How many religions do you know? People are usually familiar only with the most famous and traditional religions such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism. In fact, there are many other, lesser-known religions that are practiced by people all over the world. To show you some of the most interesting, bizarre, and unique religions that you might not know about, we compiled this post with 25 Most Bizarre Religions That Actually Exist.
Also known as the Raelian Movement, Raelism is a UFO religion that was founded in 1974 by former French car-racing test driver Claude Vorilhon (now known as Rael). The religion is based on the belief that scientists from another planet came to Earth and created all forms of life, including human beings, thousands of years ago.
Developed by L. R. Hubbard in 1954, Scientology is a religion that studies people’s true spiritual nature and their relationships to themselves, their families, groups, Mankind, all life forms, material universe, spiritual universe, and the Supreme Being. According to Scientology, Man is an immortal spiritual being whose experience extends well beyond a single lifetime.
Nation of Yahweh
The most controversial offshoot of the Black Hebrew Israelites religious movement, Nation of Yahweh is a religion named after its leader Yahweh Ben Yahweh. It bases some parts of its theology on its interpretation of the Bible; however, it departs from mainstream Christianity and Judaism and is sometimes considered a hate group or a black supremacist cult.
Church of All Worlds
The Church of All Worlds is a neo-pagan religion founded in 1962 by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and his wife Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart. Based in Cotati, California, the religion evolved from a group of friends and lovers who were inspired by a fictional religion of the same name in the sci-fi novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.
Subud is a religious movement based on spontaneous and ecstatic exercises. It was founded by Indonesian spiritual leader Muhammad Subuh in the 1920’s. The movement was restricted to Indonesia until the 1950’s, when it spread to Europe and America. The central feature of Subud is “latihan,” a spontaneous, spiritual activity, which is usually held for an hour twice a week.
Photos: 25. wikimedia commons (public domain), 24. Scientology Media, Church-of-Scientology-Los-Angeles-night-shot, CC BY-SA 2.0, 23. Dror Eiger, Black hebrews Dimona visit1, CC BY-SA 2.0, 22. Book cover via Amazon (fair use; illustrative purposes only; no free images available), 21. Max Pixel (public domain), 20. John Dill via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 19. Christopher Hogue Thompson, Yaohnanen Tribesmen Show Pictures of 2007 Visit with Prince Philip, CC BY-SA 3.0, 18. Archit Ratan via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 17. Max Pixel (public domain), 16. Che, Astar na letne, CC BY-SA 2.5, 15. Pete Birkinshaw from Manchester, UK, Act of Subgenius, CC BY 2.0, 14. Kenneth C. Budd, TamaRe, CC BY 2.0, 13. wikimedia commons (public domain), 12. pixabay (public domain), 11. Chris Korda, CoE Symbol, CC BY-SA 3.0, 10. Youngamerica, Happy science osak temple mural1, CC BY-SA 3.0, 9. Arp, Psilocybe semilanceata 6514, CC BY-SA 3.0, 8. Theme Park Tourist, Jedi Temple Duel, CC BY 2.0, 7. Alireza Javaheri, Zoroastrian temple of Yazd, CC BY 3.0, 6. shankar s. from Dubai, united arab emirates, Voodoo exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (8348740026), CC BY 2.0, 5. sandyraidy, Druids celebrating at Stonehenge (1), CC BY-SA 2.0, 4. Klaus-J. Kahle, Rasta Man Barbados, CC BY 3.0, 3-1. wikimedia commons (public domain)