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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. Man_of_GOD

    I believe we are getting closer to the rapture of the Church. We do not know what day, but as believers I think we all can recognize the signs of the times. These days we are living are like the days of Noah. Expect him to return! http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Thessalonians+4&version=NIV

    December 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Atheist 1#

      Wow,and Atheist are insane dumbazzes.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Man_of_GOD
      Every generation of Christians has made the exact same claim. None of them were correct.

      ...on a side note...are you expecting Noah to return, because that would not only be highly unlikely, but a bit weird.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Wow

      Wow, wow, wow. When is it exactly?

      December 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Dano

      Why is your screen name "man of god"? Doesn't that seem a bit pretentious? Or is it cathartic for you to evangelize on a CNN forum?

      December 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Rapture
      Apocalypse
      Armageddon

      Meh. There are two of three of those predicted every decade, and none of them have been accurate. How close is "close"? Tell me another fairy story, please.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  2. Brian

    It's easy to see why this is. Christianity panders to the weakness of human nature. The worst people make good Christians. Jeffry Dahmer became a born again Christian while in jail.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Todd

      There is the aspect of forgiveness for all of your sins which could be seen popular by people who have lived a troubled past. However for most sects, forgiveness of past sins is only the start of the process, after that you need to live a better life.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Wow

      Brian, Dude that is true for all religions.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  3. Atheist 1#

    Question one 2,000 year old book from the same time when people believed in witchcraft and and dragons> Then you become a Pariah!

    December 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  4. Cyle

    It's a plague of ignorance that must be stopped...

    Believing in an invisible sky fairy and his reddish counterpart is so much easier than actually accepting the reality of our world and taking responsibility for our own actions/inactions.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Doubting Thomas

      I wish the christ-idiots would just stay in their church and leave us alone. Bringing it into every Faux News story and political campaign just displays the nauseating mentality of the sheep-like masses.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • frank

      right on bro

      December 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Paul

      Oh, dear! This is why I question the benefit of these stories as "news." It brings out every kind of confident amateur theologian who thinks he can actually sound intelligent on these issues while posting his opinion.

      The post above is a perfect example of why some people would be perceived as smart if they kept their opinions to themselves.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      What I love is the way that some atheists lump all Christians into one group and all atheists into another. I.e., all Christians believe that once they are "Saved" they need not take responsibility for their actions and by implication all atheists take responsibility for their actions.

      Of course, there are atheists who use their atheism to embrace essential selfishness as a virtue in their lives and there are Christians (indeed, in my experience the vast majority of Christians) who understand that they must still deal with the temporal consequences of their actions... and that being truly Christian means attempting to act in a moral manner.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  5. Sean Russell

    Good, now they can stop whining about being a persecuted minority.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Cyle

      no, they'll still whine about it

      December 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • todd in DC

      They do that whenever our government tries to enforce that church/state separation.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Paul

      Christians in American have always known that America is "Christian." But that is in name only. True Christians, those that believe the Bible to be the literal word of God, are not nearly as many. And yes, Christianity is under persecution. The news stories are everywhere. Those that believe otherwise don't pay attention to the news.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  6. Atheist 1#

    CNN HATES ATHEIST!

    December 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • davon

      Come on man, have some faith! rofl

      December 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  7. Brooklyn Boy

    It's all nonsense. It's all a con. The real purpose is to control thought, control behavior and steal the flock's money. It doesn't stand up to a logical examination and all the quotes from that book of fairy tales can't change that. Imagine all the good that could be done if all this time effort and MONEY were put into something that had some bearing on REALITY.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Kyle

      I'm curious what religion you believe in, what I find interesting is you have a lot of Religious beliefs in what you just said, about how the Money can go to something of reality? What is reality? I'd really like to know where you get any of this "fairy tale" information. It's quite interesting I bet.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • todd in DC

      Reality = science, the poor, the hungry.

      Your beliefs are just greedy people fleecing the gullible. Normally, I'd be ok with this, but some people are forced into it.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Doubting Thomas

      @Kyle, the money could go to feeding people, building communities and helping the sick. Why line the chuches, pastors pockets and vatican temples with money ? it is senseless.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  8. 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 3:50 pm |
  9. Atheist 1#

    WHY HASN'T CNN POSTED ANY THING ON IT'S ATHEIST BLOG IN MONTHS? AND WHEN A FAMOUS ATHEIST DIES THEY GET RELIGIOUS PEOPLE TO WRITE THE ARTICLES ON IT?

