SPAIN - number of Kingdom Halls
Please note that this post links to websites that are in Spanish, if that's a problem, please do NOT click on the links!
It is now just over two years since the WT send the now infamous 17 September 2014 letter regarding the programme of building Kingdom Halls to all congregations in Spain. (letter page one / letter page two)
This week, as the WT released their annual 2017 Yearbook, it was revealed that Spain had the 21st highest increase of publishers from last year.
But, despite this increase in publishers, it is notable that in Spain the number of congregations continues it's downward spiral - from a peak two years ago during the 2014 Service Year of 1,545, down 43 to 1,502 congregations in the 2016 Service Year.
And the result of that now infamous letter - read out in all the congregations in Spain two years ago?
Out of the 705 Kingdom Halls in Spain two years ago - they are now apparently down to 650.... this still, though, places the WT as the 4th largest religion is Spain, by places of worship - in fact some 9.6% of ALL places of worship in Spain are Kingdom Halls (assumng that each Catholic Parish has just the one registered place of worship).
The Observatorio del Pluralismo Religioso en España's Data Exploitation for December 2016 has an interesting summary of the various religions in Spain - including the number of registered places of worship each one has - though it should be noted that it is unclear exactly how they've counted them (vis-a-vis multi-auditoriums and evening/weekend rented halls)
For those interested, they also provide a dataset/map that shows the location of each place of worship, by religion
Good research. I think this shows the picture of things happening in various countries where the org is consolidating the congregations. If you need cash then this is the way to do it. Sell off a KH and move the two congregations to just one hall. If they do this "everywhere" then it shows us that, perhaps, the org is thinking that down the line there will be less of a percentage growth. The reason I say that is because, long term if they consolidate the congregations and they continue to grow, then that will be a problem in the future. They will need more halls again.
But maybe even if that happens they will simply build using the new KH design. So they are ahead anyway?
Things that make you go hmmm.
One cannot help but think of slimboyfat's observation that the number of congregations, not publishers, is the true measure of a religion's growth or decrease. If applied here, it shows things are not looking good in Spain for the WTS.
Zero interest found in the door to door ministry leads to zero converts, which leads to zero baptisms, which leads to fewer congregations, which leads to less of a need for Kingdom Halls, which leads to less new built Kingdom Halls, which leads to sale of more and more Kingdom Halls. Round and round TTATT goes!
TTATT is growing fast here in Spain...