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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. Brett

    I am an atheist. I will never believe in God or Jesus or Muhammad or Vishnu no matter how much these crazy Jonestown fanatics should ever try to torture or imprison me.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Hal

      Don't worry. You shouldn't be tortured or imprisoned. Satan has no interest in you because he has you already.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Sid

      Hal, how come your feeble god can't get rid of Satan quick sharp?

      No excuses that he's going to do it someday. A real god could knock out a Satan in a blink, if he cared about humanity. Your god is a farce, like all the rest of them.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Hal
      Hal, oh Hal...that's just plain silly.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  2. chris from Portland

    The US population is just over 300 million. Show me the proof that only 20% of Americans are not Christian. I am in a room of about 20 people (small sample for sure) and asked how many can truly say they are Christians. Only one responded with a yes. Two were Jewish, one was Muslim, the others were agnostic, atheist, or N/A (I am in the N/A group). Stop making up figures to further your own agenda!!!

    December 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      I am in a room with 20 people, 18 of whom have blue eyes. Stop making up figures that most people have brown eyes. Certainly MY sample of 20 people is way better than anything YOU could come up with by counting hundreds of thousands.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Mormons are Christians? They think God was once a man and that Joseph Smith was a prophet on par with Jesus...pretty sure that's not what Christians think.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Bill

      You want to challenge the validity of your poll based on your poll of 20 people?

      December 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Are those christians padding the numbers? It's a conspiracy i tell ya!

      December 19, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • gary

      locally the only practicing Xtians I know are Amish. Of the rest, ones who say they are Xtian will give every excuse for not practicing ... they just don't want to admit to being agnostic or atheist ... that isn't the "right" way to be in USA ... yet. It's still most accepted to be wrapped up in ancient silly myth

      December 20, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  3. RichardSRussell

    "Christians are by far the largest religious group on the planet, ..."
     
    Except that they're not a group, they're a collection of about 5000 separate groups, each of which claims it's the only one that's got it 100% right, and all the rest are gonna burn in Hell forever.
     
    Suppose I said "Monotheists are by far the largest religious group on the planet." Even more true than the topic sentence of this article, and even more vacuous.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Belieber

      Well, actually there are 20,000 sects of christianities. There is no such thing as "christianity". The groups run the gamut from those who think when they die they get their own planet, and baptize the dead, to those who molest little boys regularly. Just because the use the name of Jeebus, does not mean they are christian.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  4. Weep4America

    Wow. The haters are out in full force against Christians. Of course, on CNN it's a daily occurrence. Nothing new. No big surprise.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Sid

      After many centuries of horrors from Christians such as witch burnings, the many inquisitions, persecution of scientists, and numerous other crimes against humanity, you Christians have it coming.

      Especially for knocking on my door early in the morning on weekends to try to sell me on your particular brand of the Christian nonsense. You deserve all the spite you get. Just be thankful to your fictional sky daddy that it's not worse.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Weep4America

      To Sid: You really need to check your facts, get some updated news and lose the hate speech and intolerance.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Sid

      Are you going to claim that Christians did not persecute scientists? Uh huh. I'll see you one Galileo, and raise you a Copernicus, a Decarte, a Campanella, and a Kepler, you ignoramus. And that is just to get started.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Sid

      So Weep4America, you check your facts.

      I won't weep when your evil religion joins all the other ones, in the dustbin of history of gods that man has created.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Whatever

      @ sid: Pretty much every group throughout history has committed atrocities, but are you condemning all of humanity for things that happened hundreds or thousands of years ago? Maybe you should look into what Christian groups have been working on lately. Google Dorothy Stang and Catholic Relief Services. What exactly have you contributed to the world today other than prejudice and intolerance?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Weep4America

      So, Sid, shall we hold YOU responsible for all the horrors and atrocities committed in the name of science, since that's your god? By your reasoning, we have to. Shall we talk about all the people that science has disfigured, killed, experimented on, sickened and deliberately given terminal diseases? If not, then you're a hypocrite. All you know is hate and your love of it can see no reason.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Alex

      @Sid: Decartes professed to be a devout Christian. So did Pascal, Newton, etc. So stop with your Christian vs. Science nonsense. Many people are both. As far as witch burnings – ~30 people died in the Salem Witch trials. A drop in the bucket compared to the number of people militant atheism has killed around the world. In fact, communism coupled with atheism is responsible for tens of millions of murders, far more than any other ideology.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
  5. Radha Bahadur Rana

    So the overwhelming majority of the denizens of this good old terra firma are neither x'ians nor muhammedans. Thank God

    I strongly believe that all religions are man made, and take birth from man made code books. Sorry, if you feel hurt.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  6. David Johnson

    On the Religion of Islam:

    The Christians hate this, and try to spin the stats but:

    Earth’s fastest growing religion, with six million followers in the U.S. alone, reveals striking diversity.
    Source: The World of Islam, National Geographic Books

    Note the fastest growing part. It's another nail in Jesus'... Never mind.