    December 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      My hypothesis, based on the comments to most posts on the belief blog, is that atheists seem far more interested in reading and commenting on articles about faith than doing the same with articles about unbelief.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Atheist 1#

      That's not true. we would love a area dedicated to discussing Non Belief!

      December 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      Really? Then why not start one instead of making sure that no actual real discussion about faith can occur in the comboxes of the belief blog?

      December 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @Atheist 1#
      ...however, reasonable people having a rational conversation about things for which there is necessary and sufficient evidence soon become a bit bored.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @MarylandBill
      Using "actual" and "real" when referring to a discussion about "faith" is ironic. No?

      "Faith is believing what you know ain't so."
      -Mark Twain

      December 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  10. John Bohrmann

    Christianity is not a religion. It is a grouping of religions with quite varied beliefs and traditions.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Todd

      Christianity is a religion. Then you have sects, within these sects their are orders.
      Muslims have difference sects, Judaism has different sects as well.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • John Bohrmann

      Sorry, Todd. At best, Christianity is a belief system. It is not a religion. Everyone has jumped on the bandwagon and says it is, but it is not.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  11. Doubting Thomas

    What kind of crap article is this ? 247 million idiots (christians) in the United States out of a total population of 300 million people ? 80% ? obviously they are counting children, babies and corn cobs. Who is the fundamentalist zealot responsible for this sort of erroneous publishing ?

    December 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Todd

      Sorry that you are in the minority... But you should know that already. Atheists while often a very vocal group are actually very much in the minority.

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

      It closely coincides with the CIA Factbook. Look it up.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  12. Johnny 5

    2.2 billion Christians in the world... If the lessons of the bible were followed 100% by those 2.2 billion Christians, then the worlds population would be down to 4.8 billion. Think of the advancements we could finally make if this were so. War? what war? or we've got a cure for that illness now, and the list goes on.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  13. Smartypants

    There is concrete evidence of the existence of a Christian God. He has compelled millions to build lavish churches and pay enormous salaries to ministers and nuns. That's all the proof I need

    December 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  14. Sam

    I WOULD RATHER SPEND MY LIFE BELIEVING IN GOD, ONLY TO FIND OUT HE DOESN'T EXIST THAN TO SPEND MY LIFE NOT BELIEVING IN GOD, ONLY TO FIND OUT HE DOES. WHAT HAVE I GOT TO LOSE, EXCEPT A MEMORY OF ME THAT I LIVED A GOOD LIFE!!

    December 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Jackie

      I agree! Well said!

      December 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • stormchaser1983

      as long as you dont let your belief ruin your current life by being prejudiced, hateful and bigoted. It would suck to die and realize that there is no God and then further realize you could have been a nicer person and enjoyed life to the fullest.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Sybaris

      .......and if you've picked the wrong god?

      December 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Doubting Thomas

      Your low level of intelligence is obvious as we watch you write IN ALL CAPS. MORON !

      December 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • streetsmt

      OK,
      But there have been thousands of different gods defined. By your logic, you are almost certainly in the second group anyway.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Arjun

      I too agree. Moreover you feel more happy and secure (even if it is false as per some of them). What do the people who don't believe God gain by that?

      December 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • streetsmt

      I feel free. It's a great feeling to be free of the dogma.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Sandilee

      Stomrchaser the people who call themselves Christians and preach hatred are not Christians. You need to follow the teaching of Jesus to be a Christian. Jesus taught us the greatest comandment is to love God, the second greatest comandment is to love your neighbor

      December 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Ryan

      Ah, Pascal's Wager. While on the surface this ideology first offered by the esteemed Mathematician may seem like an easy escape, but that's hardly the case. According to the scriptures, you have to truly believe that Christ is the Son of God, was crucified for all peoples' sins, and resurrected to ascend to Heaven, all while in the form of a man. That, however, is the basic ticket. Saint Paul writes further in the New Testament what is expected of those who follow Christ. Simply going with Pascal's Wager and believing just for the sake that there is, indeed, an eternity of torment does not fall within the requirements for the Christian life. The very definition of "Christian" is "Christ-like". There is to be emulation in all aspects of one's life. You could, however, choose Catholicism if you want an easy way. From all the mobster movies I've seen, you can do just about anything you want as long as there is a priest there at the end to offer your last rites.

