AI-generated image of  a person pointing at a map of the world with onlookers in the foreground

One of the most powerful resources for religion journalists looking for information on religious groups and practices in countries around the world is the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) World Religion database, which has been streamlined for users of the new 2023 version of ARDA’s website.

ARDA’s greatest value is the neutrality with which we present data on religion, said Dr. Christopher Bader, a noted scholar in religion and sociology who is the current co-chair of ARDA. We work hard to provide a place online where anyone can go to find quality data on religion. The ARDA has everyone from evangelicals to atheists working for us. Our website itself does not have a religious agenda, beyond providing the best data we can find from around the world.

One of the first areas of our website we introduce to journalists is the World Religion area, choosing the Nations option from the World Religion tab on our front page, Chris said.

ARDA navigation panel

So, let’s go ahead and click on that Nation option, Chris said, and you’ll find yourself in the National/Regional Profiles part of the World Religion section. You can see two different ways to select a nation or a region—either by using the green navigation box at the left or by scrolling down through the links on the right side of the page. So, let’s select Brazil. Then, a lot of charts will show up, which we’ve drawn from the latest data we have on Brazil. If you’ll scroll down on that page, you’ll find this comparison of Brazil with the rest of the world.

ARDA data on religion in Brazil 2023

Then, here’s one of the most valuable parts of our website, Chris said. If you are reporting, let’s say, from Germany—perhaps for a German newspaper or magazine or TV network—then you may want to compare Brazil with Germany. So, next, you go to the green navigation box on the right side of the page and you select from the Add a Nation options Germany.

ARDA choice to add Germany as a nation 2023

Then, when you have added your choice, in this case Germany, the chart in the middle of the Brazil page now looks like this, Chris said.

ARDA chart comparing Germany with Brazil 2023

And now, for your reporting in Germany, you can compare the religious population in Brazil with your country as well as the rest of the world, Chris said. This is just one of many, many powerful tools we’ve made easier to use in our new website. We hope that people around the world will visit us regularly, because we are updating the data in these reports every time we are able to add a new data set. That’s why I’m so proud of what we’re offering. Journalists will know that we will be updating the data as soon as a new data set is available. This is the latest data available all in one place online.