The `nones’ now form the world’s third-largest ‘religion’ *

(RNS) A new report on global religious identity shows that while Christians and Muslims make up the two largest groups, those with no religious affiliation — including atheists and agnostics — are now the third-largest “religious” group in the world. The study, released Tuesday (Dec. 18) by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, found that more than eight in 10 (84 percent) of the world’s 7 billion people adheres to some form of religion. Christians make up the largest group, with 2.2 billion adherents, or 32 percent worldwide, followed by Muslims, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23 percent worldwide. Close behind are the “nones” — those who say they have no religious affiliation or say they do not believe in God — at 1.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Skeptics are the new religious

(RNS) Many young people are no longer members of traditional churches, but they are seeking. And they are finding others like themselves and, together, they are beginning to change the face of American religion. In fact, I would go so far as to say that skeptics are the new religious. By Philip Clayton.

Religion News Service photo by Jennifer Brown/The Star-Ledger 
of Newark

Churches tread lightly on politics in 2012 election

(RNS) With Election 2012 less than six months away, congregations are getting the message that Americans want religion out of politics. So they're revamping how congregations mobilize voters, largely avoiding the political fray, and hot-button social issues are relegated to simmer in low-profile church study groups. By G. Jeffrey MacDonald.

RNS photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Jews are world’s most migratory religious group

WASHINGTON (RNS) Nearly half the world's migrants are Christian, but the most migratory religious group is Jews, according to a new study on religion and global immigration by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. By Lauren Markoe.