The Birth of Modern Religions

A few days ago, while doing research for Relic II: Resurrection, I stumbled across an interesting article in the Daily Mail about how the five major contemporary religions conquered the world over the past five thousand years.

The article includes a multi-colored animated video illustrating the origin and spread of today’s modern religions starting with the birth of Krishna in the Indian subcontinent. The origin and spread of Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam follow.

What caught my attention was that none of the religions originated in Africa or the Americas, or in Europe for that matter. They all have their origins in Asia. What was it about Asian societies and cultures that gave these religions their staying power?

We all know that other religions did exist, both prior and concurrently with these five religions, and that these other religions had their roots on other continents; Greek, Norse and Roman mythology; the pre-Colombian religions of the Mayans, Incas, and Aztecs; ancient Egypt. What was it about today’s religions that gave them staying power, while other faded into history? And what would today’s world look like if these ancient religious persisted and flourished side-by-side with with the others?