Friday, April 28, 2006

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.

I was looking around for uptake stats on other religions and found this....

Major Religions Ranked By Size

It seems to be the same place that most groups get their figures from. Which is interesting when you analyse who they say are 'Christian'

For statistical purposes: Groups which self-identify as part of Christianity include (but are not limited to): African Independent Churches (AICs), the Aglipayan Church, Amish, Anglicans, Armenian Apostolic, Assemblies of God; Baptists, Calvary Chapel, Catholics, Christadelphians, Christian Science, the Community of Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons"), Coptic Christians, Eastern Orthodox churches, Ethiopian Orthodox, Evangelicals, Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Local Church, Lutherans, Methodists, Monophysites, Nestorians, the New Apostolic Church, Pentecostals, Plymouth Brethren, Presbyterians, the Salvation Army, Seventh-Day Adventists, Shakers, Stone-Campbell churches (Disciples of Christ; Churches of Christ; the "Christian Church and Churches of Christ"; the International Church of Christ); Uniate churches, United Church of Christ/Congregationalists, the Unity Church, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, Vineyard churches and others. These groups exhibit varying degrees of similarity, cooporation, communion, etc. with other groups. None are known to consider all other Christian sub-groups to be equally valid. David Barrett, an Evangelical Christian who is the compiler of religion statistics for the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the World Christian Encyclopaedia, includes all of the groups listed above in the worldwide statistics for Christianity.

Erm... Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormon pass muster as Christians for statistical purposes? How? Based on the commonality, they may as well include Hindu and Islam in there since both venerate Christ (some Hindus believe he is another Avatar of Vishnu, and so you will often find icons on Indian shrines, along with Sikh gurus and Pitman) Quakers used to be Christian , but are now wholly negotiable. Christian Scientists are a strange inclusion, since they are also not adherents to 'minimal requirment' Christianity, as espoused by the more 'Orthodox'...

Islam wouldn't wholly claim Sufi as Islamic (they do their damnedest to wipe it out...either by passing laws or just straight recourse to mass graves) and a lot of Sufis claim what is Islam isn't Islam at all, but a Heresy on the words of the Prophet (BBHN).

Based on veneration, Christianity could be ascribed as a branch of Hindu thought (the Trinity making it a pseudo polytheist religion, more akin to Hindu or Sikh than Hebrew or Islam, both of which regard the Trinity as paganism)

Based on the 'self identity clause, a lot of New Age sects are 'Christian'.

So... why use bad stats to prove a point? Even taking out the apostates, heretics and Godless Armenians, it's impressive, but even then there is so much Schism that I'm sure that each sect would burn the others without a thought... Not that Islam is better, just more up front.


Blogger Lauren said...


Hi Harley. I'm stalking you from the msg. board now. ;-)


3:19 AM  

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