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Presentation Of Some Grand Lodges In The World
There are between four and six million Freemasons all over the world, depending on whether the definition is restrictive or not. The global figures vary, as they do for each country, depending on the history of that country and its acceptance of Freemasonry or not. They correspond, however, to between 0.01 and 0.5% of the population of most countries except for the British Isles and – surprisingly – Iceland (1%). In some countries, Freemasonry is not allowed at all (mainly in China and Iran) and it is frowned upon in other countries (mainly Muslim). Lodges that exist in these countries are mainly set up by expats and are very discreet.
The popularity of Freemasonry is not constant over time. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Masonic Lodges in some countries, especially the United States, often took on the role of caring for people at a time when social security, pension funds and Medicare did not exist. In Europe, it was often to change unjust laws that Masons fought for: women’s suffrage, equal opportunity, the right to abortion, for example.
However, the Second World War in Europe, and the forced departure of many Freemasons to Nazi concentration camps, seriously diminished the number of members in Europe. There was a revival after the war, but it was not simultaneous in all countries.
Recent figures published by the United Grand Lodge of England for England, Scotland and Ireland, announce some 350,000 members in “regular” Freemasonry, down by 150,000 if compared to those of twenty years ago. This can be partially explained by some scandals exposed in the 1980s and 90s, but also by the rise of other time-consuming occupations: television and the Internet, to begin with. American figures also show a similar decrease over the past twenty years.
 The chairman of the English Police Federation, for example, “alleged that Freemasons were blocking reforms in police administration and thwarting the progress of women and officers from black and minority ethnic communities”. The Guardian, Feb. 4, 2018
 https://www.msana.com/msastats.asp - The reasons for the recent decline in figures have been researched, and results published on the following site: https://tinyurl.com/qsaforum