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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. justin

    Only 2.2 billion people. Heaven seems like a small place.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  2. EternalBliss

    "There is no fear in love" – John4:18 ... seems like we have forgot this one... all division is fear inspired.. we must defeat the false fears that divide US.. and bonds us in the false, objectified world..

    December 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • justin

      What if your dog is about to get hit by a train and the only thing you can do is rescue it? That seems like having fear in love.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Reality

      John 4: 18 has been analyzed by a number of contemporary NT scholars. Most have concluded that it was no uttered by Jesus and as with most if not all of John's gospel, simply fiction or signficant embellisment of the truth. Note said passage is found only in John's gospel making it a single attestation and thereby failing any test of historic accuracy.

      Added notes:

      With respect to John's Gospel and John' epistles, from Professor/Father Raymond Brown in his book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (The book has both a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from the Catholic Church),

      John's Gospel, Date- 80-110 CE, Traditional Attribution, (2nd Century), St. John, one of the Twelve,
      Author Detectable from the Contents, One who regards himself in the tradition of the disciple.
      First Epistle of John, Authenticity- Certainly by a writer in the Johannine tradition, probably NOT by the one responsible for most of the Gospel.

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,
      "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

      December 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Brad

      It would be expedient for you to reject the letters and gospel of John. A unique claim is made within them: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life." I'd say the author does claim to be an eyewitness.

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

      Pardon, that was for Reality.

      December 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Reality

      See Raymond Brown's book, An Introduction to the New Testament, pp. 383-394 as to authors and content. Said authors were not eye witnesses.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:27 am |
  3. hippypoet

    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. And the majority of the world is believers…what conclusions do you draw from this?

    December 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • smartaz

      Can't say I ever owned a slave, killed a witch, or bashed any gays. I know I haven't been on any crusades. I'm sure without Christianity, there would be no wars or bigotry or murder.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • hippypoet

      if your conclusion is anything but religion is idiotic, moronic, and hurtful 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 – The world or the state of things as they actually exist.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • ari

      uh... i don't think "gay bashing" or the slave trade were/are exclusive to any one religion. i don't remember the officially atheist USSR being particularly gay-friendly, and the arab slave trade lasted 3 times as long and killed far more people than the atlantic slave trade. not to mention that importing slaves from africa was an ancient greek invention, not a christian or a muslim one...

      December 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • smartaz

      Yeah, tired of those Christians collecting toys for underprivileged kids this time of year. I even saw some bringing people food. what the heck are they doing hurting people like that.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i never said that the horrors of mankind are 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!

      December 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Brad

      hippypoet: "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". I never succeeded in making a religion of myself, though not for lack of trying. One of the first things I read from you "People can be so vile!" summarizes the fundamental problem with it. People have access to radical evil if they only look within themselves. Good, too, to be sure, but I'd never trust myself to tell the difference and I have even less confidence in others.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • hippypoet

      first, brad thank you for replying honestly... and thats the point – to look inside ourselves, understand who and what we are and are capable of doing... we all possess evil and good...its what we chose to do with it that makes us us! and being able to control ourselves is a lesson hard learned but the more and more tech evoled we become i see us having less and less control... and more and more religious people yerning to be told what to do and how to do it.

      December 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  4. JMRBoston

    Mormonism is not a Christian "tradition". Christian orthodoxy denounced it a long time ago as a cult.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Binky42

      My brand of Christianity is more true than your brand of Christianity. Nanny nanny boo boo!!

      December 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Converted

      And the dominant religion in the time of Christ crucified our Savior. Everybody wants control.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Atheist 1#

      Joseph smith is liar and full of crap and so is Muhammad and Tom Cruise!

      December 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  5. Joe

    By the way, it says poll before you click the heading. You know what that means...

    "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."

