Christianity is world’s largest religion

Published February 6, 2012

Photo: Jacob Gregory

As of 2010, Christianity is the world’s largest religion, claiming nearly 2.2 billion adherents, says Global Christianity, a new report from the Pew Center for Research’s Forum on Religion and Public Life. The Pew Center is a Washington-based societal think tank.

Its comprehensive demographic study of 232 countries finds that Christians represent nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of almost seven billion.

A century ago, about two-thirds of the world’s Christians lived in Europe. Today, only about a quarter of all Christians live in Europe (26%). More than a third live in the Americas (37%), about one out of four lives in sub-Saharan Africa (24%) and about one in eight in Asia and the Pacific (13%).

Among individual countries, the U.S. has the world’s largest Christian population at more than 247 million, followed by Brazil, Mexico and Russia. China has an estimated 67 million Christians, more than any western European country.

Worldwide, about half of Christians are Roman Catholic. Protestants make up 37% and Orthodox Christians, 12%. Other denominations such as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses account for the remaining 1% of the global Christian population.


  • Diana Swift

    Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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