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I really like to learn more about religions, and even though I'm learning some information from the internet, I would like to learn from real experience.

So basically I'm searching for a country that is composed of people of different religions; the more religions, the better.With different sects of each religion. Also, the country should have a small area (i.e I can go to several groups/sects in little time.)

Is there any way to determine the most religiously diverse city or country?

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closed as too broad by Karlson, Dirty-flow, Vince, VMAtm, mindcorrosive Apr 1 at 10:02

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Welcome to travel.SE. Your question is way too broad and every country with multiple religions will qualify, so if you feel like traveling Russia, Canada, US, India you're welcome. –  Karlson Mar 31 at 17:58
    
I think it's a valid question, its very specific in that the requirements are lots of religions ( >5) in a small geographic area. –  Darko Z Mar 31 at 18:03
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@DarkoZ Still there are too many. Any large cosmopolitan city will qualify. New York, Chicago, LA, London, Moscow, St. Petersburg and so on and so forth. –  Karlson Mar 31 at 18:33
    
I feel like Filmzy's answer made it on topic –  Geeo Mar 31 at 18:36
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I have tried to update the question to be a bit more objective by asking how to find a religiously-diverse city, rather than asking for suggestions. I hope nobody objects. –  Flimzy Mar 31 at 18:45

5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

A close proxy for "most religions" that is much more easily measured will be what is called a "Global City," and Wikipedia happens to have exactly such a list.

The criteria used in determining their ranking are:

  • A variety of international financial services, notably in finance, insurance, real estate, banking, accountancy, and marketing
  • Headquarters of several multinational corporations
  • The existence of financial headquarters, a stock exchange and major financial institutions
  • Domination of the trade and economy of a large surrounding area
  • Major manufacturing centres with port and container facilities
  • Considerable decision-making power on a daily basis and at a global level
  • Centres of new ideas and innovation in business, economics, culture and politics
  • Centres of media and communications for global networks
  • Dominance of the national region with great international significance
  • High percentage of residents employed in the services sector and information sector
  • High-quality educational institutions, including renowned universities, international student attendance[8] and research facilities
  • Multi-functional infrastructure offering some of the best legal, medical and entertainment facilities in the country

Now clearly not all of these criteria will directly correlate to cultural (and therefore religious) diversity, but it's a close proxy.

And rounding out the top of their list, with Alpha++ rating are:

  • London, UK
  • New York City, USA

The cities with Alpha+ rating are:

  • Hong Kong
  • Paris, France
  • Singapore
  • Shanghai, China
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Beijing, China
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Now, you'll want to apply your own filter to this list, as various religions have different legal statuses in some of these places. But this list should be a good place to start looking for culturally-diverse cities you might want to visit.

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I'm shocked to not see Toronto anywhere there! I would expect it to be ranked right up with London and New York. –  hippietrail Apr 1 at 8:37
    
No India on the list. That's bull. I live in New Delhi , the capital of India and believe you me every part of it is diverse. India as a country is diverse. You will find Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Jains. Tibet's government in exile, the administrative operations are from India. The dalai lama temple is in India. There are loads of other examples I can give. In short, the most religiously diverse country in the world is INDIA –  madLokesh Apr 1 at 8:59
    
You will find A Church, A Temple , A Mosque, A Gurdwara in every city of the country. –  madLokesh Apr 1 at 9:00

While you've already received some nice suggestions I'm quite surprised no one mentioned Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The old city is divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters and religion is a very big deal there and one of the most impressive city I've ever visited. The old city being smaller than the cities mentioned by others and packed with so many different religion I feel it's a better candidate than most of those cosmopolitan cities.

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None of those cities (Jerusalem, London, or NYC) make the top 50 for murders, but Israel as a country falls between the USA and the UK in terms of intentional homicide rates. –  Flimzy Mar 31 at 19:13
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@Flimzy and it should be noted that, relative to other US cities, the NYC homicide rate is quite low. –  LessPop_MoreFizz Mar 31 at 22:48
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+1. It's also worth mentioning that Jerusalem is home to a dizzying variety of sects and denominations, jostling cheek to jowl; for example, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a single building, various parts of which are administered by six different churches! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_Holy_Sepulchre#Status_quo –  jpatokal Mar 31 at 22:51
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Jerusalem is holy only for monotheist religions. –  mouviciel Apr 1 at 7:09
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Actually, Jesus is considered an incarnation of Vishnu in some branches of Hinduism. –  jpatokal Apr 1 at 9:42

Go to London. In the metropolitan area (covered well by cheap public transport) you can find many, many different religions. Christianity (many different branches of), Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hidus, etc, etc, etc.

Also, any big metropolis will be the same.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_London

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You also wouldn't have to go far from London (or even out of London) to find Wiccans, Druids and other minor religions. –  Darko Z Mar 31 at 18:01

With regard to the most religiously diverse country and your goal of seeing the most religions in a short time, probably Singapore is your best bet. It likely has the most distinct and heavily-practiced religions per km², amongst all the countries of the world (though probably not amongst all the cities of the world).

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No India on the list. That's bull. I live in New Delhi , the capital of India and believe you me every part of it is diverse. India as a country is diverse. You will find Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Jains. Tibet's government in exile, the administrative operations are from India. The dalai lama temple is in India. There are loads of other examples I can give. In short, the most religiously diverse country in the world is INDIA.

You will find A Church, A Temple , A Mosque, A Gurdwara in every city of the country.

Not to forget, INDIA is the birthplace of 4 major religions : Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Apart from this, we have roughly 20% of population to be Muslims. Also, roughly 5% of total population are Christians and let me stress that the North Eastern States of India namely Mizoram and Manipur have more than 90% of population to be christians.

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The question isn't about countries; it's about cities. So your information about India as a country is not relevant. –  AakashM Apr 1 at 9:29
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@AakashM the original question was about countries/cities/geographic areas and later amended - see the edits. On the other hand the question is about small easily traversed geographic areas, and India is definitively not that. –  Darko Z Apr 1 at 9:35

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