March 31, 2008

Comparing Apples And Oranges, Or Maybe Olives And Dates

The Vatican has announced that there are now more Muslims than Catholics:

Islam has overtaken Roman Catholicism as the biggest single religious denomination in the world, the Vatican said on Sunday.

Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, who compiled the Vatican's newly-released 2008 yearbook of statistics, said Muslims made up 19.2 percent of the world's population and Catholics 17.4 percent.

That's all well and good, but it's like saying there are more Muslims than there are United Church of Christists. If you want to compare denomination to denomination, you have to understand that there is no monolithic 'Islam.' A more accurate comparison in terms of numbers would be the number of Catholics to, say, the number of Shi'a. An even better comparison, given the schism between Rome and the Eastern Rite churches, would be the number of Roman Catholics to the number of Twelver Shi'a.

What I'm not sure of here is the whole point of the article, and why the Vatican said what they said even though it's not statistically correct (at least not yet, given birth rates and whatnot). Is it kowtowing to their 'New Muslim Overlords,' an early warning that Christendom is about to be overwhelmed by demographics, or something else?

Posted by Chris at March 31, 2008 05:24 PM

Category: Official Stupidity
Comments

As a strident Catholic, my guess is that the Vatican, as usual, is overplaying it's hand once again. It seems that Pope and his boys are trying to create some fervor where fervor doesn't exist. I think they truly fear Islam, but aren't wearing strong enough eyeglasses to differentiate mainstream Islam from radical Islam.

But, hey, I'm wrong most of the time.

Posted by: Jay at April 1, 2008 05:22 PM

I think they truly fear Islam, but aren't wearing strong.

Posted by: versicherung vergleich at May 24, 2008 02:58 PM

It seems that Pope and his boys are trying to create some fervor where fervor doesn't exist. I think they truly fear Islam, but aren't wearing strong enough eyeglasses to differentiate mainstream Islam from radical Islam.

Posted by: versicherung online at May 26, 2008 03:26 AM

I know its great things. Everybody think that they truly fear Islam, but aren't wearing strong enough eyeglasses to differentiate mainstream

Posted by: Deutsche Versicherung at May 28, 2008 02:20 PM