    Atheism is growing. Check this out!

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

    Cheers!

    December 19, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Well, if O'Reilly says it, it has to be true. He is kind of like, me: SPECIAL POWERS!

      December 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  7. Man created God in his image

    "Religion is the psychological crutch of mankind." – Freud

    "My God is bigger than your god." – Religious nuts posting on CNN

    December 19, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  8. achepotle

    Largest "by far" and the planet has never been more polluted and at risk...good work , Fairy-Tale people!

    December 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Whatever

      And what exactly have you done to prevent the corruption of the planet?

      December 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Cielo

      whatever~ well, I considered killing a few christians but decided against it.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Whatever

      @ cielo – Don't condemn what you do not understand. Chances are that Christians have never impacted your life at all, yet you still hate them. Go look up Dorothy Stang. You may learn something about Christianity.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  9. REPUBLICANS LOVE AYN RAND

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMS_P09dKbc&w=640&h=360]

    December 19, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  10. Praise God

    Praise to the Lord Jesus Christ, true Son of God. God bless you my many brothers and sisters. The Truth indeed is setting many people free.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      free from responsibility and posterity maybe. But you are not free living under an immortal unscrutinizable tyrant

      December 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Man created God in his image

      The lie of Christianity is enslaving more people than ever! Believe or burn!!

      December 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Praise God

      Louisa, Christians must take personal responsibility to be disciples. And how can they be free of posterity when Christianity continues to grow? I thank God I do not live under such a tyrant but a loving creator. Surely you would agree life is good, so how could the creator of the universe not be good? Jesus said when we have seen Him we have seen the Father. What do we see in Jesus? A healer, forgiving, compassionate, non-judgmental, loving, laying down His very life for us so that we might live. Is there anyone anywhere else in history you would rather have as a person who's morality and teachings you live by? And I hope you don't say yourself. I know I failed miserably as my own personal source of wisdom. 🙂

      December 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Praise God

      @Man, simply look around you now or look at history in the past. What are the things that truly enslave people? Tyrant leaders have and still do in the world. Violent groups oppress people. Surely you can see in the world people enslaved to their own greed. How happy are these people? Or enslaved to their own lust, or drugs? What is a Christian slave to? There is no one forcing me to believe anything. There is no one forcing me to attend any church even any particular church. No one demands a "donation" it is by definition voluntary. I am in my church's music ministry – I enjoy playing an instrument and singing with others. I did not go to church the first 30 years of my life. The time I spent getting drunk, wasting time in countless ways, I can't take back, but what did it gain me? The greatest gains including in clarity of mind have been through God.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Praise God

      @Man, oh, and sorry I forgot to respond to your "believe or burn." Look God is the only judge of each one of us. I am not your judge or anyone's. This verse in John that says to believe in Jesus, now there is so much to that. There is a verse that says God is love. Do you believe love exists?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • Belieber

      yeah right Praise. Tell all that crap to Holocaust victims, or the millions ofm children who starve every year. Such a loving creator ya got there. Open your eyes.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • gary

      a silly myth for ancient times in a primitive land that is still primitive. No deities, no demons, no dragons, trolls, or leprechauns. All pretend.

      December 20, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • Praise God

      @Belieber, that's ironic you mention Holocaust victims since I've well heard a little ironic thought – one person says to another after seeing a gas chamber, after this, how can you trust in God again. The person replies, rather, after this, how can one trust in man again. It is ironic that your complain in general is one addressed by countless theologians, and understood also by me. The "problem of evil" is not a problem. In fact for an atheist, how can anything be evil, these are just patterns of molecules. For the Christian, God has a positive and a permissive will. As CS Lewis said, God gave us free will, by which though it would be a sin, God allows me to by a gun and pull the trigger. But you know what, He tells me its wrong and tries to get me to stop first. Again, did you think you would shock me to know that people sin? St. Paul said if we deny we have sin in us we declare Jesus a liar. So of course I believe in evil and sin. I believe the real fallacy why people like you embrace this "argument" as if it was against God is because of your blindness. You forget to see the bigger picture, yet think you have. Again what you make is a direct theological complaint – make no mistake – you are arguing if God exists, this existence of evil contradicts with God. Not at all. God is saving people for *eternal* life. This means what happens in this world is not as important. Any suffering in this world is temporary, and can be used to bring people to God. What would the world like without suffering? How would we grow? How would creations appreciate what God does for them without knowing some suffering? Perhaps suffering unites us to God because God has already suffered for us. I assure you, with a propensity and personality like you display to criticize and complain, no matter what God did, you could find a way to complain. But imagine if God took away all suffering, you didn't realize how much we need Him, and slipped into hell when you died. What would you say then? Oh, I assure you, you'd complain real loudly, Belieber. You'd indeed moan and moan why didn't you know, why didn't God show you how much you needed Him. Have a great day.

