Religion plays a significant role in shaping the modern world and understanding it for individuals and communities alike. Throughout history religious beliefs and institutions have influenced political, social and economic trends. However, the dominant global religions have shifted over time. Prior to the spread of Christianity, paganism was the dominant faith in Europe, while local religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism held sway elsewhere.
Christianity, having emerged more than two millennia ago, quickly became the most widespread Abrahamic religion worldwide, holding this position until the start of the 21st century. Nonetheless, current patterns indicate that Christianity will soon lose its place as the world’s most populous religion to Islam in the latter half of the 21st century.
Currently, Islam is the world’s fastest-growing global religion, with nearly 2 billion Muslims worldwide. These shifts in religious demographics carry significant implications for the future of international society and culture.
Furthermore, factors such as high birth rates, conversions and migration to Muslim-majority countries have contributed to the significant growth of Islam. The spread of religion through social media and other digital platforms has also played a role in increasing its popularity among younger generations. As Islam gains ground globally, its influence on society and culture will undoubtedly continue to grow.
A recent report by the Pew Research Center shows that Islam is currently the fastest-growing religion in the world, with projections that it will surpass Christianity by 2070. This growth can largely be attributed to the concentration of Muslim populations in some of the fastest-growing regions of the world. As of 2010, Christianity was the largest religion in the world with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, while Islam was the second largest with 1.6 billion adherents.
However, in the coming decades, Islam is projected to grow by 73%, while Christianity will only grow by 35%, resulting in 2.8 billion Muslims and 2.9 billion Christians worldwide.