      As for myself, I can't subscribe to the edicts of Christianity any more. I consider myself a Humanist. Note that I did not specify whether I was a religious or secular Humanist, merely a humanist. Science and evolution have offered far more substantial evidence as to the history and development of mankind. To quote Sir Terry Pratchett – "I'd much rather be a rising ape than a falling angel."

      ~R

      December 19, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Doubting Thomas

      @Ryan, forget about the stupid American stigma that comes with being an Atheist. Just announce that you are an Atheist and you will feel better ... and smarter.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • yeahalright

      I would rather honestly not believe. Or honestly believe. Whichever. You think if there is a god he/she/it is going to be fooled by your bet-hedging belief? Not to mention what if you picked the wrong god? There are a lot of them you know.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  15. hamboy

    you atheists pride your selves on your so called knowledge and intelligence. yet you believe that a giant explosion created all things and that a banana a platypus an elephant and a human are all derived from the same bacteria. your the fools and yet blind to the foolishness of your beliefs. the Lord Jesus told us you would be so, 2000 years ago. seems He is always right.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Sybaris

      You obviously know nothing about chemistry, biology or bacteria.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Patrick

      How can you criticize sccience when you have no knowledge or understanding of it?

      December 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • stormchaser1983

      quite obvious you dont exhibit even .001% of those characteristics

      December 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Banana

      Yes might be a God created everything, but not any religions. You keep believing those human made separators.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Doubting Thomas

      You don't believe there was a big bang ? I laugh so hard at moronic mouth breathers like you. Go ahead, keep believing that the Earth is 20,000 years old, there were no dinosaurs, Adam and Even had incest and that your god blows up cities and floods the planet. shhhh, we won't spoil your fairy tale.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  16. rlsanchez

    hell is hot LOL hell is HOt hottttttt lollllllllll... when we close our eyes for the last time..we all will know..end of discussion.. oh..HELL IS HOT πŸ™‚

    December 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Observer

      Yes, warn all the Christian hypocrites who don't follow the Golden Rule or who commit adultery by remarrying, etc.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  17. Screw the Voodoo

    Religion is mankind's greatest enemy. It's time to rebel against the supernatural dictatorship and grow up!

    December 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • hamboy

      the nazis, commies, and the dictators of the last century were enlightened atheists who abhorred religion. they were responsible for over 80,000,000 deaths. and religion is the enemy, hey? wow

      December 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • CRay

      Grow up into what?

      December 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • CaptainObvious

      Actually, religion as a whole is the is a greatest source of good in the world. Anything that is designed to make bad men good and good men better and which has brought peace, tolerance, and revelation to tens of billions of people since the beginning of time is not a bad thing. Just becuase few would abuse the power and deny the source of the power thereof does not mean is it what you say it is. The key is to knot put oneself on a false pedastal because of one's belief (or unbelief). Let men worship how where or what they may. For of you it is required not to judge, but to love all men.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Doubting Thomas

      @Captain, yes, religion brings peace. Just ask the christian crusaders and the muslims. The most peaceful people on the planet are the Buddhist monks and they don't believe in a god or a jesus. What does this tell you ? Think hard. it will come to you.

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

      Once again, Thomas, Just because a few will (and have) hide their intolerance and bigotry behind the mask of religion (or non-religion) for centuries does not mean that systems that have largely given help hope and healing to tens of billions as a whole are "evil." I don't know of a singular atheist or secular humanist who would wish to be judged by the actions of Hitler either. Man's inhumanity to man as a whole is quite incomprehesible, but man's pride (i.e., placing himself into a postiion above his brothers) is cause for this, not God or religion. Rather, justifying that one is more intelligent, enlightened, deserving, or moral than someone else is the cause for such atrocity. That said, pride from unbelief is just as wicked an pride from belief. That said, it would not be wise ( or prudent) to judge God for man's own wickedness and pride.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • todd in DC

      Yo,, Hambone, Hitler was a Catholic. One of his justifcations for murdering Jews was that he claimed that Jews killed Jesus.

      Hitler was Catholic. You don't want to believe that because it throws a little cold water on your superiority.

