Number of baptized Catholics in Europe growing, says Vatican

The number of baptized Catholics in Europe is growing, showed figures released by the Vatican this week.

Data from the Vatican’s Central Office for Church Statistics show that the Church in Europe grew by two percent between 2005 and 2014.

Although 40 percent of the continent is Catholic, that figure has not changed in nearly a decade, the report noted.

The same report revealed that the number of baptized Catholics around the world has already reached 1.27 billion or 17.8 percent of the global population, an increase of 157 million.

It means that the Church is growing at a faster rate than that of the world’s population on every continent apart from Oceania.

Highest growth of the number of baptized Catholics was seen in Africa, where Catholics increased by 41 percent, followed by Asia, where the Church grew by 20 percent.

The percentage of baptized Catholics as part of the general population remains highest in North and South America where they “make up almost half” of the world’s Catholics, the report said.

“It is a great joy that the number of Catholics and the number of vocations continue to increase, especially in Africa and Asia,” said Father Fernando Domingues, head of the vocations branch of the Church’s mission charity, Missio, in Rome.

The priest, however, noted that the number of priests is still disproportionate to the needs of the local Catholic community.


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