Monday, October 30, 2006

Stats, stats and more stats

I'm not much in the mood for writing today, but I did find an interesting website that compiles statistics on church growth throughout the world.

The Cumorah Project

You can look at the number of members by country, the activity rates of those countries and also the growth rates. It seems like many, many countries are not growing, in fact most seem to have negative growth (growth rates declining annually), and some even are losing members outright. I served my mission in Germany from 1992-1994. In 2004, 10 years after I left, there are only 4 more units in the whole country than when I was there. The average mission in Germany baptizes 52 people a year, but only retains about 15 of those converts. I'm not saying that these stats say anything to the truthfulness of the church, but it is not growing like I was always taught it was. Just some interesting reading if you are a stathead like me.

This also reminds me of an article I read a year or so ago, I believe it was in the New York Times but I cannot find a link to it, about how the church was actually losing more members annually than it was gaining, but because the names aren't being taken off the records, numbers still seem to be growing. The details are foggy to me, but it stated something to the effect that the church claimed to have somewhere around 800,000 members in Brazil but according to census numbers, only about 150,000 Brazilians consider themselves LDS. Again these are just the foggy recollections of a confused guy, if you want the actual details I'm sure you can find the article(s) yourself. If you do, forward them to me.


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