A new video shows the spread of five major religions across the globe, condensing 5,000 years of history into just over two and a half minutes. Whatever your views on religion may be, it’s impossible to deny its monumental impact on the course of human civilization, rendered here in colors that seep across continents with astonishing speed. Produced by Alex Kuzoian for Business Insider, the video tracks the expansion and shifting real estates of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam from 3,000 BCE to the present.
The video is light on narration, but it does mark watershed moments for these religions, beginning with the birth of early forms of Hinduism in the Indus River Valley over four millennia ago. It goes on to highlight the births of major religious figures, including those of Abraham circa 2,000 BCE, Buddha circa 600 BCE, and Muhammad in 570 CE, as well as the crucifixion of Christ circa 30 CE.
As German Lopez at Vox points out, much of the expansion of these religions can be linked to governmental support and conquest. In his rule of Rome during the fourth century, for example, Emperor Constantine pushed Rome to become a Christian empire, leading to the dominance of Christianity in Europe for the centuries following. Similarly, the rapid expansion of Islam can be traced to Muhammad and his devotees’ conquests of Northern Africa and the Middle East beginning in the seventh century. Exploration and colonialism, starting with the Age of Discovery in the 15th century, also sent these religions into new territories.
By the time the video reaches our own era, these five religions dominate almost the entire globe:
Watch the whole progression:
Images: YouTube (2)