    Opinion data...bingo.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Binky42

      Pew is an unbiased organization, and their polls are very trustworthy.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Joe

      Crap dude. They don't poll everyone.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Eric G

      Joe, that is why it is called a poll. Stay in the shallow end of the pool while the adults swim.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Binky42

      Somebody failed statistics class.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Eric G

      Here is another stat for you Joe...

      50% of the worlds population is dumber than average.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  6. Jody

    Honestly your religion is about a personal experience with whoever you choose to serve. I am a Christian but I dont feel the need to BASH any man and his connection that he has made with his God. I choose to serve one God and I choose to believe in his son Jesus Christ the same way and individual has the right to choose who he will serve. As a christian it isnt my place to judge or push my beliefes onto anyone, I would much rather people identify me as a Christian through my life style and how I carry myself rather than contantly bashing them. If your religion or lack of has made you a better person then who am i to judge? We dont share the same experiences or struggles, all I can do is share my beliefes but I cant expect anyone to take them and accept them to be true.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Joe

      This person is correct, a true believer. People like this should be a leader.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Eric

      Did your family saddle you with these beliefs? Does it help you get through the day by thinking that there's a deity out there working 24hr surveillance to watch over you? Some say it might be a 'confidence" trick to help the elderly cope with their looming mortality...or help a mother with the death of her child. Would you consider this to be taking advantage of a person's REAL FEARS - while at the same time manufacturing an elaborate tale & fleecing the faithful for monetary gain? Do you consider it mental child abuse to raise children to believe in Hell or The Rapture? Do you believe faith-healers, like Benny Hinn, are true Christians? What about Christians that call who support THE DEATH PENALTY? Do you believe in Demons or Witches or the Devil? If so, would an omnibenevolent, omniscient create them?

      December 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  7. Yohanon

    Most people dont know that "Christianity" is defined only Roman Catholic. Protestant are hated by rome who started "christianity". JESUS, CHRIST, MERCY. GLORY etc are roman Sun-worship Dieties... Most go to there universities, by there clothing, symbols, bookstores,(They are getting rich) as long as protestants do this they can borrow the name christian. Christianity is the "ANTI MESSIAH" Right story, Wrong Charactors because they are all BAAL/deities names and figures

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

      Thanks, I'd wondered about that.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • ari

      lol ok

      December 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Immanuel

      Oh, Pooh. A "Christian" is one who follows Christ. Most people who call themselves Christian, aren't...they just think they are, but their actions betray their true intentions.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Michael

      actually, Christianity encompasses all religions that accept Jesus as the Messiah/Son of God and God as the Father. Catholicism is just Roman Catholics.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Yohanon

      Yea, this is the reason why the early POPES changed the day from 7thsabbath to the first Sun-day to worship the Sun. Go to rome and they have this long valley to watch the sun rise on to the porch where the pope makes an appearance. All of there dieties have replace original names in the KJV Bible, they did this on purpose to tribute there IDOLS/DEITIES/EMPORERS
      They tricked all "Christianity" in to calling false Elohims. FORBIDDIN IN THE COVENANT

      December 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  8. James

    Kill The Jew's! That's Muhammad!

    December 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Tom Cruise

      That love runs deeper and includes all infidels

      December 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  9. imamccon

    . More than being a learned behavior or part of a pattern of socialization, human beings are “hardwired” to believe that there is something beyond our natural world. Now, this “something” can take many different forms around the world, but there is something about us as a species that seeks the spiritual. As such, atheists are the aberration.

    Mankind, across all cultures, always seeks to deify something: the weather, volcanoes, totems, ancestors, etc… Why is this?

    Atheists will say that it is our feeble way of trying to explain the unexplainable. They say that early man feared thunder, so he created a “thunder god” and then tried to appease this manmade deity. Or gods were created by the powerful in society to enforce codes of conduct on the masses. Now, I do not believe that truth is determined simply by the number of adherents to a proposition, but it never ceases to amaze me that in world where the estimates of self-described atheists or “nonreligious” are somewhere between 2% to 12% of the total population, that its so easy for skeptics to dismiss the faithful as idiots. I would wager that the number of people who think the moon landing was faked or that the moon is made of cheese is somewhere in the same 2-12% range.

