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Site Contents

A Guide to the Faiths of Other Scouts

By Nick Trierweiler 

Religious tolerance is not religious indifference. It is valuing the right of another person to hold beliefs that you know to be wrong.

This guide has been prepared to help Scouts begin to understand and value the religious faiths of other Scouts.

The Charter and Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America maintain that no boy can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God. Scouting is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. The Boy Scouts of America does not define what constitutes belief in God or the practice of religion.  
(emphasis in original)
"A Scout's Duty to God and Country," 1998;
 No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their … religious faith 
George W. Bush, 2001
The religion of a man is not the creed he professes but his life - what he acts upon, and knows of life, and his duty in it
Baden-Powell, 16917
 Tolerance and human rights require each other.
Simon Wiesenthal

There are thousands of different religions in the world. Many of these show some similarities to others and can be grouped together. About 75% of all people belong to one of the four largest religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism.

Twenty of the largest groupings are listed below. The 12 religions in bold type are highlighted in this booklet.

Christianity (1)  2.0 billion
Islam  1.3 billion
Hinduism  900 million
Nonreligious (2)  850 million
Buddhism  360 million 
Primal-indigenous (3)  260 million
Confucianism, Taoism(4) 225 million
Sikhism  23 million
Juche (N. Korean)  19 million
Judaism  14 million
Baha'i  6 million
Jainism  4 million
Shinto  4 million
Cao Dai  3 million
Tenrikyo  2 million
Wicca / NeoPagan  1 million
Unitarian-Universalism 800 thousand
Rastafarianism  700 thousand
Scientology  600 thousand
Zoroastrianism  150 thousand
Source: http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html. Sizes are approximate estimates as of September 2002

(1) Christianity includes Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal, Latter Day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.

(2) Non-religious includes atheism, agnosticism, secular humanism, none, etc.

(3) Primal-indigenous includes thousands of distinct animism, shamanism, spiritism, voodoo, and tribal traditions.

(4) Chinese traditional includes Confucianism, Taoism, folk beliefs, etc.

This guide was originally prepared in a booklet form by Nick Trierweiler as a project for Wood Badge SR-503. I am solely responsible for its content and accept all responsibility for errors. If I have made a misstatement about your faith, I apologize; please inform me at ntrierweiler@excite.com.  This guide is available from the author in booklet form.






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.