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Roughly 95 percent of the world’s Hindus live in India.Because the religion has no specific founder, it’s difficult to trace its origins and history.But later, Christian missionaries sought to convert and westernize the people. The well-known politician and peace activist, Mahatma Gandhi, led a movement that pushed for India’s independence.The partition of India occurred in 1947, and Gandhi was assassinated in 1948.For centuries, the caste system determined every aspect of a person’s social, professional and religious status in India.When India became an independent nation, its constitution banned discrimination based on caste.The caste system is a social hierarchy in India that divides Hindus based on their karma and dharma.Many scholars believe the system dates back more than 3,000 years.
Today, with about 900 million followers, Hinduism is the third-largest religion behind Christianity and Islam.Hindus can also worship at home, and many have a special shrine dedicated to certain gods and goddesses.The giving of offerings is an important part of Hindu worship.During parts of the Muslim Period, which lasted from about 1200 to 1757, Hindus were restricted from worshipping their deities, and some temples were destroyed.Saints expressed their devotion through poetry and songs. At first, the new rulers allowed Hindus to practice their religion without interference.