Nepal
 National Profiles > Regions > South-Central Asia > Nepal
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Hindu

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Hindu (81.3%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Nepal South-Central Asia World
Hindu 81.3% 56.1% 14.5%
Buddhist (all denominations combined) 8.3% 1.6% 6.6%
 
  • Vajrayana Buddhist
  • 3.7% 0.1% 0.2%
     
  • Mahayana Buddhist
  • 0.8% --- 4.3%
     
  • Other and Unknown Buddhist
  • 3.9% 0.6% 0.5%
    Muslim (all denominations combined) 4.6% 36.2% 22.8%
     
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 4.6% 27.3% 19%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 3.7% 0.4% 2.5%
    Christian (all denominations combined) 1.8% 2.2% 29.9%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 0.5% 0.3% 2.8%
     
  • Protestant
  • 0.4% 0.7% 5.6%
     
  • Catholic
  • < 0.1% 0.7% 15%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 0.9% 0.3% 2.3%
    Other Religionist < 0.1% < 0.1% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 0.3% 1.1% 12%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 54,363 square miles and a population of 28 million. Hindus constitute approximately 81 percent of the population; Buddhists 11 percent, Muslims the majority Sunni 4.2 percent, and practitioners of Kirant (an indigenous animist religion) and others 4 percent. Christian leaders conservatively estimated the number of their adherents at more than 800,000 (3 percent). The National Churches Fellowship of Nepal reported that there are almost 300 Christian churches operating in the Kathmandu valley alone. According to a Jamme Masjid official, there are at least 3,500 madrassahs. Twenty thousand Tibetan Buddhists are officially registered as refugees.


    Sources

    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    3.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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