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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. Chris Johnson

    Of course, this all depends on how one defines Christianity. I have students who are proud of Christianity being the world's largest religion, and sometimes say this proves it's the true religion. Fair enough for their opinion. But then they say Catholics aren't Christian, which cuts out nearly half of all Christians worldwide. They may also say liberal Christians of various sorts aren't Christian, which further reduces the numbers. Most of them don't know about the Eastern Orthodox churches, but would probably eliminate them as well. And of course, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses don't count, for them. So Christianity is largest, they say, but since most of them aren't Christians, this couldn't be true. Christianity would be below Islam's numbers, and maybe below Hinduism and some others as well. Funny how they include Christians they disavow when it helps their case, then then condemn them in the next breath.

    December 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      In fact there are over 5000 different sects and denominations within Christianity, and adherents of each of them think that they're 100% right and the p00r saps who believe in any of the 4999 others are doomed to fry forever. For jollies, google "Emo Phillips bridge joke".

      December 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Did not your own religion profess that the “weak will inherit the Earth”?

      Even as the Christian numbers inflate, the intelligent among us press forward with new and wonderful discoveries. Discoveries that will, with some luck mind you, allow our species to exist long into the future.

      Your plan for the future is a desire for oblivion. I don’t understand that, and I certainly can’t subscribe to it. You are an evil bunch, hell bent on destruction. Not us. We want to survive and explore.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  2. b4bigbang

    Truth: What answer that your goodness is for nothing if you don't believe in a religion that answer really ?

    How can i put this frankly w/out seeming snarky? Look, this is what God/Jesus says. Obviously u don't believe it. Whaddaya want us to do, lie to you? We're just the messengers.....

    December 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Truth

      So there you have know answer if God was so merciful to send his son and get him killed by bunch of people who aren't even a spec on this universe I would conclude he would forgive all the good people even if they don't believe in him.

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

      Suppose you walked up to a 5-year-old kid and said "Worship me or I'll kick you in the face.". Does that make you a moral exemplar? The jerk you're defending essentially made that same pitch 7 billion times, except with way worse than a mere kick in the face as the penalty for failing to feed his massive, insecure ego.
       
      Face facts, man. By the Bible's OWN DESCRIPTION of God, he's the worst, most sadistic, cruelest archfiend in all of fiction.
       
      Hey, don't blame me for pointing it ouit. I'm only the messenger.

      December 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  3. jnsm

    Christianity is just a plagiarization of several pagan and gnostic religions. Same with the other two Abrahamic religions.

    December 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  4. Caliph Ali

    In Islam, a person must believe and practice their religion in its entirety in order to be labeled a Muslim. If they commit all sorts of sins such as adultery or murder, by default they are non-believers who transgress against their own souls and are engaged in innovation. A Muslim must believe in the unseen such as angels (including one angel on each shoulder), and demons (satan and his followers). A Muslim also cannot lie to anyone including people of all other religions, and treat all justly. Whether you are Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, all that matters is sincerity and truth. Are you what you say you are or are you a hypocrite? Hypocrites are revealed to dwell in the lowest level of Hell. In case most people wonder these days,
    a criminal such as a terrorist can never be a Muslim even though they proclaim themselves to be. When a person kills another human being, by default they automatically become a non-believer/criminal condemned by God. One must repent and only than its up to God to accept it. A human life is indeed sacred. Anyone who takes another's life is attached to its soul forever in eternity. Love each other for life is short and always be just.

    December 19, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  5. Sasha

    Wow! Looks like the majority of commentators here aren't Christians, but atheist haters. Complete opposite to what I was expecting. It's the Belief Blog, not the insecurity blog. Do you atheists also wear your left shoe on your right foot, walk backward, speak in reverse.....?

    December 19, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      We atheists are actually kindly folk. As soon as CNN starts an atheism blog, you true believers will be more than welcome to join us there.

      December 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
  6. b4bigbang

    jnsm: The sole fact that the Jews continue to reject Jesus as the messiah up to this day is reason enough to doubt Christianity.

