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December 19th, 2011
12:08 PM ET

Christianity goes global as world's largest religion

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Christians are by far the largest religious group on the planet, and the religion has gone truly global over the past century, according to a new report out Monday, which finds some of the world's biggest Christian communities in surprising places.

Europe was the clear center of world Christianity one hundred years ago, but today the Americas are home to more than a third of all Christians. In fact, the United States has the world's largest Christian population, of more than 247 million, followed by Brazil and Mexico.

China also appears on the list of top 10 largest Christian populations - with an estimated 67 million Christians, it has more followers of the faith than any western European country.

There are nearly 2.2 billion Christians around the world, making up about one-third of the world's population - the same percentage as a century ago, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Islam is the world's second largest religion, with about 1.6 billion followers worldwide, the Washington-based organization calculates. That's just under one-quarter of the estimated 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.

Sub-Saharan Africa has seen the biggest explosion in its Christian population in the past century, going from about 9 million Christians in 1910 to about 516 million today - nearly a quarter of all the world's Christians. Three of the world's ten largest Christian populations are in Africa: Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.

The study, "Global Christianity," is based on demographic and opinion data from 232 countries and territories. It's part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project, which has also included reports on the current and projected number of Muslims in the world.

It does not measure practice or belief, merely counting as Christian anyone who says they are.

The report calculates that half the world's Christians are Catholic, 37% are Protestants, and 12% are Orthodox. The remaining 1 percent belong to other traditions such as Mormonism.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (2,648 Responses)
  1. James

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3reJfWEVc3M&w=640&h=360]

    December 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • James

      This is proof the church is Evil.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      No sh-it you did need to point out the symbolism,.. and if anything She is our Citizen Cain she makes us all look bad we LGBT are not freaks were normal people just like you what you see is the fringe/radical and it need to stop. here is a better song protesting the churches stance on h-omo-se-xuality

      Yo Gaga you’re making us look bad + I don’t see no H in LGBT do you, so take you ovote-stis out-of-here, you’re an anomaly. (nothing against herms its just you guys have the sympathy and support of the people. we thank you for your efforts on the ‘War for Love” just Gaga’s not welcome)

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Whgmuw6FOC4&w=640&h=360]

      December 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  2. hippypoet

    what good has the belief in god done anyone? ever? I think belief in oneself is far more powerful, meaningful, and useful to the lot then belief in anything else no matter how clearly imaginary or factual!
    Parents teach morals and ethics not the bible, simple... and those who place misguided ideals into an imaginary creature are illeqiuped to raise kids yet are encourage to do so...if the number of christian psych ward patients are on the rise its high time we, those of intellect, should get the fuk outta here! Consider them , those religious sheep, an experiment in how not to live...afterall, every religiously run nation in this planets history has done nothing but great things for the whole right?

    December 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Abinadi

      All we need to do to see a non-christain nation in action is go to communist Russia or China. I am just sure you would have loved to live there. The only reason you can be a "hippypoet" and say the things you do is because Christians are an amazingly tolerant people and allow you to. I challenge you to try it in Iran.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • HellBent

      "The only reason you can be a "hippypoet" and say the things you do is because Christians are an amazingly tolerant people and allow you to. I challenge you to try it in Iran."

      Try it in any European Christian country a few centuries ago and your fate will be worse than what you'll see in Iran. So if you want to go around saying that your religion is the model of tolerance, try agian.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      @Abinadi
      The current PM of Australia is an atheist and their country isn't being torn apart.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • CaptainObvious

      @IAMTHEBEST Citing an example where you have one non-christian leader of a nation that is still very predominately (over 70%) Christian is not helping your case.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  3. George

    I'm glad to see that the atheists are vastly outnumbered. Conservative evangelicals need to get off their duff and start converting people. It's distasteful that so many of the world's so-called Christians are Catholics. I grew up Catholic, and I can tell you that evangelical Christianity is the true Christianity. It's sad that so many Christians are following false doctrines.

