The Anglican Communion is a communion that traces its roots back to 1867 in London, England. With an approximate 85 million followers in the world, it is the third largest branch of Christianity. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the focus of unity who is considered as being the first in a community of equals (primus inter pares). The majority of the 85 million followers occupy regions that were colonized by Britain or had some form of British settlements. The largest Anglican community in the world by population is found in Nigeria, followed by the United Kingdom. Below is a list of countries with the largest Anglican populations as per the BBC.
Countries with the Largest Anglican Populations
Nigeria is a religiously diverse country, though most of the population is either Christian or Muslim. The major Christian groups in Nigeria include Evangelical, Presbyterian, and Anglican. There are estimated to be 17.5 Anglican Christians in Nigeria, and the population is estimated to be growing steadily. This large population can mostly be explained by the country's large population of more than 100 million people.
The United Kingdom, the birthplace of the Anglican church, has an Anglican population of around 13.4 million people. Although some may assume that the population of Anglicanism would be higher in the UK, the low rate is mostly due to the country's high instance of irreligion.
Uganda hosts a population of 8 million people. Uganda is a predominantly Christian country with a large population adhering to Islam. Though Roman Catholicism is slightly more popular than Anglicanism, Anglican Christians are the second largest religious group in Uganda. The Ugandan Anglican population is the third largest in the world.
There are an estimated 5 million Anglicans in Sudan. Anglicanism has had a presence in Sudan since the late 1800s. Although Sudan is mostly a Muslim country, there is a sizeable Christian community too.
Australia has 3.8 million Anglicans, a significant number considering its population of around 20 million. Anglican has been around in Australia since the 1700s. Anglicanism remains one of the largest religious groups in Australia today.
Branches of Anglicanism
Within the Anglican Communion, there have been dissenting groups that have branched off from the main church and formed groups of their own. For example, the issue of same-sex marriages has been a matter of contention for a while. Some Anglican churches, such as those in Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and a few others have all voiced agreement over same-sex marriages. Consequently, it becomes even harder to pinpoint the exact number of Anglicans. Therefore, the figure of 85 million should be considered an estimate.