“For although religion does not explain everything about a people’s behavior, as the mother of morals and definer of justice it has ever been a chief arbiter of man’s conduct.”
Executive summary of Pew Forum’s outstanding report on global Christianity is to be found here. The webpage contains a remarkable set of links including data and graphic elements, as well as access to the full report. The website also has a remarkable report on “The Future of the Global Muslim Population” here. Data on other faiths can be accessed by the links on the left of these pages (unfortunately, for these other faiths much of the data is myopic: targeted to certain issues, or is often only regarding these faiths in the USA).
Why is this important? People can much better understand civilizations and cultures by better understanding the religions which underlay each. Get up to speed with our book:
“After spending so much time overseas and with so many international university students, we became intrigued by how much better we could understand and be accepted by people of other cultures if we got to know a little about their religions (or the religion that influenced the culture that they were raised in). Rather than just knowing geography and perhaps a bit of political news (as you would tend to get from the media or a modern/western program, article or book about a place), knowing religion helps in being able to relate to others culturally, even if they are not practicing a religion.”