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The World
A map of the world.

The world's 5 inhabited continents contain almost 7 billion people. The population is increasing rapidly, and it doubled between 1960 and 2000. There are 237 independent states. 66 of these have significant restrictions on religious belief. About 30% of the world's population call themselves Christian (2 billion people), 20% call themselves Muslim (1.3 billion people), 15% are non-religious (1 billion) and 13% call themselves Hindu. Although Europe is rapidly becoming secular and non-religious, the majority of Christians live in areas where European settlement or missionary work has been significant. Asia is the least evangelised continent. Of Christians, there are about 1 billion Roman Catholic, 700 million Protestant and 550 million Eastern Orthodox Christians.


Almost 1 billion people of 3,500 different ethnic groups live in Africa, which has had huge population growth in recent years. However this is slowing because of the devastating effects of AIDS which is at epidemic proportions in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa also is the poorest contintent with many countries with huge debts involved in terrible (usually civil) wars. Religious freedom is typical of most of the southern countries where Christianity is the predominant religion and experiencing great growth. Indeed, the focus of evangelical Christianity is moving from the Western World to Africa. However in the northern countries where Islam is the majority religion there is sigificant persecution of Christians.


The Americas cover 2 continents and about 50 countries with about a billion inhabitants. North America includes the wealthy and English speaking predominantly Protestant countries of the United States of America and Canada and the poorer, predominant countries from Mexico to Panama. South America countains the developing Spanish-speaking predominantly Roman Catholic countries like Argentina and Chile and the larger Portugese-speaking predominant Roman Catholic country of Brazil.


The continent of Asia contains over half of the world's people and spans from Japan in the east to Turkey in the west. It contains the rapidly developing, predominantly Buddhist countries of South East Asia and China, Hindu India and the predominant Muslim nations of the Middle East. Asia is the least evangelized continent.


Europe is an ethnically diverse continent with around 700 million inhabitants. It is mostly economically wealthy, containing the large and influential European Union. It has traditionally been the home of Christianity being the centres of Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. There is widespread freedom of religion, however Europe is rapidly become predominantly secular with atheism as the major belief system.


The Pacific region includes 25,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean and includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and 26 smaller island states and territories. The total population is about 35 million, and two-thirds of these people live in Australia. The majority of people are of European descent, however there are significant numbers of Melanesian, Polynesian and Asian people. The majority of people throughout the Pacific region are Christians, predominantly Protestant or Roman Catholic, although there is an increasing number of non-religious people in the wealthy countries of Australia and New Zealand.

Christianity and Religions of the World



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