World Muslim population doubling, report projects
January 27th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

World Muslim population doubling, report projects

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Twenty years ago, the world had about 1.1 billion Muslims. Twenty years from now, it will have about twice as many - and they'll represent more than a quarter of all people on earth, according to a new study released Thursday.

That's a rise from less than 20 percent in 1990.

Pakistan will overtake Indonesia as home of the largest number of Muslims, as its population pushes over 256 million, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life projects.

The number of Muslims in the United States will more than double, to 6.2 million, it anticipates.

Afghanistan's population will nearly double, to about 50.5 million, making it home to the ninth largest Muslim population in the world.

Israel will become nearly a quarter Muslim. The Palestinian territories have one of the highest growth rates in the world.

Fractious Nigeria, where Christian-Muslim violence has left thousands dead in the past decade, will become a Muslim-majority country by 2030, the Pew Forum projects.

And two western European countries - France and Belgium - will become more than 10 percent Muslim. Sweden will hover just below that level, at 9.9 percent.

Iran, on the other hand, will see very slow growth. Iranian women have among the fewest children of anyone in the Muslim world. They use birth control at exactly the same rate as American women, 73 percent.

Explore our interactive maps showing the growth of Muslim populations by country

The Muslim share of the global population will rise primarily because of their relatively high birth rate, the large number of Muslims of childbearing age, and an increase in life expectancy in Muslim-majority countries, according to the report, "The Future of the Global Muslim Population."

Conversion will play relatively little part in the increase, the report anticipates. It says little data is available on conversion, but what little there is suggests Islam loses as many adherents via conversion as it gains.

Pakistan's rapid growth - adding an estimated 70 million people in 20  years - could create "a potentially lethal cocktail,"  said Ghaffar Hussain of  the Quilliam Foundation, which calls itself and anti-extremism think tank and  does work in Pakistan.

"Pakistan is an unstable country, there are literally hundreds of  jihadist groups," he said.

And the government is not doing much to slow population growth, unlike in nearby Bangladesh, he said.

"In Bangladesh they have tax incentives not to have large families.  Pakistan doesn't have that strategy - they're not even talking about it," said  Hussain.

"More effort should be made to finding some solutions, especially in the  border region with Afghanistan," he advised.

Governments in Europe, meanwhile, should do more to explain the value of  immigration, he argued.

Muslim growth there "is coming from the first generation having large  families" and will slow down, he predicted.

But the large new Muslim populations are not always welcome, he said.

"A lot of European countries don't tell their people we need immigration  for (economic reasons)," he said, adding that government also should do more to  help new immigrants assimilate.

European government need "some sort of strategy of what to do when people  come. Integration has been managed very badly," he said.

The key phrase in the Pew Forum report is "growing but slowing," says  Alan Cooperman, associate director of the think tank.

The increase in the last 20 years is greater than what we expect in the next 20 years," he said. Muslim population growth "is a line that's flattening out. They're increasing, but they're getting closer to the norm, the average."

In other words, Muslims are coming into line with global trends toward fewer children per woman and an aging population. But, the report points out, because of the existing Muslim "youth bulge," or unusually high percentage of young people, Muslim population growth has a certain momentum that will take decades to come into line with world averages - if it ever does.

The Pew report, more than a year in the making, is part of an ambitious attempt by the think tank to calculate the number of adherents to each of the world's major religions. The Islam report comes first, and a Christian project is in the works.

They started with Muslims, Cooperman said, because they are "the largest group for which data was lacking, and we saw public interest in knowing more."

Despite the rapid growth of Islam, Christianity seems set to remain the biggest religion in the world for the next 20 years. There are currently more than 2 billion Christians - 30 to 35 percent of the global population - making it very unlikely that there will be fewer than 2.2 billion Christians in 2030.

"There is nothing in these numbers to indicate that in 2030 there would be more Muslims that Christians," Cooperman said.

In fact, both Christianity and Islam could be growing, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the whole, he pointed out.

"We don't want people to jump to the conclusion that if Islam is growing, everyone else is shrinking," he said. "Christianity and Islam could both be growing at the expense of other religions."

Sub-Saharan Africa is a case in point, he said.

"Tremendous numbers are being added in sub-Saharan Africa, but... Christianity and Islam are both growing rapidly. There is not a change in the overall proportions of Muslims to Christians."

He's aware that the report has policy implication, but insists that the purpose of the Pew Forum is simply to provide unbiased data.

"It's not our role to say what should be done," Cooperman said.

What they're aiming to do, one of the project's leader said, is to make sure there's reliable information available.

"There has been a lot of speculation about the growth of the Muslim population around the world, and many of those who speculate don't have good data," said Brian Grim, a senior researcher at the Pew Forum.

