India is a secular democracy and is the home to Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and many other religions. In India religion is a way of life, an integral part of one's day to day activities, influencing every aspect of life. Common practices through ages had influenced most faiths and many festivals that mark each year with music, dance, and feasting are shared by all communities. Each religion even has its own pilgrimage sites, legends and heros.
Hinduism, one of the world's oldest faiths, originated in India and has the largest followers. Buddhism was founded in about 500 BC. Janism, another religion originated in India, has about 5 million followers in India. Islam arrived in India with Muslim traders and later with Muslim invaders and Mughuls. The Sikhs are another religion originated in India and there are over 20 million Sikhs predominantly in Punjab. Christianity was brought to India by the apostle ST. Thomas when he landed in Southern India. Today there are 40 million Christians in India.