An extensive study done by the Pew Research Center has yielded some fascinating information regarding the trajectory of world religions over the next four decades. As of 2010, Christianity was the dominant world religion with roughly 2.2 billion adherents and Muslim’s were second with about 1.6 billion adherents. If current demographic trends continue however, Islam is expected to catch up to Christianity midway through the 21st century. Furthermore, people are leaving Christianity in droves. About 106 million Christians are expected to switch affiliation from 2010 to 2050 while only about 40 million people are expected to enter Christianity.

The religiously unaffiliated (athiests, agnostics) are expected to see the largest net gains from switching, adding more than 61 million followers. Christians are expected to see the largest net losses from religious switching. In North America, the fastest growing religious groups are Muslims and followers of “other religions” (an umbrella category that includes Baha’is, Jains, Sikhs, Taoists and many smaller faiths). Christianity is expected to decline from 78 percent of the overall population in 2010 to 66 percent in 2050. MORE