    December 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Clayton

      There's over a billion atheists out there, George. A billion people who know you are full of crap. Not "believe", but KNOW you are full of crap!
      And all you're worried about is whether someone follows your brand of idiocy? Sounds about right.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • I_get_it

      George,

      I see that you have, however, retained your early Catholic indoctrination of, "I am better than you", and "God" loves me best"!

      December 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • I_get_it

      Catholic indoctrination: "All of mankind is a pile of poop; but we, oh fortunate ones, are at the top of the pile - prime poop, as it were."

      December 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Hey

      "Conservative evangelicals need to get off their duff and start converting people"

      Oh do because the more you post and show the world what a jerk you are and how stupid your opinion on life is the more will run away to the atheist side. So go, go, go George we need the world to see what a bunch of idiots you all are.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • HellBent

      How's that conversion going for you there, George? As a little helpful hint I think you'll find that extortion doesn't work on most atheists.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Bob

      It's a great sign that there are people willing to stand up to morons like George.

      George, how's that daily goat sacrifice doing? Sicko Chrisian god's gonna fry your fat ass in hell if you fall behind on it.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Bob

      It's a great sign that there are people willing to stand up to morons like George.

      George, how's that daily goat sacrifice doing? Sicko Christian god's gonna fry your fat ass in hell if you fall behind on it.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • George

      @Bob

      Again, I ask you, what's wrong with animal sacrifice? Muslims and jews do it. You act like something is wrong with it.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • J.W

      I think goat sacrificing is Bob's fetish.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • HellBent

      @George,

      I think that commented said all I ever needed to know about you.

      To my knowledge, jews and muslims – at least the vast majority of them, do not sacrifice animals. They slaughter animals in a particular way – but that's not animal sacrifice. Your bible tells you to burn animal flesh because your god likes the smell. That idea, to most rational human beings, flew past absurd a LONG time ago.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • J.W

      I don't think that anyone anywhere still sacrifices animals. Or maybe in more primitive cultures they do. I think that it was just part of the culture at the time those scriptures were written.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • George

      @Hellbent

      Extremely orthodox Jews in Europe opposed a law stating that animals have to be killed a certain way to avoid pain because it interferes with their religious beliefs. I know from first hand experience that at least some Muslims sacrifice animals.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • HellBent

      "Extremely orthodox Jews in Europe opposed a law stating that animals have to be killed a certain way to avoid pain because it interferes with their religious beliefs. I know from first hand experience that at least some Muslims sacrifice animals."

      And I find the idea of a god who likes humans to inflict pain on animals to be abhorrent.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Belieber

      Nothing is wrong with animal sacrifice. God loves it. But he likes human sacrifice even better. He sent his son, because he was such a di'ck, he couldn't forgive a mistake, and was such a A$$ hole , he would only say, "well ok then", if his own child was killed. (Oh, btw he is a loving god).

      December 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Buddhism > Christianity

      Actually Buddhism is better. No doubt about it. All Christians should convert as soon as possible.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Steve

      Worry about yourself, George.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Marc Kapou

      For those of you down playing us Catholics, why don't you tell me what you know about religious discrimination and/or imposing your beliefs of others who are Catholics? So sick-minded...

      December 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  4. Deist 1#

    http://thelistcafe.com/top-10-most-evil-popes

    December 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Why not the top ten best Popes?
      Always looking for the negative aren't you?

