"Largest religion"


According to press reports, the Vatican newspaper has announced that Muslims have surpassed Catholics as the "largest religion." This struck me as rather odd; this would imply that the Vatican does not consider Protestants and Eastern Orthodox believers to be the same religion as they are. Otherwise, the proper comparison for which "religion" is larger would be between Christians and Muslims, not between Catholics and Muslims. And if one is comparing divisions with the faiths, why are Sunni and Shiite Muslims lumped together while Catholics are not lumped with Protestants? None of it makes any sense.

I tried to find the actual article (I could not find it when I looked online) to see if I could get an indication of what was actually said, rather than what was reported second hand by news services. Maybe it didn't actually use the word "religion" in this context. However, I was unable to find the article.


Jaume said...

All news reports that I have read refer to "Muslims" and "Catholics", not Christians. Actually Mon. Formenti admits that Christians overall are a larger group than Muslims. It is strange that he makes no difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims. It is not so strange that the Roman Catholic Church regards itself as the only true Christian Church, only allowing a lower but still worthy merit of being called a Church to the Orthodox because of "apostolic succession". Protestants are officially considered (since Vatican II) only "ecclesiastical communities" and therefore they do not qualify as "churches". So perhaps they would qualify as Christians but not as "church Christians" according to Mon. Formenti criteria?

Mystical Seeker said...

Jaume, excellent points.