Christians 32% of world, Muslims 23%

Pew report

20_religionCountryMapThe following comes from a December 18 analysis fro the Pew Forum.

Worldwide, more than eight-in-ten people identify with a religious group. A comprehensive demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life estimates that there are 5.8 billion religiously affiliated adults and children around the globe, representing 84% of the 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.


The demographic study – based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers – finds 2.2 billion Christians (32% of the world’s population), 1.6 billion Muslims (23%), 1 billion Hindus (15%), nearly 500 million Buddhists (7%) and 14 million Jews (0.2%) around the world as of 2010. In addition, more than 400 million people (6%) practice various folk or traditional religions, including African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions and Australian aboriginal religions. An estimated 58 million people – slightly less than 1% of the global population – belong to other religions, including the Baha’i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism, to mention just a few.

At the same time, the new study by the Pew Forum also finds that roughly one-in-six people around the globe (1.1 billion, or 16%) have no religious affiliation. This makes the unaffiliated the third-largest religious group worldwide, behind Christians and Muslims, and about equal in size to the world’s Catholic population. Surveys indicate that many of the unaffiliated hold some religious or spiritual beliefs (such as belief in God or a universal spirit) even though they do not identify with a particular faith. (See Religiously Unaffiliated.)

To read the original report, click here.


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  1. Maryanne Leonard says:

    We have work to do, my fellow Catholics. This is shameful, that God Himself should have come to earth to teach us how and why to follow Him, and yet the Light has not yet been seen by all the world! This is not the fault of those who have not been shown The Way; it is our fault. Let us begin by proclaiming The Lord at every possible moment!

    • Is anyone familiar with the “Beginning Apologetics” series. They now have a Volume 9, which is titled “How to Answer Muslims”. I have found some of the past issues to be very helpful in explaining our faith to various different groups of people, I even have a friend who converted to Catholicism partly due to what I was able to share with him from what I learned from one of the booklets. (The Holy Spirit did the rest!!)

      You are correct Maryanne, that “it is not the fault of those who have not been shown The Way”.

  2. Father Karl says:

    Christianity may be the majority right now, but Moslems will overtake us shortly. The main fact lies in that Christians are not having many children , and daily many leave the “faith of their fathers’. The Moslems on the other hand have many children, and very few of them change religion.

    • Father: Not so. According to Steve Mosher of PRI, Muslim birthrates have fallen steeply, especially among immigrant to the West. Mosher no longer forecasts “demographic conquest”. Conversions are common in Europe and not unknown in the Middle East, although often secret. Ex-Muslim Catholics in Europe may be the Church’s secret weapon in the next Crusade.

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      On The contrary, Islam is on the downfall, the Secular bomb has exploded big time among Muslims. Most do not even want Children. Only the extremists have children and they are few.
      Islam’s weakness lies in the fact that outside of Arabia most adherents are only in it due to fear of reprisals.

      Violence has never been a great way to keep people faithful

      • Robt. Spencer (an authority on Islam) said in a recent radio interview that what most people aren’t aware of is there is a huge battle being waged over who controls the fate of Islam. There are three major factions , as most of you know, Shia, Sunni and Sufi and they hate each other’s guts as much as they hate us. That’s basically what is going on in the so-called Arab spring. and in Afghanistan. They don’t want the world to know there is such deep division. As I was ‘listening’ and knitting at the same time, I would take what I just wrote with a grain of salt, but it would certainly be worth your while to check out Spencer’s website “Jihad Watch’.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


      Many Muslims don’t change their “religion” because they don’t want to have theirs and their families heads cut off!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • Exactly, Kenneth, and a Muslim woman MUST marry a Muslim man or a Muslim convert in most families. I read a book called Fatima by a Muslim Palestinian who married a Christian man who converted to Islam for her. Her family lived in England after they lost their home in Palestine. The husband could not take her active participation in the “liberation” of Palestine since most English, which he was, were more pro Israel, so he finally found another woman, left her and went back to Christianity. His mother was a devout Christians and was against the marriage and conversion in the first place, as was the Muslim woman’s family. When Fatima returned to Palestine and other Arab states, the men wanted nothing to do with her except as a mistress or prostitute. I thought to myself she would have been better off converting to Christianity and finding a new “family”, but that is easier said than done. Her family actually had a dog as a pet when she was a child, so they were not as strict as some Muslims who hate dogs and consider them unclean..

        • I should say that by the end of the book, Fatima had kept her virtue, but I often wondered what happened to her later.

  3. What would move a Muslim or a Protestant, a Jew or a Pagan of some great or lesser belief system to convert to Catholicism?

    • Well, Ska, one Muslim man did offer to make Fatimah his second or third wife before the book ended, so I can see how well informed women could be becoming Catholics. I did once I found out it WAS the Church Christ started, and that articficial birth control IS bad for women and so is abortion. In fact my life was saved by a Catholic priest who told me to use Natural Family Planning instead of the Pill, and I had estrogen susceptible cancer at that time unknowingly. So, Ska, there is this ex Protestant’s answer. I am sure many converts, including Jewish ones such as those on EWTN could give you some good answers also. I have read the Koran through and through, and I cannot understand how any woman would want to convert to Islam, or even marry a Muslim man. Some women have married them over here to their own everlasting sorry. One Baptist woman married a Muslim man with her father’s approval, and he ended up killing the daughters in an honor killing merely because they talked to boys.. Also, some women who married Muslims men have had their children taken into foreign countries by their husbands never to see them again. Perhaps that answers some of your questions.

  4. Well the demographics alone in France,5 to 7 million Muslims mostly North Africans, Germany 3 to 4 million mostly Turks, Belgium & Holland 1 to 2 million mostly North Africans & Turks, white Europeans are not reproducing and Muslims on average have 6 to 7 children per family in Europe. Churches have closed or have been converted into Mosques, it is quite bleek. Europe must find its Christian soul or Europe will be a Muslim continent in 25 to 30 years.

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