      December 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Deist 1#

      Yes and let's keep telling people not to wear condoms. The Church can cure your H.I.V

      December 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • George

      @Deist

      If people kept s.e.x for marriage and procreation, there wouldn't be a problem with h.i.v.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Deist 1# To George

      Thats your answer Abstinence? It's been taught for centuries but has never worked.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • George

      Abstinence is commanded by God before marriage. It works if people sufficiently know that hell awaits those who break the commandments of God.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      What kind of god would send someone to hell for the physical manifestation of Love,… Oh yeah I forgot that’s what the pr-ick did to me. Love is not a crime…yo

      December 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      Don’t you get sick of living in fear George….you really need to find someone to love…like rapido. I’m worried about your health it’s just not healthy for someone to be over 18 and a virgin and that was what 32 years ago. Look maybe no one going to marry you because you won’t let them get a test drive,.. you know it causes a problem we you marry the person you love and you find out you’re not physically compatible.. it can lead to divorce

      December 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • CaptainObvious

      Funny, no STDS here. Only been with one partner..my wife whom I have been married to for 12 years. Abstinence and follow-ing God's law sure seemed to attribute to my current state of health and happiness. No offense, but the best way to salve the ills of the world would be for the world to stop turing their back on God and his commands and then complain about the consequenses of their own disobidience. After all, he only gave you those commands for your benefit, not his.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Steve

      George,

      Statistics suggest that you and others like you have repeatedly failed to leverage abstinence as a means of successfully addressing the HIV epidemic. Times up. It's not working. Step aside. Time to try something else. (Better luck next time.)

      December 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Steve

      Hey, Captain Oblivious. For that to work, everyone would first have to believe in your god. If you want credit for an intelligent solution—or more even an intelligent suggestion—come up with one that is more likely to be adopted by everybody. It's far more complicated than YOUR god. Yours is a selfish solution that serves a personal agenda. Personally, I'd prefer to help everyone, no matter what they believe.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      dear CaptainObvious

      I have had 37 se-xual encounters

      28 female
      3 Tra-ns
      2 her-ms
      4 male
      And no STD (I used protection and made sure my partners were responsible)
      Sounds to me like you missed out on allot of love in your life

      December 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  5. hey grandma's faith is second..

    😉

    December 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • P12QT

      No wonder granny is busy advocating abortion to the Christians.
      Granny is evil!

      December 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  6. Clayton

    I guess this is the cue for all those idiots who think that if a group believes something that it must be true.
    Majority does not create facts and does not create truth. All a majority is a larger number, in this case, of idiots.

    December 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Belieber

      What ? Ya mean the Earth is NOT flat ?

      December 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Belieber- you misunderstand...majority thinking only works when the ppl arguing against you is in that majority. Trust me, if the majority of ppl were atheist, then they would be singing the praises of group think.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Clayton

      Except that "group think" is not usually promoted over individualism, and neither of these are part of "atheism"- the lack of any belief in any deity.
      Tell me how a lack of belief instantly equates to "group-think"? I came to atheism on my own. Nobody told me what to think.
      Unlike you.
      If there was ever anything that could be labeled "group-think" with ease, it would be religion at the top of the list, not atheism.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Belieber

      No deary. The logical fallacy, "Appeal to Majority", (Argumentum ad populum), is invalid, and any educated person knows that, no matter what side they're on.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      Actually any educated person will tell you
      The person is smart
      People are dumb, panicking, animals; with a hint of oh my god the fu-ck was that. And a pinch of please protect me
      People need something to hold onto something to believes and Christians use the fear monger method
      You know
      If you’re truly fear some one there’s is only to things they’ll do; beg and hope the person or object will show mercy, or ti-the and hope they’ll go away.

      Ti-the as in; give unto the wolf so he will spare your flock in the winter

      Either way Christians make money

      December 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "I came to atheism on my own. Nobody told me what to think.
      Unlike you."

      Sorry Clayton but you are incorrect. Nobody told me what to believe.
      If you have came to your belief on your own...good for you.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  7. Deist 1#

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WujKBJc_yMg&w=640&h=360]

    December 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Deist 1#

      Arrest those Child Molesting Priest then ask for Forgiveness!

      December 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      Invented the scientific method??? AHAhahahahahaaahahahhahaahaah

      December 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  8. Deist 1#

    Did any body see the Catholic Church Commercial Right after The Broncos,Pats game. Ha ha. After Molesting kids for God Knows how many centuries (And Who knows about what other evil things the Church has done on the in private) don't be surprised if people aren't running back to you,with Kids in hand! They should have let real police investigate these Child molestation Charges and Arrested more Priest.

