Report: Islam fastest-growing major faith in coming decades

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REPORT: Muslim Population To Increase By 73% By 2050

NEW YORK (AP) -- A new study says Islam is expected to be the fastest-growing religion worldwide in the next four decades.

The report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center says that by 2050, Muslims are projected to nearly match Christians in both number and share of the global population.

The analysis is based on birth and death rates, immigration patterns and other information found in censuses and studies around the world. Christians will remain the largest group, with 2.92 billion adherents. Muslims are projected to reach 2.76 billion. Each group will be about 30 percent of the world population.

Much growth in Christianity and Islam will occur in Africa. Muslims are also expected to become 10 percent of Europe's population. In the U.S., Muslims are projected to outnumber Jews by mid-century.

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Beautiful Mosques from around the world
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Report: Islam fastest-growing major faith in coming decades

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morrocco

Photo: Bashar Amin Shglila via Getty Images 

Dome of the Rock  in Jerusalem, Israel 

photo: Yoram Lehmann via Getty Images 

Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia 

photo: Shutterstock

Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

photo: TomasSereda via Getty Images 

The Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque in United Arab Emirates , Abu Dhabi

photo: Joel Addams via Getty Images 

The Great Mosque in Kano, Nigeria

photo: Diane Rawson via Getty Images 

Masjid Sultan in Singapore 

photo: MIXA via Getty Images 

Imam Khomeini Mosque in Isfahan, Iran

photo: SEUX Paule/ hemis.fr via Getty Images 

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia

photo: Igor Konovalov via Getty Images 

The Grand Mosque of Paris, France

photo: Rrrainbow via Getty Images 

Jalil Khayat Mosque in Erbil, Iraq

photo: Jane Sweeney via Getty Images

Putra Mosque in Putrajaya, Malaysia

photo: Arief Rasa via Getty Images 

Malacca Straits Mosque in Melacca, Malaysia

photo: Shutterstock

Agha Bozog Mosque in Kashan, Iraq

photo: Shutterstock

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

photo: Erwin Bolwidt/Flickr

Masjid Zahir Mosque in Alor Setar, Malaysia

photo: stevec77/Flickr

Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan

photo: schaazzz/Flickr

Taj-Ul Mosque in Bhopal, India

photo: -AX-/Flickr

Badshani Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan

photo: Tim Graham/Alamy

 Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria

Photo: Robert Preston Photography / Alamy

Umayyad Mosque, Grand Mosque in Aleppo, Syria

Photo: imagebroker / Alamy

 La Mezquita of Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain

Photo: Matteo Colombo via Getty Images

QolSarif Mosque, Kazan, Russia

photo: David Forman via Getty Images

Bursa Grand Mosque in Bursa, Turkey.

Photo: Shutterstock

Crystal Mosque in Terengganu, Malaysia 

photo: Shutterstock

Great Mosque of Xi'an in  Shaanxi, China

photo: Jane Sweeney via Getty Images

Sakirin Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

photo: Izzet Keribar via Getty Images 

Mosque in Cologne, Germany 

Photo: ROLF VENNENBERND/AFP/GettyImages

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