The number of Catholics in Africa and Asia has grown, along with the Catholic population worldwide, says the Vatican.
Like in previous years, the Catholic population in Asia has increased (1.8%) and Africa (2.1%) and to some extent in Europe (0.3%), according to Vatican statistics data released on February 1.
The latest data is for 2020 but published in the 2022 edition of the Annuario Pontificio (Pontifical Yearbook) and the 2020 Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae (Statistical Yearbook of the Church). The Vatican’s Central Office of Church Statistics compiled the figures.
In terms of the global scenario, Catholics around the world grew with 16 million in 2020 totaling 1.36 billion. Admittedly, half (48%) of the world’s members of the Catholic Church live in America, with 28% situated in South America. The remaining (24%) of Catholics live in Asia, Africa, and Oceana.
In 2020, as many as 410,219 priests served the church worldwide, a decrease of 4,117 compared to 2019. Though the number of priests reduced in America and Europe, a “significant increase” of priests found in Africa and Asia, reported Vatican News, the online news portal.
About 40% of the world’s priests worked in Europe, 29% in the Americas, 17% in Asia, 12% in Africa, and 1% in Oceania, in 2020.
All over the world, the number of Catholics per priest increased from 3,245 in 2019 to 3,314 in 2020. There was an average of 1,746 Catholics per priest in Europe, 2,086 in the Americas, and 5,089 in Africa.
With inputs from Catholic News Agency.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.