More than 90% of people in the Arab world, including most of the major faiths, are members of a religion, and the United Nations says the numbers are on the rise.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a report released on Thursday that at least 1.5 billion people are currently adherents of at least one religion, up from 1.3 billion in 2016.
“In 2018, the world’s total population was estimated at 2.5 trillion, which is up from 2.3 trillion in 2016,” the UN said.
A total of 1.1 billion Muslims are followers of one or more of the nine major religions in the world.
The largest group are Muslims in Egypt, where there are more than 10 million adherents, followed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Muslims are believed to have made up 90% or more in countries such as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Syria and Tunisia.
Egypt has the highest number of adherents of any country, with 2.7 billion, followed closely by the United States at 2 billion, the report said.
The United States is home to the largest number of Muslims, followed in the US by India, Pakistan, the Philippines, the UAE and Israel.
Iran has the lowest number of believers, with just over 600,000 adherents.
The Middle East is one of the most religious regions in the globe.