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Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hindusim are considered world religions for two reasons. First, these religious traditions influence a large portion of the world's population. These faith traditions are shared by several million people and span wide geographic areas. Second, these traditions present a more universal notion of divinity than prior traditions. Before the first century C.E. (during which all six world religions came into being,) most people worshiped communal gods unique to their ethnic group or clan. People generally had strong tribal ties to their deities. The six major world religions transcended boundaries of clan, ethnic group, and nation. Furthermore, the theological underpinnings of these traditions often emphasize a universal, humanistic perspective.
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