- Sunday, January 1, 2023

While Christians observed the birth of Jesus last week and Jews celebrated Hanukkah, most in the West failed to grasp an ominous reality: Sometime in this century, more people around the world will celebrate Ramadan than Christmas. Not a happy prospect.

There are now 2.2 billion Christians in the world. Islam is on its heels with 1.97 billion. But due to a higher Muslim fertility rate (2.9 children per woman on average, versus 2.6), Pew Research projects that sometime around 2075, Islam will be the world’s dominant religion.

Overall, the European fertility rate is 1.49, well below the replacement level of 2.1. Europe lost 1.1 million people last year. That’s the first rumbling of a coming earthquake. The fertility rate for European Muslims is 2.54. You don’t need to be a statistician to see which way the demographic winds are blowing.

It’s estimated that by 2085, 13 European countries will have Muslim majorities — this in a continent once known as Christendom. Christians are writing their own obituary by failing to heed the commandment to be fruitful and multiply.

For many, Christianity is a box to check on a census form, instead of something real.

In France, 40% do not believe in God. For the first time, Christians are a minority of the population of England and Wales — 46.2%, while 37% say they have no religion.

In the United States, a third of Generation Z describe themselves as not affiliated with any denomination. In America, Christianity is on a steady decline — from 91% as recently as 1976 to 73.7% in 2016 to 64% in 2022.

The process has been aided by the culture (Hollywood in particular), which rarely misses an opportunity to bash Christianity. Progressives have done their best to drive religion from the public square.

Elsewhere, Christianity has fared no better. It’s almost disappeared from the land of Jesus’ birth. The Church of the Nativity had Christmas Eve services broadcast around the world. Most who saw it don’t know that the Christian population of Bethlehem has gone from 85% in 1947 to 15% today.

While Muslims in the West demand tolerance, Christians rarely get it under Islam. In Egypt, Coptic churches are bombed, congregants shot, and girls kidnapped and forced to convert. All over the Middle East, ancient communities have been uprooted.

What will a world dominated by Islam look like?

Even in the West, many Muslims want to live under Islamic law (Sharia), where adulterers are stoned to death and converts to other faiths are murdered.

In Russia, where Islam is expected to be the largest religion by 2050, 42% of Muslims support Sharia, as do 71% in Nigeria, 46% in France and 40% in the United Kingdom.

We’re told, in almost ritualistic fashion, that Islam is the “religion of peace.” And yet, worldwide, 8% of Muslims say suicide bombings are “sometimes” or “often” justified in the name of Islam. That 8% may not seem like much, but it means more than 100 million condone coldblooded murder to defend perceived attacks on Islam.

Different religions take criticism differently. Insult a Christian and he’ll pray for you. Insult a Jew and he’ll write a letter to the editor of The New York Times. Insult some Muslims and it’s “jihad, jihad!”

Islam is advancing with the sword and the cradle. It’s estimated that half of population growth worldwide between now and 2050 will be concentrated in just eight countries, including Congo, Nigeria and Tanzania. All have active Islamic insurgencies.

In “The Clash of Civilizations” (1996), Samuel Huntington, who taught political science at Harvard, wrote: “Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards. The fundamental problem of the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.”

In the intervening quarter-century, the power and influence of Islam have grown considerably.  Thanks to the feckless Biden administration, Iran will soon join Pakistan in the nuclear club.

Muslim immigration to Europe has increased from a trickle to a flood. There are now 3,000 mosques in the land of Charles Martel. The Muslim suburbs around Paris are no-go zones for police.

In Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city, there are 200 mosques welcoming worshippers to pray. London has a Muslim mayor. 

For the past millennium, Western civilization was synonymous with Christianity. The Christian West may soon be but a memory.

• Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer and syndicated columnist.

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