Orthodox Christianity in the 21st century

St. Basil Cathedral: A Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow

Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas this Friday, Jan. 7. A 2017 Pew Research Center study found that this group – long concentrated in Europe – has declined as a percentage of the global population. Just 12% of Christians around the world are Orthodox, compared with an estimated 20% a century ago, and 4% of the total global population is Orthodox, compared with an estimated 7% in 1910.

But the Ethiopian Orthodox community is highly observant and growing. The centuries-old Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has an estimated 36 million adherents, nearly 14% of the world’s total Orthodox population, and Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia are more religiously observant, by several common measures, than Orthodox Christians in Europe. This reflects a broader pattern in which Europeans are, on average, less religiously committed than Africans.

Suggested Reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times, for the best understanding of personal religion in the 21st century

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