Talk:Growth of religion/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3


Arbitrary section header

This page replaces "Fastest Growing Religion" see Talk:Fastest growing religion for reasons. Mike Young 11:29, 7 November 2006 (UTC)


The Jedi_census_phenomenon should at least be referred to in this article. --Dweller 12:23, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Is it a religion at all? And to establish a rate of growth, you need both a baseline and a subsequent survey (e.g. at least two consecutive censuses in the same area). AnonMoos 14:18, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

"While there is no doubt.."

This line has nothing to do with the subject. I deleted it. The page now starts with "There are..." Needless to say, that's more appropriate since this *is* the subject.--SlightlyInsane 21:30, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

reconciled with Religion Trends in adherence

I understand the point of these two isn't the same (claims to be fastest growing vs overall trends among fast and slow growing) but there seem to be some glaring differences that at least should be addressed somehow.

There is a section here that notes "The World Christian Encyclopaedia estimates that there were 2,883,011 converts to Christianity each year between 1990 and 2000." which is noted on the Trends section as 1.36%, and slower than the rate of population growth of the planet, but this statement occurs right after claiming 2.3% here, among the highest in the world for the prior 20ish years claiming higher growth than the population growth of the planet. I understand these are not the same periods of time but these seem too mixed together and contradictory - did something happen in Christianity or the world in general to drop it from among the fastest growing religions to one of the slowest %-wise? Not that I'm aware of.

The Trends second mentions Zoroastrianism and the Bahá'í faith in or near the lead, and not Falun Gong (which is presented with logic more than statistics in the Claims article), or Wicca at all, while Claims is exactly reversed. I see that Wicca is missing from the World Christian Enc source which might help explain that difference but it's just left sitting there one mentioning high and other not mentioning it at all. Trends mentions Buddhism as well down the line while Claims mentions in it just for Australia.

Islam - one of the few common entries between the two article/sections is cited with number counts rather than % except by an openly unsourced claim, but then a "reason" is mentioned that Muslims can't apostasize. "Reasons" for religious growth or not isn't evenly worked out across the Claims article...

It's just hair raising. At least pick some sources and review consistently what each one says and segregate world-wide counts/%'s and regional ones. Then perhaps cautiously claims from the sources could be compared for simple things (like not counting Wicca from the WC Enc) or the like, being carefull about Original Research.

The only good sections are the "Different definitions" and "difficulty" sections.--Smkolins 13:06, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Someone please provide a reliable source for that claim, All it says is that According to Christian Encycloedia, but where's the reliable source for this claim. It points to an anti-islamic site as the source, I dont think thats a wise and reliable source which can be taken into account. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:32, 19 February 2007 (UTC).
I'm not aware there are any more "reliable" sources than those mentioned in the various webpages. Moreover these sources are used in a wide variety of articles online about such things (including However if what you want is the reference, just follow the links in the original articles.--Smkolins 20:41, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

The whole point of this article is that their are various and contradictory Claims, and it depends what you mean by "Fastest growing religion". This is not an article about what is the fastest growing religion, but about the fact that we cannot really know what it is, and the fact that many of the claims contradict one another, especially any having anything to do with conversion.

That being said, I am still happy to remove some of the more wacky claims.Mike Young 19:58, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

If that's the point of the article - to express confusion - then it is succeeding - but I'd also guess that at least by implication it would violate the spirit or rules of wikipedia. I would prefer it attempted to clarify, rather than confuse. It should certainly be possible to add some structure towards that purpose - local claims with mega-churches and temples, regional claims within a country, regional claims across countries or sub-continentally, continental or hemispherical (N, S, Americas, East Asian....) and total world. Some mathematical statement should be available somewhere about dealing with numerical increase in large populations vs percentage increase in smaller populations.... Then there's the angle that there is no centralized neutral reporting agency, and that religions have specific rules by which they count adherents and that by itself can cause some drift in claims - conversion vs births causing growth.... Then there are issues of denominations or divided religions - where one slice considers the others another religion.... Then there are different answers over different periods of time. What I'm suggesting is that there are different questions actually being asked or assumed and that different answers and conditions can be understood to relate to the questions. A perspective of a degree of confusion can still be achieved because it certainly exists - but this article throws up it's hands at such an early point in the process it fails to hold even the available intellectual water that anyone who follows the topic would find a respectable presentation of the topic.--Smkolins 12:22, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Any increase in world population will increase number of Christians

As Christianity is the largest religion in the world, any increase in the world 
population will give Christianity a greater absolute number of new members.

I deleted this logically flawed claim. --ThorstenNY 20:14, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

How about
As Christianity is the largest religion in the world, an evenly distributed increase 
in the world population will give Christianity a greater absolute number of new members.

Mike Young 20:05, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

The entire concept of Fastest growing religion is a flaud claim. It is Argumentum ad populum, a logical fallacy.--Sefringle 01:46, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

No, it isn't. It is Argumentum ad populum to say that the Fastest Growing religion must be the true one, but this does not mean that one does not exist (for a given definition), even if we don't know what it is. Many of the urban legends surrounding this claim implicitly make the Argumentum ad populum assumption. Mike Young 19:01, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

World Christian encyclopaedia

The World Christian Encyclopaedia seems to contain all sorts of data, but I believe most of it to be extrapolations and "guestimates" from other data and so I cannot consider it to be reliable, especially with regard to conversions. Although it may be useful for many things, I do not think it is accurate enough to be quoted as authoritative on this subject. Mike Young 12:39, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't argue it is probably flawed but can you suggest other specific sources?--Smkolins 20:59, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
No I can't. I think it tries to do the best it can, it is good on things like overall % christian, but it fills up the gaps with guesses and extrapolations rather than hard data. Rate of growth is a guess or extrapolation, especially for conversions, so this leads to some strange conclusions, like that Zoroastrianism is the fastest growing religion. Mike Young 21:18, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
So then we should be reporting the best available evidence, including criticism as documentable in scholarly review. Otherwise it's not what wikipedia is about or the article shouldn't exist.--Smkolins 17:08, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

The following sentence needs to be removed: "the growth of Christianity was also attributed to conversions". The way its set up in the article, it is implying that only Christianity grew from conversions -- when in fact that is not true. Furthermore, the reference provides no evidence of this at all and does not even mention this. Timothyn7 (talk) 06:51, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Scientology... somewhere to be the world's fastest growing religion. I will check this out and provide multiple reputable cited sources at some point. Smee 03:11, 22 May 2007 (UTC).

...yes, so does every religion. It is possible to find claims for any religion. The claim needs to have some scientific back up. I believe scientology is in decline. Please don't add a claim from a unsubstantiated source Mike Young 20:17, 23 May 2007 (UTC)


A section of the wikipedia article on Zoroastrianism states that it is the fastest growing religion in the world. [1] This should perhaps be addressed in this article and that one, though i'm not sure how best to do that.MennoMan 16:31, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Most of the article on Zorostrianism says that it is rapidly declining. ONLY the World Christian encyclopedia claims this growth. I have modified the Zoroastrianism page to take this into account. [2] Mike Young 22:40, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

I understand the numbers are going down in India due to lower birth rates. This might help. List of countries by Zoroastrian populationCivic Cat (talk) 17:48, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Carnegie endowment

The page from the Carnegie endowment again quotes figures from the World Christian Database. This is the same source as the World Christian Encyclopaedia. Its quotes do not deserve the accolade of being in the first paragraph, as this gives the implication that this represents some kind of scholarly consensus, which does not exist. I have transferred the data to the Islam section, as that was the religion with the highest growth. Mike Young 13:38, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Featured article

OK, guys: I think it's about time to feature this article on the front page of Wikipedia.--I told you 12:23, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

