AFRICA JUNE 5, 2015(CISA)-The population of baptized Catholics in Africa has grown by 238 percent since 1980 according to the latest study.
The report dated June 1 titled “Global Catholicism: Trends & Forecasts” by Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown USA indicates that over the last 50 years, the proportion of the global population who are Catholics has remained steady at about 17.5 percent.
“However, this growth differs by region, with Europe’s Catholic population growing by just six percent, while the number of Catholics in Africa grew by 238 percent. Differences between these two regions are largely attributable to differences in fertility rates over time,” the report read in part.
The report noted the global catholic population is projected to increase by 372 million from 2015 to 2050 a representation of 29 percent growth to 1.64 billion Catholics.
Five specific regions Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania were studied.
“Arguably, the three most important indicators of ‘vitality’ for the Catholic Church are the number of Catholics, the number of parishes and the number of priests,” the study said.
“Since 1980, the Church has had a net gain of nearly 15,300 parishes representing seven percent growth. However, with the population growing by 57 percent during this period, there has been a lag in constructing the brick and mortar of the church. In 1980, there were 3,759 Catholics per parish in the world. This figure now stands at 5,491 Catholics per parish” the study said.
“In Asia and Africa, where the fastest growth in the Catholic population has occurred, the number of parishes had doubled since 1980. In the Americas, the number of parishes has increased by 25 percent and in Oceania; they have ticked up by 5 percent. In Europe, the number of parishes has declined by 12 percent,” concluded the report