Friday, March 24, 2023

One in nine Catholics currently lives in Asia

The Vatican published data from the Statistical Year of the Church. Last year Asian Catholics grew by 0.99%. There are more than 175,000 Asians, about 30% of the world’s total. The decline in the number of nurseries continues.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Holy See has recently published the Pontifical Year 2023 and the Statistical Yearbook of the Church 2021, which contain the most recent information on everything related to the Catholic Church in the world. They were prepared by the Central Statistics Office of the Church and published by the Vatican Publishing House, and have already been distributed in the library. In this mine of numbers, L’Osservatore Romano published a long article, summarizing the main trends, which also included some notable features in the Asian Churches.

At a flat level, the number of baptized Catholics went from 1,360 million in 2020 to 1,378 million in 2021, an increase of 1.3%. This increase is slightly less than the population of the Earth, which went from 7,667 million to 7,786 million in the same period, a variation of 1.6%. In this context, Asia continues to be one of the regions in the world where the number of baptized is higher than the number of deceased Catholics: in the last twelve months, the increased number was 0.99%.

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In relation to the population of the continent, Asian Catholics still represent about 3.3% of the population (compared to 17.67% of the baptized in the world). However, it is important to remember that, since Asia is the continent where most of the world’s population lives, in the entire universal Church, Asian Catholics represent 11% of the baptized. Therefore, although there are very few flocks in many of your nations, in the universal panorama of the Catholic world their number is more and more significant, even more so than African Catholics, against the decline that is taking place in Europe and the North. America.

A particularly representative example from the data on religious women, for example: in 2021 there were 608,958 religious women in the world, but no less than 175,494 of them lived in Asia (28.9%). And if in distribution across the continents Europe continues to lead with 33%, the current trend clearly indicates that it is likely that soon, in terms of female religious life, Asia will become the continent with the largest number of nuns.

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Finally, according to the number of priests, Asia continues to record a global growth of 1% for the two years in question. And it continues to be a continent with many priests compared to the number of the faithful: 2,137 for each one baptized (compared to the world average of 3,373). But there is also a clear trend in Asia: the effects of the demographic winter are beginning to be felt in many countries, so that the number of Asian nurseries will also decrease by 1.6% last year. Thus, in the world, the only continent that continues to register vocations to the priesthood is Africa, where the number of seminaries increases by 0.6%.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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