Even though the number of atheists has increased worldwide, a newly released report shows the world's population of religious people is growing even faster.
Lifeway Research published its findings online titled 7 Encouraging Trends of Global Christianity in 2022 from data collected by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at the Massachusetts-based Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
The statistics gathered by the center titled 2022 Status of Global Christianity Report reveal while the number of all religious people is growing at a 1.27% rate, the growth rate of nonreligionists is less than half that—0.52%, well below the total population growth percentage. In particular, the number of atheists is almost stagnant, only growing 0.18% per year, according to Lifeway.
In addition, the evangelical research firm noted there are fewer atheists around the world today (147 million) than in 1970 (165 million).
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According to the Gordon-Conwell center's report, the number of atheists is forecast to continue to decline by 2050.
Lifeway also pointed to data that shows Christianity is continuing to grow around the world. With a 1.17% growth rate, almost 2.56 billion people will identify as Christian by the middle of 2022. By 2050, that number is expected to top 3.33 billion.
In particular, the growth of charismatic Christians is remarkable. In 1900, less than 1 million people around the world identified as Pentecostal or charismatic. By 2050, that number will top 1 billion.
But where is Christianity growing the most? It's growing faster in Africa than any other place in the world and more Christians live in Africa than any other continent, according to the report.
Read the rest of Lifeway's findings here.
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