Age of Sikhism: The history of Sikhism began with the birth in 1469 CE of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Guru of the Sikhs. The initiation (baptism) ceremony and other traditions of the religion were formalized by 1699 CE.
Size of Sikhism: Sikhism is the fifth largest world religion. Among all world, regional, and atheist traditions, Sikhism is the ninth largest religion. Sikhs currently number approximately 25 million across the globe, placing Sikhism below Buddhism and above Judaism in terms of size.
Conception of God: Sikhs do not view God as a man in the clouds or any other form of human being, male or female. The concept of God in Sikhism is of oneness with the entire universe and its spirit. God is found not by searching in remote places, but by eliminating ego, which is said to allow a deeper, more accurate perspective on the nature of reality.
Eligibility for Participation: All individuals, regardless of race, gender, or nationality, are free to become Sikhs. Young children who are not yet capable of understanding the philosophy of Sikhism and making their own decisions are not eligible to be initiated into the faith until they have grown older. One does not have to be a Sikh to participate in Sikh religious services and activities. Members of other religions are welcome.