by steve2 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • steve2

    Joker10 started a thread some days ago - putatively just to "inform" us - about the growth of self-identifying Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brazil across two census periods, the year 2000 to the year 2010. This led to some enlivened discussion about growth rates, including in particular how this compared with other similar 'vintage' 'Christianized' religions such as the Mormons (Latter-Day Saints of the Church of Jesus Christ) and Seventh-Day Adventists (SDAs).

    Joker10 readily obliged by posting within the same day the relevant growth rates for the Latter-Day Saints in Brazil over the same census periods.

    The JW growth rate easily outstripped those for the Latter-Day Saints.

    Requests for the growth rates for Brazillian Seventh-Day Adventists were made, but no information surfaced for days. However, Joker 10 has kindly - and finally - obliged in the past hour or so when discussion on that earlier thread had clearly ebbed.

    He presented an overview of growth rates for Brazillian SDAs.

    Of relevance, it showed that the growth rate of self-identifying SDAs in Brazil from the two census periods - 2000 and 2010 – easily surpassed the JWs.

    Rather than let this late-emerging information sink toward the tail end of a dying discussion, I think it is important that this information be highlighted for consideration in a separate thread.

    Like Joker10, I believe it is important to do this as a way to "inform" those who access this forum. However, unlike Joker10,

    I want to widen the discussion beyond limited consideration of JW growth rates that are overtly flattering of their rate of growth and population penetration.

    Here are the relevant comparative statistics, both across two time periods and three organized religious groups:




    Jehovah's Witnesses








    Seventh-Day Adventists




  • slimboyfat

    Yeah but that's just because they provide education and other socially useful programmes. You won't catch JWs doing anything that benefits the community at large.

  • tootired2care

    Thanks Steve, you're right this is big news, and does deserve its own thread. This plainly shows the futility of putting stock in the growth rate of J.W.'s; as if that is somehow proof that they were chosen by god. After all if they were gods chosen wouldn't god ensure that they would be the ones with the largest growth in this developing area as supporting evidence to show this is his chosen path?

  • steve2
    You won't catch JWs doing anything that benefits the community at large.

    LOL. Although predictably many ex-JWs continue to feel really bad when they toss litter out of their vehicles - so perhaps there is some 'benefit' to the community at large. It's the small things - and I mean the really really small things - that count.

  • ziddina

    Hee hee hee heeee!!!

    Thanks, Steve2, for enphasizing that by starting a thread specifically dedicated to bringing this information to our attention!!!

    I guess we should all convert to Seventh-Day Adventists, now, since they are clearly showing "God's" spirit upon them in greater abundance than upon the Jehovah's Witnesses...

  • steve2
    Thanks, Steve2, for enphasizing that by starting a thread specifically dedicated to bringing this information to our attention!!!

    You're welcome Ziddina! Although I have no brief for either the JWs or the SDAs, I believe fairness in reporting is important. Credit where its due and equally, if the wider picture needs to be taken into account, so be it.

    Organized religions have an immovably solid need for narrowly focused self-promotion and will use anything to do so, which includes an enormous capacity for ignoring inconvenient data.

    Joker10 feeds into that solid need big time when otherwise he seems an informed and reasonable contributor.

  • cedars

    Bravo Steve2!! I bet Joker10 didn't see this coming!!

    That's what happens when you try to make a positive case in support of a slowly dying cult (that claims to have fulfilled Matt 24:14) using statistics - eventually the cold hard facts catch up with you and bite you in the arse.

    Joker10 feeds into that solid need big time when otherwise he seems an informed and reasonable contributor.

    Yes, and I suppose he deserves some commendation for coughing up the SDA figures eventually. He could have declined to do this, or somehow manipulated them - but he obviously has some integrity.


  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    While we are on the subject I thought I might share some recent research I did in comparing the evangelistic outreach of both, the SDAs and the WTS.

    1. Number of Lands Operating in:

    WTS: 237

    SDA: 207

    At first glance it might appear that the WTS has a wider outreach than the SDAs, until we recall that Cedars recently posted a chart showing how, in 30 unnamed lands the WTS presence was either minimal, or outright fictional. Subtracting this figure leaves both groups operating in the same battleground, and they are competing for market share in largely the same market.

