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In Saudi Arabia, for example, the population grew from 16.9 million in 1992 to 27.1 million in 2010, and 37 percent were fourteen and younger.In Canada, by contrast, only 17.6 percent are fourteen or younger.
Together they provide evidence of significant religious change, influence and agency.
They also demonstrate that ‘the spirit of the past’ can remain surprisingly close at hand.
While it is doubtful that this will happen, polls by the Pew Research Center indicate that if current trends continue, Muslims worldwide will outnumber Christians by the end of this century.
Part of the reason is the significant difference in fertility rates: 3.1 children per child-bearing Muslim mother compared to 2.3 for mothers of all other groups.
With this human tide of people entering into Europe there is a strong sense of the passing of what was once known as “Christendom,” a world order in which entire countries gave the Christian Church an established place.
Some alarmed European demographers have predicted that with higher birthrates in Muslim families and continuing immigration, it’s just a matter of time until Europe is Islamized.
It is forcing the dominant Christian populations to find ways of responding.
Just as an evangelical Pentecostal constituency in Brazil forced that nominally Catholic country to adjust to this new reality, so Islam in Europe is forcing changes to practices.
Harold Jantz In the last fifteen years, many world events in which religion played a part have deeply shaken us; they need little recounting.
The latest has been the flow of an estimated million refugees into Europe in 2015, many of them from the Middle East.