    No, this innate belief is more than a manmade construct devised to control our actions or to explain away natural phenomenon. There seems to be a shared “experience” across all of creation that has left an indelible imprint upon who we are as a creature. I use the word “experience” carefully for it is not an empirically quantifiable experience, per se, but rather a shared sense of “the other”. This may be the “numinous” of German theologian Rudolph Otto, the “wholly other” that evokes a sense of mysterium fascinans in all who are open to it. It is a fact that there is, among nearly all human beings, an idea that there is something that makes our existence purposeful. Perhaps, embedded deep down in our genetic make-up, there is the imprint of a maker, much as an artist signs his paintings, which says, “This is the product of my labor and I call it my own.”

    Mankind is geared to believe in a creator and to believe that the creator is still involved in our lives on some level and atheists are the one’s swimming against the stream of truth. John Calvin also believed that we are made with a natural inclination to believe and it was our sin nature that blunted this predisposition towards God. I would also add willful ignorance to the list of things that can separate us from our Creator, an ignorance born of and magnified by pride. The atheists like to think they are independent thinkers and they, like the man who tore free of his bonds in Plato’s “Parable of the Cave,” are the ones to walk out of the darkness and into the light. However, in reality, they are fighting against the nature instilled in us all to turn towards our Creator. Locke’s slate is not so blank, after all, but the doubters are doing there best to wipe away the truth and rewrite man’s story with a secular god of their own making.

    Taken from The Four PIllars of the Kingdom by Joe Brooks

    December 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Alex

      Insightful post. Maybe that's why atheists often believe in aliens or other fanciful beings. Ironic.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Really?

      Hey look imamccon is drinking the same koolaide as fred...fred must be changing his handle....AGAIN!

      December 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Binky42

      Aliens are a lot more believable than deities. We have proof of life in the universe, but there is no proof for god.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Freethinker Seeking Reason

      Thankfully atheists have reality on their side. There can no more powerful ally than that. Truth trumps mythology every time, not unlike how the laws of physics apply regardless of your location in the universe. To believe otherwise is to suffer from intense self-delusion brought on by an inability to utilize the critical thinking necessary to repulse insti-tutionalized religious brainwashing.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      """Maybe that's why atheists often believe in aliens or other fanciful beings. """

      What kind of drivel is this? Lying does not help your argument.

      December 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  10. Eric

    So is the Christian God a man or woman...and who gave birth to Adam & Eve's grandchildren?

    December 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • James

      Was Adam Black or White or Asian or Hispanic or HINDU OR Aborigines? What was Eve?

      December 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • ari

      james, hindus are a religious group. perhaps you meant INDIAN.

      i don't recall the bible ever specifying adam or eve's skin colors. it was never really said where exactly the "garden of eden" was (although ancient catholics believed it to be in ethiopia).

      December 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  11. James

    It is a lie that Christians are the highest number in the world. The survey is flawed. Most people arev secular and many others follow a mixture of religions like for example in Africa where traditional religion is mixed with judao-christianity

    December 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  12. Freethinker Seeking Reason

    Shame on CNN for once again spreading this bible belt propaganda. What about the growing atheist population in America? Religion is for the gullible and weak minded. Get a clue. Avoid organized mass delusion for the social psychosis it is.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Atheist 1#

      one day science will be respected and logic and reason will rule the world!

      December 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Jason

      I guess you'd have a problem with a Christian psychiatrist?

      December 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Land Sakes

      One day religion and science will agree 100%. Till then, they're both just guesses.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      """one day science will be respected and logic and reason will rule the world!"""

      One can only hope. It seems sometimes like we're sliding down the slippery slope toward Idiocracy.