    Read the Jews' old testament again (assuming u have), and look for all the times God condemned/punished them for their unbelief (a LOT), and then decide if u want to fall in with the unbelievers (rebellion of Korah sp?) or go with Moses (who believed in the coming Christ).

    December 19, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • jnsm

      So you're saying Jews had all those horrible things (Inquisition, Holocaust, etc.) happen to them because they didn't believe in Jesus?

      December 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  7. b4bigbang

    Truth: "So Christian God is no more peace loving than the Jewish or Muslims God. All these Gods will send billions of people to hell even if they do good all their life, did I get that right ?"

    You keep riding this same old horse even after being given answers by at least 2 people. Blockage?

    December 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Truth

      What answer that your goodness is for nothing if you don't believe in a religion that answer really ?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  8. REPUBLIVANS LOVE ABD RAND

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W07bFa4TzM&w=640&h=360]

    December 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  9. kalyan

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/08/14/we-are-all-hindus-now.html
    this is the truth

    December 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  10. jnsm

    The sole fact that the Jews continue to reject Jesus as the messiah up to this day is reason enough to doubt Christianity.

    December 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Chrism

      Jesus was a Jew. He correctly prophecied the destruction of the temple and exile of the Jews. And also, no He made many Jewish disciples. But as St. Paul said the Jews the natural branches of the tree of life will be restored. It is for the sake of the rest of the world the Jews disobeyed. So that Gentiles may be saved.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      The reason to doubt Christianity is because it is inherently absurd.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Chrism

      Jesus preached repentance and to know God. His words are great wisdom embraced by billions how could they be absurd? Even unbelievers recognize they are wise and surely not the words of a mad man. are miracles absurd? A creator of the universe might control natural forces or act supernaturally. We know Jesus died willingly so did the apostles. What does this tell us about their sincerity?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • jnsm

      @Chrism
      More like someone wrote about it after it happened and attributed it to Jesus.

      If Jesus actually fulfilled the messianic prophecies, there would have been no reason for Jews not to consider him the Messiah.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  11. Art

    Who cares what atheists think anyways? You're like, what, 15% of the global population, and getting smaller over time. You're irrelevant.

    December 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Right, because matters of religion and science are ALWAYS decided by majority vote.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Chris Johnson

      Actually, nonbelievers, including atheists, are growing, according to pew and other statistics, as I understand it.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Art
      Sorry Art, but you're incorrect...according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, non-believers are the fastest growing group in the U.S. and, the majority in most western European nations are non-believers. The tide is turning, my friend.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Sasha

      I was speaking globally. Sorry, you guys are still losing. =)

      December 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Art said, “Who cares what atheists think anyways? You're like, what, 15% of the global population, and getting smaller over time. You're irrelevant.”

      Did not your own religion profess that the “weak will inherit the Earth”?

      Even as the Christian numbers inflate, the intelligent among us press forward with new and wonderful discoveries. Discoveries that will, with some luck mind you, allow our species to exist long into the future.

      Your plan for the future is a desire for oblivion. I don’t understand that, and I certainly can’t subscribe to it. You are an evil bunch, hell bent on destruction. Not us. We want to survive and explore.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Sasha
      It took more than twenty centuries for Christians to reach their current level of majority. At the current rate of growth of non-believers, Christians may be out-of-business before the turn of the next century.

      December 19, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • Seriously?

      ...I guess that really should have read, "...Christianity may be out-of-business before the turn of the next century."

      December 19, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  12. b4bigbang

    @Ungodly Discipline: "We can only fight the good fight."

    Don't care for Christianity? Atheist? And yet you plagiarize the Apostle Paul's New Testament quote?
    Tsk, Tsk.....

    December 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Tsk Tsk what?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Oh really

      what the f? so according to your logic, anyone who says "Don't steal" or "Don't kill" are plagiarizing from old testament? get your mind checked

      December 19, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  13. Chrism

    Santa Claus believes in Jesus. Look it up. St. Nicholas was a bishop.

