Following on from last weeks post on a map of ancient reads routes I thought I would post up this great world map which I came across last summer which displays the major religions of the world.
Hopefully you can click on the map and zoom in but just in case you can’t Red is Roman Catholic, Blue is Anglican/Protestant, Green is Islam, Brown is Hindu, Yellow is Buddhism and Purple is Orthodox.
The map is very detailed in the U.K. for example you can see various cities such as Liverpool that have a large Catholic population whilst much of London shows as being Anglican but with a relatively low percentage of adherents. The Republic Ireland on the other hand clearly shows as being Catholic but has various speckles of lighter colours where signifiant minorities of Protestants live.
The Middle-East is also interesting to look at as you can see Israel in black for Judaism and above it Lebanon which pockets of Christianity as in Iraq whilst parts of Egypt are lighter shades of green showing a predominantly Islamic area but with significant other faiths, usually Christian.
Even this map of modern religion has an historic aspect. It’s clearly seen how much the eastern coast of Africa was visited by Muslim traders from the Middle East.
The red parts of sub-Saharan Africa were primarily incorporated into the French Empire whilst the blue into the British. There are pockets of Portuguese influence in India with small Catholic areas whilst South America is overwhelmingly Catholic due to its conquest by the Spanish and Portuguese.
However if you look closely there are little blue specks around the costs of the continent along with others places such as Hong Kong which at various times were either directly established British ports or quite important trade hubs that were settled by British or Dutch citizens.
It’s fascinating to look at and even the islands in the Pacific have different colours depending on whether they were influenced by the British, Dutch, Spanish, or French.
And Europe wasn’t completely untouched itself by foreign imposed or influenced religions. There are quite large patches of green in the Balkans and SE Europe which are relics of the influence of the Islamic Ottoman Empire that once reached the gates of Vienna.