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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

How many Unitarians and Unitarian-Universalists are there in the world?

Good question! And now we kind of know an answer. The reports of member groups to the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) Council meeting in The Philippines last week reveal some interesting statistics. We are truly minnows in the international faith arena.

Overall the member groups report a total Unitarian and Unitarian-Universalist community of 343,473, comprising 261,621 adults and 82,852 children. There are 1603 congregations and 2279 religious leaders.

62% of adult members are from the United States; another 26.7% are from the Translyvania in Romania and Hungary (soon to re-unite after many decades of separation as the Hungarian Unitarian Church). The remainder include long-standing and new communities of varying sizes.

The meeting was pleased to welcome into full membership from The Netherlands Vrijzinnige Geloofsgemeenschap NPB (Liberal Faith Community) with 4381 adult members. In contrast they also welcomed “Assemble des Chretiens Unitariens du Burundi (ACUB) with 80 adults and 98 children. Groups in Kenya (already 12 congregations) and Hong Kong were accepted as emerging groups. 

Professor Paul Rasor told the conference that UUs were present in 50 of the 200 countries of the world and in all continents. “The liberal way of being religious is reaching more and more people…we are already becoming the global religious community we envision”. He emphasised that “we are a multi-cultural religious community” as well as embracing theological diversity. 

This data is of course incomplete and is not gathered on a common basis. It simply gives an indication of the size of the Unitarian and Universalist community associated with the ICUU. Some groups are not included, such as Uganda and there are also Unitarians in other religious bodies eg within the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church in Ireland there are many Unitarians, with Dublin Unitarian Church being one of the largest churches in the British Isles. Other groups are presently emerging in French speaking Africa in DR Congo, Congo Brazzaville and Kigali-Rwanda.

Photo - thanks to UUA

1 comment:

  1. If Bridport which declared about 10 in its last GA return actually gets 150 to its carol service then we might already be an order of magnitude bigger. Philip C.