Huge numbers of Muslims gather for a meeting in Bangladesh.
WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Shifts in the world’s major religions will see Islam growing faster than any other faith, with the number of Muslims nearly equaling that of Christians by 2050.
A new Pew Research Center study finds that with the exception of Buddhists, the world’s major religions will all see an increase in numbers by 2050, although some will make up a smaller percentage from today. Muslims are the only major religious group projected to increase faster than the world’s population as a whole.
Over the coming four decades, Christianity will remain the world’s largest religious affiliation, but Islam will see a major increase that will make the two religions nearly equal in numbers by 2050. In 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with 2.2 billion followers of the faith and composing nearly one-third (31 percent) of the Earth’s 6.9 billion people. Islam was second, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23 percent of the world’s population.
If current fertility rates and youth populations continue to grow at their current rate, Muslims will make up 10 percent of Europe’s overall population by 2050. Islam is expected to nearly match Christianity in the coming four decades as a result of a “comparatively youthful” population with high fertility rates…