There is a specific process which must be followed before an article becomes a featured article. First it must become a Good Article, then it must go through a Peer review then it can be nominated for a featured article, so I am going to remove your nomination for this reason. SefringleTalk 17:44, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Don't want to unnecessarily diminish your enthusiasm, but this is not the kind of article which will easily become a featured article, since its subject matter involves juggling conflicting dubious claims, insufficient data, and various imponderables... AnonMoos 01:39, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not asking you. I'm telling you. I've already asked for a peer review. In a very short time, I will be nominating it for featured-article status, which it will attain in a similarly-short period of time. This bull-shit about it being too POV is just that: bull-shit.--I told you 12:48, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

CNN Quote

I have removed this CNN quote

The reason is that the article just says it and does not quote sources. As the header paragraph says, the list on this page trys to link to some reliable source of data to support the claim (such as the ARIS study, or census data). For the purposes of this article we need a link to some science that says why a particular religion is the fastest growing, not just that somebody says it. If the CNN article had linked to a study then we could have quoted that study, but claims like this are ten a penny. They need some figures to back them up. Mike Young (talk) 13:22, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Let me put things like this: In christianity many things bible says which cant be possible ,yet christianity is spreading , why ???christian misionary take consideration beyond limits ,correct bible by faith ,they dont talk about short coming of christianity ,census , sources ..TRUTH does not need things to establish its self it establishes slowly but surely...most of the sources fall short of acknowledge this fact because they belong to christian faith so they speek good of them selves and their religion only ...they try pose islam is a devil religion ....if you need proof then go get a copy of islam's holy book Quran form ISLAMIC SOURCES (other wise you will be miss led) and read it yourself to know why it spreads so fast and make yourself an example. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:20, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

table of results over different periods

What about incorporating the table over at Religious_demographics#Trends_in_adherence? I also dimly recall seeing an earlier table somewhere - roughly 1980-1990.... I'll see if I can find it somewhere--Smkolins (talk) 12:16, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Ah dim memory - it was 1970-11985 but i found it posted through another publication - How many Bahá'ís are there? originally published in 1992. So how about three columns?--Smkolins (talk) 12:34, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Looks fine, and could be useful. Go ahead. Deamon138 (talk) 00:32, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
I didn't think that the whole table's data came from the WCD (it doesn't look to be sourced that way), but it does seem to suggest that in the preceding paragraph. That isn't right is it? Deamon138 (talk) 01:32, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
All the data in the table is from the WCD. I don't like the WCD. It is a single unrealiable source. WCD does not state its sources, and it seems to rely on extrapolations too much to be considered reliable. Using it will open up the floodgates for other unreilable data to be added to the article. I think it should go. The WCD is definitely wrong about Zoroastiranism. (please read talk above). Suggest table is removed Mike Young (talk) 12:45, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree all the date is indeed from WCD but none of it self-published (the middle range comes closest). Not that there aren't concerns, but they do have a seemingly solid review showing good reliability (it's in the article ref after the table.) Mike - can you be more specific/citable about concerns? I can see there are differences in deciding which religions to report on (stated in the first period's citation but clear in the second and third as far as I can see.)--Smkolins (talk) 20:51, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

NPOV data sources

There are some issues with the information relating to some of the world religion data sources. In particular the information relating to the growth rates of Islam are from Christian / Pro Christian sources which breach WP neutrality / NPOV guidelines.

Alternative information (NPOV) is needed to replace this or in the least be read side by side with the existing data and the disputes / questions about the existing data should be raised. This in itself might open a can of worms, and for that reason alone, reliable NPOV data (multiple sources potentially) should be made available to replace the non neutral POV data

I do feel the article could do with a general tidy up, the issues are perhaps less confusing then they are made out to be, but it depends who you listen to.Avenger786 (talk) 12:24, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

New book makes case it's fastest growing faith on Earth

An interesting perspective. I will see if the claims have any relevance to the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ari89 (talkcontribs) 18:00, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

The link that you have provided is to a website that is very conservative (Pro-Christian). The book they talk about makes a weak case full of stories/myths and mircales -- without real hard data to back the assertions.

According to wikipeida (, WorldNetDaily (WND) is an American online web site that publishes editorials from a U.S. conservative point of view. Remember, this is the same site publishes numerous conservative conspiracy theories. According to wikipedia, During the closing days of the 2008 presidential campaign, and in the weeks following Barack Obama's election as president of the United States, WorldNetDaily posted numerous articles questioning Obama's citizenship status and consequent eligibility to be president

You keep referencing sources that are purely pro-Christian and very conservative. This is really hurting the legitimacy of this article. Growth of Islam is obvious both by percentage and by actual numbers. It will soon become very difficult to deny this. The only sources still denying it are Christian. Remember, wikipedia is not a Christian Encyclpedia.

Timothyn7 (talk) 08:20, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

(1) It is a news source reporting on a book. To attack the content of the book which you haven't read because you don't like one of the articles noting it is fallacious to the core. (2) I never referenced anything - do you see this book inside the page? Nope. No one cares about your POV pushing, clear bias and childish attacks. --Ari (talk) 15:29, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

(1)I never said you referenced anything from it. (2) Just pointing out your clear bias and attempts to hide the facts. (3) You have yet to prove several of the references used in this article actually contain the numbers that are mentioned on the article, specifically those claiming that Christianity has higher adherent gains. (4) When i undo the baseless statements, you dislike it and warned me... Either provide legitimate sources, or stop editing. Several of the referneces used in this article don't even say what the article says. Others are purley written by Evangelical Christians with clear bias (Wikipedia is not a Christian Encyclopedia). Timothyn7 (talk) 15:37, 1 January 2010 (UTC)


Umm, how can a religion grow because of immigration rates? The article is about fastest growing religions in the world, not just in America. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:52, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

I also noticed this in the European section and corrected it. --Wadq (talk) 16:51, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

I think that such notes are based on a sentence at the top of the article: "Such claims vary due to different definitions of “fastest growing”, and whether the claim is worldwide or regional." I'm sure that Americans (for example) would be very interested in knowing if their primarily Christian nation is becoming more (%) Christian, or less. Thus, in the debate over the answer to this question, immigration should definitely be considered. I think that the article's mentions of immigration should be left in the article, but that they should be clearly explained, and that they should provide links to examples, such as - Anonymous dude

I have removed 2 sentences (repeats) that claimed Islam to be 2nd fastest according to "real growth" (or new adherents) because the reference ( did not actually provide any such data on that. The reference only states the percentage increase. Timothyn7 (talk) 05:09, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

I have rearranged 2 sentences) to make it more clear and objective. The first sentences now give objective data on the claim of Islam as fastest. The last 2 sentences are now commentary offering explanation of why it is growing. The last sentence still requires references. Timothyn7 (talk) 05:26, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

I have added a sentence that references Encyclopedia Britannica, which I believe to be less biased on this topic. Timothyn7 (talk) 06:00, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

THIS SECTION KEEPS GETTING DEFACED by EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS. I have tried numerous times to remove the Islamophobic statements to no avail. Inacurate data keeps showing up and acurate data removed. I have offered explanations for my edits above yet all of it was undone by one user. I request someone's assitance (warnings, etc) on this as I am new to wikipedia. Timothyn7 (talk) 13:37, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Islam: last sentence

The last sentence of the Islam section is badly worded and the grammer, in some places, does not make sense. Also, it needs a citation. It reads: "Countries such as Islamic Republic of Pakistan, The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Algeria disallow legal recognition of non-Islamic religions, Islamic apostates and or impose the death penalty as a punishment for apostasy." I suggest changing it to: "Countries such as The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Algeria either disallow legal recognition of non-Islamic religions and Islamic apostates or impose the death penalty as a punishment for apostasy." Of course, my changes are based on my interpretation of the sentence, which is very subjective, because the sentence doesn't have a citation!! - Anonymous dude —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:33, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

I suggest deleting the whole sentence because it's
  1. not related to this article, which is not about Religious conversion
  2. misleading. The reader would think that most of the countries mentioned in the sentence do disallow legal recognition of non-Islamic religions, Islamic apostates and or impose the death penalty as a punishment for apostasy while the truth is only Saudi Arabia disallow legal recognition of non-Islamic religions, only Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iran disallow islamic apostates, only Saudi Arabia and Iran impose the death penalty as a punishment for apostasy. (source of these information is the article about Apostasy in Islam) --Osm agha (talk) 11:14, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

