Was any real study ever carried out on " Which is the fastest growing religion in the world " ? On googling, I find a lot of obviously biased comments but no real facts. So, which religion is really the fastest growing ??
How do you define “fastest growing”? If I start a religion this year and next year I find a recruit, that’s a 100% growth rate. Does that count?
Well, you would have to start by picking a time period over which you wanted to analyze the rate of growth. Finding the instantaneous rate of change would be really hard.
In addition, you have to determine what you’re interested in - the rate of growth in absolute terms (number of people) or in percentage terms (eg, religion x has doubled in size in the last 3 years).
You may be able to find some relatively unbiased numbers by looking to atlases published 10 years apart or something.
You could get an loose, unscientific idea by looking at population growth rates for countries that have primarily one religion. I don’t think converts are going to affect the global rates much in this day and age.
In a situation like this, I think absolute numbers are more meaningful than percentages. As CurtC pointed out, a small religion can easily double its numbers and remain a small religion. But saying a million people joined the religion last year indicates it had some real growth, regardless of whether that represents 50% or 2% of its overall membership.
I didn’t fully read this article but it does go into the complications of how you define “fastest growing” and the problems with it.
I recently became an ordained Priest in my religion of The Church of the Latter-Day Dude.
We’re still a small religion compared to the big ones but it fits me perfectly.
One place to browse for religious statistics is adherents.com
The statement in their FAQ related to “fastest growing religion”, and why they don’t include growth rates in their database:
That guy’s a loon. His “sociological” definition of religion is unstated, but apparently includes every group with members who believe in something, whether the something is a principle, a policy, or a practice. Thus, animal rights activism, environmentalism, and veganism are all “religions” – he’s quite insistent about that, even declaring that the vigorous insistence of the above groups that they’re not religions is itself an indication that they are.