Revelations that the majority of the world's two billion Christians currently live in developing countries may have important implications for global neglected tropical disease control and elimination initiatives.
In December 2011, the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life produced a landmark report titled “Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population” . Among the report's most important findings was that while the percentage of the world's population who are Christian has remained about the same over the last 100 years—in both 1910 and 2010, Christians comprised about one-third of the world's population—the geography of Christianity has changed dramatically . In 1910, two-thirds of the world's Christians lived in Europe, whereas today only one-quarter are Europeans . In place of Europe and due to population growth and expansion of Christianity in developing countries, more Christians than ever now live in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. Indeed, of the ten countries with the largest number of Christians, seven are middle- or low-income countries, including Brazil (175.8 million), Mexico (107.8 million), the Philippines (86.8 million), Nigeria (80.5 million), China (67.1 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo (63.1 million), and Ethiopia (52.6 million) (Figure 1) . Today, the Pew Forum reports that 61% of the world's Christians—about 1.3 billion people—live in the “Global South,” referring to Africa, Asia, and Latin America .
Read the full article in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.