Religion in Bihar

Jain Symbol
According to the 2011 population census, Hinduism makes up the 82.7 per cent of the religious profile of Bihar. Islam comes second with 16.9% per cent. And rest of other religions have less than 1 percent followership.

As of now, Hinduism might be dictating the religious make up of Bihar, but the state is associated with rise of several other religions such as Buddhism and Jainism in past. Moreover, it is also home to some of the most important Sikh pilgrimage sites.

Hinduism in Bihar
Bihar is associated with the Hinduism and its predecessor Vedic Brahmanism since the time immemorial. Magadha (modern day Bihar) was one of the 16 Mahajanapadas mentioned in several Hindu text. The King of Magadha Brihadratha is mentioned in Rigveda. The major Hindu pilgrimage sites in Bihar are Patna, Sitamarhi, Darbhanga, Champaran and Madhubani. One can say, Hinduism has a rich foothold in Bihar, but the Bihari Hindu community is also infested with strong caste and creed bais. It also follows a strict patriarchal system. And there are many social problems in Bihar which are simply related to staunchness of religious beliefs.

Islam in Bihar
Islam in Bihar is the second largest religion in Bihar. A majority of Bihari muslims follow Sunni Islam. However, a significant number of Shia muslims are concentrated around Patna. The history of Islam trace back to the early 12th century. Later, muslim population rose due to forced conversion by Sher Shah Suri and later Mughal rulers.

Buddhism in Bihar
The story of Buddhism is closely intregrated with the story of Bihar. Bodh Gaya, the place where Gautama Buddha attained enlightment, is considered  as the Mecca of Buddhist pilgrimage. The major Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Bihar are Bodh Gaya, Vaishali, Nalanda and Rajgir.

Sikhism in Bihar
Again, the capital of Bihar is one of the holiest cities in the cultural map of Sikhism. It is the birthplace of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Patna is also associated with Guru Nanak and Guru Tegh Bahadur. Takht Shri Harmandir Saheb (also known as Patna Saheb) is one of the Five Takhts of Sikhism. Most of the Sikhs in Bihar are Nanakpanthi.

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Jainism in Bihar
Bihar is also the birthplace of last tirthankara Vardhmana Mahavira. He was born in Vaishali around sixth century BCE. It is said Vasupujya, the 12th Jain tirthankara also born in Bihar around Champaran.

Christianity in Bihar
Suprisingly, Christians form the third largest religious community in Bihar. Most of them are Roman Catholics who have converted from their staunch and patriarchy infested rganized religions.
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