    December 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • hahaha

      Yeah, lets have a catholic football couch alone with children. That will end well.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  9. hippypoet

    sun worshipping is more global then christianity... and thats a pun too! see, i can multi-task 🙂 yah for me 🙂

    December 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  10. Atheist 1#

    That because Europe learned First Hand the Evils,Insanenezz and Atrocity's committed in the name of Christianity.

    December 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Like what?

      December 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Clayton

      Ah, captain america uses his old name!

      December 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • the drunk idiot roundup

      be sure and use those caps, and put the # sign after your name

      December 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • HellBent

      @Uncouth, for starters, how about the Crusades – and not only the numbered crusades against Muslims, but the many other crusades against those considered heretical. The death toll right there is well over one million. Add on the inquisition, the execution of those accused of heresy or witchcraft and you're likely to end up with a skeptical populace.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • George

      @Hellbent

      Everything that you described is justified in the Bible. God ordered whole civilizations destroyed down to the last man, woman and child because they followed the wrong God. And we are called to execute witches. People were doing their best to follow the commandments of God as they understood it at the time. Put down your judgements and pick up your Bible.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • HellBent

      "@Hellbent

      Everything that you described is justified in the Bible. God ordered whole civilizations destroyed down to the last man, woman and child because they followed the wrong God. And we are called to execute witches. People were doing their best to follow the commandments of God as they understood it at the time. Put down your judgements and pick up your Bible."

      You believe in witches? Talked to many snakes lately? Gone unicorn ridiing? At least you acknowledge that your god is a narcissistic, petulant, sadistic tyrant. You'd think the creator of the universe would be able to tell the people worshipping the wrong god that they're mistaken instead of slaughtering them.

      I realize that this is all in the bible George. That's a big part of the reason why I'm an atheist.

      Please. Seek. Help. Now.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      Um I’m a witch but I never gone unicorn hunting,… they make good cheese though.
      A witch is anyone who prays to earthly forces, heavenly objects (sun/moon/stars) and the life of nature
      To us though a “Witch” is a priestess, mediator, and a doctor.

      Look George if god commands you to ra-pe your own mother would you do it. If you took less than two seconds to say no!…. You’re an evil bast-ard

      December 19, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "Everything that you described is justified in the Bible. God ordered whole civilizations destroyed down to the last man, woman and child because they followed the wrong God. And we are called to execute witches. "

      It is precisely this mindset that allows people to fly planes into large buildings.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • fred

      Don't forget Stalin and the non christians in your rant. It is men that do these evil things. Christ said love your enemy. Given your hate for this evil you mentioned Christ must be at a minimum your hero.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • fred

      ThinkForYourself
      Why don’t you fast forward 4,000 years. Nonsense! You dig back that far to a different people, a different time and a different place to justify your illogical bent today

      December 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • HellBent

      @fred,

      So god is a moral relativist?

      December 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @fred,

      The please tell me where in the bible is states that certain laws are only for certain times. Where does god give a time limit on his commandments? My bent is not illogical – you're attempting to change the rules because if you followed them today you'd get locked away in a padded room for life is however.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • George

      You talk about evil. What's your standard for what is evil and what is not? Without God, nothing is evil.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Belieber

      Go kill some babies George. We know you will feel better knowing they were heathens. Now give me all your money, now. My bible tells me it's ok to take it. OMf'nG. You cannot be for real.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • fred

      HellBent
      God does not change. God reveals different attributes to us from generation to generation. Jesus revealed the love of God to a religious bunch of Sanhedrin and Pharisees that went to the dark side with all their laws. That was not moral relevancy.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • fred

      THinkForYourself
      The Bible contains truth some of which is historical in nature, some are Divine words of God others but words of man from the given time and place. The Bible is the story of God redeeming a people for Himself. When a Muslim uses bits of this story to justify murder he is not following the Bible (or those parts of the Torah they “borrowed”).

