Italy: conventions baptisms stats

by behemot 15 Replies latest jw friends

  • behemot


    Rome, "Divine Victory" International Convention August 1973:

    attendance 57.000; baptised 3366

    Rome, "Teachers of God's Word" International Convention August 2001:

    attendance 80.000; baptised 626

    Rome, "Keep on the Watch" International Convention August 2009:

    attendance: 70.000; baptised 338


  • steve2

    Interesting stats. I remember hearing about the phenomenal growth of JWs in Italy in the years leading up to 1975. Thousands were baptized at conventions. Morethan thirty years later, the growth has slowed sunstantially - look at the drop off in numbers baptized and the convention attendance.

  • behemot


    the attendance stats are not meaningful in themselves (in 1973 the Rome convention was the only one in the country; this year there were several conventions) ... more interesting and suggestive of a remarkable drop in new recruitments is the attendance/baptisms ratio:

    in 1973: 3366/57000 (5,90%)

    in 2001: 626/80000 (0,78%)

    in 2009: 338/70000 (0,48%)


  • nelly136

    so basically it took them 28 yearish to gain 23, 000 then lost just under half that in the next 8?

    so how many jws are there really these days?

    i see figures where theyre saying about 7 mill give or take a bit , is that including or discluding the children and unbaptised?

  • TheOldHippie

    These figures say nothing at all. You have to add up the attendance of ALL the district conventions, preferrably excluding the international visitors, so that 2008 would have been a better year, and then add up ALL the baptisms in a calendar or service year. Selecting one convention or one type of conventions (international) and their baptisms tell us nothing. And the pre-75 years were special, so giving a row starting in say 80 would be more meaningfull, and can easily be obtained as far as number of publishers and baptisms goes by looking at the Yearbooks.

  • behemot


    The stats mentioned above do not mirror the whole country situation, but refer only to one single convention. What I wanted to highlight is the lowering attendance/baptisms ratio.


    I agree the procedure you're suggesting would yield more precise data. However, I still think that "selecting one convention or one type of convention and their baptisms" does tell us something: granted, conventions with international visitors delegates may have a lower attendance/baptisms ratio compared to ordinary local conventions, but the three conventions selected above remaincomparable as they are all international. And, for that matter, the percentage of foreign visitors was certainly greater at the 1973 int'l convention - which had, nevertheless, the higher attendance/baptisms ratio - than in the most recent ones (given that at the time Italy had only some 36000 publishers). Of course, we shouldn't neglect the fact that those pre-1975 years were "special" ... people expected the end to come in a couple years time and would line up like crazy to get plunged in and thus be spared.


  • Witness 007
    Witness 007

    Theyears of huge increase are very much over!

  • TheOldHippie

    Doing my best to destroy as much as I can :-) though, it is not self-evident that comparing international conventions is a 100 % easy thing to do, as you perhaps have to take a look at what kind of people attended. Perhaps in 73 there were many visitors from neighbouring countries like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France - and since the distance was not great, many from these countries were among the ones baptised. Perhaps there were not that many international conventions. Today, perhaps JWs to a larges extent are hand picked, perhaps more of the visitors came from USA or more distant countries, perhaps fewer of them were among the ones baptised because they were elder - who knows? So in order to ensure the figures are comparable, a wide array of investigations would have to be made on the attendance to make sure they REALLY are comparable.

    Baptisms worldwide are far higher today than they were even in 73, so I - regretfully - don't buy each and every interpretation of the figures.

  • behemot


    do your best as you wish, but maybe I should clarify that all baptised in international conventions are usually local candidates. The well-known WT policy concerning visiting delegates to international conventions abroad requires that they are baptised and in good standing with the local congregations. Unbaptised ones are not approved to travel as delegates (with the possible ecception of minor children travelling with their parents). So the distance/age factors of visiting delegations does not have any bearing on the figures.


  • WTWizard

    That's still 338 too many.

Share this