system to guide its followers. 


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This is one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions. It’s based on teachings from the Iranian prophet, Zoroaster. It centers around believing in one universal God, Ahura Mazda, and the conflict between good and evil. This religion has plenty of historical significance as it’s influenced both Eastern and Western religions. 


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This is a religion that’s been based on the Star Wars movies. It was inspired by the Jedi Order and became an official religion in 2001 after a UK census campaign. The religion focuses on the mystical energy known as “the Force,” and has many other spiritual practices. 


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Shinto is a Japanese religion, which translates to “the way of the gods.” It involves worshipping kami, which means spirits. It’s a religion that’s strongly related to Japanese culture and traditions. It’s an incredibly old religion that predates any historical records. 


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Pastafarianism is another parody religion that was founded by Bobby Henderson in 2005. It’s also referred to as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It’s a lighthearted approach to religion centered around beer volcanoes and pirates. Followers of this faith are predominantly in North America.

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