Google did not yield much in the way of specific numbers for the entire globe, but according to the World Christian Encyclopedia there are at least 33,000 Christian denominations in the United States. Going out on a limb and assuming that there is at least one person from every Christian denomination in the world living in America (not unreasonable), then we can assume that there are 33,000 Christian denominations around the world. But maybe there’s a lot more independent churches out there. Its really difficult to tell.
The fact that there are 33,000 Christian Denominations is quoted on many websites, frequently with the tone that this is a good thing. Personally I think that it suggests that Christianity is hopelessly fractured along more dogmatic fault lines than can be reasonably allowed for in a single faith. But that’s just my opinion.
In any event, a deeper look at the numbers shows that Christianity is not nearly so divided as the number 33,000 might indicate. For one thing, it includes that there are multiple denominations for many churches based on how many countries that church is present in. For example, the Roman Catholic Church, which is a single entity under the authority of the Vatican, counts 242 independent denominations, which is, of course, not really factual.
Not surprisingly, Protestant Christianity makes up the bulk of different denominations, counting 9,000 mainstream and 22,000 independent for a total of 31,000. The vast majority of these ‘denominations’ are in fact stand alone congregations, many of which share essentially common beliefs but with no mutual association with one another.
For true denominations involving multiple churches under common leadership, the number is almost certainly less than two thousand. Major ones, with over a million members, probably less than five hundred.
So, in conclusion, The Complete Pilgrim will almost certainly not be visiting every church on Earth; but I hope there are at least another five hundred in our future.