Global Islamification

Two new studies provide some worrying statistics on the spread of Islam around the world. One focuses on the global reach of Islam while the other highlights the situation in Britain. Both make it clear that the Muslim population continues to grow, whether by demographics or by conversion.

The first study looks at the global situation, and was released by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. It not only examines the number of Muslims around the world as of 2010, but it also offers projections to the year 2030.

The general findings are this: In 2010 the world’s Muslim population was 1.6 billion. It is expected to increase by about 35% to 2.2 billion by 2030. It is forecast to grow at about twice the rate of the non-Muslim population over the next 20 years, with an average annual growth rate of 1.5% for Muslims, compared with 0.7% for non-Muslims.

Here are some details from the report: “If current trends continue, however, 79 countries will have a million or more Muslim inhabitants in 2030, up from 72 countries today.1 A majority of the world’s Muslims (about 60%) will continue to live in the Asia-Pacific region, while about 20% will live in the Middle East and North Africa, as is the case today. But Pakistan is expected to surpass Indonesia as the country with the single largest Muslim population.

“The portion of the world’s Muslims living in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to rise; in 20 years, for example, more Muslims are likely to live in Nigeria than in Egypt. Muslims will remain relatively small minorities in Europe and the Americas, but they are expected to constitute a growing share of the total population in these regions.”

Consider Europe: “The Muslim share of the population is expected to grow by nearly one-third over the next 20 years, rising from 6% of the region’s inhabitants in 2010 to 8% in 2030. In absolute numbers, Europe’s Muslim population is projected to grow from 44.1 million in 2010 to 58.2 million in 2030.”

Similar growth will occur in America: “The population projections show the number of Muslims more than doubling over the next two decades, rising from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030, in large part because of immigration and higher-than-average fertility among Muslims. The Muslim share of the U.S. population (adults and children) is projected to grow from 0.8% in 2010 to 1.7% in 2030, making Muslims roughly as numerous as Jews or Episcopalians are in the United States today.”

Today Muslims are globally distributed as follows: “As of 2010, about three-quarters of the world’s Muslims (74.1%) live in the 49 countries in which Muslims make up a majority of the population. More than a fifth of all Muslims (23.3%) live in non-Muslim-majority countries in the developing world. About 3% of the world’s Muslims live in more-developed regions, such as Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.”

The second report looks at just the situation in Britain, but what the figures are showing is a cause of concern. The study, put out by the Centre for Migration Policy Research at Swansea University, shows how many Britons are converting to Islam, while the Christian churches there continue to stagnate.

The interfaith think-tank Faith Matters commissioned the study, and this is what it found: “The number of converts to Islam may have risen from around 60,000 in 2001 to up to 100,000, according to estimates in a report for the Faith Matters organisation.

“A study by Kevin Brice, of Swansea University, on behalf of Faith Matters, found 5,200 people converted to Islam in the UK last year. A survey of 122 converts last year showed 56% were white British, with women making up 62% of respondents. The average age at conversion was just over 27.”

Another report contrasts this with declining church figures in the UK: “Presently, according to the London Times, the Islamic population of Great Britain exceeds 2.4 million. The Daily Mail contends that more than 25% of the British Muslims visit a mosque at least once a week.

“By contrast, Paul Richardson, Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, maintains that less than 1% of the 18 million Christians who belong to the Church of England attend Sunday services. ‘At this rate,’ the Bishop speculates, ‘it is hard to see the church surviving for more than 30 years though few of its leaders are prepared to face that possibility.’

“‘If decline continues,’ the Bishop adds, ‘Christian Research has estimated that in ?ve years’ time church closures will accelerate from their present rate of 30 a year to 200 a year as dwindling congregations ?nd the cost of keeping them open too great.’ While 30 Anglican parishes close every year, seventy new mosques sprout up throughout the United Kingdom. A score of organizations have been set up to serve the needs of Christian Brits who now embrace Islam.”

Islam, then, is on the rise. But of course in one sense this is only half the story. What is also occurring is the global growth of Christianity. While its growth due to demographics (family size) is not as great of that of Islam, its conversion numbers continue to rise, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

So Islam is not the only world religion experiencing growth. Christianity has been going strong for two millennia now, and shows no signs of bottoming out. While it may be in some strife in the West, it is growing by leaps and bounds in the non-Western world.

