PhilVaz has provided a nice and colorful study of denominations in Parts I and II. You can see his nicely laid out study by clicking on the title, which is

The Facts and Stats on ‘33,000 Denominations‘”


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. PhilVaz

    Nicely done! Just kidding, it’s me again. Thanks Steve for placing me on the blog!
    Some pictures added, a few typos corrected. And a sentence added clarifying the “number” of “Roman Catholic” denominations from Barrett’s Encyclopedia:
    “As a statistical unit in this Encyclopedia, a ‘denomination’ always refers to one single country. Thus the Roman Catholic Church, although a single organization, is described here as consisting of 236 denominations in the world’s 238 countries.” ( Barrett, et al, World Christian Encyclopedia, volume 1, page 27, in the “Glossary” under definition for “Denomination” [later updated to 242] )
    Phil P

  2. Greg

    For what it’s worth…
    238 countries? Does the World Christian Encyclopedia define “country”?
    It might be worth noting that “238 countries” is, at least according to the UN, technically incorrect. The UN ( lists about 190 countries, or “member states”, in UN parlance. {The Vatican and Taiwan – generally regarded as independent countries by those without a political or religious ax to grind – are not members of the UN.}
    The UN does, however, lists various territories of the world (self-governing and non-self-governing), dependencies, possessions, special administrative regions, commonwealths, and overseas departments. There are over 60 locations in these categories (including American Samoa, Bermuda, the Falkland Islands, Guam, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, and Palestine).
    The total number then is around 270. Assuming that some of these additional land masses do not have enough of a Christian population to be included separately in the Encyclopedia – the 238 number seems to include, strictly speaking, more than “countries”.
    (Excellent resource, BTW. Thanks for bringing the WCE to our attention.)

  3. Serena

    I want to point out that there are many denominations within the Word-Faith-Pentecostal-Nondenominational spectrum that few people are aware of, that take elements from each of those traditions and combine them in endless ways, making tiny families of identical congregations unlike any large denomination but basically Pentecostal. Also it’s worth reminding people frequently that the words “Friend” and “Quaker” refer to at least three bodies, each very different. Evangelical Friends are regualr Evangelicals except that they don’t beleive it’s important to be baptized or have communion, and they beleive instead that these both happen spiritually without physical manifestation. Liberal/Unprogrammed Friends retain George Fox’s original emphasis on peaceful demenor and silent meetings without clergy but have no particular doctrine, unlike the early Friends, who were Evangelical Friends theologically. Orthodox Friends retain the early silent meetings and other “Quakerish” ways and also hold to the early Friends’ doctrine, which is very hard, as retaining any doctrine with no one to teach it formally is tricky. Therefore they are a small group. Most friends today are Evangelical Friends, who have clergy and preaching but it’s fairly humble and low-key, in keeping with early Friends’ values of gentleness and equality of persons.

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