One in four people is Muslim, says study

Peter Beaumont

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 8 October 2009 17.35 BST

A woman carries a child on her shoulders as Muslims pray to celebrate Eid al-Adha in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photograph: Supri/Reuters

A woman carries a child on her shoulders as Muslims pray to celebrate Eid al-Adha in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photograph: Supri/Reuters

Islam may be most closely associated with the Middle East, where it emerged in Arabia in the seventh century, but today the region is home to only one in five of the world’s Muslims, according to a study of the religion‘s global distribution.

The world’s Muslim population stands at 1.57 billion, meaning that nearly one in four people practise Islam, according to the US Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, which published the survey. This compares to 2.25 billion Christians.

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Related: The world in muslim populations, every country listed


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