World's Christian populations surveyed

Dec. 19, 2011 at 3:42 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- There are 2.18 billion Christians around the world, nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion, a demographic study found.

The comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries said Christians are also geographically widespread and that no single continent or region can indisputably claim to be the center of global Christianity, the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life reported.

This is a change from a century ago when about two-thirds of the world's Christians lived in Europe, as the bulk of Christians had for a millennium, the Pew report said.

Today, only about a quarter of all Christians live in Europe, while more than a third are now in the Americas.

About one in every four Christians lives in sub-Saharan Africa, and about one in eight is found in Asia and the Pacific, the survey found.

The number of Christians worldwide has nearly quadrupled in the last 100 years, from about 600 million in 1910 to more than 2 billion in 2010, but as the Earth's overall population also has risen rapidly, Christians make up about the same portion now -- 32 percent -- as they did a century ago at 35 percent, the report said.

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