      December 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "God reveals different attributes to us from generation to generation."

      @fred – you know this how?

      Fact is, you don't – is just an easy cop out to ignore the obviously immoral aspects of the bible. That you think a deity would actually think stoning children is moral is repulsive.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @fred

      "The Bible contains truth some of which is historical in nature, some are Divine words of God others but words of man from the given time and place."

      And you know this ... how? and which is which. Again, this all seems like a very convenient cop out.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • HellBent

      "You talk about evil. What's your standard for what is evil and what is not? Without God, nothing is evil."

      Evil would be action contrary to the best interests of oneself or others. Basically, the golden rule (which has been around longer than Christianity and doesn't require any deity). Thus, things that are evil would be: genocide, infanticide, slavery, and animal sacrifice. All things that your evil god condones. Evil is flying planes into buildings because of a difference in beliefs – but your bible condones killing those that believe others. So, I guess in your mind, the 9/11 terrorists had the right idea, they were just playing for the wrong team.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • fred

      ThinkForYourself
      “ignore the obviously immoral aspects of the bible. That you think a deity would actually think stoning children is moral is repulsive.’
      =>Nothing in the Bible should be ignored it all fits a puzzle put together over time. Drop a piece you can see the void and know something is missing. This Divine work cuts to the heart and soul of man today as you complete the picture. There are but a handful of pieces to the puzzle that address killing babies. You show me one piece and from that piece deduce a picture of God. That reveals your heart not Gods. Best stop and reassess what your real objective is that this would be your image of God.
      “Bible contains truth some of which is historical in nature, some are Divine words of God others but words of man from the given time and place."
      [And you know this ... how? and which is which. Again, this all seems like a very convenient cop out.]
      =>Back to the puzzle pieces. If the parts fit place the piece in your hand into the puzzle if not set it aside. An example would be God allows David’s son born of murder and illicit affair to die. Is God a baby killer, was it recorded history or a Divine word of wisdom. Clearly words of wisdom as there are consequences for wrong behavior. Clearly recorded history as that is what happened to David’s son with Bathsheba. Now, faith is required as you must believe God exists and acts personally in our lives. If you have faith you know David’s account was correct and God told David why he “killed” his son. If you do not have faith then the baby just died as most babies did in those days and David was justifying his grief or calling on his sky-daddy crutch. You cannot have it both ways i.e. call God a baby killer and illusion of the weak minded.
      Note: You have convicted yourself of lies and twisting to strike out at God and Christians. This is also proof of the Divine nature of the Bible. You intended it for harm but God intended it for good.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Steve

      Fred,

      A lot of us think you should fast-forward to 2011. Today, that book is essentially a guide for living in the past.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • fred

      HellBent
      “your bible condones killing those that believe others”
      Sorry , but ya Bent the Hell out of that one! Jesus said not only love your enemies but “let the tares grow up with the wheat then at the harvest the Angel of God will separate them and one will be burned …” When the apostles asked about this Jesus said basically that we never know which ones will turn to God before the end and which will not. We are to live in peace as best we can.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • fred

      Steve
      I'm way ahead of ya on that one and living as if today is the last day. It is you Greeks that need to move into the Year of Lord 2011

      December 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Answer

      Grand standing on an issue such as "it was justified by the bible (it came from god)" is a natural human defense/retort.

      People have always found a way, to decide, that whatever they thought of the cir-cu-ms-ta-nc-es that they didn't like, and wanted to change it to their view they would resort to using the bible to do it. Not only that – these people will continue to use their new found religion because it offers what they always wanted – power.

      In a n-u-t-s-h-e-l-l –> Religion is for the weak who want power.

      Learn the power of using words instead, this we all know, is the pure driving force that really changes the world, much for the better! Religion is the complete usurping of the power in words – creating division and hatred.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Fred sez:
      "It is men that do these evil things"
      And why do men do evil things ? Because of free will. And who gave us free will? GOD ... therefore at minimum GOD is an accomplice to evil. And becuase he is all knowing, god new that man would commit all this evil. Now God is responsible for evil ... the creator of evil. What thing can create evil that is not evil itself?

