A new Pew Forum report predicts that the international landscape will change drastically in the next few decades and Islam could be the majority by 2070.
The Pew forum conducted a 6 year-long study to project the future growth rates for various major world religions. The religions included in the study are Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Folk religions, Other and nonbelievers. They didn’t break the different groups into their sub-religions, such as Sunni, Catholic, Orthodox or Mormons. The report took a few factors into account to determine a more accurate global projection: religious switching, fertility and childbearing decisions, international migration, youth population and life expectancy. The report analyzed the different groups and came to a consensus of how they should develop and grow over the next 40 years.
Pew Research Projections
According to the Pew study, Muslims will outnumber Christians by the year 2070 if the projections continue on the predicted path. Islam religions will be growing rapidly in comparison to the other major religions, and by 2050, the number of Muslims should be at 2.8 billion while Christians should be at 2.9 billion. In 2010, the number of Muslims was registered at 1.6 billion, while Christians were at 2.2 billion in 2010. According to the projected growth rates, Muslims are expected to grow twice as fast as the other religions, primarily due to their higher fertility rates.
The projections have raised a few different questions concerning global religious conflicts, particularly between Muslim groups and Western countries that are primarily Christian. Will the rise in population cause even more conflict between the religions, or will the growth create a sense of equality that can allow for reformation? According to Nicholas Eberstadt, the demographer and political economist with AEI (American Enterprise Institute) feels that it’s “too early” to attempt to determine what the direct impact of the growth would be. However, Conrad Hackett, lead author of the report, commented to say, “we can be quite confident that Muslims are going to grow rapidly in the decades ahead.”