Germans Love David Hasselhoff / Mythology & Religion
Older Than Feudalism: In Classical Mythology, being a Smug Snake and savage warrior, the god of war Ares is The Scrappy to the Greeks. He got much more respect as Mars by the Romans (who saw a little bit of their own character in him). It helped that the native Mars/Mavors was a patron of farmers (a sort of harvest protector) as well as warriors. According to legend, Mars was the father of Romulus, Rome's founder and first king. In some of the Latin texts Mars seems almost irreconcilable with Homer's Ares.
In an inverted manner, Odysseus/Ulysses was praised by the Greeks for his cunning and guile and was a national hero to many of the Hellenic states; the Romans disliked him for being sneaky and dishonest. They respected the Trojans for their steadfast defence more than the Greeks; that's why Vergil embraced Aeneas the Trojan prince as the ancestor of Romulus and Remus in the Aeneid.
Considering how Buddhism originated in India, it's found more favour in the lands farther East than in its country of origin. This is mainly because the main Buddhist empire of the Mauryas collapsed after the death of Ashoka and small petty rulers reasserted themselves. Later Hindus tried to incorproate some Buddhist ideas into Hinduism, though the schism remained because Buddhists don't adhere to the Vedas and are opposed to its caste system.
On the other hand, this wasn't always the case: much of the Middle East save the Arabian Peninsula and Iran were primarily Christian until that other thing came around. Even these two locations had a large number of Christians.
Modern Nazareth is full of Christians... Itís pretty fun to walk around there during Christmas.
Roman Catholicism is the primary religion in the Philippines; the biggest Christianity hotspot in South East Asia ever since it was colonized by the Spanish Empire. How big? The last two Papal Visits* St. John Paul II in 1995, Pope Francis in 2015 drew about five to six million people in just one instance. And that is not even counting the throngs of people lining up to see the Pope during his stay in the country.
Similarly, almost 30% of people in South Korea are Christians, though they tend to be Protestant rather than Catholic.
Eastern Orthodoxy was originally centered in Constantinople Istanbul (you can guess it from the name of the denomination's main patriarch, who is called the Patriarch of Constantinople), resonating from there to include Greece, Romania, and a large part of the Slavic world. Though the patriarchate is still based there, the population of Istanbul is nowadays overwhelmingly Muslim.
This trope is very much played straight with the fact that Jesus was a Jew in the Kingdom of Judea preaching to other Jews about Jewish issues. Then was claimed to be the Jewish Messiah and deified — by everybody else. Played with in that according to Christian beliefs, Jesus actually wanted everyone else to love him. He was just focusing on preaching to the Jews first before he can finish his mission on Earth.
Speaking of "that other thing", Islam is by no means unpopular in its hometown ‒ how else would the Middle East be able to be stereotyped as all Muslim? ‒ but statistically speaking, it gets way more believers outside of its hometown than many people give it credit for, just by virtue of population difference.
The Middle East (in its traditional definitionnote Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the UAE, and Yemen), in spite of having many of its countries a Muslim-majority, actually accounts for just about 20% of the total world population of Muslims, with most of the percentage being taken up by South Asia (including the relatively-speaking Hindu-majority India), which accounts for almost a half. And the most-populous Muslim-majority country in the world? Not in the Middle East, not in South Asia, but in Southeast Asia (Indonesia).
As for denominations, Shia Islam arose in Arabia (probably; it's still debated since the split was originally political). In the present-day, the denomination is wildly popular in Iran (where it is practically the rule), the Levant and Mesopotamia, as well as South Asia (Pakistan, Afghanistan, India...). Meanwhile, openly being a Shia in Arabia nowadays, is...not easy.
The largest community of Bahá'í Faith is located in India, which represents almost a half of the faith's roughly 5 million believers. The seat of the religion's governing body is also located in Israel. The faith actually arose in 19th century Iran.
Spiritism is largely forgotten in Europe since early 20th century, but retains a huge number of followers in Latin America, especially Brazil.
It's also a recognized denomination in Canada, with an "official Church" organized in the Province of Alberta. Which is Hilarious in Hindsight, considering former Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King's obsession with spirits and mediums.
Hellenic reconstructionism is way more common in the U.S.A. and Australia than in Greece. The influence of the Greek Orthodox Church (and the lack of complete religious freedom) is responsible for that.
Ancient Egyptian gods, primarily Isis, became very popular in Roman times before Christianity, to the point where there was a temple to Isis in England.
Mithras, a sun god from Persia, was also very popular in the Roman Empire, especially among the soldiers.
Most Zoroastrians today are not found in Iran, but in India, Africa and United States.
According to official LDS/Mormon sources there are more members of Mormonism outside the US. This is especially true in South Pacific countries such as Tonga or Samoa where they claim 30-40% of the national population.
If you think Mormons, you will think Utah and maybe a few neighboring states like Idaho. Yet for the entirety of the lifetime of founder Joseph Smith, it was mostly an Eastern Seabord and Upstate New York phenomenon. The first Mormons did not reach what is now Utah until after the death of Joseph Smith (who was born in Vermont and died in Illinois)
Vampires originated in Slavic folklore. The vampire legends were imported to England in the Nineteenth Century, and have been prominent in English language fiction ever since.
Maman Brigitte, a loa in Voodoo, was originally St. Bridget, brought to the Caribbean by Irish Catholics fleeing oppression under Cromwell. St. Bridget, in turn, is thought to be connected to the Celtic fertility goddess Brig.