Animism was started in Africa. Their mains beliefs are worshiping nature and worshiping their ancestors. It is still practiced today in the traditional communities of Africa. There's not a lot that was written on the historical development of the traditional animism. Animism is actually a very traditional belief system for many cultures. The religion affects the culture because Animist demonstrate great understanding of nature, and show great respect for the ancestors that have passed on to the spiritual world. The term animism is derived from the Latin word anima meaning breath or soul. Animist are polytheistic because they believe in many spirits. Animism has approximately 232 million followers, that's 4% of the world. In Animism there is exsiting unseen forces that include supernatural powers like fate, cosmic moral order, the evil eye, and witch craft.
Shintoism started in Japan. Shinto means "the way of kami." They believe in the spirit kami. Kami exists in all things including their emperor. They have great respect for the natural world(especially from the past.) Shintoism is polytheistic, which means they believe in more than one god. There is approximately 300,000,000 people following the Shintoism religion. Shinto understands that the kami not only exist as spiritual beings, but also in nature; they are within mountains, trees, rivers, and even geographical regions. Shintoism has more to deal with souls and spiritual things and not as much as a god. Not all kami are sufficiently personalized to have names, some are just referred to as the kami of such-and-such a place.
Hinduism originated in India. They have a holy book and the name is Vedas. The main belief is re-carnation, re-carnation is the belief of someone's soul is reborn into another form until perfection is reached. You have to live a good life. They need good behavior and good thoughts so they can move up in the caste system. The caste system is the social order of separate caste through karma-people move up or down the caste system which organized Indian society by the type of job. In Hinduism you have to have good dharma ( the overall values and rules.) if you have good dharma you get good karma (what you earn) and having good karma moves you up in the caste system. Hinduism is a polyothestic religion they believe in more than one god.
Buddhism originated in India but didn't stay. Buddhism moved from India to China, Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia. The main belief is end your suffering by ending your desires. The way it affected the culture was they learned to accept what life brings to them. Buddhism is known for the "four noble truths." One everyone suffers. Two suffering is caused by having desires. Three to end suffering-end your desires. The fourth to end your desires- follow the eighth-fold path. There's about 300 million people who practice the religion of Buddhism. The name Buddhism comes from Budhi (to awaken.)
Taoism originated in china. The Holy text of Taoism is Tao le ching. The main belief is to follow nature. How the belief affects the culture is they don't challenge the natural process and they accept things as they come. Taoism is a social philosophy not a religion. Taoism has approximately 20,000,000 followers. In Taoism the universe springs from the Tao, and the Tao impersonally guides things on their way.
Confucianism originated in china. The holy text is the analects. The main belief is all people need to accept their role in society. The main belief affects the culture by having a great deal of respect for parents, elders and their country. Confucianism has an element called the "5 relationships." The first relationship is father--> Son the second relationship is older brother---> younger brother. The third relationship is Husband---> wife. the fourth relationship is ruler---> subjects. the fifth relationship is friends=friends. Confucianism is often characterized as a system of social and ethical philosophy rather than a religion. Confucianism was made by a man name Confucius.
Judaism originated in the middle east. The holy text is Torah(first five books of the testament.) The main beliefs are they have one god monotheistic and god will send a messiah. How the belief affects the culture is they try to follow the gods laws so the messiah will come. Judaism was kicked out of the Palestine by the romans, causing most Jewish to go to Europe cities and lived in the ghettos where there was persecution and oppression. It began as the religion of the small nation of the Hebrews, and through thousands of years of suffering, persecution, dispersion, and occasional victory, has continued to be a profoundly influential religion and culture. Today there is still 14 million people who classify themselves as Jewish.
Christianity originated in the middle east. The holy text is the bible. The main beliefs are they believe in one god(monotheistic) and that Jesus is the son of god and that he is the messiah. After the death of Jesus, missionaries spread his word. The roman empire persecuted Christmas. They slowly accepted the Christian ideas. Christianity eventually became the official religion. Romans spread Christianity throughout the empire. Christianity has approximately 2,100,000,000 followers today. Christians believe that Jesus was far more than a political radical. For them the death of Jesus was part of a divine plan to save humanity. They believe Jesus died for them, to forgive them for their sins.
Islam was originated in the middle east. The holy text was the Qur'an. The main beliefs one god(monotheistic) and follow Allah in all things above anything else Mohammed is the messiah. The belief affected the culture by the religious laws of Islam are so important that they often become the political laws of the nation. Islam is the youngest religion. Islam moved out of Mecca east to India west across north Africa and on into Spain. Islam was spread by the military system. Arabs(Muslim followers) were also great traders. Islam has an element called the "five pillars of faith." One is to recite, pray, charity, fast and pilgrimage. Islam has approximately 1,500,000,000 followers. Islam, which literally means "surrender" or "submission."