      December 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • fred

      Brother Maynard
      Oh, so God should care for a bunch of robots? Make puppy dogs that never poop on your carpet?
      If there is a God then that God certainly is of greater competence than we can imagine given that we do not even have a clue about what happens after death other than what was revealed from long ago in things such as the Bible. Atheists do not have a clue either so they look at a dead dog and say nothing but, observe we must be just like that dead dog on the side of the road.
      Once you resolve which camp you are in (faithful or godless) then the issue of evil can be discussed in that light. The godless ones even though they deny the Bible and God will accuse God of evil as if there was a need to put an exclamation point on lack of knowledge in the things of God.
      The faithful trust a loving God has planned all along to create a new heaven and earth where there is no suffering and no evil. I cannot answer for God as why this is the best plan in creating that new heaven. Let me take a wild guess; as evidenced by Lucifer and Adam beings created by God have a problem dealing with free will. The desire and lust is for that which is forbidden regardless of what God does for man or angelic being. So, here we are generation after generation proving God good and man evil. A few will actually chose and demonstrate the capacity and desire to love God with all their heart and all their might and love their neighbor as themselves. The new Kingdom will be filled with the likes of these souls. When all is said and done we only know that God will separate the goats from the sheep (those who know God and have demonstrated the heart to follow the good shepherd) and this is how it will be.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  11. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    "Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project" This isn't the first skewed propaganda survey these people have done. Enough to say that whatever they report should be taken with a grain of salt.

    December 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Lucifer's Evil Twin
      Good point – never accept blindly. However, it is encouraging that Pew also reports that non-believers are the fastest growing group (by percentage) globally. So, there is a light in the wilderness.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Seriously?

      ...sorry, Pew reports that non-believers are the fastest growing group in the U.S. Still a good sign.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Pew reports that non-believers are the fastest growing group in the U.S. Still a good sign."

      Why is that a good sign exactly? Beyond your own preferences, why is it a good thing?

      December 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Uncouth Swain
      I see it as a good sign because I value truth and reason and no society has ever been harmed because it was too truthful or too reasonable.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "I see it as a good sign because I value truth and reason and no society has ever been harmed because it was too truthful or too reasonable."

      Sadly, we have no examples of a society that could ever be deemed "too truthful" or "too reasonable" to go by. Until there is one to go by, such a society could be just as harmful as any other.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  12. Chuckles

    Sounds about right, but I think Portland Tony makes a very good point. If Jesus were to come back today, how many of all those christians out there would accept it, especially if Jesus told everyone the mormons got it right. Obviously it's an old joke already (south park already did it) but seriously, would the world be ready to become mormon if jesus appeared today?

    December 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • J.W

      I dunno maybe I could force myself to. I would have to cross that bridge when I came to it I think.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      Really? I'm sorry, but if Jesus came down from whereever he is today and started telling me that Mormonsim was 100% true and all I had to do was believe in jesus then I would get to go to heaven, then what? I would have to spend my eternity with Mormons? Honestly, other than the bizarre rituals and beliefs they've tacked onto the bible, the mormons I've met have come off sort of like creepy, plastic pod people, it's actually pretty off-putting. Then again, I think most religions would be a pretty hard pill to swallow right off the bat except maybe judaism because I grew up with it. I guess I would be forced to accept any religion that could unequivocally prove that it's right, well not forced per se, but compelled.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • J.W

      I dunno though I mean if I actually saw with my own eyes someone floating down from heaven, I would probably pray pretty close attention to what he said. Hopefully the Mormons would be different in heaven.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      Um what if Jesus came down and said “only Balinese allowed,” would you drop down and worship Barong. How many of you would drop your jaw if he said only Atheist allowed…..ether way if JC comes down today. I would drive my blade down his throat think about after he came gods going to destroy the earth,…I have to save the earth and all its life. So no matter what happens God is my enemy, im trying to save the world here…so show some fu-ckin

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ckuXx64abc&w=640&h=360]

      December 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  13. a person of the Name

    There will always be those who dout. Even I douted until I felt the God for myself. Now I have been serving Him for 3 years now and I have seen him do some wonderful things.