    December 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Truth

      Last time I checked Parents were going crazy shopping and Chinese elfs were making all the products. Santa lives in China now.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      On a chess board?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Chrism

      The spirit of Christmas lives in hearts around the world. Too much shopping can be bad. Everything in moderation, including moderation. -Mark Twain. But gifts are not bad. St. Nicholas gave gifts and he was kind to children. No elfs required.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Chrism

      Ungodly, chess boards were modeled after real people. st. Nicholas was a real person bishop in what is now Turkey.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  14. Atheist 1#

    Books better than the bible:
    Absalom, Absalom, William Faulkner
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
    Also on the Sybervision list. Great boys' story, much better than Tom Sawyer.
    The Aeneid, Virgil
    Also on the Sybervision list. I had to do bits of this for school Latin. Stirring stuff but one does find the mind-set just a little difficult to grasp.
    Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
    On all three lists. I recently read it for the first time, and found the main plot theme absolutely gripping, though I got a bit weary of Levin, the character who represents Tolstoy himself.
    Beloved, Toni Morrison
    (September 2006) A bit morbid.
    Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred Doblin
    Blindness, Jose Saramago
    (April 2007) Amazingly done; you feel simultaneously dislocated and immersed in the catastrophe. Recommended.
    The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa
    The Book of Job, Anon
    Surely the greatest of the stories in the Bible (at least taken as literature), despite the introduction of the unnecessary Elihu by an ancient editor.
    The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor M Dostoyevsky
    (September 2006) I found the grand sweeping philosophical monologues rather skimmable, but it is otherwise pretty engaging.
    Buddenbrook, Thomas Mann
    Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
    Also on the Sybervision list. Since Chaucer didn't finish it, the modern reader has difficulty in doing so! But it's all good stuff, except perhaps the Priest's rather dull contribution.
    The Castle, Franz Kafka
    Children of Gebelawi, Naguib Mahfouz
    Collected Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges
    Obviously of interest to me as a science fiction fan. Superb inventiveness.
    Complete Poems, Giacomo Leopardi
    The Complete Stories, Franz Kafka
    I have read a huge "Collected Stories" of Kafka, which may even have been complete. A gripping set of accounts of alienation; while most of them are timeless, fans of the Hapsburg Empire will particularly enjoy.
    The Complete Tales, Edgar Allan Poe
    Again I've dipped into Poe, though I must admit he appealed to me rather less; call me shallow but I actually prefer H.P. Lovecraft.
    Confessions of Zeno, Italo Svevo
    Crime and Punishment, Fyodor M Dostoyevsky
    (January 2006) Engrossing. On all three lists.
    Dead Souls, Nikolai Gogol
    The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories, Leo Tolstoy
    Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio
    As with Canterbury Tales, since the author didn't finish it the reader has difficulty in doing so. More digestible somehow than Chaucer, possibly because the stories are on the whole shorter and vary less in setting.
    The Devil to Pay in the Backlands, Joao Guimaraes Rosa
    Diary of a Madman and Other Stories, Lu Xun
    The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri
    Also on the Sybervision list. I've got most of the way through Hell but a lot of the contemporary allusions escape me.
    A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen
    Also on the Sybervision list.
    Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
    Surprisingly approachable, for Great Literature, but very long. Don Quixote himself is gloriously delusional, and of course unwittingly plays a satirical role in exposing the workings of society. The distance between his society of 1605 and ours of 2004 somehow seems much less than the distance between 1605 and the medieval world of chivalry which he imagines himself to inhabit. Lots of romantic sub-plots, and the geopolitical tension of Spain vs the Islamic world of North Africa is eerily reminiscent of Cold War fiction. However, I'm not utterly convinced that this really is the best novel of all time. Perhaps if I ever get around to the second half it will make more of an impact on me. Also on the Sybervision list and the McCrum list. Voted top book of all time on this list. [first half read August 2004]
    Essays, Michel de Montaigne
    Fairy Tales and Stories, Hans Christian Andersen
    I wonder how many of the 100 authors from 54 countries actuall read all 168 stories?
    Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Also on the Sybervision list.
    Gargantua and Pantagruel, Francois Rabelais
    Gilgamesh, Anon
    (May 2007) Incomplete, but raw and powerful.
    The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
    Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
    On all three lists. Great stuff – I remember finding a children's adaptation in the school library, devouring it, and then hunting down the "adult" (ie original) version.
    Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift
    Also on the Sybervision list. Swift's glorious satire on politics, religion and humanity.
    Gypsy Ballads, Federico Garcia Lorca
    Hamlet, William Shakespeare
    Also on the Sybervision list, excluded of course from the BBC list because it's a play. Probably Shakespeare's masterpiece.
