Tillerson to Visit Moscow
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Russia after attending the G-7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Italy next week, the State Department announced Wednesday.
Following the conclusion of the meeting on April 11, Tillerson will travel to Moscow to meet with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss Ukraine, counterterrorism efforts, and bilateral relations.
"This trip is part of our effort to maintain direct lines of communication with senior Russian officials and to ensure U.S. views are clearly conveyed, including on next steps in Minsk implementation," Mark Toner, acting spokesperson for the State Department, said in the statement.
The Russian foreign ministry confirmed the trip, noting that it would be the first time it would host Tillerson as the top diplomat under the Trump administration.
The statement released Wednesday echoed the issues to be discussed, including the fight against terrorism, Syria, North Korea, and others. "The situation in Ukraine will not be overlooked, with an emphasis on the need for Kyiv to observe its obligations under the Minsk agreements," the statement read.
The G-7 meeting in Lucca, Italy April 9-11 is a precursor for the G-7 Leaders' Summit which President Donald Trump is slated to attend next month.
Muslims Expected to Rival Christians for Most Believers by 2060
The Pew Research Center says Muslims are soon to rival Christians as the largest religious group worldwide, with higher birth rates among Muslim families predicted to increase the Muslim population to a number ties with Christians by 2060.
Pew said in a study released Wednesday that by 2060 Muslims will make up about 31 percent of the world population, with about 3 billion people, while Christians will make up about 32 percent, or 3.1 billion people.
A Pew study two years ago found that Islam is the world's fastest growing religion and could overtake Christianity by the end of this century. The analysis is based on 2,500 census, survey and population registers from around the world.
Pew experts say they allowed for conversion rates, but maintain that birth and death rates will have a far larger impact on religious populations.
Other religious groups such as Hindus and Jews are expected to grow to larger total numbers by 2060, but not at pace with total population growth. And the number of people who profess no religion is expected to shrink, given current birth rates.