Talk:List of religious organizations

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Well if we're not deleting it...[edit]

I can kind of see how this article differs from List of religions...So if we're going to keep the article rather than delete or merge, should we include a few words about each organization that is listed? What organizations should be listed here? Should organizations that exist exclusively as parts of an organized religion be included or excluded? Should churches that exist as legal entities be included? How should they all be grouped? Just leaving something for future editors to chew on, as I personally don't think I will be working on this article. ...but what do you think? ~B Fizz (talk) 02:32, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Rescue tag[edit]

Even though I nominated this article for deletion, I tagged it for rescue because I am not sure that it actually will be deleted. If the article isn't going to be deleted, it ought to be improved, if that can be done. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 06:56, 24 October 2009 (UTC)


The scope of the title "List of religious organizations" is very, very nebulous. Obviously, we should not simply copy List of religions; so the key word here becomes "organizations."

Please discuss the following points under the appropriate subsection, and modify the "answer" to the main questions of each section as you deem appropriate.


Q: What is a religious organization?

A: An organization...which...happens to be associated in some way with religion?

Some comments from User Talk:Cyclopia may be helpful in answering this question. ...but what do you think? ~B Fizz (talk) 03:34, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I think it would be best if we only listed organizations that claim to be a religious org themselves. That way we would be less biased. Also it would eliminate us from having to come up with some sort of definition that in itself might be consider to be biased. --Devin Murphy (talk) 16:32, 27 October 2009 (UTC)


Q: Which ones are to be included in this list?

A: ...all of them?

This question is also somewhat related to the issue of classification. ...but what do you think? ~B Fizz (talk) 03:34, 27 October 2009 (UTC)


Q: How do we make it clear to the reader what we are about to present?

A: magic?

" magic" was the best I could come up with. This should become clear once we have made decisions on the other issues. ...but what do you think? ~B Fizz (talk) 03:34, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Classification and Categorization[edit]

Q: How should we arrange this information?'

A: Group organizations by faith

This seems to work for now, though as we continue to explore the options, there may be a better way. ...but what do you think? ~B Fizz (talk) 03:38, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
We may also want to consider making this a list of lists...and create sub-articles as lists of a particular type of religious organization. However, that will probably be something we do in the distant future rather than right away. ...but what do you think? ~B Fizz (talk) 03:58, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
There are already some lists one could view as sub-lists to this list, for example; List of parachurch organizations, List of Protestant missionary societies, List of Christian Unions in Great Britain, List of Jewish youth organizations. All just gathered from a quick search of Wikipedia. There surly are many more. We could use these lists to billed this list. They may also help us in determining how we may want to go about categorizing this list. --Devin Murphy (talk) 05:38, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I have sketched a table prototype, now in the "Miscellaneous organizations" section only. It is of course open to criticism and expansion, but let me know if you think it is a viable way to organize info. --Cyclopiatalk 23:31, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Ok, someone has deleted it. I put it here as an example:

Organization Faith / Philosophical stance Aim Notes
Church of Reality Philosophical realism "[...] The Church of Reality is about the pursuit of reality the way it really is. Members commit to being intellectually honest with themselves and with others so they can cut through the mythology and focus on reality"[1]
High Council of B'nei Noah Noahidism A body of scholars for study and observance of Torah, and to help to unify the communities around the world.
Institute on Religious Deathcare and Spiritual Healing Interreligious To preserve the dignity of the dead and the rights of the bereaved.
Never Ending Gardens Interreligious Seeks to alleviate hunger in Africa by building sustainable vegetable gardens in communities to improve their diet.
John Templeton Foundation Interreligious " serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas engaging life's biggest questions. These questions range from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity. Our vision is derived from Sir John Templeton's commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship. The Foundation's motto "How little we know, how eager to earn" exemplifies our support for open-minded inquiry and our hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries."[2]
Universal Life Church No defined doctrine The ULC has no traditional doctrine, believing as an organization merely in doing "that which is right." It offers anyone semi-immediate ordination as a ULC minister free of charge. The organization states that anyone can become a minister immediately, without having to go through the pre-ordination process required by other religious faiths.The ULC’s ordinations are issued in the belief that all people are already ordained by God and that the ULC is merely recognizing this fact.[citation needed]

Opinions? --Cyclopiatalk 12:47, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Data inclusion[edit]

Q: What information should be included in this list?

A: name of organization, a short description, year organized...

Currently, we only state the name. That can be good enough for now, but if the list is to *actually* be useful to anyone, we may want to include more. I am in favor of at least including a short description of the organization—sort of like a disambiguation page. ...but what do you think? ~B Fizz (talk) 03:42, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I was thinking of a table listing with at least name, faith(s) of reference and aim of the organization; and if possible further info as year of foundation, etc. --Cyclopiatalk 12:38, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Frankly this level information is unrealistic. There are thousands of religious organizations-- or more-- even if we stick to just the ones with Wikipedia articles. We should work on covering and sorting them all first-- then we can look at either spliting out sections into new list-articles or adding more detail to the ones we have. Maybe some will have more detail added after they are "split-off." Adding detail for organizations now will also discourage adding other organizations at all if that info is not really availble.
Also adding details on things like "Faith/Philosophical stance" and "Aim" (like the chart above) will also bog things down when we disagree on the stance, etc., of the organizations. Carlaude:Talk 14:01, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I understand it's a lot of work, but it is for the sake of the list being as informative as possible. About the possibly questionable details, they should simply mirror what's in the article, and if there is disagreement on those, the discussion should be on the article. --Cyclopiatalk 15:56, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