      December 20, 2011 at 8:34 am |
    • Wow

      "What would the world like without suffering? How would we grow? How would creations appreciate what God does for them without knowing some suffering?"

      Oh yeah this is the stupidist christian comment yet. Ok everyone we now know it's ok to make our children suffer because they will learn better in their lives. So it's ok if you starve your child, leave out in the snow to die, let it swim out in the ocean to get bitten by sharks, let go of your child in a tornadoes because they'll learn from that suffering....DUH! What an idiot. The excuses people will make to justify their barbaric cult!

      December 20, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • faith and reason

      @Wow, I agree with you very, very strongly the argument which you said is stupid is stupid. It would be entirely awful to believe that we should cause suffering intentionally. However, that's not what I said, nor is it what Jesus taught, nor is it what Christian's believe. Hence it is only what you attack. There's a definition for that. That's called a straw man argument.

      What I said and what Christians believe is that evil and suffering exist already, not that anyone should intentionally cause it. The opposite is true. We should strive to alleviate suffering, free people from it. And in so doing, we become more like our creator, who also removes it. But indeed the parable of the paralytic is telling. Jesus healed the man to show that He has the authority to forgive sins. As much as you would like to claim otherwise, you have no theological complaint when you talk about the "problem of evil." The theological complaint assumes God has no purpose in allowing any suffering at all to exist. This assumption is false and blind. God has a purpose in allowing some suffering to exist. We do even have a limited understanding of what some of those reasons are. If you were honest, rather than argumentative, you'd admit it is true. All life to grow, including you or I, has faced challenges. In fact, your coming here and arguing shows you like a debate and a challenge. I've seen it said in countless ways and by countless people – the challenges in life help us to grow. And they teach us more than that. What does it teach us that people can starve to death? Well indeed it teaches us that people have needs and it also teaches us that for some reason God is not going to step in and prevent it every time. What if He did? Would anyone help the starving? A lot less. So yes, I have some understanding already (again as do you if you were honest) as to why suffering can help us. But I simply do one other thing which is to grant that a creator who's purpose is to save people ETERNALLY could have greater purpose than we understand. Your blind arrogance is what you profess when you state (this is a paraphrase of you talking) "I know God has no greater purpose in allowing suffering." Oh how well you claim to know the unknown. How arrogant you are and blind to your own arrogance. Oh yes, you have thoroughly reasoned through all the possible reasons or lack thereof for God's actions. Allow me to tell you, you haven't. You're wrong. And I'm not so stupid as to follow the blind and dishonest principles which you preach. That may sound harsh, but you know what, your post was ugly – so pushy like you know so much better. Well you don't. Not sorry at all to tell you that either.

      Have a great day and God bless you. Merry Christmas.

      December 20, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  11. gary

    for the sake of humanity I hope Xtianity dies soon. Such delusional cult following of ancient myth holds us back from progress and fixing many problems. It's being used as a tool by the manipulative gov't to corral the flock of sheeple.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Sheeple eh? How do you get along with the other followers of Bill Cooper, Alex Jones, et al, seeing as how a lot of the "truther" movement is composed of Christians?

      December 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      That’s because the fear of Illuminati is perpetrated by the church to undermined science in the dark ages so they can take responsibility for all the modern science

      December 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  12. Truth

    So if a person is good and is good to everyone and contributes to society, but doesn't believe in any religion will go to hell.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      @ Truth – I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.

      Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? 17 Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?

      It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them. (Ecclesiastes 7:15-18).

      Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. 20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. (Ecclesiastes 7:19-20).

