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84 percent of the world population has faith; a third are Christian

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“Worldwide, more than eight-in-ten people identify with a religious group,” says a new comprehensive demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.

“There are 5.8 billion religiously affiliated adults and children around the globe, representing 84 percent of the 2010 world population of 6.9 billion,” the analysis states.

Here’s the breakdown of “The Global Religious Landscape,” based on an analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers:

• 2.2 billion Christians (32 percent of the world’s population).
• 1.6 billion Muslims (23 percent).
• 1 billion Hindus (15 percent.
• 500 million Buddhists (7 percent).
• 400 million people (6 percent) practicing various folk or traditional religions, including African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, American Indian religions and Australian aboriginal religions.

There are 14 million Jews, and an estimated 58 million people — slightly less than 1 percent of the global population – belong to other religions, including the Baha’i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism, “to mention just a few,” the study says.

About half of all Christians in the world are Catholic, 37 percent are part of the Protestant tradition, 12 percent are Orthodox Greek or Russian.

The largest population of Christians (243 million) is found, incidentally, in the United States, followed by Brazil, Mexico, Russia, the Philippines, Nigeria and China.

Find the entire massive study here: http://www.pewforum.org/.

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