About country profiles

Statistical information in country profiles of ecumenical relations

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. They are all more or less of the same format, comprised of a few statistical data, some historical and factual information, and some church-related indications. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

The following sources for the statistics have been used throughout, unless mentioned otherwise:

  • Population: World Christian Database (projections for 2005)
  • Gross National Income per capita in US $: World Bank Atlas Method (2004)
  • Classification: United Nations World Economic and Social Survey, 2004
  • Religions: Ecumenical Prayer Cycle "In God's Hands"
  • Christianity: World Christian Database (projections for 2005).

The WCC does not endorse any particular source of statistical information. The statistics of the World Christian Database (WCD) may in some cases not correspond with the membership figures provided by the churches, or with statistical information that may be obtained from other sources. Most of the queries received during the survey for the "Handbook of Churches and Councils", on which these pages are based, suggested that the projections tended to be high. For reasons of consistency, the option has been to use this one source rather than several. The WCD is probably the most comprehensive global statistical resource on Christianity presently available 2. It groups churches and affiliated Christians in six "mega-blocks": Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Independent and Marginal. Pentecostals and Evangelicals are included under Protestant if they are organized in denominations, under Independent if they are non-denominational. The classification of the WCD takes into account the occurrence of double affiliation, particularly in countries where there is one large majority church.