Dissecting Nepal with Religion: What Is the Main Religion in Nepal?

The ethnic mosaic of Nepal is quite interesting and diverse. Even though it may look like the people follow one majority religion, but there are changes and diversity in this fact. If the matter comes to describing the main religion in Nepal, then you will get many religions that are spread across the country. Let’s discuss some of these important religions which now act as the flesh and blood of Nepal.

1. Hinduism

Hinduism, the main religion in Nepal, is an ancient religion to be followed and in Nepal, it was introduced with the first dynasty called the Gopal Dynasty. Based on the last survey done on the main religion in Nepal, there are about 22.1 million people following this ancient religion. If you do not understand the count by number, let’s mention it in percentage so that, it’s easier for you to figure out. The majority of people around 81.3 % follow Hinduism. This religion reflects the Santana Dharma of Nepal, in fact accordingly to the old belief, the name Nepal came from the Hindu traditions. The main Hindu temple called the Pashupatinath Temple ranks as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Hinduism - Pashupatinath Temple
Hinduism - Pashupatinath Temple

2. Buddhism

After the Hinduism, Buddhism is the second most famous religion in Nepal. Buddhist follows the path of enlightenment and spirituality, they have devotees of the prince called the Shakya king in Lumbini, Rupendehi called Siddhartha Gautam also called Lord Buddha and Kapilvastu. The percentage might be less, but recently the population of Buddhists is growing from 9%. This religion might not capture the majority status in Nepal but still has a grip over Nepal.

Buddhism - Swayambhunath Stupa
Buddhism - Swayambhunath Stupa

3. Islam

This religion again is not followed by the majority population but it is considered as one of the main religions of Nepal. It is mostly followed by Bangladeshi Muslims, Pakistani Muslims, and the Indian Muslims. The people following this religion are the followers of Prophet Mohammad, the population is considered as 4.4% of the total population but it’s frequently growing. The people following the religion are mostly from the Terai region and the areas where you can find these communities are Banke, Parsa, Mahottari, Kapilvastu, Bara, Sunsari, and Rautahat.

4. Kiratism

You might have read this religion for the first time, but it is considered as the fourth most popular religion in Nepal. The main followers of this religion are the Sunwar, Yakkha, Limbu and Rai. Apart from these communities, this religion is also gaining popularity. The 3% of the Kirat people belong to the ethnic group of the Himalayan region. 

5. Christianity

The devotees of Jesus Christ are the people who follow Christianity. Their culture and belief basically came from the west. The Christians are around 1.4% of the total population. The followers have faced a lot of trouble in the early days; it was a controversial religion to follow during that time. However, the followers started entering Nepal in 1951 and within a few years many churches, missionary organizations were built along with hospitals and education centers. Things improved after the multi-party democracy in Nepal.

6. Jainism

Jainism is followed by Jains, and it is also called the Jain Dharma. It is an ancient religion to follow and very little population in Nepal follows it. The population of this religion is around 0.1% out of the total population.

7. Sikhism

Sikhism, however, is considered one of the main religions in Nepal. There are certain communities that follow the religion; these people are the devotees of Guru Nanak Dev. Sikhism are followed by people who consider monotheism; these devotees came from the northern Indian subcontinent.
Segregating the main religion in Nepal will not be that difficult, this country is culturally rich and vibrant. The religious diversity in Nepal is another reason after the mountain which attracts countless tourists from around the world. You will find a very different crowd when it comes to religious tourism. Nepal is considered as one of the most spiritual countries because you will come across prayer wheels, mosques, and temples in every corner of the streets.

Futher Reading:

10 Interesting Myths about Nepal History

6 Things You Should Know Before You Visit Nepal

8 Surprising Facts about Nepal Culture

Nepal Population by Religion