I removed a small part of the sentence attributing growth to punishment by death if converting. It is true that there are some parts of Shria law that say this but it is not the reason for retention (thus a very biased pro-Christian / anti-Islam view). The reference given for this explanation was to a biased anti-Islam website ( run by Evangelical christians. -timothyn7 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Timothyn7 (talkcontribs) 10:06, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

The following sentences should be removed from the last paragraph: " However in some countries those accused of apostasy from Islam have been punished - documentated by various third party entities such as the United Nations, Amnesty International, and the European Union - included beatings, torture, unjustified executions, false imprisonment, confiscation and destruction of property owned by individuals, denial of employment, denial of government benefits, denial of civil rights and liberties, and denial of access to higher education.[1][2]"

This was added only hours ago and attempts to reason that Islam has high retention because of fear of punishment -- something that Musilms will deny. (anti-Islam/ pro-Christian view). However, This sentence could be under another topic "Apostacy in Islam". Referenced citations are not relevant and give an example of Ba'Hai mistreatment in Iran. The Egyptian refernce actually discusses a ruling in favor of people of Ba'Hai faith.Timothyn7 (talk) 04:21, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

-timothyn7 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:34, 31 December 2009 (UTC) Timothyn7 (talk) 04:21, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Link for Ref #8 is not correct The one currently listed just hits 'Object not found' —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:07, 4 May 2009 (UTC)


When claims are verified they become facts in Wikipedia (whether right or wrong). Do we need "Claims" in the title? I propose a move. --Wadq (talk) 16:50, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

We verily need "claims" in the title. That way the article remains composed from facts. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 16:57, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Link for Ref #11 no longer works or is incorrect goes to a website with Ads. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Timothyn7 (talkcontribs) 11:11, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Going off other pages, websites that have gone offline since they were used as reliable sources are still reliable sources. If you can find the WP policy on that, it will be great. --Ari (talk) 15:14, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

This website is not a valid reference. It does not have any content and does not back the claims made in the aritcle --and therefore cannot be used. Anyone can create a website and therefore not all websites are legitimate resources (especially those that have gone offline). The mere fact that this website is no longer in business says a lot about its legitimacy. Timothyn7 (talk) 15:24, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Many reputable websites are no longer up, but they were accepted by numerous editors as reliable while they were up. That is why access dates are listed with website references. As I said, find the wikipedia policy on what to do in such a case. --Ari (talk) 15:42, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

I cannot find the policy you are referring to. But that site is not reputable and I doubt it was ever deemed reputable. How it got in there amazes me. Its like somebody in turkey (.tk) made up numbers, posted em on a site, and then "poof" the site is gone. Its not an academic site (.edu) that you can use in an encyclpedia and seriously compromised the legitimacy of this article. Find a reputable source or remove the inaccurate/biased statements. Timothyn7 (talk) 17:04, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Maybe this would help: Wikipedia:Broken links.  :-D  Civic Cat (talk) 18:31, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Link for Ref #17 inacurate

That link does not give hard numbers or discuss anything regarding "Real growth" or addtional adherents, as this reference is used in the article. That link only mentions percentage increases. Statements referencing this page to claim numerical growth are therefore WP:OR and should be removed. Timothyn7 (talk) 17:31, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Temporarily Stop Edits

To those who have been mass adding and deleting data - do stop for the next 24 hours, and bring the points to the talk page. Over the past few days, numerous editors have taken it upon themselves to do a lot of POV pushing. This page is in regard to claims, and does not necessarily have to come to an answer to what is. Deleting claims you do not like goes against WP:NPOV and numerous violations. Similarly, a few claims were added today where there was no support within the alleged references whatsoever.

So, please bring the issues to the talk page to discuss them. --Ari (talk) 15:10, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

I am discussing them -- see above under Islam section for each of the points. Ever single one of my edits was discussed/explained. Yet, you keep removing them without any discussion or by making false reason in Edit Summary.

Certain users... ehm.. keep putting up anti-Islamic statements and data that is biased/pro-Christian without any actual reference to back them. Most of the time the references say something other than what is written in the article.

Why was the data from Encyclopedia Brittanica (with hard numbers) removed? Also, nowhere does the Christian Database provide actual numbers regarding "real growth" -- the link provided only gives percentages. Timothyn7 (talk) 15:19, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Make the case. Do not accuse editors of making anti-Islamic statements, and pro-Christian statements especially when the information has been reviewed by numerous editors before your time. Similarly, if there are factors such as countries not recognising religions other than the official religion among its citizens, these should be noted as they do impact census data. I do hope this isn't an accusation against me, especially as I don't believe I have added anything to the article.
The Britannica information was removed because the "hard numbers" were simply not mentioned anywhere in the article. This was the case for other claims recently made accompanied by references that did not make those claims.
Finally, to repeat - this article is about claims to be the fast growing religion. It is outside of the scope of a Wikipedia article to make an objective judgement on this. We are to include verifiable claims. --Ari (talk) 15:31, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

The "hard numbers" are indeed mentioned if you follow the links -- they are on the tables in the Encyclopedia Brittanica articles. Furthermore, they are in this article itself (if you look at the tables under data from Brittanica). Did you even bother to visit the articles? Didn't think so. Biased. Timothyn7 (talk) 16:02, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

I visited the articles, searched through the data and then used the browser search capability to find the numbers. Those numbers were not found. And do keep your personal agenda out of this discussion, I don't care for your childish attacks. --Ari (talk) 16:05, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Hard numbers: Parsees/Zoroastrian 1300% 2,470,000 Sikhs 24% 4,660,000 Bahá'ís 21% 1,302,000 Buddhists 12% 40,120,000 Muslims 12% 126,769,000 Hindus 6% 47,583,000 Christians 6% 110,952,000 Jews 3% 418,000 World Total 64% 2,415,317,000 This is in this article (the article we are arguing about -- under the Encyclpedia Brittanica data table). They are also found on the referenced articles to the Encyclpedia brittanica. You are the one with the agenda refusing to accept hard data yet trying to push lies with no reference. Timothyn7 (talk) 16:08, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Here.. i will make it easy for you: Timothyn7 (talk) 16:10, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

None of that information is in the referenced source. Please do not accuse me of what you are guilty of doing. Once again, cut down on the childish insults. --Ari (talk) 16:20, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

So, now you want to remove that too huh? This has been in the article for a while. The data is indeed there and accurate. Look at the populations differences between 1995 and 2002. Look at both tables from both references. Get a calculator.Timothyn7 (talk) 16:24, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

WP:OR --Ari (talk) 16:33, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

That is data from Brittanica. Muslim population in Year in Review 1995: 1,099,634,000 (see reference link 27) Muslim population in Year in Review 2002: 1,226,403,000 (see reference link 28) Change in population over those 7 years: 126,769,000 There is no synthesis or made up stuff here. The table is accurate. You are simply trying to exclude data from a less biased source (Encyclopedia Brittanica) and trying to put only data (for which I have yet to see any hard numbers or a relevant source that has the numbers claimed on the article) from Christian Database (known to be biased by reducing muslim numbers and inflating Christian numbers). The Links provided in article only show percentages -- for which again, Islam has highest from the 5 largest religions. Timothyn7 (talk) 06:48, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

cointuing.... Reference # 17 -- nowhere on that does it give hard numbers that say that the actual number of new adherents higher in christianity. It only gives percentages. Why then do you keep using that reference? Is that another WP:OR ?? Timothyn7 (talk) 17:01, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

This is not an orphan Mike Young (talk) 23:14, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Christain database mentioned as bias source in Islam section

I removed it as it is a christain pov. Please avoid using bias sources in sections it would be considered bias. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:40, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm not adding or reverting, but just deleting the ref is wrong. It's not pure bias. It's been studied and found to be reasonably in line with other sources (many of which are harder to quote or detail in a reference.) So if this becomes an issue I'd suggest reviewing the available data and constructively use the information and what it means rather than simply accusing something of bias and deleting it. Smkolins (talk) 17:24, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

