List of Christian denominations by number of members

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This article cannot give precise information about the size of any Christian denomination, but it tries - following the article in the English Wikipedia - to give information about the relative size of denominations. That cannot be exact either, but will be of interest nevertheless.

Christian denominational families[change | edit source]

Major divisions within Christianity.

Largest denominations in the world[change | edit source]

The Roman Catholic church is the world's single largest denomination, by number of adherents, and accounts for 17.5% of the world's population. Most of its population lives in the countries of Mexico, Brazil, the Philippines, and the United States. It is separated into various cultural rites and traditions, but united in communion and theology into one church headed by the bishop of Rome or Pope.

The Eastern Orthodox church or Orthodox-Catholic church is the second largest Christian communion in the world after the Roman Catholic Church.[1] The Eastern Orthodox church's adherents lie more or less in the former territories of the Byzantine Empire and Eastern Europe. While the Orthodox church is divided into cultural, ecumenical jurisdictions, it is united in theology and communion as one body, and headed by the Holy Synod and the Ecumenical Patriarch. The most common estimates of the number of Orthodox Christians worldwide is approximately 225–300 million.[2] The numerous Protestant groups in the world, if taken all together, outnumber the Orthodox,[3] but they differ theologically and do not form a single communion.[4] There are also a number of autonomous Orthodox churches that account for no more than 12 million of the Eastern Orthodox church, but are still united with the main body in communion.

The various sects and denominations that make up Protestant Christianity do account for 590 million christians when combined, but this is misleading. As Protestantism is divided into over 33,000 denominations differing slightly to vastly in theology, it forms no single communion. With the largest protestant denominations being no larger than 120 million adherents worldwide, Protestantism encompasses the third largest Christian denominations.

Related pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Major Branches of Religions Ranked by Number of Adherents
  2. Orthodox Affiliation
  3. Jay Diamond, Larry. Plattner, Marc F. and Costopoulos, Philip J. World Religions and Democracy. 2005, page 119, saying "Not only do Protestants presently constitute 13 percent of the world's population—about 800 million people—but since 1900 Protestantism has spread rapidly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America."
  4. Major Branches of Religions
  5. Baptist World Alliance
  6. Lutheran World Federation
  7. 'encyclopédie de D. BARRET, "Assemblées de Frères", 1985.
  8. Adventist News Network, "Membership, financial audits key to Adventist Church growth, leaders say"; 26 June 2010
  9. LDS Statistical Report 2009

Other websites[change | edit source]