Speed Reads

Of Gods And Men

This animated map recreates 5,000 years of religious history in 90 seconds

This animated map recreates 5,000 years of religious history in 90 seconds

In the beginning, there was... something. But when exactly was the beginning of that something? And where did these beginnings begin?

A person's religion isn't just a set of beliefs — it's the result of complex geopolitical and societal shifts that occurred as the world's major faiths were born, grew, fought for supremacy (or harmony, occasionally) and spread across the globe over millennia. To help visualize this evolution, Maps of War created a short animation of 5,000 years of religious history:

As each faith blooms from its birthplace to dominate areas both nearby and far-flung, we get a sense of the world's religions as an amorphous jigsaw puzzle — and we're reminded that the intractable lines we draw between people of different beliefs will inevitably melt and reform elsewhere as time marches on.