According to a survey at the start of this millennium, there are 19 major world religious groupings in the world, subdivided into a total of about 10,000 distinct religions. At that time 270 of those religions and para-religions had over a half million adherents. Within worldwide Christianity, 34,000 separate groups (communions, denominations, sects, individual unaffiliated churches, para-church groups, etc.) were indentified. Even Christianity within a single country often has thousands of individual confessions and denominations. This same survey shows 4,684 Christian groups in the United States alone.
On the website www.religioustolerance.org, where I found that survey, it says that “most religious groups teach that their own beliefs and practices are the only true (religion), and that all other faith groups contain some degree of error. For example, the largest single faith group in the U.S., in Canada, and in the world is the Roman Catholic Church.” A statement also released at the turn of the century entitled Dominus Iesus (Lord Jesus) implies that “Churches such as the Church of England, where the apostolic succession of bishops from the time of St. Peter is disputed by Rome, and churches without bishops, are not considered ‘proper’ churches.” Only the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches are “churches in the proper sense.” The others suffer from “defects.” Dominus Iesus further states that religions other than Christianity are considered to be “gravely deficient.” Their rituals can constitute “an obstacle to salvation” for their followers.
If you Google “true religion,” you’ll also find the predominant listings for a popular company with the same name. True Religion is better known as a brand name for very chic and very expensive jeans and accessories. True Religion was founded in 2002 with the intention of redefining premium denim. The vision was “to make quality, American-made, authentic, timeless, great fitting, 1970’s inspired jeans wear, with a trend-setting appeal for today’s consumer. True Religion’s commitment to “perfect fit, timeless style” and a “hippie bohemian chic flair” have solidified True Religion’s “brand position as a leader in premium denim . . . .” The founder of True Religion Jeans said of his company’s name, “To me it meant (there are) many religions in the world, but there’s only one real religion and that’s people. And all the people in the world wear jeans.”
Religion means, literally, to be bound together. Can jeans be truly religious? Maybe it depends on how tight they are. 🙂 Fathermom, 8/30/09