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Sun 5 Apr 2015 01:29 PM

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Muslims to nearly out-number Christians by 2050

India will become the most populous Muslim country in the world, overtaking Indonesia, by 2050, according to the Pew Research Centre

Muslims to nearly out-number Christians by 2050
(Getty Images)

The number of Muslims globally will nearly equal Christians by 2050, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

India would become the most populous Muslim nation, overtaking Indonesia, while Muslims would make up 10 percent of the European population and would be the largest non-Christian religious group in the US within four decades, the research estimated.

“The religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as by people switching faiths,” the Pew Research Center study says.

“Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion.”

If current trends continued, by 2050 atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion would make up a declining share of the world’s total population, despite an increasing disassociation with religion in countries such as the US and France, the study found.

The global Buddhist population would be about the same size it was in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations would be larger than they are today.

While Islam is growing rapidly in the world’s second most populous country, Hinduism would remain a majority in India.

In the US, Christians would decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism would be overtaken by Islam as the largest non-Christian religion.

Four out of every 10 Christians in the world would live in sub-Saharan Africa, the report said.

The projections take into account the current size and geographic distribution of the world’s major religions, age differences, fertility and mortality rates, international migration and patterns in conversion.