      December 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  13. REPUBLICANS LOVE AYN RAND

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=964rEJ8KsoI&w=640&h=360]

    December 19, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  14. JG CA

    To those that don't believe, you have a right to your opinion. I believe. If I am wrong, what have I lost? If you are wrong, you will lose it all.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      * sigh * Yet another fool spouting Pascal's Wager, which is so wrong in so many different ways that there are entire websites devoted to picking apart all its errors. Go ahead: Google it.
       
      If that proves beyond your intellectual capabilities, let me offer just ONE of the many refutations: Suppose the true God is not the Jehovah of the Bible but the Allah of the Koran. THEN where are you, O devout one?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  15. paul

    Actually, a redneck on another board this morning told me that only evangelicals are christians, and only some evangelicals are TRUE christians. I guess that makes this story kind of BS, doesn't it? How convenient that, before xmas, articles about how christianity is the biggest, most awesome, and coolest religion on this or any planet, ever, for all time. Settle down, christians. Those who care already care.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Vicki

      But, they are still only 1/3 of the population of the world. 2/3 of people are otherwise inclined.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  16. No longer Chrisitian

    Chrisitianity is the biggest lie ever enforced on humanity. A shameful cult that devotes tons of money each year in Asia and Africa in order to force a belief on to someone reluctant to accept because starvation is the only other option. I've witnessed the tricks of missionaries first hand and it makes me sick to my stomach. And the best part of all, Chrisitians are not even followers of Jesus. They are followers of a distorted message that has been changed and manipulated by so many hands over the many years. Light houses are more useful than churches people.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Really

      @nolonger Christian I can sympathize with your disgust of some missionaries. However, that is not Christianity it is pure form, no more than Muslims murdering others and it being called 'extreme.' Please, do me the kind favor of showing me the pure evidence that Christianity is a lie-made up 2,000 years ago. Really want I want, is for you to answer the question why would these same people die for what they knew was a lie (as you say)? You may provide me your evidence at meatcnn @ gmail com

      December 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      NLC – SADLY, I HAVE TO AGREE WITH THIS PART OF YOUR COMMENT:

      "And the best part of all, Chrisitians are not even followers of Jesus. They are followers of a distorted message that has been changed and manipulated by so many hands over the many years. Light houses are more useful than churches people."

      I am even more sad to see that you are no longer a Christian and I am sorry to see that. The problem with many Christians is they have set their eyes and put their trust in "men" more than they have in God and the reason we are seeing so many twisted Christians misleading many. Many times I have also wanted to leave my church, but it really wasn't because of my Pastor, but because of the so-called Christians I was surrounded by. What I had to learn is to trust Christ with all my heart and put my eyes in Him and Him alone.

      I pray that you will allow the Holy Spirit to reach withing the depths of your heart and speak to you as God loves you dearly. I pray that He leads you to a church where the Word of God is being preached at it's best.

      God bless you!

      December 19, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by HelsGod is the No True Scotsman fallacy.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

      December 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • citizen

      Recent studues show on average:

      91 percent of Christians give to charity
      66 percent of atheists give to charity.

      http://www.hoover.org/publications/polic…

      December 19, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      @ Fallacy Spotting 101 – Exactly when did I post this website and what is it about?

      December 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Charity

      I don't believe in charity. I work for a living. It's my money. Don't like it? Go cry to someone that cares.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • person

      You need to wake up!!! You are the one being decieved.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Actually, u never were a Christian:

      18Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

      19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Questions for "Citizen": Of the walloping large percentage of Christians who give to charity:
       
      (1) Does a church count as a charity?
       
      (2) How many of those Christians give ONLY to their church and nobody else?
       
      (3) Does this count only monetary donations or also things like blood donations and old clothes to Goodwill?
       
      (4) Were the figures self-reported or gleaned via some more objective method like income-tax returns? (Remember, self-reporting of church attendance would lead you to believe that the pews are crammed to capacity every Sunday when in fact they hardly ever are.)
       
      In short, I suspect your data rely heavily on cherry-picking and slant.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  17. SCDad

    I hate how they leave out that most people are either atheist or agnostic

    December 19, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Imam al-Mahdi

      Actually, 2.2 billion Christians + 1.6 billion Muslims = 3.8 billion, or roughly 54% of the population...and that's only the top two religions alone. So I'm afraid most people are not athiest or agnostic.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Let's see...

      @Imam al-Mahdi
      There are not enough churches, mosques, synagogues, etc. to accommodate all those that claim to be "religious" when asked by a surveyor. I think there's some fibbin' going on.

