Religion and Spirituality
True to its mission, the Internet brings together spiritual seekers around the world, whether they are part of organized religions or on more individual quests. Even if you're not sure of your goal, join those who seek enlightenment through the Web: Explore spiritual topics, read up on current events, history, and statistics of world religions, and meet people and groups who share your beliefs.
In addition to the religions that have been around for hundreds or thousands of years, newer ones ... read more »
In a world where religion has become such a complex and sensitive topic, knowing the hard facts about religion, and religious data and statistics, can help you when the time comes to weigh in on important debates. Of course, religion is an expansive and, at times, overwhelming topic. It's hard to know where to begin, but fortunately there are resources that can help you find the basics or research things in depth, depending on your needs.
- Make sure that you're aware of who is running the site. Information might be presented with a certain angle depending on who the sponsor is.
- If you're going to cite any religious statistics from a site, don't assume it's current just because it's on the Internet. You still need to check the year that information was collected, which should be at the top of any data chart or in small print at the bottom of your screen.
offers comprehensive statistics about the followers of 4,200 world religions. The site's stated purpose is to answer questions like "How many Lutherans live in Wisconsin?" but it also contains other fun statistics such as how many famous people are adherents of a particular religion.
The Association of Religious Data Archives
lets you review national profiles of almost every country, check out denominational family trees, and get demographic statistics. Some of the surveys are a little old (from 2000 or 2005) but you can get a good general idea.
provides this interactive world map, which graphs the geographical growth of major world religions. Each religion is assigned a color and the map marks its development chronologically. It's absolutely worth a browse, even if it's just to watch the pretty colors spread across the screen.
The University of Virginia
's religious movements Web site provides comprehensive profiles of more than 200 religious movements. The site provides information about the 2003 University-run project, relevant articles and essays, and of course the profiles.
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