Wednesday, January 13, 2010

33000 Denominations

33,000 Denominations?

Where did this figure come from?  More accurately it is 140, which is still 139 too many.  Many Protestants get a bit upset at Catholics who use the 33,000 figure - and perhaps rightly so since there are not that many denominations in reality according to the data from which that 33,000 figure came from.  The overall apologetic here does not change, however as any number greater than ONE is not in line with God's Will for His Church (John 17:21).

David A. Barrett said:
Table 1-3 Organized Christianity: Global totals in 1995 AD

"Note: Denomination is defined as an organization within a single country. This means that if the Roman Catholic church is in 234 countries, it would have a at least 234 denominations. Conversely, To say the Roman Catholic church has 239 denominations in 234 countries, is a conclusion that seriously misreads the data. On the other hand, the fact that there are 8848 denominations in the Protestant column, does not mean there are 8848 Protestant denominations as Catholics suggest. If you divide 8848 by the 237 countries, you come up with a figure of only actual 37 denominations in 237 countries."

Mega-bloc.......... | Denominations in 1995.. | Countries

Roman Catholic...| 239 ...............................| 234 (dividing it out, that's a statistical "1")

Orthodox............| 764 ...............................|133  (statistical = 6)

Protestant ..........| 8848 .............................| 231  (statistical = 38)

Anglicans ...........| 168 ...............................| 162 (statistical = 1)

Marginal ............| 1488 .............................| 215 (statistical = 7)

Independent ......| 21,582 ..........................| 220 (statistical = 98)

Total .................| 33,089 ..........................| 237  (statistical = 140)

(David A. Barrett, World Christian Encyclopedia, 2001, p 12)

(The "statistical" statements in parentheses were added by me, and I used Barrett's math.)

So, that's where the "33,000" figure came from.  It INCLUDES Catholics in the numbering of Christians, but using the editor's own math, Catholicism is a statistical "1" whereas Protestants are "38" groups, then add in the "98" independents and you can see the dividing of the Body of Christ - which is contrary to His Will.  His Will is that we are to be One, just as He and the Father are One - and we WERE One, for over 1000 years when Orthodoxy split with Catholicism, and it would be another 500 years later that Protestantism would be born and further splits would be made from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

PS- I would also note that in "using Barrett's math," he misrepresents his own figure by 1, since he used the TOTAL number of countries and divided that into the number of Protestant groups - but according to his own figures - there are only Protestants in 231 countries, not 237.  That is why my parenthetical "statistics" are slightly off from his earlier statement.

(This article also was also posted by me in 2007 on the Locutus Webboard).

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