      You grow up. Or at least, read a book or two.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • CaptainObvious

      Todd: Actually, he was born Catholic, but in his journals and writings clearly denotes that he had never considered himself a Catholic nor a believer in any God of any kind. hence, he was an atheist.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Doubting Thomas

      @Captain, but we were made in god's image , right ? So, the atrocities committed by man are a reflection upon god. Actually, god led by example when he blew up Sodom & Gomorrah, drowned the people clinging around Noah's ark and spilled the rivers onto the Roman soldiers. We was some murderous sob.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      CaptainObvious – sources, please. If you want, I'll give you several quotes from the man directly refuting that.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • CaptainObvious

      Read: Read the collection of transcipts in Hitler's Table Talk, Martin Bormann, in which Hitler and his closest intimates clearly illustrate that Hitler never believed in nor practised his mother's religion of Catholism and upheld the pretenses of a believing (though totally non-practising Catholic) solely for political purposes.

      There is no reputable historian worth his salt that for even a second would despute the fact of Hitler's atheism and his crtisim of Christianity.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  18. tintin

    Christianity is world's largest religion because they ferociously proselytize like the other notorious Abrahamic religion Islam. None of the dharmic/eastern religions do that and hence have lost lot of their followers to Christianity and Islam. These numbers wouldn't be this big if forced conversions were prevented. Time is not lost and if forced conversions are stopped, the numbers will eventually come down.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • CaptainObvious

      Actually, as a former Christian missionary myself, I can tell you that this is not the case. This is not like a "shotgun wedding" and I have never seen a "forced coversion" as you so put it. I can promise you that the so-called "forced Christian coversion" by missionaries is a non-realism.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • tintin

      Please, are you over a 100 years old? There have been, and are forced conversions going on in many parts of the world. If you don't do that as a missionary good for you but don't pretend that they don't happen. Just because you don't do it doesn't mean others haven't done it in the past or aren't doing it now. Besides, your so called non-forced conversion almost always involves denigrating other religions. Abrahamic religions have always believed in monotheism, never accepted henotheism and often derided dharmic/eastern religions.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Kath

      Tintin, you say that if forced conversions stop, the growth of Christianity will stop?

      So how do you explain the Chinese Church growth under Mao and his successors? In 1900, there were 100,000 Christians in China, and by 1950 this had grown to a mere 700,000. Mao and his Cultural Revolution then spent the following decades suppressing these Christians, re-educating them and sending the leaders and the faithful remnant to Labour Camps. Even this year, Christians were arrested again at the same time as you will have heard about the outspoken artist Ai Weiwei being arrested, so it's not over yet.

      And the result? 76 Million Christians in China in 2011, after 60 years of eradication.

      Be OBJECTIVE, look at the EVIDENCE.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • tintin

      Kath,
      so you mean to say Christianity is spreading without any proselytisation? Please, there are many underground churches in China which have been practicing and proselytizing Christianity for all these years. May be you choose to ignore that evidence. What about the christian missionaries who massacred Aztec religious artifacts and desecrated their places of worship. What about British colonialism which mocked and plundered ancient religious beliefs of the Native Americans and African tribes. What right did they have to do that? Having faith is one thing but ridiculing and deriding other people's faith is utter non-sense especially when Christians themselves say that they are constantly being ridiculed by atheists. You can't have one rule for yourselves and another for people of other faiths.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • CaptainObvious

      TinTin, you are quite deluded and do not know your history. Look at the objective facts in China and then get back with me.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Kath

      Tintin, read carefully, YOU said that if FORCED CONVERSION were PREVENTED, the growth of Christianity would stop and it would decline. I pointed out that the Communists have prevented to the best of their ability any kind of conversion for 60 years, and in that time the Christian church in China has grown by the CHinese government's OWN estimates to 28.6M and by expert evaluation to between 80 and 130 Million (I know, this article says 67M, but what ever number we settle at, that is growth).

      Now, you are going way back before my time in quoting Aztecs et al. – cI was taqlking about China in the last century or so. I think you'll find that mistakes have been made along the way, whether by Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or Atheists, but it hardly proves your case to ignore my point about the growth of the Chinese church by unforced conversions when the cost of conversion has been so high in the last 60 years.

      I do feel the facts speak for themselves.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Kath

      please excuse the typos – 76M! I need to turn up the heating, it's too cold to type LOL!

