Day after day we hear or read intimations in the media that the influence of the Church is diminishing or, in some cases, even gone and that men, women, and children are losing interest in the Church. This may be true in certain places, but the recent apostolic journey of His Holiness Pope Francis to the United States of America seems to argue against such claims.
The Holy See today released a few statistics - current as of 31 December 2013 (it takes a while to gather and compile data from across the world) - in anticipation of the celebration of the World Mission Day, which will be observed tomorrow.
The total of population of the world increased from the previous year by some 70,421,000 people, to a total of 7,093,798,000. At the same time, the number of persons baptized into the Catholic Church rose by some 25,305,000 people, to a total of 1,253,926,000, an increase of 0.09%.