A new Pew Research Center study that looks at the future of world religions and potential population growth around the globe found that the Muslim faith is rising at a faster rate than Christianity—with the possibility that Islam could equal Christianity as the largest world religion for the first time ever.
According to the study “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050,” “the religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as by people switching faiths. Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion.”
Southern Evangelical Seminary President Dr. Richard Land said that while projections of the rise of Islam underscore the need for Christian apologetics in the United States, the Pew study doesn’t tell the full story.
“This study is an interesting commentary on the rise of the Muslim faith, as well as the possible decline in the percentages of Christians—both around the world and in America,” Land said. “This research underscores the importance of being able to defend our faith by speaking rationally, intelligently, passionately and with grace about what we believe and why we believe it. At the same time, the study misses some important rumblings within the Islamic faith itself that may significantly change projections of strong growth.”
Indeed, according to Dr. Daniel Janosik, Director of Islamic Studies at SES, Islam is on the brink of both a physical and an academic implosion.
“Internally, we see a growing divide between Sunni and Shia Islam,” Janosik said. “But perhaps even more significant is an impending Quranic implosion. More and more, Muslims are realizing that the Quran does not have the earmarks of a revelation of God but, instead, is a man-made book. And with this realization is coming an exodus of Muslims from the Islamic faith. This academic implosion will have a much greater effect of turning Muslims away from Islam than recent criticisms of the Bible have had over the last several centuries—the reason being that we have been able to answer criticisms of the Bible and demonstrate its trustworthiness. Supporters of the Quran will be unable to do the same.”
Janosik said that the projections of the Pew study are based on present conditions, but these conditions are changing rapidly.
“For 1,400 years, Islam has been in existence. For 1,375 years, there were relatively few conversions to Christianity. In the last 20 years, however, there have been hundreds of thousands—perhaps millions—of Muslims converting to Christianity. Why? Because God is on the move and is doing something new.”…
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