AGI – The decline in vocations continues and the trend towards global decrease of nuns which in the world are 641,661 (-7,249). This was announced by Agenzia Fides (the data are updated as of 31 December 2018) on the occasion of the 94th World Mission Sunday, which will be celebrated on Sunday 18 October on the theme “Here I am, send me”.
The the total number of priests in the world has also decreased this year, reaching 414,065 (-517). Once again, Europe (-2.675) has registered a significant decrease, plus America (-104). The increases are recorded in Africa (+1.391), Asia (+823) and Oceania (+48).
Diocesan priests in the world have increased overall by 64 units, reaching the number of 281,874, with a decrease, again this year, in Europe (-1,595), to which is added Oceania (-16). The increases are recorded in Africa (+904), Asia (+686), America (+85). Religious priests have decreased overall by 581 units, confirming the trend of recent years, and are 132,191. Consolidating the recent trend, they are growing in Africa (+487), Asia (+137) and Oceania (+64), decreasing in Europe (-1,080) and America (-189).
Non-priest religious decreased for the sixth consecutive year, by 594 units, arriving at the number of 50,941. The decreases are recorded in Europe (-591), America (-290) and Oceania (-17). Increases in Africa (+217) and Asia (+87).
The trend towards a global decrease in women religious is also confirmed, by 7,249 units, as in the previous year. The sisters are a total of 641,661. The increases are, once again, in Africa (+2.220) and Asia (+1.218), the decreases in Europe (-7.167), America (-3.253) and Oceania (-267).
Also from the data provided by Fides it is clear that the number of Catholics in the world is growing. As of December 31, 2018, the number of Catholics was 1.328.993.000 people with an overall increase of 15,716,000 compared to the previous year.
The increase affects all continents, including Europe (+94,000), which confirms an increase for the third consecutive year. As in the past it is more pronounced in Africa (+9,208,000) and in America (+4,458,000), followed by Asia (+1,779,000) and Oceania (+177,000). The worldwide percentage of Catholics remained unchanged from the previous year at 17.73%. Regarding the continents, there are minimal variations: there were increases in Africa (+0.18) and Asia (+0.01), decreases in America (-0.06), Europe (-0.05) and Oceania (- 0.03).