Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Number of organisations that use the bible ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Number of organisations that use the bible
Category: Relationships and Society > Religion
Asked by: keithyb-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 05 Nov 2002 02:40 PST
Expires: 05 Dec 2002 02:40 PST
Question ID: 99146
"How many groups or organisations that have more than 500,000 members,
use the Bible as their main guide and reference and what do they call them selves?"

Clarification of Question by keithyb-ga on 05 Nov 2002 03:20 PST
Please note - this is in clarification of the question 95213.
Subject: Re: Number of organisations that use the bible
Answered By: wayga-ga on 05 Nov 2002 04:40 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi kiethyb-ga,

If you agree with funkywizard's comment, that organizations using the
Bible as their main guide and reference are churches, here is a list
of the 49 largest Christian religious denominations in the United
States. This list goes down to groups with memberships as low as
200,000 members.

This data is from the "World Almanac and Yearbook of American
Churches," as quoted on the website of The Public Purpose at

Membership numbers are in 100,000's

1 Roman Catholic Church  				59,858
2 Southern Baptist Convention				15,399
3 United Methodist Church				8,647
4 National Baptist Convention in USA                    8,200         
         5 Church of God in Christ				5,500
6 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America		5,213 
7 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)	4,520 
8 Presbyterian Church (USA)				3,788
9 African Methodist Episcopal Church			3,500
10 National Baptist Convention of America		3,500
11 Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod			2,599
12 Episcopal Church					2,505
13 Progressive National Baptist Convention		2,500 
14 National Missionary Baptist Convention 		2,500 
15 Assemblies of God					2,272
16 Orthodox Church in America				2,000
17 Greek Orthodox Diocese of North and South America	1,950 
18 Churches of Christ					1,651
19 United Church of Christ				1,530
20 American Baptist Churches in the USA			1,517
21 Baptist Bible Fellowship International		1,500
22 African Methodist Episcopal Church Zion		1,200 
23 Christian Churches & Churches of Christ		1,071 
24 Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)		  958
25 Jehovah's Witnesses					  927
26 Seventh-Day Adventist Church				  762
27 Christian Methodist Episcopal Church			  719
28 Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)		 	  701
29 Church of Christ Scientist				  700 
30 Church of the Nazarene				  591
31 International Council of Community Churches		  500 
32 United Pentecostal Church International		  500
33 Pentecostal Assemblies of the World			  500
34 Salvation Army					  446
35 Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod			  417
36 Armenian Orthodox Church of America			  414
37 Antiochan Orthodox Christian Archdiocese		  350 
38 Reformed Church in America				  317
39 Christian & Missionary Alliance			  302
40 American Baptist Association				  250
41 Presbyterian Church in America			  240
42 Baptist Missionary Association of America		  231 
43 Evangelical Free Church of America			  227
44 International Church of the Foursquare Gospel	  218
45 Church of God (Anderson, Indiana)			  216
46 Christian Reformed Church in North America		  215
47 National Association of Free Will Baptists		  215
48 Church of God in Christ International		  200
49 Conservative Baptist Association of America		  200

Search strategy... religious almanac


Thank you for your question and please feel free to ask for a
clarification or more information if this does not meet your needs.


Clarification of Answer by wayga-ga on 05 Nov 2002 04:44 PST
Sorry about the formatting breakdown, it worked in the dialog box. In
any event you can see the complete table on The Public Purpose


Request for Answer Clarification by keithyb-ga on 05 Nov 2002 04:56 PST

is that in 10,000's rather than 100,000's

as if we have 5,985,800,000 (~6 billion) Catholics - I guess we are in trouble.

Request for Answer Clarification by keithyb-ga on 05 Nov 2002 05:08 PST
Thanks - this is an excellent answer and site reference.

I was how ever looking for an answer for the whole world, not just the USA.

(For reference I am based in Oxford, UK).

Clarification of Answer by wayga-ga on 05 Nov 2002 05:48 PST
Arrgh, of course you're right about the thousands, and I should have
asked for clarification regarding US vs. the World. Give me a few
hours (I need to get some sleep) and I will expand this answer for
you. I ran across a site with world stats and will hunt it up and give
you the expanded data.

Thanks for your patience,


Clarification of Answer by wayga-ga on 06 Nov 2002 12:32 PST
Hi again keithyb,
Sorry to take so long getting back to you.

I did a lot of searching on the WWW and at my local library trying to
get you a "world wide" answer and here is what I was able to come up

Catholic     1,030,000,000 
Includes Old Catholic, Aglipayan (Philipines), Uniate, in addition to
the Catholic Church headquartered at the Vatican.  It also includes
non-Latin Rite Catholic churches such as Uniates, Greek Catholics,
Ukrainian Catholics, Maronites, etc., all of which are in full papal
communion and regarded as part of the same religious body as the
"Roman Catholic" church.

