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Wikidata:WikiProject Religions/Ontology

General rulesEdit

Given the sensitivity of the subject, it is indispensable to comprehend how to use references to source. Consider including the statement disputed by (P1310) qualifier.

See, especially, explanations about books:

For the ancient religions, the people and the religion are often confused and designated by the same name. In that case, there should exist two items: one for the people and one for the religion. The labels should not contain the word "religion", if it's possible to avoid it. It is nevertheless recommended to add an alias "<people> religion".

Among the general rules about labels, the most frequent error is to start the label by a capital letter.

There are no specific rules concerning the description of a religion, see the general help about descriptions.


Every property must cite source, generally with stated in (P248).

About religious movements themselvesEdit

Mandatory propertiesEdit

Every item:

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
subclass ofP279Itemsubclass of: all instances of these items are instances of those items; this item is a class (subset) of that item. Not to be confused with P31 (instance of)Baptists <subclass of> Protestantism-
inceptionP571Point in timedate of establishment: date or point in time when the subject came into existence as definedIslam <inception> 610dissolved, abolished or demolished
location of formationP740Itemlocation where a group or organization was formedChristianity <location of formation> Jerusalem-
located on terrain featureP706Itemlandform: located on the specified landform. Should not be used when the value is only political/administrative (P131) or a mountain range (P4552).Manichaeism <located on terrain feature> Gaul-
point in timeP585Point in timepoint in time: time and date something took place, existed or a statement was trueManichaeism <located on terrain feature> Gaul
<point in time> 4. siècle
has qualityP1552Itemquality: the entity has an inherent or distinguishing non-material characteristicatenism <has quality> monotheism-

Philosophico-religious concepts.Edit

Every item should (probably) be has quality (P1552) philosophico-religious concepts.

Optional propertiesEdit

A religion can have:

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
founded byP112Itemorganizational founder: founder or co-founder of this organization, religion or placeIslam <founded by> Muhammad-
dissolved, abolished or demolishedP576Point in timedissolved, abolished or demolished date: point in time at which the subject (organisation, building) ceased to exist; see "date of official closure" (P3999) for closing a facility, "service retirement" (P730) for retiring equipment, "discontinued date" (P2669) for stopping a productArianism <dissolved, abolished or demolished> 689inception
end causeP1534Itemend cause and Wikidata end cause: qualifier to use together with the end date qualifier (P582) to specify the causeCatharism <dissolved, abolished or demolished> 1321
<end cause> Inquisition
time of earliest written recordP1249Point in timeearliest written record: first time a subject was mentioned in writingManichaeism <time of earliest written record> 242-
stated inP248Itemto be used in the references field to refer to the information document or database in which a claim is made; for qualifiers use P805Manichaeism <time of earliest written record> 242
<stated in> Shabuhragan
named afterP138Itemeponym and memorial society: entity or event that inspired the subject's name, or namesake (in at least one language)Buddhism <named after> Buddha-
foundational textP457Itemarticles of association: text through which an institution or object has been created or establishedIslam <foundational text> Quran-
significant eventP793Itemkey event: significant or notable events associated with the subjectZoroastrianism <significant event> Muslim conquest of Persia-

Links between religionsEdit

The notion of link between religions is a sensitive issue and lead easily to subjective bias, it is thus vital for every link property to cite sources.

Every link should be dated in such a way that the period under which the influence exists (for example, the founder life, cf. the Dates section).

Because of the difficulty to avoid subjective bias, it is highly touted to use the influenced by (P737) property, to the exclusion of all others, in any case. However, in cases where a source clearly states it, separated from (P807) can be used (possibly along with influenced by (P737)).


  • Properties based on (P144) and inspired by (P941) are reserved for work (Q386724). While a religion can be considered as a (fiction) work of the (human) mind, it is probable that it would be perceived as a strongly subjective opinion.
  • Do not use school of (P1780), because it is reserved for qualifiers and that the limit between a "school" and a fully-fledged religion cannot be rigorously defined.
  • In the specific case of temporal series (for instance with greek religions), one can be tempted to use follows (P155) and followed by (P156). However, we advise against their use, because a movement that seems to have evolved in another could have lasted after it, without it being noticed (see, for example, the cult of Isis (Q39742)).

Religions may be gathered in a category defined by another criterion than their belief system, for example by the location or culture of origin. In that specific case, the religion is part of (P361) the category. Note: it is impossible to use subclass of (P279), which is kept for structural relationships.

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
influenced byP737Iteminfluence: this person, idea, etc. is informed by that other person, idea, etc., e.g. "Heidegger was influenced by Aristotle".Mithraic mysteries <influenced by> religion in ancient Rome-
part ofP361Itempart: object of which the subject is a part (it's not useful to link objects which are themselves parts of other objects already listed as parts of the subject). Inverse property of "has part" (P527, see also "has parts of the class" (P2670)).Zoroastrianism <part of> Iranian religionshas part

Related subjectsEdit

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
facet ofP1269Itemtopic of which this item is an aspect, item that offers a broader perspective on the same topicbuddhism in Australia <facet of> Buddhism-
applies to partP518Itempart, aspect, or form of the item to which the claim appliesbuddhism in Australia <facet of> Buddhism
<applies to part> Australia
worshipped byP1049Itemreligion or group/civilization that worships a given deityAhura Mazda <worshipped by> Zoroastrianism-
religionP140Itemreligion, religious identity and religious movement: religion of a person, organization or religious building, or associated with this subjectŚāntarakṣita <religion> Mahayana-
religious orderP611Itemreligious order: order of monks or nuns to which an individual or religious house belongsNicolaus Copernicus <religious order> Society of Jesus-
dioceseP708Itemdiocese: administrative division of the church to which the element belongs; use P5607 for other types of ecclesiastical territorial entitiesTurku Cathedral <diocese> Archdiocese of Turku-


  • If the date is uncertain, because of a lack of precision: use the "precision" field (day, month, year, decade, etc.).
  • If the date is a period (not taggable as a precision): use a date with an unknown value, with two qualifiers: earliest date (P1319) and latest date (P1326).
  • If one cannot decide between several precise dates: add several date properties (of the same rank).
  • To qualify a property that is valid for a period identified by an element (not just a date) : use the valid in period (P1264) qualifier.
Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
earliest dateP1319Point in timeearliest date at which an event could have happened. Use as qualifier for other date propertiesdate of birth of Jesus <earliest date> latest date
latest dateP1326Point in timelatest possible time that something could have occurred. Use as qualifier for other date propertiesdate of birth of Jesus <latest date> earliest date
valid in periodP1264Itemtime period when a statement is validTübingen <valid in period> standard time-