    Something I did see about this story, was it was done on ppl who said they were Christian but it makes me wonder if they live as such.

    December 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • ............

      It was "done one" 2.2 billion people. I DOUBT, that you will have time to check on each of them. Dout. Hahahahaha.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Tallulah13

      FYI:

      It's spelled "doubt". The "b" is silent.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      I've felt that feeling all you Xtains talk about. It's usually when I walk into a church. But I'm still an atheist, know why? Because I know that the feeling is still just chemical reactions in my brain brought on by the stigma from everyone else I have ever met in my life saying that I should feel something when entering a church.

      I just thought you should know since you said you had felt god yourself and I just wanted to let you know that some atheists have felt that as well and there is a logical explination for that feeling.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Abinadi

      The logical explanation is that atheists are God's children too and they also deserve a witness. How sad that some choose to ignore it.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      It's also that the churches themselves are marvels of engineering and I as an engineer am just in awe of the beautiful craftmanship of the buildings. I feel the same way about large castles and get the same feeling when I walk into those that have enormous dining halls. It just isn't as strong because of the stigma of churches. There is no such thing as a soul and there is a logical earthly explination for everything that has ever happend to you.

      Logically, it's rediculous to even consider that there is a supreme being that created everything or that one ever existed in the first place.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  14. Louisa Ferre

    I would not say the numbers are most accrete. After all the thing they ask is do you believe in god, not do you like him, or which God. but never the less it scary, and Christian stop praying on people fear to control the masses. yes i spelled praying right yes i know the deference between preying and praying.

    December 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  15. Tallulah13

    I find it interesting that it has less of a grip in the places where it has existed the longest. I believe that to be a reflection of humanity's habit of discarding gods once something better or real comes along.

    December 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  16. Seriously?

    Wait...50% are Catholic. That explains it. The Catholic church's missionary tradition has cherry-picked the most illiterate, uneducated, and poor with the promise that, while things may su.ck now, at least they'll be better when you die...as long as you are subservient to Rome and swallow a load of unbelievable tripe. Oh, and give some of the little wealth you have to the church.

    December 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      Yep, makes sense.

      December 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      So you really think they plotted this whole thing out? That is would be better to go to cultures that have no concept of Christianity than those that do? Surrrrrrrrrre, that makes sense.
      It could also have something to do with the fact that latin american nations have growing populations. Populations that consist primarily of those of the Catholic faith.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • HellBent

      "That is would be better to go to cultures that have no concept of Christianity than those that do? Surrrrrrrrrre, that makes sense."

      Of course it makes sense. You go in with money, food, clothing and technology to people who have very little of it, and come with a message where they have no pre-conceived bias against (see: RCC, scandal). This has historically worked very well with just about any religion throughout human history. What exactly do you think is the reason why there are so many xtians in mexico and s. america in the first place?

      December 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Uncouth Swain
      And exactly how do you think the "growing populations" of Latin America became Catholic? Well, it was the result of the Catholic church sending missionaries to the New World to convert the "heathens". Got it? Good.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Uncouth Swain

      "So you really think they plotted this whole thing out? That is would be better to go to cultures that have no concept of Christianity than those that do? Surrrrrrrrrre, that makes sense."

      So, do you think it would make sense if the church spent it's time and effort preaching to the converted?
      =====

      December 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "What exactly do you think is the reason why there are so many xtians in mexico and s. america in the first place?"

      Because the Europeans came there looking for gold and brought the religion with them.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "So, do you think it would make sense if the church spent it's time and effort preaching to the converted?"

      Oddly enough, it happens quite a bit.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Well, it was the result of the Catholic church sending missionaries to the New World to convert the "heathens". Got it? Good."