    2. Languages used in Publishing:

    WTS: 197

    SDA:: 377

    Obviously the outreach here is much more weighted in the SDA favour. It appears that they take their responsibilities in this matter more seriously than the WTS

    3. Charitable Outreach:

    WTS: None


    ADRA is the name for the worldwide charity legally established by the SDAs and operating internationally. It stands for Adventist Development and Relief Agency.

    4. Health Care for the Poor:

    WTS: None

    SDA: 137 Hospitals worldwide

    When I lived in India where I was born of mixed British Indian parentage, and where I pioneered as a Wt Follower in the 60s and 70, doing absolutely nothing for the people, the SDAs were building the first cancer hospital in Inda at Chennai [Madras]. Named the Ira B Scudder Cancer Hospital it was gifted to the people of India forever, to be used to provide moderately priced health care for the poor.

    5. Income from Membership:

    WTS: Closely guarded secret, believed to be declining

    SDA: 2.2 Billion Dollars

    This large figure can be accounted for in the SDA group because they exact a tithe from the membership.

    6. Charity Payouts:

    WTS: None.

    SDA: 2.2 Million Dollars

    If there are any charitable contributions made in the WTS, these are from the membership at large, and never from the closely guarded coffers of the leadership. Also, any such charity is largely in-house rather than for outsiders. As one can see, the SDA leadership at least tries to live up to its creed. Approximately a tithe of offerings given to them goes to charitable outreach.

    7. Worldwide Membership:

    WTS: 7.2. Million

    SDA: 17.3 Million

    Both figures are approximate and are both taken from the official web sites.

    5. India Figures:

    WTS :32,000

    SDA: 900,000

    Both figures, are again approximate.

    6. India Baptisms:

    WTS: 2,000

    SDA: 25,000

    7.Worldwide baptisms:

    WTS 300,000

    SDA: 1.1 Million

    Again the figures will vary yearly, and are approximate.

    Both groups seem to be in decline in the same areas, ie, the developed world, but for different reasons. As far as the WTS is concerned, this decline appears to be related to the rise of Internet usage which exposes some of the more outlandish claims made by the largely secretive leadership.

    In the case of the SDAs, it appears that their Church is undergoing a sharp identity crises along with, in North America at least, bad managment. The theological debates regarding dependance on Ellen White and the works/salvation area refuse to go away, and while the Church Leadership continues to decline any genuine attempt at reconciling this division, defections are continuing at an increasing rate. There are now more SDAs in India than there are in the USA!

    Are the SDAs more culturally diverse and internationally spread than the WTS? No figures are available from the WTS, but SDA figures are:

    African Membership: 37%

    Hispanic Membership: 30%

    East Asian Membership: 14%

    Caucasian Membership: 11%

    Others: 6%

  • steve2

    I thought this would interest you cedars. Your points about Joker10 arewell considered; I had come to pretty much the same conclusions. He is not given to making grand statements but his pitter-patter selective support of the Watchtower is revealing - and good for him. I just wished he was more acknoweldging of the "other" side of the coin in which comparative statistics do not at all reflect well on the Watchtower.

    Moggy Lover what a wealth of good comparisons you have made. Yours is simply one of the nest comparative summations I have seen between the JWs and SDAs. I will read over it some more. Wonderfully instructive!

  • cedars

    Thanks for that info moggy lover - that's very interesting indeed! Where did you get the info from? I wouldn't mind taking a closer look.

    A small point on the number of countries... on the thread that Steve2 alludes to I ran a comparison between the Roman Catholics and JWs as to the number of countries both denominations are present in. At first glance, it seemed that the figure quoted by the Society of 237 "lands" made them more widely-spread. However, on closer inspection the Worldwide Report contains many so-called "lands" that are really just tiny islands that other religious denominations would likely choose not to consider as distinct countries. I therefore don't view the "237" quoted by the Society as being accurately representative of the number of lands in which the religion is present - especially when compared with other religious organizations that are less pedantic with their counting. I also appreciate you mentioning the 30 "other lands" in which JW presence is virtually non-existant.


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