Christians most populous world religion

2012-12-18 09:53


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Washington - Christians are the world's biggest religious group, numbering about 2.2 billion people, according to a study released on Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Pew assembled data on the size and geographic distribution of eight major religious groups, including non-believers.

It found that Christians make up about 32% of the world's population, followed by Muslims, the second largest group, with 1.6 billion adherents.

Hindus were the third largest group, numbering about one billion (15%), followed by Buddhists, at 500 million (7%) and Jews, who number 14 million (0.2%).

The worldwide demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories found that more than eight people in 10 - about 5.8 billion people - identify with a religious group.

More than 400 million people (6%) practice various folk traditions, including African traditional, aboriginal or folk religions, the global survey found.

The Pew Forum said that the study, in which religious affiliation was based on self-identification, did not attempt to measure the degree to which practitioners observe their faiths.

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