For example, the report undermines the notion that Europe is heading toward having any country with a Muslim majority. The continent will be about 8 percent Muslim in 2030, it projects.

"The data that we have isn't pointing in the direction of 'Eurabia' at all," Grim said.

"The Muslim population is growing and slowing. Instead of a runaway train, it's trending with the general global population," he said.

Cooperman hopes that information will help make for more intelligent discussions, he said: "In the midst of heated debate and speculation, we think that solid, reliable, empirical estimates are valuable."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Afghanistan • Indonesia • Islam • Israel • Muslim • Pakistan • United States

soundoff (1,248 Responses)
  1. Black Muslim

    I rather live and die with Islam, then White albinio Saying i am superior to Black man.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Scott

      Dud you just proved yourself wrong..

      January 27, 2011 at 1:54 am |
    • WhiteAgnostic

      I'm white (well, almost, my dad is middle eastern). I'm not albino and do not think I am superior to black people and I surely will not die for something that I cannot see, hear, smell, touch and if that were a possibility, I would question the love of someone who threatens me with hellfire if I do not give the same in return (be it Christian, Muslim, Sphagetti Monster whatever).

      January 27, 2011 at 7:04 am |
    • Dan

      I can tell you that Jesus Christ loves you.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:43 am |
    • Catie

      Black Muslim, why do I picture you as a 23 year old skinny pimple faced white kid who dropped out of school and lives at home

      January 27, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • asrael

      I prefer black albinos...

      January 27, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • Sagaciously's

      Black Muslim and this is just how barbaric your faith is and if this is what your Prophet Mohammed calls justice then he truly was the first TERRORIST because his own life was full of warfare, conquests, and unmerciful burcheries!


      January 27, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • enid

      that is interesting...since islam supports slavery. Do you believe slavery should exsist?

      January 27, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Michael, Chapel Hill

      you are looking in the wrong place for equality.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • wisdom man

      Peace on u brother .. u dont need ppl opinion because The Prophet told us the different is our faith believe and deeds

      March 17, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  2. Raymond

    “The Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) said:
    I guarantee a house in the surroundings of Paradise for a man who avoids quarrelling even if he were in the right, a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking, and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good….Sunan of Abu-Dawood”

    January 27, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Scott

      So basically be good and go to heaven right? Same thing the Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, JW's, etc all believe. Only Jesus said I will be good enough for you all and take your punishment on my cross. You either have works good enough (in your minds) or believe the Son of God Jesus Christ is good enough. There's just 2 religions Raymond and you're picking the one which thinks erringly that mankind can be good enough to go to a sinless heaven. Nope. Even if you could be perfect (which you can't) you cannot offer a sacrifice for the sins already done. What about those? That's what the cross did. Research it.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:52 am |
    • Scott

      Raziz. So basically be good and go to heaven right? Same thing the Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, JW's, etc all believe. Only Jesus said I will be good enough for you all and take your punishment on my cross. You either have works good enough (in your minds) or believe the Son of God Jesus Christ is good enough. There's just 2 religions Raymond and you're picking the one which thinks erringly that mankind can be good enough to go to a sinless heaven. Nope. Even if you could be perfect (which you can't) you cannot offer a sacrifice for the sins already done. What about those? That's what the cross did. Research it.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • Dan

      Jesus said (John 14:6) "I am the way, the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to the father but by me".
      In Phillipians 2 it says "One day EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ is lord".
      All of you God mockers go on saying what you want, saying there is no God or Jesus Christ doesn't exist; however, one day, at the judgement seat God will say to all those that don't profess their faith in Jesus Christ: "Depart from me, for I never knew you".
      I pray every day for non-beleivers that they would see the truth.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • mani

      all religions came from the same God, that's why they all say do righteous deeds and you will go to heaven. The most perfect example of righteousness was the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) for all times to come. He was an example for all of us because he was human. We don't believe in Jesus as some God who gets beaten up by Jews to forgive us of sins, we believe in a prophet that lived a perfect life and loved God to the highest degree as our model in Islam. No one can take up the sins of another, or else you would all still be punished for what your forefathers did.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:47 am |
    • Catie

      Raymond, I love this passage, I wish we heard this more in teh news. However, Manni did Mohammad teach peace and to love one another. Or did he teach to harm those who do not believe. My God gives me free will man does not take that way

      January 27, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • John

      "However, Manni did Mohammad teach peace and to love one another. Or did he teach to harm those who do not believe. "

      There's a lot of historical and cultural stuff that was going on in the early days of Islam, when the Prophet was still writing the Quran. There were groups in Mecca that were at war with the Prophet because he was preaching that polytheism was wrong, and they were making a lot of money off it. It's like how in the Old Testament, the Lord was telling people to dash babies heads against rocks, kill everybody except the virgin women and force them to be your wives, stuff like that. It's not relevant to the present day and unless you're one of the tiny percentage of crazy Muslim extremists you don't live in accordance with it.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • John

      Dan makes a great example out there for all the people who claim that Islam is somehow unique in not allowing or respecting other religions.

