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World Population by Religion 2022

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by We Never Know, Nov 29, 2022.

  1. We Never Know

    We Never Know No Slack

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    Is the religious population really shrinking?

    "As of 2022, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.38 billion adherents, nearly a third (31.1%) of all 7.66 billion people on Earth. Islam was second, with 1.9 billion adherents, or 24.9% of the global population.

    The unaffiliated population in the world is around 1.2 billion people or 15.6% of the global population. Hinduism was fourth, with 1.16 billion adherents, or 15.2% of the global population followed by Buddhists with 500 million adherents, or 6.6% of the global population.

    Adherents of various folk religions – including African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions, and Australian aboriginal religions account for 430 million (5.6%) of the world population.

    And all other religions combined – an umbrella category that includes Jews, Baha’is, Jains, Sikhs, Taoists, and many smaller faiths are approximately 61 million or 1% of the world population."

    Source: Pew Research Center October 2022

    World Population by Religion 2022 | Religion in World | Find Easy
     
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  2. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Taking a broad view of what religion is - as an inevitable and unavoidable facet of human culture that everyone has whether they use the word "religion" or not - the only way religion shrinks is when human population does.

    Taking a narrow view of what religion is - as only my religion counts and everything else isn't a real religion - the narrative then is shaped based on what you consider the real religions.

    In short, at the end of the day the story told here utterly hinges on one's understanding (or lack thereof) of "religion." As much as I like PEW, their superficial demographic stuff just is not interesting to me. Far more interesting are the dives into the actual substance of practices, which tells us significantly more about the facet of human culture that sometimes gets slapped under the word "religion,"
     
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  3. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    Rigid, stagnant, and organized religions will fade away, but I believe that the human mind is predisposed to some form of spirituality.
     
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  4. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    It is certainly falling in Europe and North America;
    I'm not sure what 'Chinese Traditional Religion' is? I thought religion was frowned upon and adherents persecuted.
    There is also a compulsion about religion in some countries where you are punished for not believing.
     
  5. The Hammer

    The Hammer Wyrd Wide Web
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    Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Islam and Chinese Folk Religion are all accepted practices in China.
     
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  6. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
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    It seems likely that the s#it is going to hit the fan in the world really soon. Climate change, natural resource depletion, income and wealth inequalities and so on. If that happens, I fear that fearful humans will flock towards religions.

    OTOH, if we somehow manage to make the world a better place, then I agree with your prediction. :)
     
  7. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member: I Share (not Debate) my POV

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    Interesting facts

    IMO:
    1) People who are not rich (money wise) or have health challenges, quicker turn to God (not meaning Christianity).

    2) Most of the world is not rich (money wise) and hygiene is not optimum

    So, in the Netherlands (the West) for example there might be a decline in the number of religious people, but not in countries like India

    In the West there might be a shift from religion towards Spirituality also
     
  8. Exaltist Ethan

    Exaltist Ethan Synverse Shaper

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    Christianity and Islam are both spreading. In developed nations the number of adherents is going down. However, various Christian denominations and Islamic missionaries are spreading their word to undeveloped nations, targeting people who otherwise would be forgotten and do not have any formal religion. It's a fact that it's just easier to reach people on a spiritual level when they are uneducated, because in many circumstances that religion is the only religion they know. I don't condemn this - they also build schools and hospitals for them too, helping these people out tremendously.

    However, once someone is sold on an idea, it's extremely hard to change their mind. In developed nations there is so much access to information and our rights to the freedom of religion lead many to not be Christian or Muslim. I was agnostic until I was 14, when I had my conversion moment to Earthseed. Since then I've had numerous "friends" try to convert me to Christianity but I resisted because I was already sold on syntheism as my base theology. Had they been part of my life before I was sold on this idea, there's a good chance I might be Christian today. However, as a child nobody told me what religion to believe and I had my own revelation that lead me towards the path I take today.

    Christianity and Islam is spreading throughout the less developed world, but atheism is spreading in the developed world. Many people see religion as a coin between Christian and atheist, but there's a lot of unique ideas that most people don't consider. Am I religious? Earthseed and its denominations don't really make people "religious" as ritual is not as important as its beliefs. In fact, I would consider it a ritual to teach people what syntheism as the most important ritual of Earthseed, because of how uneducated most people are on transhumanist theology. I consider myself a cultural omnist - universally pro-religion but non-religious myself. My parents and I celebrate the traditional American holidays and my parents are atheists. I don't live my life as if I need to do anything particular on any given day though.

    It's not just that people in the educated world are becoming less religious, it's that they are also adapting new religious ideas. In many ways I very much consider myself an Earthseed Shaper, despite not practicing any syntheist rituals. For me belief is more important than the dogmatic system of morals or rituals placed upon any given religion. This is represented in Europe by those who live in the Netherlands calling themselves "Ietsist", which is essentially agnostic theism, with no strict code of ethics or rituals to perform. I would argue that most people believe in something, even the skeptics and atheists, they just don't know what that something is - yet.

    Edit: This thread explains how easily I can flip on the question "are you religious".
     
    #8 Exaltist Ethan, Nov 29, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2022
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  9. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    I don't see anyone turning to religion who wasn't already nominally religious.
     
  10. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I think you're painting a false binary here.
     
  11. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    It's a good thing that we are not influenced by the popularity of a religion or we might all jump on the Christian bandwagon.
    It's a good thing we don't see prophecy as meaningful in any way or we might see these statistics and the prophecy of Isa 2 as associated in some way.

    Isa 2:1 This is the message that was revealed to Isaiah son of Amos concerning Judah and Jerusalem: 2 In the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. 3 And many peoples will come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways so that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.…
     
  12. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Could you elaborate? I don't follow how the observation that one's understanding of what constitutes "religion" is determines whether one believes "religion" (however defined) is declining or rising... is a binary. Where's the second pole?
     
  13. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Nope, that's not what I meant, that makes perfect sense to me. Apologies on being obtuse with my one liner, it was a quick post before a meeting this morning...lol.

    It's more the preceding assumption you made that strikes me as a false binary.
    At a macro (societal) level religion does indeed seem inevitable and unavoidable. But the suggestion that everyone has religion regardless of whether they use the word for their own practices puts me in the following conundrum. Either;

    1) The 'broad view' you talk about is so broad as to be unrecognisable to me in terms of what you mean by 'religion'. To me, a definition that broad would make it a truism that all people have religion, and therefore a count of religious people is simply a count of people or;
    2) you know me better than I know myself.

    That's basically the binary I'm rejecting. I know you run with a non-standard view on religion, and it's something which has been informative to me over the years, so I'm certainly not dismissing your thoughts. But as it stands they don't make sense to me in this particular case.
     
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