      Actually..the Europeans were looking for riches and brought their faith with them. You don't think ppl down there speaks Spanish because the Spanish wanted to spread their language around did you? That would be as silly as imgaining they sent ppl here just to convert the masses as if that was their main goal.

      Got it? I hope so.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @
      Sorry, check you history –
      "In 1493, Pope Alexander VI divided the lands discovered by Columbus between two Catholic countries, portioning half to Portugal and half to Spain. In return, Spain and Portugal had the exclusive right and responsibility to convert inhabitants of the New World to Catholicism." (Grimbly & Keeler)

      December 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Uncouth Swain
      Sorry, check you history –
      "In 1493, Pope Alexander VI divided the lands discovered by Columbus between two Catholic countries, portioning half to Portugal and half to Spain. In return, Spain and Portugal had the exclusive right and responsibility to convert inhabitants of the New World to Catholicism." (Grimbly & Keeler)

      December 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  17. Seriously?

    Wow! Are there really that many gullible people on the planet?

    December 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Bo

      How are you so sure you are not the “gullible one?

      December 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • HellBent

      Well, at least that many poor and uneducated people. Notice that the areas with the largest xtian populations – especially those areas that have expanded recently – are all relatively poor an uneducated. Coincidence?

      December 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Seriously – Yes

      December 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • ttwp

      But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Cor 1:27

      December 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Cor 1:27"

      Men wrote those words....not god.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • HellBent

      @ttwp,
      'Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"
      -The Wizard of Oz.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • ttwp

      "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" 2 Timothy 3:16

      December 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • HellBent

      Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers. – Homer Simpson

      December 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      "To paraphrase Oedipus, Hamlet, Lear and all those guys, I wish I had known this some time ago."

      –Roger Zelazny

      Doesn't really fit here, but I love the quote. 🙂

      December 19, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  18. Portland tony

    The irony here is if Christ were to reappear today and speak out among those 2.2 billion "Christians" he would be called a heretic and if Mohammed were to walk and talk among his followers today, he'd probably be stoned.

    December 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      That is very much possible to happen with the mentalities of this age/era.. As did happen in the past as well if it wasn't to those special powers granted to them by GOD to challenge their people no body would have believed in them...

      December 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  19. Sweep

    I'm both surprised and not. Surprised in the % but not because of the question they asked. I'm sure if they asked the first question if it is their practice and belief and not just name then I bet there would be a big difference in that %. I'm thankful for this though.

    December 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  20. Rodney

    Why can't we all just get along?

    December 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Because it's against human nature

      December 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Lucifer's Evil Twin
      Actually, I think that the fact that man has populated the earth indicates that our nature is to "get along". If the majority of our interactions were adversarial rather than cooperative, I don't think our species would have survived. That said, I agree with Hitchens that religion is the prime source of tribalism, conflict, bigotry, and hatred (therefore preventing us from "getting along") on the planet and we'd all be much better off without it.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Clayton

      Get rid of religion and we'll have a much better chance of reasoning with other people and coming to a reasonable common ground.
      You can't reason with religious people. Reason is the anti-thesis of religion.
      If you want to live in peace, simply do not shove your religion into your relationships and actions and we'll all get along much better.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "You can't reason with religious people. Reason is the anti-thesis of religion."

      That's a lie.
      And I think you mean not to push one's faith/beliefs onto other ppl's relationships and actions and we all will get along better.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Clayton

      You call me a liar? What a shock! I expect nothing but the stupidest arguments from you, swine. Thanks for stopping by.

      December 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Clayton- "You call me a liar? What a shock! I expect nothing but the stupidest arguments from you, swine. Thanks for stopping by."

      Why so angry? I am sorry if I offended you. I'll tell you what....you are not a liar but just ignorant about those who have a religous background. That is why you made such a dumb comment about an entire type of ppl.

      Does that makums you feel better now? Good 🙂

      December 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.