Nepal Population by Religion

Nepal is the abode of mountains and famous for having the mighty Mount Everest. Along with being the best place for tourists, Nepal also has diversity when it comes to religion. Up until 2007, Nepal was known as the Hindu nation; however, different faiths have lived peacefully for hundreds of years. The development of different cultures and tourism also played an important role in building religious diversity in Nepal. Let’s take a look at the Nepal population by religion.
Since the last demographics of Nepal in 2012 till 2019, there has been a drastic growth in the population. Here are some important data about Nepal population by religions.

Proportion of Population 

1. Hinduism

Hinduism is the most common and dominating religion practiced in Nepal. It takes around 81% of the Nepal population; the presence of Hindu religion is quite evident visually in Nepal. There are many Hindu temples spread in most parts of the country. This religion has ancient roots and it is associated with a legend and sage called Ne Muni who is said to be the core reason why Hinduism is a well-known religion in Nepal. Over the years the religion has gained immense popularity and followers making it the maximum followed religion in Nepal.

There is no difference between the Hindus in Nepal and the Hindus in other places. Nepal has a huge population that celebrates all the festivals associated with religion and Hindu traditions.

Hindus in Nepal

2. Buddhism

The religious population for Buddhists in Nepal is around 9% according to the last official survey. Buddhism has been in Nepal from ancient times, the culture and traditions of Buddhism have roots deep in the country. Since Lumbini is said to be the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the Shakyas who helped in the spread of the religion in the initial days are the reason why Buddhism is quite a popular faith in Nepal. There are around three main schools of thought in Nepal that are dedicated to Buddhism. Some of the Buddhist Pilgrimage in Nepal is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Apart from the pilgrimage, there are many famous Buddhist monuments and monasteries.

Buddhists in Nepal

3. Islam

Islam is a minority group in Nepal and makes up around 4.4% of the Nepal population by religion. However, the number of followers practicing this faith is drastically growing. The first Muslims who arrived in Nepal were Kashmiris, Afghans, Persians, and Arabians who carried out different professions. However, in the later years of the Hindu rule in Nepal, they fled because they were scared of being executed by the Hindu kings of that time; this left a very small population of Islam in Nepal. The maximum population of Muslims is found in the Terai region which is towards the south of Nepal. These people have cultural similarities with the North-Indian Muslims. You will come across several mosques and Takia Mosques built by Kashmiris.

4. Kiratism

This religious faith is around 3.1% of the Nepal population by religion and is quite unknown and it comes from the ancient tribes of this region. Several famous people are the followers of this religion like Limbu, Rai, Yakkha, and Sunuwar. This religion is a little different than any other religion practiced in Nepal and it involves the worship of nature, ancestors, moon, sun, wind, and fire. Apart from the natural elements, they also worship the main pillars of their homes and some other gods like Sumnima-Paruhang and Tegra Ningwaphumang.

The different tribes who follow this faith have their religious texts, rituals, distinct beliefs, and traditions. They also celebrate important festivals like Udhauli and Ubhauli celebrating the starting of winter.

5. Christianity

The Christians in Nepal is around 1.4% in the population. Out of which most of them are evangelical Protestants. Another reason for this faith is at this percentage is that Christians have been officially banned in Nepal for a very long period. However, they started entering Nepal in 1951 and over the years many churches, missionary organizations were built along with education centers and hospitals. Before the multi-party democracy in Nepal, preaching and conversions of faith were considered illegal, but things improved. However, in some parts of Nepal, Christians remain the controversial followers out of all.

6. Others

The other religions and unspecified which is around 0.7% of the Nepal population follows different religions like Jains, Bahai’s, Sikhs, Atheists, and Jews. The followers of Sikhism started growing in 1516 when Guru Nanak Dev visited the country. In the present time, there is a decent number of Sikhs in Nepal and they also have two Gurudwaras. The Nanak Math located in Kathmandu is an important site for the Sikhs. Apart from Sikhs, the country also has Jain followers and the community worships in Jain temples in Kathmandu. You will also come across the Baha’is and Jews in a very less number. However, all the religious practices their faith quite peacefully in all parts of the country.
Nepal population by religion has made it to be rich culturally as a country. Nepal has an entirely different crowd when it comes to religious tourism, the temples, mosques, and monasteries have a different charm altogether. Nepal is a deeply spiritual country and you will come across a shrine, temple or monasteries represent their respective faith. Religious diversity in Nepal attracts a large number of tourists every year, you will love visiting the famous temples and other shrines associated with a different faith.

Futher Reading:

10 Interesting Myths about Nepal History

6 Things You Should Know Before You Visit Nepal

8 Surprising Facts about Nepal Culture

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