    History, Elsa Morante
    Hunger, Knut Hamsun
    The Idiot, Fyodor M Dostoyevsky
    The Iliad, Homer
    Also on the Sybervision list.
    Independent People, Halldor K Laxness
    Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
    Jacques the Fatalist and His Master, Denis Diderot
    Journey to the End of the Night, Louis-Ferdinand Celine
    King Lear, William Shakespeare
    Excluded of course from the BBC list because it's a play. Grim tale of betrayal, madness and death.
    Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne
    I think this book is brilliant, though not everyone sees the humour.
    Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
    Likewise; despite the rather troubling subject matter, Nabokov's villain seems human as well as monstrous.
    Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Also on the BBC list.
    Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
    Also on the Sybervision list. A great tale of people, provincialism and passion.
    The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann
    Mahabharata, Anon
    The Man Without Qualities, Robert Musil
    Mathnawi, Jalal ad-din Rumi
    Medea, Euripides
    Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar
    Metamorphoses, Ovid
    Again, I did this for Latin at school, and although I was already familiar with a lot of the subject matter I was pretty impressed with the way Ovid puts it together – which survives even in translation.
    Middlemarch, George Eliot
    On all three lists, and I think would get my vote as the best read of the lot.
    Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
    Also on the BBC list. Who says fantasy novels can't break into the mainstream? A superb story of the history of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as magically paralleled in the lives of the children born at midnight on the day of independence.
    Moby Dick, Herman Melville
    Also on the Sybervision list. A fantastic novel, combining whale lore (some doubtless made up) with a convincing portrayal of the multi-cultural but obsessive life of the whalers, and of course in Captain Ahab one of literature's great creations.
    Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
    (September 2006) Very short, but very good.
    1984, George Orwell
    Also on the BBC list. A classic political dystopia, and one that perhaps has retained its relevance better than Animal Farm. (Re-read August 2006)
    Njaals Saga, Anon
    Nostromo, Joseph Conrad
    The Odyssey, Homer
    Also on the Sybervision list.
    Oedipus the King, Sophocles
    Also on the Sybervision list.
    Old Goriot, Honore de Balzac
    The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
    Also on the Sybervision list.
    One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Also on the BBC list. Superb work of magical realism.
    The Orchard, Sheikh Musharrif ud-din Sadi
    Othello, William Shakespeare
    Also on the Sybervision list.
    Pedro Paramo, Juan Rulfo
    Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
    Poems, Paul Celan
    The Possessed, Fyodor M Dostoyevsky
    Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
    On all three lists. This would have been in the category of "19th century girly books I never felt like reading" except that I was persuaded to give it a try by Anne, my wife. Of course, she was absolutely right and I really enjoyed it; and now will have to go back to all the other 19th century girly books I never felt like reading to give them a fair shot.
    Ramayana, Valmiki
    The Recognition of Sakuntala, Kalidasa
    The Red and the Black, Stendhal
    Also on the Sybervision list.
    Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust
    Working through it: Vol 1 (April 2007), Vol 2 (May 2007), Vol 3 (September 2007).
    Season of Migration to the North, Tayeb Salih
    Selected Stories, Anton P Chekhov
    Sentimental Education, Gustave Flaubert
    Sons and Lovers, DH Lawrence
    The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
    The Sound of the Mountain, Yasunari Kawabata
    The Stranger, Albert Camus
    Oddly enough one I have read in the original French at the urging of a then girlfriend. Masterly portrayal of a really unsympathetic narrator.
    The Tale of Genji, Shikibu Murasaki
    Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
    (May 2006) Gripping and tragic.
    Thousand and One Nights, Anon
    As with Hans Christian Andersen, of course I've read a few – more than a few – of these but couldn't with any honesty claim to have read the lot. Some of them – eg The Young Woman and Her Five Lovers, The Historic Fart of Abu Hasan – are unlikely to make into the children's editions!
    The Tin Drum, Gunter Grass
    (January 2007) Fascinating.
    To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
    The Trial, Franz Kafka
    (June 2005) Tricky to get into, but once I found the right gear I really liked it..
    Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, Samuel Beckett
    Ulysses, James Joyce
    Also on the BBC list. I'm a defender of Ulysses, I have read it twice and found it pretty absorbing. A few months ago I was contacted by Matthew Creasy at Oxford to pick my brains on the significance of Sir Robert Ball in the novel.
    War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
    On all three lists (of course). My former boss claimed that having read it he didn't need to read any more novels. It's certainly a huge endeavour; it took me a stay in a Finnish monastery to read it.
    Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
    On all three lists – one of two on all three lists that I hadn't read when I first compiled these pages. At first I wondered what all the fuss was about, but in fact the graphic, often violent images do linger in the mind, and Heathcliff is grimly believable.
    Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis

    December 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Chrism

      Dante and several of those other human writers would disagree.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • jnsm

      The Divine Comedy is overrated anyway

      December 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Marcelo

      Thanks a lot for this great list!

      December 19, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Atheist 1#
      You clearly forgot "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values" by Robert Pirsig.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  15. Ungodly Discipline

    Jim, I don't typically like to get confrontational but, "scoreboard" ?? W T F?

    A. What does that mean
    B. Are 10?

    December 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      derp

      December 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Atheist 1#

      Who cares? It's Provocative.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  16. b4bigbang

    Hebrew

    I was a Christian until....

    no u weren't (see 1 John 2: 18,19).

    December 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  17. JOHN DOE

    Christians are people who believe in the bible, atheist are people who care if their beliefs are true. Most christians know very little of what is actually in the bible. JUST exam the four gospels carefully especially the book of Matthew it has so many manufactured prophecies( virgin birth , out of egypt , I called my son) look up every prophecy Matthew mentions then find the it in the old testament you can see for yourself or just read the four gospels side by side and see the contradictions. Christianity did to Judaism what the Mormons did to them. It's a shame that if the church scares people with hell some people will believe anything and examine nothing..

    December 19, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Alex

      The four gospels do not contradict. You have four different perspectives on a single event. Some omit details that others emphasize.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Hate to break it to ya, Alex, but you can't get out of the very 1st chapter of the very 1st gospel without running into a contradiction. Scope out Matthew 1:23 and 25 to see what I mean.
       
      The irony is that most Protestant churches read these very lines EVERY YEAR as part of their Christmas celebrations, and apparently NOBODY NOTICES the problem. I suspect it's because churches encourage you to turn off your brain as soon as you walk thru the door. You know what they say: The difference between education and indoctrination is whether the guy at the front of the room welcomes questions.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Art

      I hear so many atheist idiotsl say that..that Christians don't know their bible well at all. But none of the idiots have ever been able to substantiate it.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Belieber

      There are many contradictions. One example : did Jesus die on the Day of Passover, or the Day of Preparation for the Passover ? Which is it. They DO contradict. Luke says he was born when a certain Roman governor was governor of Syria, and Herod was king. Too bad that Herod had died ten years before. As usual, you don't know the babble.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • jnsm

      Judaism did the same thing to the ancient Cannanite religion.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Ask and ye shall receive, Art:
         http://blog.beliefnet (dot) com/omeoflittlefaith/2010/09/atheists-know-more-about-the-bible-than-christians.html

      December 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Alex

      @RichardSRussell – How is Matt. 1:23 & 25 a contradiction? And the event references the prophecy in Is. 7:14, which is fascinating since a rare Hebrew word is used that can mean both "virgin" and "maiden" rather than the normal word for "maiden".