When i reverted its removal, i did not claim that the Christian Database was not biased. Note that we have an article over the Christian database in wikipedia; its noteworthy to say that the christian database has made such and such estimation. Stating the source at the beginning of the sentence annuls the bias, if there existed any . Arjun024 18:10, 20 February 2010 (UTC) I agree with your approach Arjun024 - I just haven't looked at the source to see how it applies in this context and lending some sense of communication on this talk page. Smkolins (talk) 22:33, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Pentecostalism not a "religion"

In the section showing claims of growth, under the subsection of Christianity, there is a statement that Pentecostalism could be considered the fastest growing religion. Since Pentecostalism is a segment of Christianity, the statement is inaccurate. It should be considered a denomination (or subdivision) of Christianity. Duane Frasier (talk) 22:49, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Citing CIA in Islamic section while CIA is fightning two wars in Islamic world is quite bias

Removed the citiation.Islamuslim (talk) 04:41, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I removed this yesterday. But not because the CIA factbook isn't a reliable source -- it is -- but that I couldn't find the info in the factbook. ∴ Therefore cogito·sum 05:34, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Christain Database and Brtanica Encylopedia

Removed as both section are repeat of what is been said in specific religion sections above. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:07, 3 March 2010 (UTC) isn't a reliable source

This isn't a reliable source -- it's bias is to prove that Christianity is the fastest growing religion.[4] It doesn't comply with the standards of a reliable source: mainstream, published, known for fact checking and preferably for this page, scholarly. That said, I am personally not prepared to take it out at this point as it is the primary source for the purportedly correct figures from the Christian Data Base, again claimed to be from the Encyclopedia Brittanica. However, I have the 2010 complete Brittanica DVD and the Christian Data Base isn't referenced anywhere nor could I find any figures concerning growth in the Encyclopedia. I'm just raising a red flag and hope to find a more appropriate source to support some of the figures listed. ∴ Therefore cogito·sum 01:57, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Journal of pediatrics removal

I removed the article and quote from the pediatrics journal. It is an off hand remark from an article. It is definitely not an article about the growth rate of different religions, but rather on how a pediatric nurse should cope with a Muslim mother. We have data on the USA (the ARIS) that is relatively reliable. This does not indicate that people are converting to Islam in the USAMike Young (talk) 14:09, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

This is the reference I removed. [5]

I don't agree. This is a published journal article that is well referenced -- a gold standard for reliable sources. It states:

Islam, as the largest and fastest-growing religion in the world, has adherents throughout the world, including the United States, with 50% of US Muslims being indigenous converts. ... More than 50% of North American Muslims are indigenous, usually black, with an increasing number of white and Latino converts as well.

These statements are on point for this article and should be incorporated. Thoughts? ∴ Therefore cogito·sum 18:09, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
You are quoting a journal of pediatrics on the subject not of pediatrics but on the subject of religious conversion. Which pediatrician surveyed American Muslims to see what percentage were converts? What was his sample size? Your journal does not quote where it got this 50% conversion growth rate from. It is very much a "throw away" remark. Please read the paragraph of this article which says that it is possible to find claims that any religion is the fastest growing. We are looking for some form of academic rigor, such as the ARIS survey (which does not state that 50% of US muslims are converts). We are not making a list of one off claims in newspapers and unsubstantiated off-hand remarks. Mike Young (talk) 07:10, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Mike Young is absolutely correct about the source. --Ari (talk) 09:04, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Actually, the statement is indeed referenced in the article (see reference 10 from that article). In a journal as renowned as Pediatrics, every single statement has to be referenced. A journal article is much more reliable (gold standard) for encyclopedic information. Timothyn7 (talk) 11:18, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Ref ten points to a Washington Post article (url provided is dead - see <>) and it seems to be misquoted - the text ref 10 is cited for mentions "usually black" but Ref 10 is about Latinos. Neither talks about about the population of Moslems across America. Smkolins (talk) 12:33, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

World Christian Database Projections

1.78 billion Muslims in 2025? According to Wikipedia, there were 1.57 billion Muslims in 2009. Something doesn't add up here :) (talk) 21:38, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

No, it's perfectly logical. Both numbers come from different sources Face-wink.svg.--Chrono1084 (talk) 15:30, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Reasons for the growth of Islam

To answer your question, the Pew Forum source says the growth of Islam in Europe is "driven by immigration and high birthrates".--Chrono1084 (talk) 03:23, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

True, but its a general fact that's an essential part of the issue of growth. It puts the other issues into context. -Stevertigo (t | log | c) 03:56, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Well I'm fine with the result, it seems you are too and that's what matters. You may be right though that the possible consequence of apostasy may play a role in the growth of that religion, I'm sure you or someone else will find a source backing that idea Face-wink.svg.--Chrono1084 (talk) 05:10, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

I am concerned about the anti-Islam bias in the Islam section. For example, while Apostacy is prevalent in every religion (including Christianity), only in the Islam section is this idea mentioned (trying to explain why its growing without data to back this reasoning). Instead of trying to explain why it's fast (whether it sounds good or bad), perhaps we should at least first organize data as to how fast? Furthermore, this section has been defaced so many times that the material is either biased or so poorly written (several lines of which i removed).... now its left very barebones without any decent references - i removed one line reference a dubius blog not even in English (this not the type of stuff that goes on an encyclopedia!). We really need to do a better job of fixing this problem and making it neutral. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:42, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

It is not easy to get these things right under the best of circumstances. This becomes much harder when the section in question is in constant turmoil from defacement and POV. Perhaps somebody can suggest a prior version that seems good and we can try to establish a consensus here to use that as the basis for all future changes.
Anyway, here is how I see it:
  • Birthrates are definitely relevant and can be referenced.
  • Immigration is clearly only relevant when talking about some parts of the world. Obviously there is no net worldwide Islamic immigration (although "Muslims from Mars" sounds like a fine idea for a Sci-Fi B-Movie ;-) ). As it stands the section is nonsensical and needs clarification.
  • Apostasy is probably not very relevant and it is POV to bang on about it. If there are solid Reliable Sources that Islam has higher retention rates than other religions then we should say that, phrasing it in those terms. If, and only if, those Reliable Sources cite higher barriers to defection in the form of sanctions against apostasy as a significant factor in the growth of Islam should we bother to mention it. if it comes up, it comes up, but nobody should be looking for excuses to shoehorn mention of apostasy in. That is POV via WP:SYN.
  • Finally, I was not aware that the Readers Digest was the official Islamic organ for publishing their population claims or that Muslims all spoke with one voice through it. Seriously though, that paragraph is complete claptrap and badly in need of a complete rewrite with sensible content supported by proper references.
In the meantime I am going to remove the disgraceful sentence "Muslims always leave off the 50 year fact to make it appear they are going 235% every year." as this attempts to tar the whole religion and all its followers as dishonest. That is a completely unacceptable thing to write about any group. Shame on whoever wrote that! --DanielRigal (talk) 10:53, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and a quick note on sources: Somebody mentioned removing a "dubious blog not even in English". That is fine, in principle, but please remember that it is the "dubious blog" part that is the problem, not the language. Reference material can be in any language. Of course, English is better, when it is available, but we can use RS sources in other languages too. --DanielRigal (talk) 10:58, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

About the Islam part

I must complain that some biased pro-Islamic user is always spoiling the Islam part. Stating always that Islam is the fastest growing religion on earth; that people convert to Islam as soon as they hear the magical word, ... etc, all that is biased and not just nor scientific, even if accompanied with some liks and a bunch of references.


