40% of Christians Worldwide to Come From Africa By 2060, Study Says

The number of Christians in Europe may be declining but the opposite can be said for Africa as a recent study showed that 40 percent of Christians will come from the southern region of the continent by the year 2060.

A study by the U.S.-based research firm Pew Research Center revealed that by the year 2060, more than four out of 10 Christians in the world will come from sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2015, only 26 percent of Christians in the world were estimated to have come from the southern African region. However, by 2060, Africa's Christian population is expected to balloon and comprise up to 40 percent of the world's total population of Christians.

A major factor for this is said to stem from the relatively young Christian population in the continent, which enjoys a high fertility rate unlike Europe and North America where the ageing population has slowed down birth rates.

Aside from that, many Christians in Europe are reportedly leaving the faith and adhering to no religion in recent years.

But Christianity is not alone in its increase in Africa. The Pew research also noted that Muslims will grow in number in the region as well.

The growth of Muslims in Africa is expected to rise to 27 percent in 2060 from 16 percent in 2015. Again, the high fertility rate that comes with a young population would play a role in the growth of the Muslim population.

While the study factored in the age and fertility rate of the population in each region, the data did not take into consideration those born in Africa who might switch religions as they grow older.

But given the strong apostasy laws in effect in the African region, it seemed very likely that a high percentage of those living in the region will have an influence on Pew's research results.

Meanwhile, other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism are also expected to increase and remain dominant in the Asian region.

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