Sunni Islam is the largest confession in the world
A map of world religions and its followers published on some LiveJournal pages provoked a number of discussions in the World Wide Web.
The infographic was later spread in some other social networks which put the reliability of the shown data under question.
The map demonstrates world’s religions and the number of their followers. According to the presented data, Christianity is the largest religion in the world. There are 2 billion 411 million 610 thousand people (33.9% of the world population) following Christianity. Islam is the second on the list. There are 1 billion 619 million 430 thousand people following Islam in the world. The third place is taken by Hinduism which is embraced by 987 billion 513 thousand people (13.9%). The next is Buddhism. According to the map, there are 509 million 046 thousand adherents of this religion all over the world (7.1% of the world population). The infographic also shows various ethnic beliefs and new religious movements such as Sikhism, spiritualism, Judaism, Daoism, Confucianism, Baha’i faith and others.
The detailed analysis of the confessions composition is of some interest. According to it, Sunni Islam is the largest branch not only within Islam but among other religious trends. It is estimated that there are about 1 billion 423 million 954 thousand Sunni Muslims which is 20% of the world population. Catholic is the second largest religious branch with 1 billion 206 million 990 thousand followers all over the world (16.9%).
The data presented might seem to be realistic as they do correspond to the expert evidences. It is widely known that a number of Muslims is rapidly growing all over the world due to a high birth rate among Muslims and conversion to Islam of representatives of other religions and atheists. Yet, the methodology of composing the map under discussion raises a number of questions as some of the key aspects which could prove its accuracy are missing. For example, there is no information as for the reliability of the ethnic and religious conditions in different areas of the world. The source of all the demonstrated information is not presented either.