I want someone from his side, someone who is definitely not a Muslim to edit this part and sustain it and clean it from false data and bias. I've just edited the part. And though I cannot claim I've done it fairly enough, but I'm sure I'm a way better than the pro-Islamic person who used to destroy the legitimacy of Wikipedia. --Viewerindepth (talk) 23:47, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Anybody is welcome to improve the content of Wikipedia irrespective of their religion so long as they stick to the neutrality rules. Religion is a subject which it is hard to be neutral about but there is no reason why religious people can't be aware of how their viewpoint differs from other viewpoints and write in as neutral a way as anybody else. There is certainly no justification for your desire to exclude people of one particular religion from editing any part of Wikipedia. If somebody submits content that is not appropriate then we deal with that as normal. We do not try to determine what religion they are. --DanielRigal (talk) 10:24, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I have been looking at the article's recent history and there was never a claim "that people convert to Islam as soon as they hear the magical word". What it actually said was that conversion to Islam was easy as all that was required was to repeat a certain phrase. The claim was of low barriers to entry not of a magical conversion technique. We can argue about whether this fact is relevant enough to include in the article but I can't see it as having an intentional pro-Islamic POV. (Ironically, I have heard a claim that people instantly become believers as soon as they hear a certain phrase but that was from a Hare Krishna follower. I let him try it on me and, of course, it didn't work.) --DanielRigal (talk) 11:21, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Mr. Daniel Rigal,

With all my respect, the "magical word" was there.

I don't know whether you are a Muslim or not, but it seems that you are standing on the Islam part in publishing whatever they want to publish without revision!

Of course this page is not for religious people, for religious people are partial and biased.

I'm not religious, but I've seen a lot of lies being written on Wikipedia. Well, I'm a Wiki-patriot since its early days, and I shall not permit any bias or vandalism on this holy site, especially about our now global threat, Islam.

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims leave Islam every year but they don't simply go to the media and declare it for the fear of being killed. From a source of mine (of course don't expect me to put my poor source as a reference himself), at least 50,000 Egyptians have left Islam within the last 3 decades, only 2,000 of them went to the court and declared it.

In france, 15,000 Muslims leave Islam annually. Many of the Americans Muslim name holders are actually converts to any elst religion (Wafaa Sultan, Salman Rushdie--not American of course--Ibn Warraq, Sheikh Marc Gabriel, Waleed Shoebat, Hassan Yousef's son, ... etc). In Africa 2 million Africans leave Islam annually (according to Al Jazeera). All current Muslims are Muslims by birth or by force, few are converts.

After all that, how dare anyone in the world claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion and that they convert as they hear or see the "magical word"? How dare they write that on Wikipedia, the FREE encyclopedia? Well, there are vigil knights that will not, under any circumstances, permit such treachery and lies.

With regards,

Viewerindepth--Viewerindepth (talk) 15:13, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

As far as I can see, nobody ever wrote in this article that "that they convert as they hear or see the "magical word"". I have not seen that in any of the recent diffs I have looked at. I think you have misunderstood what was written as making a claim it simply does not. That said, feel free to point me at a specific diff if you think I have missed something. More the the point...
It concerns me that you seem to have a POV on this that is as strong as any religious one. It is seriously compromising your neutrality on this article and on this talk page. Much of what you have written above is simply irrelevant to the subject of this article. It is relevant to other articles and is documented there. The idea that there are sides to be taken when editing an article is wholly contrary to the ethos of Wikipedia. If your view of Islam is really as monochromatic as implied by your use of the phrase "our now global threat" then I don't see how you can hope to write neutral content on any subject related to Islam. I suggest backing off a bit, at least until you have had a chance to think seriously about this.
For the record, my personal religious views are irrelevant here and none of anybody's business. I keep my personal views off Wikipedia. Furthermore I will cheerfully prove my impartiality by reporting anybody who I feel is trying to bully, exclude or suppress other editors because of their religion, irrespective of what that religion, or lack of religion, may be. This includes reporting people who share my religious viewpoint, if they express it in an inappropriate way. --DanielRigal (talk) 15:55, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Mr Daniel Rigal,

I'm very sorry you've misunderstood me. I've confessed above in my complaint that I had edited the article unfairly, I surely did that and I confess it. But what had made me do that is that I had found no vigil editors or admins in Wikipedia to revise such a very delicate article. What I did was a reaction against some members' prevarication (take a look at the history of this article and you will see what I mean). As for the "magical word", I'm not making that up, the word was there, look deeper.

Thank you very much for your correcting me up, I'm really obliged to you. Now I see I've made a mistake not trusting that there are other fair people in the world who will stand against prevarication and lies.

With regards,

Viewerindepth --Viewerindepth (talk) 23:22, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Remember that this is all about claims

I think the reason this article has got itself into such a knot over Islam is that it has forgotten what its title is. It is "Claims to be the fastest-growing religion". We are spending far to much time worrying about the validity of some claims and not enough time documenting them. If a religion makes a claim to be the fastest growing, or somebody else notable makes the claim for it, in a reliable source then we include it. We should not worry too much about whether it is a religion or just a denomination. If it calls itself a religion in the claim then that should be enough. We should cover any reasons given in the claim but not add our own. Claims should be covered even if they are not plausible, so long as the source is official or otherwise notable. If others have disputed the claim then we cover that but we do not dispute it ourselves. If multiple similar claims are made then we can explain them in one go so long as we avoid building a Frankenstein claim of our own, which would be WP:SYN.

For any claim we want to know:

  • Which religion does it cover?
  • Who made the claim and where was it published?
  • Do they speak for the religion, some other religion, an academic or statistical body, a government, or whatever?
  • When did they make the claim? I see no reason not to include historic claims in the article so dates are important.
  • Did they explain how they are choosing to measure the growth (e.g. percentage, absolute numbers, etc.)
  • Is the claim limited in some way (e.g. only covering a certain area)? Maybe we should avoid documenting any claims that only cover one country and keep it to continents or regions?
  • Did they give any evidence or reasons to back up their claim?
  • Did anybody else (notable) dispute the claim? If so, on what basis?

I think this is the way to move us away from arguing about reasons for the claimed growth ourselves. If we can try to keep to a framework then there will be less room for POV to creep in and it will be easier to detect and remove any that does. It will also help expose any non-notable claims. --DanielRigal (talk) 15:29, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Is this an article on the fastest growing religion, or claims

If the former, then the article is doing a decent job. If not, then all we need are links to what the pope, Benny Hinn, Cat Stevens, or John Travolta say. Maybe the article should be split.Civic Cat (talk) 17:48, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Figures on page do not match References

I've made a few corrections. Some of the text and figures on the page do not match the references that are cited. One was an obvious vandal misrepresenting the source, and the other was possibly by accident. --Aboveaxis (talk) 13:29, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Islamic death penalties for apostates should be included

As mentioned above, it affects the gathering of statistics. I would also include the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan with it's treatment of Abdul Rahman (convert). Presumably as far more Christian countries allow Muslims to practice and non-Muslims to convert to Islam, than Islamic countries likewise in regards to Christians practicing and non-Christians converting. In Islamic countries, Christianity seems to be restricted and apostates from Islam killed, officially or unofficially, that there are far crypto-Christians than crypto-Muslims.

For what it's worth, one might check this: Category:Former Muslims who were converts to Islam.Civic Cat (talk) 17:48, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Should small religions be included?

Okay, 10 might be enough, but what if the religion was, say, +100 years old--say had a few generations, has had at least 1 000 members for the past 50 years, and buildings built for its purposes (not a converted storefront or factory).Civic Cat (talk) 17:48, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Some alternatives for POV axes to gind

As per Wikipedia:Alternative outlets, here are some places for a few here in Wikipedia to blow off some POV seam and come back when you've cooled down.  :-D  

I'd include links from Uncyclopedia and Encyclopaedia Dramatica, but the computer I'm currently using won’t go there.  :-D  Civic Cat (talk) 17:48, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

fun (maybe with purpose) with numbers

religion approximate time it began current numbers doublings per century
Christianity 33 AD 2 billion 1.55
    Eastern Orthodoxy 1000 AD 300 million 2.8
    Protestantism 1500 AD 650 million 3.8
    Roman Catholicism 1000 AD 1.14 billion 3
    Mormonism 1820 nearly 14 million 5.8
    Mormons (FDLS) 10 000 1932 10
Islam 622 1.65 billion 2.3
    Nation of Islam 1930 minimally 20 000 11.875
Raëlianism 1973 55 000 37.5
Scientology 1952 8 million 38.3

Civic Cat (talk) 17:48, 13 January 2011 (UTC)


This article has a lot of interesting information. I am running into problems linking to it, however, and I believe it is because it says "claims to be the fastest-growing religion". Surely this page is discussing the data relevant to the question "what is the fastest growing religious status?" as opposed to discussing the claims themselves. The latter would require going into psychology and history of the claims - which I believe is not the intention here.

