No doubt someone could earn a Ph.D. doing research on statistics about religion -- how they're compiled, by whom, their reliability, their purposes and on and on.
None of these statistics, of course, tells us anything about whether the people who identify as Presbyterian or Muslim are serious about their religion or simply members in name only.
Still, the stats keep showing up. And perhaps the most reliable source of such stats comes from the Association of Religious Data Archives. It's sort of fun to surf around on that site.
Speaking of stats, the other day Vatican Radio reported on the worldwide Catholic population based on new figures from the 2013 Pontifical Yearbook, which keeps track of all stats Catholic.There were some interesting stats about the growth of the number of deacons, for instance, but the total worldwide Catholic population hadn't changed much since the last report.
If Catholic stats are your thing, have a look.
And when someone figures out how to keep statistics of commitment or statistics of the heart, let me know.
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TWEETING YOUR WAY TO DOOM
The head of Saudi Arabia's religious police says people who use Twitter probably are going to hell. But once there, they probably can sign right up for Flamebook.