Data confirms the Church in Africa and Asia continues to grow exponentially

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The data confirms that the Church continues to grow exponentially in Asia and Africa, remains stable in North and South America, and Europe is the continent that has grown the least.

These trends have been consistent over the past several decades and are reflected in the 2022 figures recently released by the Church's Central Statistical Office.

The number of people baptized worldwide increased by 14 million. This growth was seen in all continents, with the greatest increase in Africa with 3%, followed by Asia and the Americas. In Europe, the number of baptized increased from 265 million to 273 million.

But despite the increase in the number of Catholics in the world, the number of priestly vocations has decreased, even in Asia. Only Africa has remained stable. These trends have caused concern over the past decade, especially for Europe, which has seen the worst numbers with an 8% decline. In North and South America, the decline is about 3%.

The number of women religious has also decreased in recent years, from about 609,000 in 2021 to just over 599,000 in 2022. These numbers also vary by geographic area. In Oceania, North America and Europe, there has been a decline of more than 3%. But Africa has the largest number of women religious. In one year, the number increased by about 1,400 from the previous year.


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