New Pew Forum Study Estimates Size, Geographic Distribution and Median Ages of World’s Major Religious Groups

Washington, D.C. — A new, comprehensive demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that more than eight-in-ten people worldwide identify with a religious group. The report estimates that there are 5.8 billion religiously affiliated adults and children around the globe, representing 84% of the 2010 world population of 6.9 billion. Based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers, the study finds 2.2 billion Christians (32% of the world’s population), 1.6 billion Muslims (23%), 1 billion Hindus (15%), nearly 500 million Buddhists (7%) and 14 million Jews (0.2%) around the world as of 2010. In addition, more than 400 million people (6%) practice various folk or traditional religions, including African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions and Australian aboriginal religions. An estimated 58 million people – slightly less than 1% of the global population – belong to other religions, including the Baha’i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism, to mention just a few.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans commits nearly $7 million in 2013 to Habitat for Humanity International

Total contributions to the Thrivent Builds program will exceed $180 million and 3.5 million volunteer hours since 2005

MINNEAPOLIS (December 17, 2012) – Habitat for Humanity International announced today a commitment from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans for $6.8 million in 2013 to help build 113 Habitat for Humanity houses across the United States. Through a unique partnership, called Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity, Thrivent Financial and its members have now committed more than $180 million and more than 3.5 million volunteer hours since 2005. Thrivent Financial remains the largest non-governmental supporter of Habitat for Humanity International. “This partnership reflects our commitment, as a membership organization, to building stronger communities,” said Brad Hewitt, president and CEO of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. “This support helps to make a difference not only in the lives of people who need safe, affordable housing, but also in the lives our member volunteers who have been inspired to help people in need.”

The partnership consists of three programs with Habitat for Humanity: Thrivent Builds Homes, Thrivent Builds Worldwide and Thrivent Builds Repairs.  These programs allow Thrivent Financial to partner with Habitat and low-income families in the construction, repair and rehabilitation of affordable housing in communities both in the United States and abroad.  More than 2,900 homes have been built in the United States and around the world with the Thrivent Builds program.

Here in Connecticut

It’s not been so different from other parts of the country these past few days in Connecticut. We’ve followed the story on screens, talked about it among ourselves, said the things that everybody’s saying. But geography alters the point of view.