Religion is an essential part of our daily lives. Its world is diverse: there are different administrations, heads, and prayers. However, the target mission of the religious organisations stays the same – to provide a connection with God and cultivate faith in the hearts of the “lost souls”. How do you think, which church has the highest population in the world? What country has the largest congregation in the world? Read our article to know the answers!
During recent years, the faith in God has greatly strengthened and attracted lots of new parishioners to gain the "houses of God". The problem is that there are too many newly-built organisations that regard themselves as “religious” that one can hardly define what religious structure they actually belong to. Furthermore, there are no official documents, which can prove people’s membership. However, we have tried our best to provide you with the most reliable information available on the Internet.
In this article, you will find out the name of the largest public religious service in the world by attendance and the approximate number of its parishioners.
Which church has the highest population in the whole world
During the past few years, one could observe the rapid growth of Catholics. The influence of the Catholic Church is found in each country around the world because of European colonialism. The missioners cultivated religious expansion. In spite of the changes the church had to overcome in the past, it still reigns.
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Thus, according to data published by zenith.org, the Catholic Church (or the Roman Catholic Church) is the most populated public religious service in the world with about 1.3 billion of followers worldwide (due to the “Church’s Book of Statistics 2016”).
It is the world’s oldest institution that functions continuously and is regarded as the “Communion of Churches, both Roman and Eastern”. Its administrative centre is found in Vatican City, in Italy. It is headed by the bishop of Rome that is also called the “pope”.
The Communion of Churches includes:
- the Western (or Latin) branch;
- 23 Eastern Catholic Churches.
The Catholic Church in some countries is the only source of education. According to the figures published by zenith.org, it runs:
- 72,826 kindergartens with 7,313,370 people;
- 96,573 primary schools with 35,125,124 pupils;
- 47,862 secondary schools with 19,956,347 individuals.
The religious organisation also provides essential support for 2,509,457 high school pupils as well as for 3,049,548 students of universities. Its influence is felt almost in every part of the infrastructure within society. Below, you can find three countries with the highest Catholic Church attendance.
Top 3 countries with the largest church congregation in the world
We also have decided to tell you about three countries with the largest Catholic churches on the planet that impress by their congregation.
1. Brazil (126,880,000)
Due to the data provided by worldatlas.com, Brazil can boast of having the most populated houses of prayer in the world. It is more than a half from the country’s total population.
Catholicism was brought into Brazil by the Portuguese. The first eparchy was established in 1551. The religion was enforced during the times of the colonial rule and remained as the official religion in the country after it obtained independence.
At present, the Catholic Church has a significant influence within a country. According to the information published by catholic-hierarchy.org, only in Brazil, it has 268 dioceses, 16,853 priests in total, 1,456 permanent deacons, and 9,222 parishes.
2. Mexico (98,820,000)
Mexico is the second country, which has the largest church congregation in the world. Catholicism penetrated in Mexico thanks to Spanish conquistadors. After they conquered Mexico in 1519, the conquistadors brought Catholic missioners to cultivate their religion on the new lands.
At present, one can find 90 dioceses, 14,618 priests in total, 744 permanent deacons, and 6,101 parishes.
3. Philippines (85,470,000)
81.4% of people in the Philippines identify Catholicism as their religion. It penetrated in the country thanks to the explorers. They thought religion to be a part of their educational policies for the natives. The local religion was considered to be a form of a devil and, therefore, forbidden.
The explorers established hospitals and schools to provide education for the citizens of the island country.
In 1898, the country obtained independence. However, the residents did not return to their native religion. At present, the power of the Catholic Church is as strong as it was in the past. Within the islands' area, it includes 86 dioceses, 7,335 priests in total, 11 permanent deacons, and 2,909 parishes.
Now, you can clearly see the answer to the question "Which church has the highest population in the world?".
However, you should always keep it in mind that it is up to you to choose the religion you like and visit the place of worship you wish. Remember that God is everywhere. He sees you whenever you are and hears each of your prays, notwithstanding the house of worship you attend.
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