I am suggesting we rename the page to simply be "the fastest growing religion" to better reflect the ideas that the data is actually trying to explore.-Tesseract2(talk) 02:24, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Actually, it was already intentionally renamed from "Fastest growing religion" for some of the reasons discussed towards the end of Talk:Fastest_growing_religion... AnonMoos (talk) 07:02, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
From a grammatical standpoint, the title seems (to me) to be less than ideal. "Claims to being the fastest-growing religion" seems (to me) better. Joefromrandb (talk) 02:28, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Mysterious changes in Britannica table:

Revision as of 09:16, 11 May 2011

revision as of 10:24, 25 August 2011





-- AnonMoos (talk) 10:48, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Could someone who's good at editing the article look into this, it's from an unbiased source with reliable data -


— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:51, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

World Christian database and Britannica

I've deleted the sections mainly because the Britannica source was POV and biased towards Christianity in the sense that its from a Christian website (which promotes Christianity while seemingly looking secular in nature and links to no sources or sources that can't be traced and verified [6]) and the World Christian database mainly because its unreliable per this source [7] which states that it overinflates the number of Christians in the world. Secondary sources seem to be better to use. NarSakSasLee (talk) 09:41, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

I have a copy of encyclopedia britannica and the graph exists. I think it is ridiculous that the article contains information from "the guiness book of world records", which is known to have a multitude of false information in it, and has no regulation on its content as it is completely independant. The Encylcopedia britannica on the other hand is backed and has to be correct as it is used for educational purposes. In my personal opinion, this entire article is ridiculous because it is just a constant stream of people deleting things and adding things to promote their own Religion. Typically enough, it is mainly Christian information that is deleted, and false Islamic information put in... Anonymous 28/02/2012

The fact that it is independent is the reason why its included. The Guinness Book of World Records is a reliable secondary source whereas the World Christian Database is not because its not a secular source. Of course many Islamic sites say that Islam is the fastest growing religion but none of these have been used. Why? Because they can't be trusted and neither can Christian, Buddhist, Sikh or Hindu websites. Please keep a cool head, although you may dislike Islam and believe some strange things there, you haven't stated anything with cold hard facts. The Islamic section is backed up by the Guinness World Records organisation and the Pew Forum Research Centre. Both of these are secular. Britannica doesn't have anything of the sort online and simply going by your opinion alone isn't reliable enough. Please also see "Reliability of Wikipedia", you'll notice that Britannica has been found to have some serious problems with respect to its content. Generally Britannica doesn't seem like a reliable source overall if its been equated with having the same level or errors as Wikipedia has. NarSakSasLee (talk) 17:23, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

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CNN article mention

Ok, the christian evangelico editors are back. This part shouldn't be there -

According to CNN's Richard A. Greene (on the CNN religion blog), he suggests, using information from the Pew Forum Research Centre, that the anticipated future growth of Muslims is primarily due to "relatively high birth rate[s], the large number of Muslims of childbearing age, and an increase in life expectancy in Muslim majority countries" and from the little amounts of data that are available on religious conversion conversions will play little part in the increase, suggesting "Islam loses as many adherents via conversion as it gains".[3]

A Christian with little credibility, posting on a blog with no academic based studies, giving his opinion is not a credible reference source whatsoever. The section is also contradictory, with Guinness (alot more credible) suggesting otherwise. If this article is about debunking claims rather than posting them, then I'm unsure why the Islamic section has been targetted (and that too with unreliable references).

Think about it, a religion that grows 235 percent in 50 years isn't growing because as many people entering the faith are leaving it. A claim that has no evidence whatsoever, rather, all research and data shows the complete opposite.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Reading above, someone else stated -

CNN Quote

I have removed this CNN quote “ It is widely reported that Islam is the "second-largest religion in the world after Christianity" with Islam being the "fastest-growing religion".[3] ”

The reason is that the article just says it and does not quote sources. As the header paragraph says, the list on this page trys to link to some reliable source of data to support the claim (such as the ARIS study, or census data). For the purposes of this article we need a link to some science that says why a particular religion is the fastest growing, not just that somebody says it. If the CNN article had linked to a study then we could have quoted that study, but claims like this are ten a penny. They need some figures to back them up. Mike Young (talk) 13:22, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

And that quote was removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Perseveranze (talkcontribs) 00:48, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Nice, if unoriginal, use of ad-hominem by Perseveranze. I'm not a 'christian evangelico'. Likewise, I could ask you if you're an Islamic jihadist, but what would we gain from that? I also agree with your comment, to an extent. You are correct that 'A Christian with little credibility, posting on a blog with no academic based studies, giving his opinion is not a credible reference source whatsoever'. But you missed the fact that he was referencing 2011 Pew research. And the claim is not 'as many people entering the faith are leaving it', this is your erroneous interpretation of it. The claim is, the available data suggests Islam loses as many adherents via conversion as it gains via conversions. Wikipedia articles are not about presenting a uniformed view. They present all reliable material, even if they disagree. I'm quite happy as the page is, because the Pew research has already been quoted, by an Islam-friendly editor, and it says the same thing. Did you miss that section in your rush to personally attack me and remove my contribution? You better hurry and delete every other referenced statement that you disagree with. Downunder112 (talk) 12:50, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I edited that paragraph to suit the nature of the article (it was biased in places and generally non-neutral when written by the above user). I looked up the information on CNN's Richard Greene and I was struggling to find a place to put it so I wrote what the Pew Report said (that information can easily be overlooked on the main report page, since it was on another page itself with an "unseen link"). However in light of the information he presented (he claimed "Islam loses as many adherents as it gains") he attributes this to the Pew Report. The actual report (of which I wrote of just before Greene's to add some balance) states otherwise. It suggests there's little to no information available at all on conversion. This is a completely different statement to the one presented by Greene. There is a small contradiction here between what he says (he overblows the statement) and what the Pew Report says (that that information is scarce). Plus its from a blog - usually unreliable sources because they're opinionated pieces. Its a little suspicious as to why its not on the main news site (there are some verifiable issues here). I read the policy on blogs and saw that this source kind of fitted the bill for inclusion - albeit weakly. But given what the Pew Report says its essentially irrelevant as this article summarises all the information for all religions and non-religions, nonetheless I wanted to see how others might react to it and it looks like everyone is in a general consensus that its a very weak source and biased and generally unreliable. It doesn't deserve to be included. Also I would kindly ask everyone not to attack each other nor make accusations of the sort about editors you generally do not know enough about to make judgements on. Wikipedia is not a forum. NarSakSasLee (talk) 20:11, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Its definitely not intuitive to think that Islam loses many adherents, for the simple reason that leaving Islam is regarded as apostasy, and apostasy according to tradition is punishable by death. -Stevertigo (t | c) 07:09, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
That really isn't an argument. Only a few countries have Sharia law, and atheists do exist in Muslim countries (even the ones that have Sharia), as well as agnostics and no one has ever been killed for leaving Islam from what I know. Its an urban myth, a stereotype because I can't find a single case where someone's been killed for leaving the faith. The culture behind Islam is fascinating in this respect. It actually is intuitive to think that Islam loses adherants as well as gains like all religions do. The Bible points to instant death for apostates yet Christians are becoming more atheistic or even Islamic, it would be naive to assume Christians stay because of this, equally this can be applied to Muslims. Some Muslims become atheist and some atheists become Muslim. There are no laws in place to actively kill apostates especially if they become Muslims in places where there is a very small population of Muslims. But like the Pew report says, tertiary sources confirm some Muslims leave and some stay. Assumptions aren't really constructive with statistics especially if they have no proof. NarSakSasLee (talk) 00:31, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

No religious denomination?

