Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, who compiles the Vaican’s yearbook, has said that Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the world's largest religion.
"For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us," he said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper “L'Osservatore Romano”, published on March 30. According to him, Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population - a stable percentage - while Muslims were at 19.2 percent.
Formenti said that the data refer to 2006. The figures on Muslims were put together by Muslim countries and then provided to the United Nations, he said, adding that the Vatican could only vouch for its own data. When considering all Christians and not just Catholics, Christians make up 33 percent of the world population, Formenti said.