Being “faithful” means assurance of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (paraphrased from Hebrews 11:1) Through exploring our faith, we find answers to deep, meaningful questions (What is my purpose? What is the meaning of life?…) as well as ways to live our lives that best serve ourselves, families, communities and God.
Although the world is made up of diverse faiths, many share common aspects: belief in an existence beyond this “material” world, prescriptions for behavior (often including eating/ preparing certain foods), prayer, meditation and sacred writings. Faith gives us hope, and in many cases, faith brings us peace.
Faith in numbers
Across the world, more than eight out of ten people identify with a particular faith. In 2010, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religious & Public Life conducted a comprehensive study (based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers of 230 countries and territories) to estimate the number of people who identify with a specific religion. These percentages represent the the size of major religious groups among the global population:
- 31.5 percent Christian (approximately 50 percent Catholic, 37 percent Protestant, 12 percent Orthodox)
- 23.2 percent Muslim
- 16.3 percent unaffiliated
- 15 percent Hindu
- 7.1 percent Buddhist
- 5.9 percent folk religion (includes African, Chinese, Native American and Australian aboriginal religions)
- .8 percent other (includes Bahai’i, Jain, Sikh, Shintoist, Taoist, Wiccan, Zoroastrian and followers of Tenrikyo among others)
- .2 percent Jewish
According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 78.4 percent of Americans identify with the Christian faith (51.3 Protestant, 23.9 Catholic), 16.1 percent report being unaffiliated (includes atheist, agnostic and those identifying with “nothing in particular”), 1.7 percent Jewish, .7 percent Buddhist, .6 percent Muslim and .4 percent Hindu.
Becoming more faithful
Like our health, faith is a lifelong journey—with highs and lows along the way. What do you believe? With which faith do you identify? How are you implementing aspects of faith into your daily activities?
Studies have proven that practicing your faith (prayer, meditation, helping others…) can have positive impacts on your physical and mental health. God promises it will have an everlasting impact on your soul. Let the articles on this site inspire you to learn more about your faith and identify ways that you can live a more faithful life.