Anglophone Census and National Survey Data on New Religious Movements
James R. Lewis [+]
As discussed throughout this volume, an important source of information bearing on the question of numbers of adherents to alternative religions is national census data. The censuses of four English-speaking countries – New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom – collect information on religious membership that included select New Religions. There has also been an important series of religion surveys conducted in the United States, the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS). Though a few scholars of New Religions have referred to one or moreof these censuses, no one has attempted a general survey except this writer (Lewis 2004). Following an examination of one estimate of world religious adherents, this appendix examines census data for the light such data sheds on participation rates in alternative religions. In the final section, relevant data from the ARIS survey will also be examined.