How both religions fare in the decades ahead will depend on many factors. But much of it will be determined by Christians themselves, especially in the West. Will they hang on to their faith and revitalise it, or abandon it altogether? However things pan out, Christians are still under the marching orders of Jesus to “go into all the world and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19).

[991 words]

12 Replies to “Global Islamification”

  1. If the church in Britain would realise they sold out decades ago and returned to the fundamental doctrines and history of the Christian faith maybe many of those 18 million Brits would have something tangible to believe in. Christianity has a far greater scientific basis than Islam yet many leaders bowed down to naturalists and lost purpose in their faith. Islam is just filling the moral vacuum created by the church.
    Aaron Downs

  2. I would just say that so many reports and calculations assume that the present trends are just going to continue uniformly, and that there will be no change or turnaround (it is assumed, for instance, that future generations of Muslims will continue to be militant Islamic, and continue to breed/multiply at today’s rates). But history is full of instances of reaction and reversal, and the emergence of the unanticipated (futurology is the one human activity with a 100% failure rate). Of course we can think of realistic scenarios – but they’re just that, possibilities among many other possibilities; and what does actually happen may not be something any one has thought of at all. History in the West, certainly shows patterns of excess followed by reaction; maybe that will happen again.
    John Thomas, UK

  3. This is just another perfect example of the church being in danger of becoming irrelevant! They just will not get up off their backsides and get politically and socially aware! I have sent some members of our church a petition on the upholding the Christian view of marriage and I reckon I could get my pet ring necked parrot to take it seriously before any of them would. I know this sounds sarcastic and even a bit disrespectful to my fellow Christians but for heavens sake, don’t complain and whine after the soup has hit the fan, we have to do something BEFORE it happens not AFTER!!!
    Steve Davis

  4. Aaron, That is what I believe also. Babylon and Assyria always rise up to take them captive when God’s people rebel. We have created a moral and spiritual vacuum that has allowed this. Until Christendom repents of worshiping Baal and Moloch and the gods of the Caananites, Jebusites, etc., we will continue to see the advancement of Islam.

    We have stupidly given place to the devil. We have given away our land, homes, hearts, heads, children, our inheritance and even Christ’s Church to sin, addiction, etc. and to the enemies of God, spiritual enemies.

    II Chronicles 7:14: “When my people turn from their wicked ways, pray, humble themselves, repent,” are conditions for, “I will hear and heal their land.”

    Repentance and obedience are a couple of our first line spiritual weapons. Praise and Thanksgiving are also weapons of our warfare. (Ephesians 6:10-20, II Corinthians 10:4-6)

    Sibyl Smith

  5. You have to wonder how Christianity will survive in the west, when the very people that the gospel has been entrusted to, to teach and empower people, start leading Christ’s flock up the garden path.
    In this case one of the Doctors that this Pastor has engaged is a know to have muslim leanings among other mystical influences. Here

    And with our duped world leaders make comments that we all worship the same God, islam is a religion of peace, etc. You have to wonder where it will all end.

    I think this is a timely reminder,
    Acts 17:11 (New International Version, ©2010)
    Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    Failure to read the scriptures will be our undoing.
    Mea Culpa.

    Jeffrey Carl

  6. ***However things pan out, Christians are still under the marching orders of Jesus to “go into all the world and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19).***

    contrasted with Islam/Mohammad’s marching orders…

    (Koran 9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”

    I would think the persecution and killing of Christians in Islamic majority countries has quite an affect on the statistics also.

    Shar Kinney

  7. I was going to comment that if Christians taught what was in the Bible then their congregations would be less gullible. However what Jeffrey Carl says earlier on this blog says it better. As my nephew said when about 3: “You wouldn’t believe it unless you saw it and even when you see it it is hard to believe.”
    Tell me it isn’t true….vain wish. If you haven’t clicked on “here” in his comment please do so.
    Katherine Fishley

  8. Hello Bill,

    I generally aim to be careful when speaking about others who call themselves Christians who may off the Bible’s teachings in order to not judge unrighteously, but due to some of the above comments, I’ve had a quick read of some websites very critical of Rick Warren.

    If what I have read is true, this is indeed very disturbing, so I guess I was just wondering what your opinion is on the matter, because while I do not necessarily agree 100% with every word you may write, I do genuinely respect your opinion as someone whom I consider to show great fruit of being spirit led and very well informed.

    Mario Del Giudice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *