.- According to the information provided to Fides Agency by the General Curia of the Company of Jesus, the tendency registered along the last 15 years was confirmed, showing a decreasing number of priests and brothers belonging to this religious Institute.
Fides informed that until January 1, 2005 there were 19,850 members of the Company, meaning 320 members less than the previous year.
Regarding their geographical distribution, there are 1321 jesuits in Africa, 3017 in Latin America, 3217 in North America, 4003 in Meridional Asia, 1053 in East Asia and Oceania, 773 in Central Europe, 2586 in Meridional Europe, 2125 in Western Europe and 1155 in Eastern Europe.
Fides also informed, that the larger number of postulants is registered in Asia and Oceania, followed by those in America, Europe and Africa.
Finally, Fides informed that an important part of the universal mission entrusted to the Company is carried out by the Roman Houses that depend directly from the General Father. Among them the Curia of the Company, Gregorian University, Biblical Institute, Oriental Institute, the Vatican Observatory, Vatican Radio, Catholic Civilization Magazine and other residences and formation houses.