From the article lede:

"There is often little coverage of the "No religious denomination" category (which includes deists, agnostics, atheists, and theists) although some evidence suggests they are growing rapidly."

This needs citation, and more it needs an actual article, if there is any such "category" as "No religious denomination" along the lines described. Which is doubtful, since deists and atheists do not naturally fit in any same category. Regards, -Stevertigo (t | c) 07:02, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

It does need it, but it mainly refers to the category in the main body. NarSakSasLee (talk) 00:32, 17 May 2012 (UTC)


I can't help but be reminded of this XKCD strip, which addresses claims of be the 'fastest-growing religion' in terms of the percentage-over-time definition. Is it worth including the strip in order to vividly illustrate the problem with this definition? DS (talk) 16:34, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

As useful an explanation as that is, it's not appropriate for an encyclopedia article on the topic...and as smart and insightful as Munroe is, XKCD doesn't qualify as a reliable source, as I'm sure he'd agree (given that he's at least somewhat familiar with how WP works). Qwyrxian (talk) 23:40, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Archived previous edits and found link that keeps getting removed from references and external links

[Fastest Growing Religion] This topic may be identical to an above issue. Above, the issue of biased editors has been brought up on this talk page. Either removing links for no listed reason or blatantly false reasons.

Actual statistics on the growth rate of various religions in 1990s America and other places and times are linked.

I have seen false claims of vandalism, so I'll remind the definition.

Vandalism is any addition, removal, or change of content in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia. Examples of typical vandalism are adding irrelevant obscenities and crude humor to a page, illegitimately blanking pages, and inserting obvious nonsense into a page. Vandalism is prohibited. While editors are encouraged to warn and educate vandals, warnings are by no means necessary for an administrator to block. Even if misguided, willfully against consensus, or disruptive, any good-faith effort to improve the encyclopedia is not vandalism. Edit warring over content is not vandalism. Careful consideration may be required to differentiate between edits that are beneficial, detrimental but well-intentioned, and vandalizing. Mislabelling good-faith edits as vandalism can be considered harmful. Upon their discovery, revert clearly vandalizing edits. Then warn the vandalizing editor. Notify administrators of vandalizing users who persist despite warnings, and administrators should intervene to protect content and prevent further disruption by blocking such users from editing. When warranted, accounts whose main or only use is obvious vandalism or other forbidden activity may be blocked even without warning. -- (talk) 06:43, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

huh? TippyGoomba (talk) 08:11, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Responder, please specify what you are huhing?-- (talk) 02:45, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I should have stated more clearly. I have no context for your statement. You link to some random wiki, refer to some unspecific "above issue", unspecified statistic... I could go on. Please state your desired edit in the form of "Let's change paragraph X to contain sentence Y" or some such. TippyGoomba (talk) 02:56, 25 January 2013 (UTC)


WikiIslam is not a reliable source, and should not be included anywhere on this article, including in the external links section.-- (talk) 20:01, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

see Major_religious_groups#World_Religion_Database

latest info.... --Smkolins (talk) 14:06, 25 April 2013 (UTC)


Wow, this article is a mess. Anyway, it seems to me odd that Buddhism merits 4 sentences in the opening section, but then has no subsection later on. This could be cleaned up.Dpmath (talk) 04:09, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Opening Section

The opening section would be more effective if it discussed primarily the problems (logical, definitional, demographic) with trying to make claims about being a fastest growing religion and discuss what's at stake for adherents and demographers in making these kinds of determinations. Then, individual religions can be described in the sections below.Dpmath (talk) 04:10, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Recent Edits of the Islam Section

The following has been removed or edited for the following reasons described below:

  • Unreliable Sources Removed:
    • Claim:"At first "dhimmi" (non-Muslims) were given the choice to convert to Islam or pay a heavy tax and be subject to other limitations."
  1. The Religion of Peace - Guide to Understanding Islam: Forced Conversion
    1. Not a scholarly source.
  2. Ye'or, Bat. "The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam", Associated University Presses, 1985, p. 52-54.
    1. Well known conspiracy theorist.
  3. Short, Walter. “The Jizyah Tax: Equality And Dignity Under Islamic Law?” accessed May 7, 2011.
    1. Not scholarly.
  • Source Misrepresentation:
    • Claim: [linking to previous idea of Jizya tax] "But over time, pressure to convert increased."
  1. Barrett, David B. and Todd M. Johnson, “World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200,” William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-10.
    1. Makes no mention of Jizyah tax or increased conversion due to pressure. Google Books Link
  2. Jenkins, Philip. “The Lost History of Christianity.” Harper Collins, New York, 2008, p. 118-119
    1. Makes no mention of Jizyah tax or increased conversion due to pressure. On the contrary he claims it was evangelisation that lead to an increase in conversion, amongst a whole host of other reasons. Google Books Link

I've added scholarly opinion on the subject instead, though if other sources turn up then please add them. NarSakSasLee (talk) 16:40, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

I concur that and Bat Ye'or are both unreliable source. Visite fortuitement prolongée (talk) 20:03, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
The following has been removed because as the sources themselves say, it's rarely ever applied, and so it's not relevant to the religions growth or retainment:
  • Claim: "The majority of Muslim scholars hold to the traditional view that apostasy is punishable by death or imprisonment until repentance, at least for adult men of sound mind."
  1. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and International Law, Syracuse University Press, 1996, p. 183 [8]
  2. Kecia Ali and Oliver Leaman, Islam: the key concepts, Routledge, 2008, p. 10 [9]
  3. John L. Esposito, The Oxford dictionary of Islam, Oxford University Press, 2004 p. 22 [10]
In my opinion the section is getting increasingly absurd. This is about the growth of religion, not the history of the growth of Islam. Perhaps it all belongs in another article (the first paragraph I mean to say). Thoughts? NarSakSasLee (talk) 06:15, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
NarSakSasLee, i am not curious though, but still, why death for apostasy is not mentioned in the Islam's section? In fact in countries like Algeria you can't even talk about any religion, except Islam. Bladesmulti (talk) 15:34, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

That can be answered easily, if what you say is true about Algeria, then that has strictly to do with crticism, not apostasy but blasphemy laws (I don't know if they even do have those or because it's in their culture not to insult the religion). Further the law, from what John L. Esposito says, seems largely symbolic since it's not implemented that often (his exact words; "rarely"). So because the law isn't taken seriously, nor applied seriously in the majority of Islamic countries, it therefore is obsolete and will have nothing to do with growth, stagnation, or decline. The law doesn't seem to be influential. The Abrahamic faiths do rant on about apostates going to hell but that hasn't stopped people from changing religions and neither has this law. This being said however, if you can find a source linking the apostasy laws and growth and decline of the faith then we'll add it with no problems but it has to be scholarly since there's been quite a lot of edit warring in the past few weeks. It's problems like this is why I proposed deleting the entire paragraph and moving it (because there's too much to deal with here), preferably to the population growth article, since history is being dealt with. Otherwise the section will get too big and too out of touch with the topic (which is about growth not history of growth). Also this needs to be added: linking apostasy with growth/decline of the faith would be original research without a scholarly source. Something which is not allowed to happen on this Wiki (see WP:OR). NarSakSasLee (talk) 23:44, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Copyright violation

I deleted several sentences for Copyright violation. However, the sentence about Guinness Book seem to be a Copyright violation of . Visite fortuitement prolongée (talk) 20:03, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

The Guinness World Records quote on that blog is from an old Wiki version. It doesn't count as copyrighted material. NarSakSasLee (talk) 20:32, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Atheism Section & non-Secular Sources

Hello everyone. After just a quick glance there is obviously no way for the annual average growth rate of atheism between 1970 and 2020 to be negative 0.38. After my own calculations it should be ~2,18. But that begs the question if the source is incorrect or if the one who read it is incorrect (by its very own figures). Other growths seem to be weird to.

