Of the 500 most powerful people in the world selected by the magazine Foreign Policy (May/June), only 24 were religious leaders.
The listing compiled by the editors remains heavily populated by Americans and men; in fact, none of the religious figures was a woman. The magazine’s “power map” included several leaders of global religions organizations, including Pope Francis; Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby; Bartholomew I, the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople; the Dalai Lama; Muslim educator Fethullah Gulen; Li Hongzhi of Falun Gong, George Wood of the Assemblies of God; and Hindu leaders Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Two megachurch leaders were included: Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in California and William Kumuyi of Deeper Christian Life Ministry in Lagos, Nigeria, which is reported to be the largest such congregation in the world, with a weekly attendance of 75,000.
There also were several leaders of religious relief organizations, such as Richard Stearns of World Vision. Most of the remaining religious leaders were considered powerful through their association with militant and, in some cases, extremist Muslim groups, including Al-Qaeda (four leaders), Hezbollah, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard in Iran.
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