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Alternative Religion Quick Reference Chart

Overview of Alternative Religions


The table below is offered as a quick reference to the religions currently covered on this site.

Member estimates are based on the data at Adherents.com. It should be stressed that these numbers are only rough estimates, as religious statistics often are. Particular note should be taken of the following entries:

  • The number of Jedi is provided by a variety of census results, which were influenced by an email campaign urging people list Jedi as their religion regardless whether they believed or not.
  • The Church of Satan does not provide membership numbers.
  • The Church of Scientology generally claims eight million followers, but this counts all people who have attended a class or purchased a book. The number here represents the estimated number of current active members.
  • Vodou is classified as a branch of the African Traditional & African Diasporic Religions, which it counts as 100 million. The 6+ million listed here reflects the Vodou population in Haiti, which is the primary center of Diasporic Vodou.
  • While the vast majority of Japanese people in Japan practice some aspect of Shinto, the number here indicates those who actively self-identify with the term "Shinto" as their religion.
  • Adherents.com gives the number of Zoroastrians as 2.5 million, but it also states that the claim is under review. Most sources put the population around 200,000. Adherents.com suggests there may be many more Zoroastrians in existence than previous studies have reflected because persecution has kept Zoroastrians in some areas from advertising their numbers.

NameEst. FollowersFounderDateBelief Type
Baha'i Faith7 millionThe Bab and Baha'u'llah1844Monotheistic
Deism70,000+None17th centuryMonotheistic
DiscordianismUnknownMalaclype the Younger and Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst1950sNon-theistic
Eckankar50,000+Paul Twitchell1965Monotheistic
GnosticismUnknownn/a2000+ years agoMonotheistic or Dualistic
JediismUp to 500,000None, based on the fictional works of George LucasAfter 1976Non-theistic
LuciferianismUnknownn/a20th centuryMonotheistic, Polytheistic, or Non-Theistic
Native American Church250,000-300,000Quanah Parker (1880s)1880s; 1918 formal incorporationMonotheistic
Raelian Movement20,000 - 40,000Claude Vorilhon (Rael)1974Atheistic
Rastafari700,000Marcus Garvey, Leonard Howell and others1930Monotheistic
Satanism, LaVeyanUnknownAnton Szandor LaVey1966Atheistic
Satanism, TheisticUnknownn/a20th centuryMonotheistic or Polytheistic
Scientology500,000L. Ron Hubbard1949Personal Development Movement
Shinto 4 millionIndigenous belief for Japan2000+ years agoPolytheistic
Tenrikyo 2 millionOyasama1838Monotheistic
Thelema UnknownAleister Crowley1904Non-theistic
Unitarian Universalism800,000 Unitarian Universalist Association1961 Non-theistic
Vodou6+ million African slaves16th century Monotheistic + many intervening spirits
Zoroastrianism200,000 - 2.5 million Zoroaster (Zarathushtra)10th to 15th century BCE Monotheistic
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