Adherents.com is a growing collection of over 43,870 adherent statistics and religious geography citations: references to published membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc. The religions of the world are enumerated here.
Basically, researchers can use this site to answer such questions as "How many Lutherans live in Wisconsin?", "What are the major religions of India?", or "What percentage of the world is Muslim?" We present data from both primary research sources such as government census reports, statistical sampling surveys and organizational reporting, as well as citations from secondary literature which mention adherent statistics.
Famous and influential: Adherents.com also has detailed lists of influential and famous adherents of over 100 different religious groups (famous Methodists, famous Jews, famous Catholics, famous Zoroastrians, famous Jehovah's Witnesses, famous Theosophists, etc.), and lists of prominent people (actors, politicians, authors, U.S. presidents, artists, musicians, Supreme Court justices, film directors, etc.) classified by religious affiliation. These lists are linked to thousands of detailed religious/spiritual biographies.
Adherents.com is an Internet initiative and is not affiliated with any religious, political, or educational organization. Adherents.com is the 2nd most frequently visited general religion site on the Internet, with an average of 13,500 unique vistors per day.
Adherents.com began hosting a small number of clearly marked ads on 24 January 2006. Prior to that time, Adherents.com had no affiliation with any commercial organizations. Advertisers have no control over this site's content.
Some disclaimers and important points to keep in mind:
First, the citations available here refer to the size and location of faith groups (number of adherents, meeting units, and countries). Adherents.com is not intended to be a source of any other information. Various search engines and link lists may be useful in learning more about faith groups.
Adherents.com recognizes that different sources may provide slightly different or even contradictory information. Our goal is to impose no interpretation, filtering or distillation on the citations and data sources we encounter. We provide all statistics we find, listing them side by side so that researchers can draw their own conclusions, assisted by the quotes, survey parameters and/or bibliographical references provided here, or by referring to the original sources.
Adherent statistics are usually not precisely comparable. For instance, "50% Catholic" in a European country may mean something quite different from "50% Muslim" in an African country. These citations of adherent statistics are presented here in a uniform format for the sake of simplicity; this is not meant to imply that data from different sources and citations are directly comparable. Wherever possible the supporting material makes it clear whether statistics are from surveys, census data, organizational reporting, or other sources. Knowledge of the source of the statistics, as well as further knowledge of the particulars of a cultural, religious or regional group are necessary for an adequate understanding of the sociological implication of this type of data.
Furthermore, although this listing is the largest of its kind, it is not exhaustive. There are faith groups, churches and philosophies which are NOT listed here, especially smaller groups outside the U.S. Broad philosophies and movements not defined by organized religious bodies are, of course, more difficult to obtain statistics for. Some sociologists define religion as a belief system shared by a group of individuals. The database has thousands of broad classifications, religions, branches, individual churches, etc., and most people fit under multiple labels, but no individual can be completely categorized by any of these labels.