      December 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Alex

      @Belieber – You do realize that there were different Herods don't you? the Great, Antipas, Antipater, ... It takes 3 seconds to look it up.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      OK, Alex, let me lay the actual words out right before your eyes in hopes that it will help:
       
      23Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME EMMANUEL which being interpreted is, God with us.
         
      25 ... and HE CALLED HIS NAME JESUS.

      If you're still having trouble spotting the contradiction, just ask and I'll try to cut it down to words of one, uh, sound.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • Belieber

      Alex, it's not a "rare" Hebrew word. It is a common Hebrew word, and in it's context, reminded the Hebrew listeners that a child is the sign. It has absolutely nothing to do with a "virgin".

      December 19, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  18. Truth

    So Christian God is no more peace loving than the Jewish or Muslims God. All these Gods will send billions of people to hell even if they do good all their life, did I get that right ?

    December 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Hal

      God doesn't send people to hell. The individual chooses to go to hell by not trusting in Jesus Christ as savior.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  19. Jim

    The only argument needed against doubters, cynics, and anyone who bashes Christianity – SCOREBOARD!

    December 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Truth

      I am pretty sure that Christianity wasn't always the majority religion in the past. Well people who were infidels in the past would have said scoreboard Christianity is false.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Jim
      Yes Jim, those with well developed reason, high levels of education, and above average intelligence are definitely a minority.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Boy, I'd be SOOOOOOO happy if that were in fact the only argument I ever heard against rationality, but unfortunately you guys have got tons of 'em, and you never let up unloading them like a manure wagon every chance you get.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Jim, I don't typically like to get confrontational but, "scoreboard" ?? W T F?

      A. What does that mean
      B. Are you 10?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  20. Ungodly Discipline

    Here is the problem. If science, literacy and intelligence were se-xy, Christianity would not be able to maintain this stronghold. Unfortunately, Magic, Miracles, Fairy Tales and Supersti-tions (and that se-xy "virgin" Mary who go knocked up) are just too appealing to the Fast Food, Reality TV market. Atheists’ just can’t offer up lies and nonsense to reign in your support for common sense. We can only fight the good fight. Most importantly, as America exports the fast food culture, so with it goes Christianity. It, as always, comes down to corporate greed. The American way.

    December 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Yes I see the type-o Tom Tom. Please be gentle LS.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • JT

      Christianity depends on the abolishment of reason and its adherents to be dumbed down and reject and dodge demands for evidence. This is called faith. Once one is hooked into this cult it's almost impossible for them to break free especially since most are brainwashed into the cult from childhood.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Alex

      Christianity has done much more for this world than atheism. The salvation army, red cross, etc. has helped millions of poor all over the world. At worst atheism has persecuted tens of millions of people. At best, it has led barely educated cynics to post on CNN boards claiming how much they trust science.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • JT

      I just love it when taliban xtians post comments denouncing science as the hypocrits are spewing their ignorance and basically embarassing the human race using science every second of their lives. Did your PC just get prayed into existence? The only way to not be a hypocrite is to go move into a cave somewhere.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • jnsm

      @Alex
      Red Cross is secular.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Whoa, Alex, don't be claiming the Red Cross as a religious organization. It's 100% secular! Check your assumptions before you blurt, dude!

      December 19, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      U'D . I over the past year the common line from many Atheist is how un-cool and puritanical the Faiths are. That we go to bed every night watching Touched By An Angel and wake up watching the Waltons and Little House on the Prarie.

      Now you have us characterized hip and glamorous as MTV.... Which is it are we repressed cloistered folks or are we a episode of The Real World ?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:45 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.