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MEMBERSHIP OF U.S. RELIGIOUS & SPIRITUAL GROUPS

CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS

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Included in this list are all of the major religious groups in the U.S. that consider themselves to be Christian. It is important to realize that many individuals, particularly conservative Christians, reject many of these groups as sub-Christian, quasi-Christian or non-Christian, because they hold beliefs that deviate from historic Christianity.

Denominational membership numbers are difficult to compare exactly, because many faith groups have different definitions of church membership. Some groups:

bulletDo not publish numbers. This includes Christian Scientists;
bulletCount only currently active members.
bulletInclude everyone who was baptized, usually as an infant, whether they actually darkened the door of a church later in life. This includes the Roman Catholic Church.
bulletExaggerate their numbers in order to appear like a larger group.

U.S. membership numbers, as supplied by various denominations (in thousands) are: 1

Denomination Membership, in thousands in 2004 Membership, in thousands in 1996 Comments
Adventist Churches 927 808
Apostolic Christian Church 18 4 Nazarene
Apostolic Christian Churches of America 13 11
Baptist Churches 30,002 36,613
Brethren 191 51 German Baptists
Christian Brethren 95   Plymouth Brethren
Christian Church 805 938 Disciples of Christ
Christian Churches 1,500 1,071 Churches of Christ
Christian Congregation 119 112
Christian and Missionary Alliance 382 302
Christian Union, Churches of Christ in 10 10
Churches of Christ 1,500 1,651
Churches of God 287 257
Church of the Nazarene 637 598
Community Churches, Inter. Council of 117 500
Congregational Christian Churches 65 90
Conservative Congr. Christian Conference 41 37
Eastern Orthodox Churches 4,218 5,302
Episcopal Church 2,333 2,505
Evangelical Church 12 12
Evangelical Congregational Church 21 24
Evangelical Covenant Church 101 90
Evangelical Free Church of America 243 227
Grace Gospel Fellowship 60 60
Independent Fundamental Churches of America 62 70
Jehovah's Witnesses 989 946
Latter-Day Saints 5,448 4,766 Mormon
Liberal Catholic Church 7 3
Lutheran Churches 8,152 8,350
Mennonite Churches 346 294 Includes Old Order Amish
Methodist Churches 12,266 13,533
Metropolitan Community Churches 44 30
Missionary Church 41 28
Moravian Churches 26 52
Nat. Org. of the New Apostolic Church 36 42
National Spiritist Association of Churches - 4
Pentecostal Churches 11,362 10,606
Polish National Catholic Church - 150
Presbyterian Churches 4,048 4,193
Reformed Churches 1,748 2,039
Reformed Episcopal Church 6 7
Roman Catholic Church 65,260 60,191
Salvation Army 455 443
Schwenkfelder Church - 3
Society of Friends * 206 108
Swedenborgian Church - 2
United Brethren in Christ - 25

* a.k.a. Quakers

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Reference:

  1. The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1997, World Almanac Books, Mahwah NJ

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Copyright © 1996 to 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last updated: 2005-APR-11
Author: B.A. Robinson

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