List of Christian denominations by number of members

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Percent of Christian population that is: [1]

  Catholic (50.1%)
  Protestant (36.7%)
  Other Christian (1.3%)

This is a list of Christian denominations by number of members. It is inevitably partial and generally based on claims by the denominations themselves. The numbers should therefore be considered approximate and the article an ongoing work-in-progress.

The list includes the following Christian denominations: the Catholic Church including the Eastern Catholic Churches; all the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches with some recognition and their offshoots; Protestant denominations with at least 0.2 million members; all the other Christian branches with distinct theologies, such as Restorationist and Nontrinitarianian denominations; the independent Catholic denominations; and the Church of the East. With an estimated 2.42[2] or 2.3[3][4] billion adherents in 2015 Christianity is the largest religious group in the world, and in 2020 there were about 2.518 billion globally.[5]

Christian denominational families[edit]

Major branches of Christianity.
Major branches and movements within Protestantism.

Christianity – 2.52 billion[edit]

Catholicism – 1.329 billion[edit]

A map of Catholicism by population percentage.

Catholicism is the largest branch of Christianity with 1.329 billion[6] and the Catholic Church is the largest among churches. Figures below are in accordance with the Annuario Pontificio, at 2018.[6] The total figure does not include independent Catholic denominations (18 million).

Latin Church – 1.311 billion
Eastern Catholic Churches – 18 million[7]
Canonically irregular groups

Independent Catholicism – 18 million[edit]

Various denominations self-identifying as Catholic, despite not being affiliated with the Catholic Church.[15]

Protestantism – 900 million[edit]

A map of Protestantism by population percentage.

Protestantism is the second largest major group of Christians by number of followers. Estimates vary from 800 million to a billion, or nearly 40% of all Christians.[22][23][24][25][26][27][28] The main reason for this wide range is the lack of a common agreement among scholars as to which denominations constitute Protestantism. For instance, most sources but not all include Anabaptism, Anglicanism, Baptists and Independent Nondenominational Christianity as part of Protestantism.[29] Moreover, Protestant denominations altogether do not form a single structure comparable to the Catholic Church, or to a lesser extent the Eastern Orthodox Communion. However, several different comparable communions exist within Protestantism, such as the Anglican Communion, World Communion of Reformed Churches, World Baptist Alliance, World Methodist Council and the World Lutheran Federation. Regardless, 900 million is the most accepted figure among various authors and scholars, and thus is used in this article. Note that this 900 million figure also includes Anglicanism, as well as Anabaptists, Baptists and multiple other groups that might sometimes disavow a common "Protestant" designation, and would rather prefer to be called, simply, "Christian".[22]

Historical Protestantism – 300–400 million[edit]

The number of individuals who are members of historical Protestant Churches totals to 300-400 million.[24]

A map of the Anglican Communion (blue), the Porvoo Communion (green), comprising European Anglican and Lutheran churches, and the Union of Utrecht (Old Catholic) (red), a federation of Old Catholic Churches.
Anglicanism – 110 million[edit]

There are about 110 million Christians in Anglican tradition,[30][31] mostly part of the Anglican Communion, the third largest Christian denomination in the world.

Baptist churches – 75–105 million[edit]

The number of individuals who hold membership in the Baptist denomination totals to 75-105 million, being represented in the following Churches:[24][64]

Lutheranism – 70–90 million[edit]

The number of adherents in the Lutheran denomination totals to 70-90 million persons, being represented in the following Churches:[24][74]

Reformed churches (Calvinism) – 60–80 million[edit]

The Reformed tradition is represented by 60-80 million people who hold membership in the following Churches:[110][111][112][113][114]

Methodism – 60–80 million[edit]

The number of members in the Methodist denomination totals to 60-80 million people, being represented in the following Churches:[24][180][181]

Seventh-day Adventist Church – 21.4 million[edit]

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a membership of 21.4 million people.[199][200]

Restoration Movement – 7 million[edit]
Anabaptism – 4 million[edit]
Plymouth Brethren – 1 million[edit]

The Plymouth Brethren number around 1 million members.[205]

Hussites – 1 million[edit]
Quakers – 0.4 million[edit]

Modern Protestantism – 400–500 million[edit]

The denominations listed below did not emerge from the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century or its commonly acknowledged offshoots. Instead, they are broadly linked to Pentecostalism or similar other independent evangelical and revivalistic movements that originated in the beginning of the 20th century.[206] For this reason, several sources tend to differentiate them from Protestants and classify them as together as Independents, Non-core Protestants etc. Also included in this category are the numerous, yet very similar Nondenominational churches. Nonetheless, sources eventually combine their numbers to the Protestant tally.[22][23] Despite the absence of centralized control or leadership, if considered as a single cohort, this will easily be the second largest Christian tradition after Roman Catholicism.[207][208][209] According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC), there are an estimated 450 million Independents world-wide, as of mid-2019.[210]

Pentecostalism – 280 million[edit]

Those who are members of the Pentecostal denomination number around 280 million people.[24]

Nondenominational Christianity – 80–100 million[edit]
African initiated churches – 60 million[edit]

60 million people are members of African initiated churches.[218]

Chinese Patriotic Christian Churches - 30 million[edit]
New Apostolic Church – 10 million[edit]

The New Apostolic Church has around 10 million members.[225]

Local churches - 1 to 10 million[edit]

Eastern Orthodoxy – 220 million[edit]

A map of Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodox by population percentage.

The best estimate of the number of Eastern Orthodox Christians is 220 million[226] or 80% of all Orthodox Christians worldwide.[227] Its main body consists of the various autocephalous churches along with the autonomous and other churches canonically linked to them, for the most part form a single communion, making the Eastern Orthodox Church the second largest single denomination behind the Catholic Church.[228][229][230] In addition, there are several Eastern Orthodox splinter groups and non-universally recognized churches.

Autocephalous churches – 166 million
Autonomous churches – 13 million
Churches in communion with the above Orthodox Churches but with disputed autocephaly – 1 million
Non-universally recognized churches – 18–24.27 million
Other separated Orthodox groups – 6 million

Oriental Orthodoxy – 62 million[edit]

A map of Oriental Orthodoxy by population percentage.

The Oriental Orthodox Churches are those descended from those that rejected the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Despite the similar name, they are therefore a different branch of Christianity from the Eastern Orthodox (see above). There are an estimated 62 million Oriental Orthodox Christians, worldwide.[243][244][245]

Autocephalous churches – 61.7 million
Autonomous churches – 0.01 million
Churches not in communion – 0.07 million

Non-trinitarian Restorationism – 35 million[edit]

A sixth group is composed by Non-trinitarian Restorationists. These groups are quite distinct from orthodox Trinitarian restorationist groups such as the Disciples of Christ, despite some shared history.

Latter Day Saint movement (Mormonism) – 16.7 million
Jehovah's Witnesses – 8.5 million[266]
Oneness Pentecostalism – 6 million
Minor denominations – 4.4 million

Miscellaneous branches – 2 million[edit]

Protestant Eastern Christianity – 1.1 million
Former Church of the East (Nestorianism) – 0.6 million
Messianic Judaism – 0.3 million[272]

See also[edit]

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