      December 19, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  18. hippypoet

    Reality – The world or the state of things as they actually exist.
    Schizophrenia – A long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation
    Delusion – An idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality.
    1. 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!
    2. Parents teach morals and ethics not the bible, simple... and those who place misguided ideals into an imaginary creature are ill-equipped 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...after all, every religiously run nation in this planets history has done nothing but great things for the whole right?
    3. You folks have conveniently forgot that you took part in the slave trade, gay bashing, witch killings, the inquisition, the crusades – i'm sure i could go on but i think these facts will as always fall to the wayside and once again be conveniently forgotten... if christianity has taught the world anything, its that god views us as sheep and we will be used as such...luckily for your kind, you can sheer a sheep many times...and like a dog, you keep coming back for the next beating! Perhaps you folks missed that part in sunday school where the teacher spoke about how so many of the bibles leaders are shepards...who tend a flock...but it is clear that you people have more use to the whole NOT having ideas of your own...(ready for the pun) god help us if you were to ever, right!!!
    4.the horrors of mankind are not exclusive to religion. I said they took part in the horrors while preaching all the stuff people claim its made up of...religion is no better then anything, but can be if used properly, much worse then all others for its appeal to the igorant masses is like food to the hungry!
    5. And the majority of the world is believers…what conclusions do you draw from this?
    if your conclusion is anything but religion is idiotic, moronic, and harmful to the world as a whole no matter how it makes you feel inside than i fear you have completely lost your grip on reality.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  19. Truth

    So by these polls how many people are going to hell ?

    December 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      @ Truth – JOHN 3:16 "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVER IN HIM SHALL NOT PARISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE."

      Not Everyone Who Says To Me "Lord, Lord..." Matthew 7:21-23

      It is seriously to be hoped that the majority of Christians truly understand these words from Jesus, because the consequences of not understanding them will be dire in the extreme. These words have over millennia been passed over and ignored again and again, either deliberately by those who felt uncomfortable with them or indolently by those who could not be bothered.

      These words, however, are a warning. They are a warning against indolence and self-complacency. Against blind faith and spiritual arrogance. Against the teaching that says that all we have to do is declare our belief in Jesus and that the Kingdom of Heaven is assured and guaranteed. Against that teaching that wants to ignore the importance of true spiritual righteousness (making the effort to be a better human being and casting aside our faults.) Against that teaching that says that obedience to the Church is equivalent also to obedience to God!

      December 19, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      **BELIEVES**

      December 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • paul

      Well, all the "ethnics," for sure....

      December 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • One With Israel - Your God My God

      Jesus loves them. We are "Called" to share the "Good News", so that they might LIVE. Jesus is the only way to life. He is our Salvation. People make your way to JESUS. You must be "Born Again" into God's loving HOLY SPIRIT! Let God's LOVE live inside of you!!!

      December 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Shaved Beef

      Hels, you know about the rest of the bible? There's a lot more to it than that crap you posted. You should research all the contradictions. It's a funny read. Belief in the bible is stupidity.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • thePapist0000001

      All of them....

      December 19, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Skip the polls and check out what the Bible has to say on the subject. Only 144,000 people will make it into Heaven, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. So if you're not Jewish you're SOL right off the bat.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  20. JennyTX

    There are 2.2 billion people who believe in those two far-fetched theories – immaculate conception and resurrection? Astonishing.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • sybaris

      or that a talking snake convinced a man made from dirt to eat fruit from a magic tree.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      We still have talking snakes who are deceiving others by proclaiming that there is no God, so yes, snakes do talk.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 201

      Post by HelsGod is the Pa-rselmouth fallacy.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

      December 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Imam al-Mahdi

      All made possible through the same science of matter based technologies that particle physicists are currently working to unlock the mysteries of. So no, not really that astonishing. And Islam also believes in the immaculate conception of Jesus Christ, so add another 1.6 billion people to your tally there.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Charity

      Show me these talking snakes.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Joshua

      The talking snakes have taken over the bodies of humans. They wear white dresses sometimes. Sometimes they wear white collars. They pretend to get people closer to God, but in truth they pretend to be God. They do inappropriate things with children and then blame the children or threaten them with hell if they speak. They try to cover it up and blame other groups for their problems. They think they are God and can do whatever they want. If they knew they were human they wouldn't be capable of doing such things to other humans. And then they point out the sins of everyone else on the planet when the worst sin of all is within their buildings and their so-called "men of God." Unfortunately, men that pretend to be God, judge as if they are God, and play God on children turn people away from God.

      December 22, 2011 at 11:44 am |
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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.