again........ "the number of baptisms is going up.........or slightly declining" What????!! make your mind up. ........more speculation based on personal viewpoints......I drove past my local Kingdom Hall last week and there were more cars in the lot that what I remember, (true) .. hence JWs must be increasing worldwide.....doesn't really hold water does it? The original question was "Are JW numbers going down" I say No.
Witness Numbers Going Down???
Okay - so they are going up. Question answered. It would be nice to get some real stats on the growth... yada yada yada. See how much growth has taken place according to year, in a graph.
In the U.S., so far, comapared to last yeat, they are up 2%. http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/6/45134/634869/post.ashx#634869
The dunkings have been declining, but between 2001 and 2002 they ever sooooo slightly went up, but it appears to be still on a decline, we will see next year.
Of course WORLDWIDE there will be an increase, probably about 2-3%.
They increase mainly in countries of Africa, South America etc.
They may have had an increase since 9/11 of course. It will be interesting to seeing if the UN revelations, pedophile expose in the media have any effect this service year.
Because such groups will play on those happenings. Just before the Iraq war a JW was told one of my work colleagues he calls on that the war would last for months, maybe years, and would lead eventually to Armageddon etc etc. No basis for saying this, but it would frighten people into looking into what the JW was saying. Then the JW will work on that showing how the WT has been warning people etc. That you need to be in the WT to be saved etc.
The second graph on from the top of the above link http://www.jwic.com/stat.htm gives the best indication of long term trends. If you put a trend line in, the rate of increase has been steadily decreasing for the entire period the graph covers.
Let's face it. You'll have slight bumps in the growth rate that any apocalyptic religion can rely upon when scarey things happen. Now the developing world is by far the engine of what growth there is; 23 out of the 30 contries on the applicable graph from that site are either developing countries, or countries where there has been much social change in the past decade, and where people are economically disadvantaged compared to the fully developed world.
The developed world now has the moderating influence of the Internet; this will spread to developing countries in time as people have more access to it. This will ensure, in my opinion, that the trend line of growth will continue to go down to such an extent that growth will become stagnant as far as conversion goes, with what growth there is coming from born ins. I'd estimate this to be about a ten year long process.
Abaddon. Thanks for posting that link. Scully posted it a few weeks ago in the JWs Decrease in Canada thread, and I found it very interesting.
xjw_b12 who likes graphs and charts to raw data.
The number of feild service hours invested into each new convert is greatly increasing, so in fact the work is slowing. The U.S. growth of 3% was not due to any large number of new converts, that number was average, the "growth" is in fact due to the 15 minute ruling that "reactivated" approx.1 person in each congo and an unusually large number of disfellowshipped ones returning that year. My crazy post some months ago debated these things a couple months ago. It was entitled "making sense of the report"
While Adherents is a good web site (I use them a lot in my line of work) they don't operate in a vacuum and have to get their numbers from somewhere. As their numbers seem to at least roughly match those of the WTBTS itself, I'll let ya take a guess at where I think they get their figures.
I count time as a publisher but NEVER go out in service or ever encourage anybody to become a Watchtower slave.
The Society's statistics are a lie and I prove it! They want numbers, they get numbers , lots of 'em
and with each passing year the numbers mean less and less.
If you really think they have real growth, why can't they afford subscriptions to the Watchtower anymore?
Why did France report a gain of publishers but a loss of congregations? ( hint: the increase isn't real, just on paper)