The Eastern religions are a family of religions native to Asia. In addition to several major religions, the Eastern religious also include a number of cults, along with the animistic religions of native Asian peoples. Unlike Western religions such as the Abrahamic religions, Eastern religions often blend philosophy and religious practice together. Followers of the Eastern religions are quite numerous, and they can be found all over the world.
Among the Eastern religions, it is possible to separate out two major families: Indian religions, and Taoist religions. Within these two major families, there are a number of sects and smaller groups which practice very specific versions of major religions, much like sects of Christianity in the West. Beyond these two groupings, there are Southeast Asian adaptations of Indian religions, especially Buddhism, and animist religions which are still practiced in isolated regions of Asia.
Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism are all closely associated with India. It is also possible to find Zoroastrianism, a religion which originated in the Middle East, in India. Many people feel that Zoroastrianism bridges both Eastern and Western religious concepts. The Indian religions share a number of common traits, including a heavy emphasis on personal duty and natural law, and many of these religions have a rich ascetic tradition, along with an array of prophets, teachers, and gods.
The Taoist religions include Confucianism, Shintoism, and Taoism itself. All of these religions share the concept of the Tao, and they tend to have heavy philosophical leanings. When people think of Eastern religions, they often think of Taoist religions, which have become very popular in the New Age community in the West, thanks to their philosophical focus. East Asia has also come up with its own distinct flavor of Buddhism, which is markedly different from that practiced in India and heavily influenced by Taoism.
The animistic traditions in Asia are heavily focused in Japan and Southeast Asia. Animist beliefs center on the idea that natural phenomena are caused by spirits, and they often include a complex tradition of philosophy and personal beliefs. Some people feel that animist traditions are not technically religions, because they have a more magical and philosophical bent, and people can identify both as animists and as members of various world religions.