I would also like to suggest that we used the statistics between 1970 and 2010. Not the supposed growth for an other 10 years we haven't experienced yet. (Well 7 now). — Precedingunsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. BTW normally new posts go to the bottom. bots age things out and putting things at the top breaks their process. I'll move it. --Smkolins (talk) 14:27, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
I concur. I would expect atheism to increase in numbers by that year not remain static. Could you quickly jot down how you did the calculation for others who may wish to revert it out of good faith, for future reference? Also I think the table should be removed. NarSakSasLee (talk) 15:14, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
According to the source, the number of atheists in 1970 was 165,506,000, not 65,506,000! With the extra digit, the math checks out. As for future projections, I think they're important to have. "Growing" implies future continuous growth. If we only include information up to 2010, this article would be discussing historical growth, not current or projected growth.-- (talk) 16:31, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

I generally don't like trusting sources such as this because it doesn't seem secular. Can a secular source confirm atheism declining? NarSakSasLee (talk) 23:48, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Better yet, a source subject to editorial standards or peer-review. The source is not reliable, it should be removed. Unfortunately, that means losing the table. The source is only used in one other place in the article. TippyGoomba (talk) 00:35, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Removing it now. NarSakSasLee (talk) 01:05, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

How about, page=20 which I note is "The IJRF is published twice a year and aims to provide a platform for scholarly discourse on religious free- dom in general and the persecution of Christians in particular. It is an interdisciplinary, international, peer reviewed journal…" - here is the proposed citation syntax: Grim, Brian J (2012). "Rising restrictions on religion" (PDF). International Journal of Religious Freedom. 5 (1): 17–33. ISSN 2070-5484.  And note a closely related data set was examined - see World Christian Encyclopedia, "One study found that the WCD's data was "highly correlated with other sources that offer cross-national religious composition estimates" but the database "consistently gives a higher estimate for percent Christian in comparison to other cross-national data sets"." --Smkolins (talk) 02:34, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
That looks like a much better source. TippyGoomba (talk) 03:38, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I'll add that ARDA uses them as a the main source on rates of adherents for their analysis - (near the bottom but you see each source for each type of info and WCE is the only one for "rates of adherence".) On the other hand I don't know any "correction" that any one has applied for the finding that it consistently ranked Christianity higher than other sources - anyone have access to some of those other sources that we can use? --Smkolins (talk) 10:10, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I have access to JSTOR, Questia and HighBeam Research. I'll be taking a look over the next few days for some reliable info. NarSakSasLee (talk) 10:57, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Hiho guys...if only some other things got such good responses so fast... :( Anyway I believe there might be some logic to it all since many people converted to religion in Eastern Europe to fill the spiritual/social vacuum created by the downfall of the socialist system. But at the same time atheism and agnosticism is on the rise (as a percentage of the population) in many western countries, just like an other source mentions in the text itself. I also must agree that a "projected" growth should be added but my idea was that the growth for 1970-2020 would change to 1970 - 2010 while keeping the 2010-2020. I think this makes more sense.
A demographic problem with the growth in the table from 2010-2020 seems to be that it is based merely on population growth, not on conversion rates. As such the changes in that time period seem minimal to those changes within each decade in the 1970-2010 period. I know that you are looking into new sources for this but please keep in mind what I said for them to. Thanks.
Where did you see that it excludes conversion? I doubted that it would separate influences at all and only includes populations at two times however they got there. --Smkolins (talk) 00:21, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Nowhere beyond the fact that it seems that almost all figures are increasing with what can be expected to be the population growth within those demographic sectors. I'd like to read the source or someone to paste part of the source where it explains why the projected growths are what they claim them to be. (talk) 15:41, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Figured out the link for CIA fact book - sizes but not rates - at [11] --Smkolins (talk) 13:02, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

I've reinserted the table. All of the concerns above smell like WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT. "I generally don't like trusting sources such as this because it doesn't seem secular." Secularism isn't a criterion for determining reliability. Not that it would matter anyway, since both the WCD and the WRD are published by Brill, a secular academic publisher. "Better yet, a source subject to editorial standards or peer-review." The data in this table has been peer-reviewed. See the topic above.-- (talk) 23:28, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Another source to plum - DOI: 10.1002/9781118555767.ch1 Stats from 1910 to 2010. - on google books - [12] still based on WCE. --Smkolins (talk) 15:57, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Had the thought of that one study of validity of WCD/WCE and that they named sources of comparison - this might be a short list of where to look for more details - "World Values Survey, Pew Global Assessment Project, CIA World Factbook, and the U.S. Department of State" it said. We have some Pew sources, some WCE, a bit of CIA… anyone got a World Values Survey or a compendium of US Dept of State stats? Looking…. --Smkolins (talk) 02:52, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Begining to answer - note specific studies report specific results…
  • DOI - 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2009.01490.x, Religious Conversion in 40 Countries, Authors:Barro, Robert; Hwang, Jason; McCleary, Rachel, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Mar2010, Vol. 49 Issue 1, p15-36.
  • A mathematical model of social group competition with application to the growth of religious non-affiliation, Daniel M. Abrams, Haley A. Yaple, Richard J. Wiener, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 088701 (2011), arXiv:1012.1375v2
  • The Spiritual Turn and the Decline of Tradition: The Spread of Post-Christian Spirituality in 14 Western Countries, 1981–2000, DICK HOUTMAN, STEF AUPERS, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 46, Issue 3, pages 305–320, September 2007, DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2007.00360.x

…--Smkolins (talk) 04:02, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

World Values Survey data is available here, and the U.S. State Department data is presumably from the annual International Religious Freedom Reports. I don't think the State Department conducts any surveys of their own; rather, they aggregate data and occasionally reference the WCD and, very frequently, the Pew Research Center (which isn't surprising, since Pew is chaired by Madeleine Albright of State Department fame).-- (talk) 10:41, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
I wanted to add that Todd M. Johnson of Boston University and Brian J. Grim of the Pew Research Center are editors/affiliated with either/both the WCD and the WRD. Johnson is also affiliated with the Center for the Study of Global Christianity and is the primary author of the report cited in this article's table. Here is an insightful excerpt from their book The World's Religions in Figures: An Introduction to International Religious Demography (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013). The book relies on the WCD and WRD for estimates and forecasts, as does the report cited in the table. All of the information in the cited report is also reproduced in the book. I believe the reliability of the table's data according to Wikipedia's own standards has now been established beyond a reasonable doubt.-- (talk) 11:52, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
I am requesting comment from other editors on the discussion above (under the heading "Table"). Thanks!-- (talk) 20:24, 4 September 2013 (UTC)


Obviously the fastest growing theological viewpoint is Pandeism, as it has gone from 0 to 60 in 6.2 seconds. DeistCosmos (talk) 20:56, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Sources please. Or add it in. NarSakSasLee (talk) 21:01, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
None, since the big media isn't asking the question, but I do like your style. DeistCosmos (talk) 21:17, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Er...Cheers (I think). We should probably add it. It seems like a valid religion. NarSakSasLee (talk) 22:31, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
It is a subset of Deism which is already on the page, so anything would go there. Pantheism ought to be as well. But I know of no "official" source for Pandeist followership other than things like Facebook groups and YouTube and Twitter followers and self-declarations. DeistCosmos (talk) 22:45, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Interesting, a newly developing religion. Strange, though in this age of science that people still form little enclaves. I suppose it's all to do with belonging. Still pastafarianism takes the cake for me haha. NarSakSasLee (talk) 22:48, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Not that new!! DeistCosmos (talk) 22:43, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Are there any sources claiming this is the fastest growing religion? TippyGoomba (talk) 04:42, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Relax brother, this was a joke. But what I'd really like to see sources for is the fact that the whole fastest-growing-religion competition is simply an invalid argumentum ad populum!! DeistCosmos (talk) 04:02, 10 September 2013 (UTC)