List of religious organization sub-lists[edit]

I have created List of religious organization sub-lists to help us with our work on this list. --Devin Murphy (talk) 22:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Many of these are nice-- the ones I have looked at. Good work.
At the moment, I envision the best way to cover "all" the organizations will be
either with lists-- like I have done with dioceses here--
or with collapsed table/lists (from catagories, etc.)-- like I have done with Bible societies here. Carlaude:Talk 13:43, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I prefer the collapsed table/lists. Also they help this list from getting to long and allow each individual reader to more easily focus on the particular part of this list that is of most interest or use to them. --Devin Murphy (talk) 02:48, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

What is an "organization"?[edit]

The lead mentions the issue of what is a religion, but what about this?

"It should be noted that the formation of distinct religious organizations known as religious bodies (denominations) is very characteristic of the Western world and of Christianity. Many eastern religionists and many non-Christian religions do not necessarily follow this pattern. Classification into various "schools" or branches and formal affiliation with a single temple or mosque is more appropriate for most Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus. Furthermore, many religionists may have no formal organizational membership or denominational identity other than as a resident of the culture, tribe or country into which they were born. The majority of Hindus and Buddhists are adherents of those religions individually (or by birth into a culture) and are do not have formal affiliation with a membership organization representing their religion. Thus, while most Hindus and Buddhists are counted by national censuses and are included in statistics for major religions and major branches of religions, most do not show up in this listing of the world's largest religious bodies." ([1]) Peter jackson (talk) 12:04, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

If some Hindus and Buddhists are not part of Hindu or Buddhist organizations-- even while part of Hinduism or Buddhistism-- we should not pretend they are part of organizations. Some forms of Christianity do not have organizations, per se, either-- esp. in the early years. Carlaude:Talk 13:35, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
You may be right. But have a think about sytemic bias. Peter jackson (talk) 18:09, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countering systemic bias, section on this section (can't find a way to link properly). Peter jackson (talk) 12:11, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Some thoughts...[edit]

I would suggest the best way to go about this whole list would be to divide it into essentially two lists. The first list would list all the religious groups which have an article on Wikipedia and self identify as an organization by their self identified religious affiliation. So if a group is both in the case of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans a Neopagan group and a Unitarian Universalist group it would be listed with the Unitarian Universalist groups, but also with the Neopagan ones as well. The second list would list the same religious orgs as the first list but this time dived them by the type of group like, Non-profit, youth, university, media, etcetera. I would in vision further subdividing for example the Christian part of the first list by denomination like Catholic and Anglican for example. And the sections in the second list could likewise be further subdivide. Take for example under media we could subdivide it into categories like radio stations and newspapers. We could even further subdivide those subcategories into I don’t now lets say Catholic newspapers and Protestant newspapers. The first list might overlap with the List of religions and spiritual traditions a bit to much but the second list might be more unique and maybe more useful. So lets take the second list for example instead of us listing all the organizations on this parent list, I suggest it list a link to each types of org like, List of religious non-profit organizations, list of religious youth organizations, etcetera. And beside the links it would say something brief about each type like a disambiguation page would. And only one the sub-list pages would more specific info be given like in the chart suggested above. --Devin Murphy (talk) 20:45, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

While it is tempting to do this sometimes now, I think we should focus on covering all the groups once first and then reavalute. Just working with the Xian groups I can tell it would be tricky to keep tract of what is covered twice and what is covered not at all. Part of the reason is because an organizations can choose to "cover" any level of religious division. Thus we get some Interreligious newspapers, some inter-Abrahamic newspapers, some Christian newspapers, some Protestant newspapers, some Baptist newspapers, some Strict and Particular Baptist newspapers, and some Southern Baptist newspapers.
I am now grouping all the (Christian) organizations by level of religious division first, and then within that by purpose. Once this is done (or at least a lot more done) we can make a new list article that is grouping all the organizations by purpose first, and then within that by religious division. Carlaude:Talk 22:20, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Rename to "list of lists"[edit]

As it is now, the list has mostly become a list of lists: should we rename it? --Cyclopiatalk 01:27, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Can we wait on this? I added all the list to it I could find first, but now I am adding groups of direct links, but it takes longer. Carlaude:Talk 04:03, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
For sure. It's that probably I am not getting the direction in which this thing is going :) --Cyclopiatalk 15:54, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
This has exploded into something rather exciting and quite messy. I predict that the shift to a list of lists is inevitable, but not imminent. ...but what do you think? ~B Fizz (talk) 01:26, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Historical organizations?[edit]

Is this list just for current religious orgs with articles here on Wikipedia? Or do you think its scope should also include the historic religious orgs with articles here on Wikipediaones as well? I will holed off on adding the historical ones until we decide. --Devin Murphy (talk) 14:05, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

My opinion is that yes, we should include historical religious organizations. That, however, makes the list much longer and more complicated. Eventually this will turn into a list of lists, and the historical organizations will probably be copied over into a list of their own. So for now, include them here, I say. ...but what do you think? ~B Fizz (talk) 01:23, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
In that case we ought to sort or mark these organizations differently as we add them-- e.g. with "<!-- defunct, historical -->" Carlaude:Talk 01:54, 2 November 2009 (UTC)