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Religious Tolerance logo

About this web site: Ontario Consultants on
Religious Tolerance

Part 3 of 5 parts:
How we got started. Site growth.
Other "OCRT's" in the world.
Who are the people in the group?

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This topic is continued from the previous essay.

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How we got started:

The inspiration for the OCRT came from the evening news during the spring of 1995. It seemed that every broadcast revealed some further atrocity from Bosnia Herzegovina in the former Yugoslavia. One of us felt the media was in error. The disturbances in that country were not fundamentally ethnic in origin, as was being reported. A main root cause was religious intolerance. Yugoslavia is located between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox spheres of influence. It also straddles those countries where the main religion is Islam and the main religion is Christianity. So, although the people of the country were of one ethnic origin, they followed three different faith groups: Islam, Roman Catholicism and Serbian Orthodox Christianity. The resulting religious friction was fueled by the nationalist aims of various political leaders. And so, the world watched atrocious attempts at religiously motivated genocide. We felt that more should be done to promote religious tolerance.

At the time that our web site went online, the Internet was in its infancy. There were only about 15 thousand web sites online. 1 We searched the Web for entries on religious tolerance and found very little: one sermon by a Baptist minister, two essays by members of the Baha'i Faith, and one essay on religious tolerance in ancient Egypt. It seemed strange that the Internet would be so lacking in information on religious tolerance -- particularly since intolerance has historically been such a common cause of civil disturbance, oppression, imprisonment, murder, and war.  Religious intolerance -- either between religions or within religions -- was at the time a main contributing factor to conflicts in Bosnia, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Middle East, Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tibet, etc.

A small group of four volunteers was organized to create a Web site that promoted religious tolerance. We first went online during 1995-APR. At the time, the percentage of the world's population who had access to the Internet was under 1%! As of the end of 2014, there were over 1 billion domain names on the World Wide Web, a number that continues to grow. Currently, about 40% of the world's population had Internet access. Times have changed!

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Site growth during its first decade:

Site traffic continually grew. Some figures during our first decade:

Date  Essays on Site Hits* Traffic 
Rating by ** Visitors *** Visitor Countries
1997-NOV 520 0.15 ? unknown 25,000 50
1998-NOV about 700 0.5 ? ~11 ~40,000 75
1999-NOV 850 1.7 1.28 1 58,000 > 75
2000-NOV 1,047 3.4 2.57 1 108,000 > 75
2001-NOV 1,384 4.3 3.05 1 134,000 > 75
2002-NOV 2,015 4.8 3.50 1 145,000 > 75
2003-NOV 2,385 6.8 5.27 Discontinued 216,000 > 75

Starting in 2004, we switched to the traffic ranking web site

Date  Essays on Site Hits* Traffic 
Traffic ranking from ^ Visitors ***
2004-NOV 2,700 7.2 5.7 6,776 285,000
2005-NOV 3,130 10.2 7.6 6,263 501,000
2006-NOV 3,526 10.6 12.5 6,448  

* Million hits per week.
In's listing of top 1,000 religious web sites. We discontinued this service in late 2003.
Distinct hosts served per week.
^ ranks the busiest 1 million web sites on the Internet.

Our recent statistics from

On 2016-MAR-11 they showed that:

  • We are the 20,138th busiest, in terms of traffic, web site in the world. There were then approximately 1.0 billion web sites in the world, so ours is in the top 0.002%.

  • They have counted 253,391 links to our site from other web sites.

  • They placed us in the category: "Society / Religion & spirituality / Faiths and practices." Our site is ranked #1 in that category.

On the other hand, ranks our site as being the 57,058th busiest web site in the world, and 13,215th in Canada. We prefer's rating.

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Other OCRTs in the world:

Here, "OCRT"refers to the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, an agency that promotes the freedom of individuals to follow the religious path of their choosing, and to change their religion, without discrimination or oppression.

There are 456,976 four letter acronyms possible in the English alphabet. It turns out that "OCRT" is an acronym that is shared by quite a number of other groups:

bullet The Otago Central Rail Trail in New Zealand. See:
bullet The Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals, an agency of the Canadian government. See:
bullet The Office of Clinical Research and Training at Northwestern University in Chicago IL. See:
bullet Orange County Riding and Touring, a motorcycle riding club in Laguna Nibuel, CA. See:
bullet Oneida County Rural Telephone, a private telephone company now called Northland Communications in northern New York State. They recently celebrated a full century of service.
bullet Ohio Crisis Response Team, an agency of the Ohio Attorney General which provides services to communities in crisis.
bullet Cncware Free Pascal Library. See:
bullet Opel Classic Racing Team, in Belgium.

bullet The Optimistic Case Running Time, a measure of computer performance. See:

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Who are the people in the group?:

We have been accused of being underground Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Muslims, Satanists, and even Scientologists. None of these guesses are true. The person who accused us of being members of the Church of Scientology noted that we used the same unusual date notation as did L. Ron Hubbard. Actually date notations in year-month-day order (such as 2016-MAR-12) are fairly common outside of the U.S.; they are clear and unambiguous, and easy for computers to sort. 

We really are a group of 5 volunteers: two Unitarian Universalists (one Agnostic and one Atheist), one Wiccan one progressive but unaffiliated Christian, and a Zen Buddhist. Three of us are female; two male. All are heterosexual. All are married. We range in age from early 30s to late 70s. We have very different backgrounds:

  • The coordinator and main author, Bruce Robinson, is a retired Electronics Engineer and an Agnostic. He was born in the mid 1930's and graduated in 1959 from the University of Toronto with a BaSc degree in Engineering Physics. He worked as an instrument development engineer and computer science professional, both in supervisory and technical capacities for 38 years at a large multi-national chemical/textile fibers company. A significant part of his work was to write technical manuals. He has been a volunteer technical staff person for the National Model Railroad Association, and a vice coordinator for a local distress (suicide prevention) agency called TALK (Telephone Aid Line Kingston).
  • The office manager is a retired Registered Nurse and an Atheist, who has worked in a variety of fields: executive director of a shelter for abused women, head nurse in a hospital, and field worker for the Government of Ontario working in a disability support program.

  • One of our researchers is a Christian with a PhD in urban planning, and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Sustainable Development Research Institute in Vancouver, BC, Canada. She is now a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto.

  • Another researcher is a Zen Buddhist, was a IT system manager, and is now specializing in Internet promotion.

  • Our other researcher is a waitress, in Florida, and a Wiccan. 

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This topic is continued in the next essay

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Web Growth Summary" at: They state that there were 10,022 web sites in 1994-DEC and 23,500 in 1995-JUN.

How you may have arrived here

Site navigation: Home page > About us > here

Copyright © 1996 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2016-MAR-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

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