      December 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  13. SheilaStephens-SheMadeHerSelfReady

    Jesus is God of the Universe. Everything that is created was created by HIM. The kingdoms of this world and all systems are passing away. Jesus is God with us, and is He is coming back to this world to rule and reign. It is good to know that 1/3 of the world is ready and waiting for His appearing. Jesus’ kingdom is forever. God so loved the world, that He gave Him Only Son, whoever believes in Him will not parish, but have everlasting life. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are ONE! So be ready, Jesus is coming soon! (SheMadeHerSelfReady.com)

    December 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Freethinker Seeking Reason

      You sound utterly psychotic. Seek professional help.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Really?

      "but have everlasting life. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are ONE! So be ready, Jesus is coming soon! "

      Yawn, Yawn.....same story different century... give up people what a load of crap. Christians have been saying this for centuries and we're still here because there is NO god.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  14. EternalBliss

    "Love Thy Enemy" .. – that dude named Jesus ... We can achieve no-thing but thru Love ....

    December 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Dave

      I never did understand that phrase. Never understood how it was possible. Probably never will

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

      Dave .. watch "Quantum Activist" and you will understand.. in short... no thing is divided.. All is One.. All is God.. so to Love They Enemy is to Love Thyself

      December 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • EternalBliss

      And to Love Thyself is to Love Thy God.. for no thing is in part.. yet we dwell in the world of parts. .the false world of objects.. hence all still worship the idols in the mirror... defeat thy ego.. and find ye Ever United with Thy Lord!!!

      December 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • EternalBliss

      Also try reading Meister Eckhart and/or Thomas Merton...

      December 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  15. Turp Griswald

    Neither numbers nor might make right.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  16. Tyler

    The only reason that there seem to be so many catholics is that the parishes receive operating money based on the number of parishioners they say they have. So they count everyone who has come into the church in the past hundred years who did not afterwards send them a letter saying that they were not part of the parish anymore. By using this technique, any religion can make that claim.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  17. Reality

    “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today
    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

    It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Alex

      How about the stupidness of all belief systems? We just pulled out of a nine year war that was waged in the name of democracy and freedom. Maybe we should all be godless cynical mindless drones.

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

      And if a person is born in an atheistic country, they would be an atheist.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Reality

      Some elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.
      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      December 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  18. NEWS FLASH

    Mammals go global as the world's dominate class, biological class that is.
    Shortly after the largest Sauropsida got wiped out, approximately 65 million years ago, mammals have taken over as the most prevalent, large animals and most frequently found at the top of the food chain. But, as the dinosaurs found out, always watch your back (or your specific posterior analogy), because, as has been the case for millenia, insects still have the upper appendage in shear numbers.

    Next update scheduled: post global warning impacts

    December 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  19. sogom

    Christianity is a stolen religion,stolen from the old pagan ways.Every holiday is stolen from the pagans.The christmas tree is pagan as is Santa Many prechristian gods birthdays were celebrated on dec 25th .

    December 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  20. Reality

    And who is in third place:

    o http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html
    o
    Religion................ Adherents

    Christianity............ 2.1 billion

    Islam................................... 1.5 billion

    Irreligious/agnostic/atheism 1.1 billion

    Hinduism 900 million
    Chinese traditional religion 394 million
    Buddhism 376 million
    Animist religions 300 million
    African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
    Sikhism 23 million
    Juche 19 million
    Spiritism 15 million
    Judaism 14 million
    Baha'i 7 million
    Jainism 4.2 million
    Shinto 4 million
    Cao Dai 4 million
    Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
    Tenrikyo 2 million
    Neo-Paganism 1 million
    Unitarian Universalism 800,000
    Rastafari Movement 600,000

    December 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • ari

      when is this from? zoroastrians number no more than 200,000...

      December 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Eric G

      What is really interesting is the growth rates for these statistics. The "atheist/non believer" growth rate is +76% average per decade of the 20th century. By 2050, it will be the largest group because the growth rate is accelerating.

      December 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Reality

      ari,

      As referenced: http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html
      o

      December 19, 2011 at 4:40 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.