Orthodox/Eastern Christian     240,000,000
As a "branch", the Orthodox/Eastern churches include Eastern churches
not in communion with Constantinople, Chalcedonian and
Non-chalcedonian, Nestorian, Coptic, Ethiopian Orthodox, various
Jacobite/Syrian Orthodox, Armenian.

African indigenous sects (AICs)     110,000,000 
Many African Initiated/Indigenous/Independent Churches (AICs) such as
the Kimbanguist Church (6.5 million).

Pentecostal     105,000,000
Assemblies of God, Church of God in Christ, Universal Church of the
Kingdom of God, various Churches of God, etc. Includes officially
Pentecostal denominations--those which do not identify primarily with
other denominational families, such as Baptist or Methodist.

Reformed/Presbyterian/Congregational/United     75,000,000 

Anglican     73,000,000 

Baptist     70,000,000 

Methodist     70,000,000 

Lutheran     64,000,000 

Jehovah's Witnesses     14,800,000
Considered by some to be "Christians without Christ" as they do not
accept Christ's divinity
Adventist     12,000,000
Mostly Seventh Day Adventists

Latter Day Saints    11,500,000 

Apostolic/New Apostolic     10,000,000
Stone-Campbell ("Restoration Movement")     5,400,000
Primarily includes the "Christian Churches and Churches of Christ",
"Church of Christ" (or "Churches of Christ") and the "Christian
Church" (Disciples of Christ).

New Thought (Unity, Christian Science, etc.) 1,500,000 
In addition to Christian Science are included Unity Church, Religious
Science and Divine Science

Brethren (incl. Plymouth) 1,500,000 

Mennonite 1,250,000 

Friends (Quakers) 300,000 

	This list and comments are from the website and is not
broken down as well as the list of US churches that I gave in my
original answer. The site has a lot of information on
Christian religions world wide as well as non-Christian groups and is
well worth looking at. Here is the link to their homepage...

       And to the page relating to Christian religions

	Some other lists and information that may help can be found at...

       This site again has many lists and breakdowns of Christian
churches worldwide but not really more detailed than the information
       I really wanted to find a list of every "official" church
denomination and it's membership throughout the world but if such
exists I was unable to find it. I looked in several Almanacs and
"World Fact Books" at the library but found nothing better than the
list above. In fact, most of these books only broke it down to
Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant.

       I hope this answer meets your needs but if not please feel free
to let me know. If it does not I will probably ask that my answer be
withdrawn and let you repost the question for other researchers to
have a try. You would of course be given a refund for this question.
This has been a fascinating  question to research and I hope the
information I've dug up will help you.

Thanks, wayga-ga

Clarification of Answer by wayga-ga on 07 Nov 2002 08:36 PST
Thanks so much for your praise and the tip! It's been a pleasure helping you.

keithyb-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00

To be honest you have been a delight and a wonder in your help - so
thanks very much!!

All the best


Subject: Re: Number of organisations that use the bible
From: funkywizard-ga on 05 Nov 2002 02:44 PST
Typically, such organizations would be called churches, parishes, or
similar. typically they would call themselves christians. Sub
categories that likely have more than half a million might be latter
day saints, catholics, lutherans, or presbytarians. I doubt this is
the answer you are looking for, but it is the best information that I
have. I would doubt that many non-religious or non-christian
organization with more than 500,000 members use the bible as their
main guide.
Subject: Re: Number of organisations that use the bible
From: neilzero-ga on 05 Nov 2002 10:18 PST
The list wayga supplied looks credible. If we exclude the three that
claimed exactly 500,000 there are 30. Possibly we could add 2 or 3
Masonic organizations and count Demolay as separate from Romen
Catholic. It would be reasonable to include 2 or 3 Jewish groups who
use the Old Testiment but not the New Testiment. There are likely
about 1000 if we include Bible enthusiests that are mostly in foreign
countries, such as the United Church and the Anglican Church in
Canada. Perhaps 3/4 of the 200,000 to 500,000 groups would reach
500,000 plus if you added in foreign members. If you ask specific
groups about the competion, some would express doubt that specific
competitors use the Bible as "their main guide and reference" but we
can probably dismiss most of that as propaganda, or alternately we
could argue that most of them use their own explanations in preference
to Bible verses. I would say more than 1000, except most have
affiliates in multiple countries, that often should not be counted
separately. It is reasonable to exclude those who claim exactly
500,000 as most groups inflate membership numbers a little for PR
reasons.  Neil

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy