The most popular religion in the world is Christianity. Estimates suggest there are currently approximately two billion practicing Christians. About half of these are Catholics, and the majority shares of other Christian faiths include Protestants and Anglicans. In total, roughly 33% of those in the world practice Christianity in some form.
Islam comes in as the second most popular religion in the world, with approximately one billion members. Some Islamic people claim that there are actually more practicing Muslims than practicing Christians. This depends on how one defines the word “practicing.” A person who cites his/her religion as Christianity might not, for example, attend church regularly. This to a Muslim might seem like failure to practice the religion. This, to the Christian, might merely seem an acceptable way to practice his or her faith.
In the United States, however, Islam is the fastest growing religion. Roughly 80% of the mosques in the US were built within the last 20 years. These mosques were not built for Islamic immigrants primarily, but for those converts born in the US. Certainly, an increase in immigration of people who are Muslims has increased the number in the US; however, this immigration has slowed since 9/11.
The third largest group of the population is considered non-religious. About one billion people consider themselves to not regularly practice any religion, or to be atheists. This is actually a diverse group, including agnostics. Atheists only represent a small portion of the one billion. Many are simply unsure what faith is the right one for them, and also may have problems with organized religion in general.
About 900 million people practice the Hinduism. Both Confucianism (sometimes called Chinese traditional religion), and Buddhism are practiced by close to 400 million people each. Indigenous and African traditional religions are practiced by approximately 300 million and 100 million people, respectively. Numbers decline into the 10 millions for the religions that follow.
The top ten religions:
- Chinese Traditional Religion
- Primal or Indigenous Religion
- African Tradition Religion