Folk religion  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Folk religion consists of beliefs, superstitions and rituals transmitted from generation to generation in a specific culture. It could be contrasted with an organized religion or historical religion in which founders, creed, theology and ecclesiastical organizations are present. In contrast, ethnic religion refers to the religious practices particular to a certain ethnicity. Folk religion and ethnic religion alike are characterized by the absence of proselytization, membership being, as a rule, equivalent to ethnicity.

The folk religion with the largest number of adherents is the Chinese folk religion, accounting for some 6% of world population. Various "primal indigenous" religions (animism, shamanism) account for another 4%, but elements of folk religion exist as part of all religious traditions and should be regarded as popular currents (as opposed to a theological or institutionalized) rather than as separate religions, so that folk religion, like superstition, is a phenomenon present in every society.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Folk religion" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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