      December 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • tintin

      Kath and Captain Obvious,
      please I have seen forced conversions in my Country, and my other point is PROSELYTIZATION either forced on unforced is the reason for the growth of christianity. If it wasn't forced conversion it was conversion by mocking, deriding and ridiculing other faiths and religions that's all I am saying. I have seen this first hand as half of my family is christian and half of them are Hindu and the ones that got converted to Christianity didn't for the right reasons(the reason being monetary benefits). So atleast respect the facts that I am providing. Ok I agree in some cases Christianity is not forced but christians still practise PROSELYTIZATION, which again is the main reason for its growth.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • tintin

      Also please excuse my Typos. I do not hate Christianity and love JESUS. It's his followers who amaze me. As a Hindu I believe JESUS was GOD's son but not his only son. There have been prophets like JESUS, for instance Gautam Budhha who offered another way of salvation.

      December 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • tintin

      Besides I never said that the growth of Christianity in China is because of forced conversions. All I am saying is that forced conversions do happen in parts of the world. Now I don't know about the growth of Christianity in China. All I am saying is that growth can be attributed to the basic tenet of Abrahamic Religions which is PROSELYTIZATION.

      December 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Kath

      "These numbers wouldn't be this big if forced conversions were prevented." I know you were talking generally, but that generalisation is seriously undermined by the Chinese example, so please revisit your assumption.

      I'm very sorry to hear that you have felt your beliefs to be derided & mocked. That is never justifiable. But I do not see what is wrong with unforced conversions, such as those taking place in the House churches in China, where the personal cost can be so high as to disuade all but the most determined from conversion. My point is that growth still happens in the Christian Church without any kind of inducement besides Truth convincing. It's counter-intuitive, but so is growth from 700,000 to 76million under the most severe prolonged persecution, but that is a fact.

      I'm happy to hear you say you love Jesus, so I trust that you are reading all his recorded sayings to see what he says about other sons and other prophets and especially about his personal forgiveness and uniqueness? Let him lead you and never stop searching. I'm sure he will reward your persistence. I understand that Gandhi said, β€œI shall say to the Hindus that your lives will be incomplete unless you reverently study the teachings of Jesus” (Hingorani, 23)?

      December 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • tintin

      Kath,
      I go to Church as well as a Hindu Temple, but I have to keep it a secret from my Christian friends as I am not sure everyone would be as accepting as you. I am not saying that all my Hindu friends are okay with me going to church too, but I guess they don't really care that much to confront me or ask me to not go to church. Where as some of my Christian friends are not so keen about my following another religion and would question the validity of my respecting JESUS. And that is one of my biggest peeves with them. Either way if we all respect every religion and learn from each other the world will be a better place. The place that JESUS envisioned for all of Mankind.

      December 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  19. CaptainObvious

    I really don't understand what the big deal is. Jesus taught to love thy neighbor as thyself. Whether you believe Jesus was the Son of God, a prophet, or just some good guy really does not detract from the truthfulness of this message. The first and great commandment is to love thy God, which is equated to loving thy nieghbor. For if you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Believing or non-believing, is that not the truth? Many, including myself, will find peace and happiness in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Others will claim to find peace and happiness inside another religion or outside of any religion. In any event, are we all not still members of the same human family? Do we all not wear the same team jersey? This "us v. them" or "believers v. non-belivers" mentality is wrong any way you look at it. This is exactly what Jesus taught when he said to be careful to call one another's "fools" for their beliefs. The only fool is the fool who cannot respect the belief (including the non-belief) of others. The only fool is the one believer who cannot see every living person as a child of God or the non-believer who cannot see every living person as a member of the diverse human family.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Christian

      Thank you, Captain, you put into words exactly what I was thinking. The God of the Bible is all about love ... not the hate that's being spewed around in these comments. We all need to be careful of how we view each other, and be sure that we're always speaking in love. One would be a fool to exclaim he had all the answers – Christian or non-Christian. It's OK to have an opinion on something ... atheists love to call Christians closed-minded and ignorant, but we must remember neither stance can be "proven" at this point in time. I personally believe the Bible was given to man by God, and strive to dive deeper in the Word daily, and it never ceases to amaze me.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  20. Hmmmm

    There sure is a lot of hate-speech here from people with supposed "open minds". Sad.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
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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.