(CNN) If tech futurists are to be believed, by the year 2050, robots will do many of our errands and drive our cars. If a new study on religious trends is to be believed, many of those robot-controlled cars will stop and park at mosques and churches.
Yes, despite predictions that religion will go the way of dinosaurs, the size of almost every major faith — sorry, Buddhists — will increase in the next 40 years, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.
The biggest winners, Pew predicts, will be Islam and Christianity.
Islam, the world’s fastest-growing faith, will leap from 1.6 billion (in 2010) to 2.76 billion by 2050, according to the Pew study. At that time, Muslims will make up nearly one-third of the world’s total projected population of about 9 billion people.
Christianity is expected to grow, too, but not at Islam’s explosive rate. The Pew study predicts Christians will increase from 2.17 billion to 2.92 billion, composing more than 31% of the world’s population.
This means that by 2050, more than 6 out of 10 people on Earth will be Christian or Muslim. And, for perhaps the first time in history, Islam and Christianity would boast roughly equal numbers.
Looking even farther into the future, Islam’s population could pass Christianity by 2100, Pew says, despite Christians’ six-century head start. (It’s possible that Muslims outnumbered Christians some time in the past, perhaps during the Black Plague that decimated Europe. But scholars aren’t certain.) Read full