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  #1  
Old 31st March 2008, 06:54 AM
Paul Bellett Paul Bellett is offline
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Default Vatican: Islam Surpasses Roman Catholicism As World's Largest Religion

Has anyone this article from ABC News? :

http://abcnews.go.com/International/...ory?id=4553209

This certainly is a wakeup call for all of us really,
when so many people falsely believe that Mohammad, "is the way, the truth
and the life (John 14:6)", and do not recognise Jesus as being the redeemer!
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  #2  
Old 31st March 2008, 12:33 PM
Nathan
 
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Paul,

I just read this this morning.

I am not surprised, but I picked up two things from it that raise questions for me.

First, the archbishop who contributed these stats attributes growth to a drop in fertility in traditionally Christian countries and a sustained rate in muslim countries.

But are muslims actually gaining substantial numbers through conversion? Are they losing numbers through conversion?

Also, I was surprised to see that overall, Christians make up 33% of the world's population. That leaves more non-Catholics than I thought. If there are generously 200 million Orthodox, how many Protestants does that percentage suggest? 500-600 million? I have read not too long ago that Pentecostals are becoming so numerous in Latin America that RC'ism is starting to lose its cultural hegemony. Not sure if that's an exageration, but it makes me wonder to what extent the dropping Catholic stats are due to people being evangelized right out of the Church, but remaining Christian.

I feel that it is no loss if we lose cultural Christians. Their children eventually abandon even the pretense of faith, and as social pretense faith is not so useful, anyway. But is the Church being renewed by conversions of heart? I'd like to see those numbers, but unfortunately that is just the sort of thing that most evades demographical research.
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  #3  
Old 31st March 2008, 04:28 PM
john
 
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Nathan,

The business of Catholic "fertility" and those of the rise of protestantism in South America and of Islam are related, it seems to me. As you suggest, the problem is "cultural Catholics." Such people have been only nominally Catholic for years, even when they were going to Church every week. There have been and there still are huge numbers of Catholics, the overwhelming majority in North America, who ignore the Church's teaching on contraception. As a result, we have a strange phenomenon: at any given moment, you can count the bodies in church, but if it were possible, simultaneously, to remove from that number those who ignore the Church on contraception, you would see a much, much smaller number. And many of the latter would be over 70 years old and under 15. However, on paper it still looks as though there are many Catholics in the world. The paper numbers follow the reality more slowly. Some former Catholics become protestants of different sorts, because they feel more free to "invent" their own Christianity, as the "rules" come from themselves, not from a higher authority.

As for Islam, my understanding is that many leave Islam and convert to Christianity; however, many Muslims live their fertility as God designed it, and this alone will make them continue to grow.

Thus, on one side we have Catholics lacking the supernatural life to face the challenge of natural fertility; and on the other, we have Muslims who, while l lacking all of the sources of grace that we have, have a sufficiently sound sense of natural law, and they are morally strong enough to face the challenge of natural fertility.

This latter point is undoubtedly related to money. Many Muslims accept to live lives of what we westerners would call "poverty" rather than denature their fertility. And look at the results. Did not our Lord say it? Did not St. Paul warn us against serving mammon, the love of which is the root of all evil?

I am happy for the nasty lesson we are receiving at the hands of Muslims. Shame on us, that we who have Christ, prefer money to children, and to parents and grandparents. Don't forget these! This is another issue I am too eager to write about. How is it that the 20th century saw the first generation in world history to have men and women divide up the household, so that there are no longer parents, children and grandchildren living under one roof? If anyone wants to know how Christianity can convert the world again, the answer is right there: obeythe Church, sacrifice comfort, raise children, bring the elderly back under our own roofs. No religion would stand a chance.
As usual, sorry I rambled on again. . .
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  #4  
Old 31st March 2008, 10:44 PM
Beeline
 
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well Catholicism has been surpassed by the conglomeration
of Muslim sects/denominations for the first time.

However, Christianity itself may have not been eclipsed by
Muslim growth.
http://www.adherents.com

Actually I havent bothered to look at it lately, but its the place!

great site about all religious denominations.
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  #5  
Old 7th April 2008, 08:21 PM
Nathan
 
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John,

Insightful. Thanks!
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