A Stop The Presses Alert. By Kevin McCandless for CNSNews.com, with thanks to Mackie:
London (CNSNews.com) – As the Anglican Communion continues to fight over homosexuality and as church attendance plummets, experts say that Islam is well on its way to becoming the most dominant religion in Europe.
In recent years, experts say that young European Muslims are returning to the faith which their parents observed only sporadically, becoming much more devout.
Though Muslims only comprise around three percent of the British population, Christian Research says that in 35 years there will be twice as many Muslims in mosques on Friday as there are Christians in churches on Sunday.
In a 2004 ICM poll of 500 British Muslims, 51 percent said that they prayed every day.
In November, a study by the Spanish magazine Alba said that more mosques and prayer centers have been built in France than churches over the last century, with over 4,000 mosques currently serving the largest Muslim population in Europe.
Europe has seen a wave of Muslim immigration over the last century, in large part from the countries of North Africa, and some experts predict that they will become the dominant population by the end of this century.
In January, the Islam-Archive Central Institute, a government-sponsored think tank, projected that Muslims will be the majority population of Germany by 2046, based on fertility rates.
David Masci, a senior research fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, said Thursday it was difficult for many Muslim immigrants to accept the secular nature of countries like Holland.
“Look,” he said. “Holland is a society which is very, very liberal in terms of attitudes towards gender and towards sexuality. These people are clearly pushing against that.”
Nicole Bourque, a professor of religious studies at Glasgow University, said that she thought increasing numbers of Christians would convert to Islam in the coming years.
She said that she knew of around 200 converts in Glasgow alone, mostly lapsed Christians who had grown up without a strong religious background.
While many were women who had married Muslim men, she said many had been attracted to learn more about Islam by its increased profile since 2001.