      A schism in Islam? Sounds like what Christianity had in the Reformation.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • Jupiter777

      Scott et al... Islam is very clear on the role of Jesus (PBUH). The Quran said he was NOT crucified (but seemed to be crucified) and he is alive in heaven. He is the messiah for all Muslims. Islam is the religion of Jesus and the 23 other prophets who preceded him. Muslims believe that Jesus will return and save believers in Allah. The Quran is also very clear that Allah has no children and warned those who believe that Allah/God has a child. There is only one Quran after 1400 years from the time it was delivered by the Angel Gabriel to Mohammed (PBUH) who was illiterate. Read about Islam and the Quran, the last testament to humanity. (http://www.islam-101.org/) – (http://www.answering-christianity.com/crucified.htm)

      January 27, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  3. Raymond

    "O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted." 49:13

    "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect. " The Koran 30:21

    “The servants of the Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say: peace.”
    – The Koran 25:63

    January 27, 2011 at 1:36 am |
    • Scott

      Evangelical Muslims! Who knew?

      January 27, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Pakistani Christian!

      whats all this ?

      January 27, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • David

      O why does every sentence in the Koran begin with O?

      January 27, 2011 at 3:29 am |
    • doughnuts

      Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, [even if they are] of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
      Koran 9:29

      January 27, 2011 at 7:06 am |
    • RZ

      Then leave them alone and don't kill them!

      Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly (Quran 60:8)

      January 27, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • sl

      @david we did not destroy the Quraan it is in its original writing, we do not need different testaments to suit us, because our book is pure.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • asrael

      When in doubt, quote; when in greater doubt, quote more...

      January 27, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • bromung

      1. The Qur’an tells muslims to kill and go to war to fight for Islam: Quran, chapters (Surahs) 9:5; 2:191; 2:193; 3:118; 4:75,76; 5:33, 8:12; 8:65; 9:73,123; 33:60-62.

      2. Fight for Allah: “And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers, (Quran 2:191).

      3. Muslims are to battle for Allah: “Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil. Lo! the devil’s strategy is ever weak,” (Quran 4:76).

      4. Kill those against Islam: “The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter,” (Quran 5:33).

      5. Beheading: “When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying): I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger. 13That is because they opposed Allah and His messenger. Whoso opposeth Allah and His messenger, (for him) lo! Allah is severe in punishment,” (Quran 8:12).

      6. Allah urges war: “O Prophet! urge the believers to war; if there are twenty patient ones of you they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a hundred of you they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are a people who do not understand,” (Quran 8:65).

      7. Slay non-muslims: “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful,” (Quran 9:5).

      8. Allah urges war: “O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination,” (Quran 9:73).

      9. Allah urges war: “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil),” (Quran 9:123).

      10. Allah urges killing: “…the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease and the agitators in the city do not desist… 61 Cursed: wherever they are found they shall be seized and murdered, a (horrible) murdering. 62(Such has been) the course of Allah with respect to those who have gone before; and you shall not find any change in the course of Allah, (Quran 33:60-62).

      11. Beheading: “Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens…” (Quran 47:4).

      12. Allah loves those who fight for him: “Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure,” (Quran 61:4).

      January 27, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • enid

      and that is why I'd never be a part of this backwards cult! My God is not a terrorist!!!!!

      January 27, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • sl

      @bromung The bibles says Eye for an Eye enough said

      January 28, 2011 at 3:36 am |
  4. Pakistani Christian!

    @Sid ..... this story matters the most, DAH!

    January 27, 2011 at 1:36 am |

    This article made me laugh. Like, really. So many assumptions, presumptions and suppositions – all based on ignorance and the security, if you will, of illiteracy. Muslim children, like Jews in some ways, are becoming less religious and more spiritual or secular. Also, Paganism is the fastest growing faith in the US, Europe and actually the world, not Islam. This study also, like I wrote as a response to another individuals awesome comment, assumes this growth without taking into consideration war, disease, famine and or poverty striking these nations, which, if things go as they have, those elements will definitely rear their head. Also, from a purely psychological studies background, it would not surprise me if, within the fundamentalist Muslim mission, the concept of populating to dominate instead of warring (although terrorism is a form of war), would be far too predictable. There is no doubt in my mind that there are some menacing folk within Islam that preach to their people to just over-populate and thus blitz nations and peoples. In the case of Israel and Palestine, it should be clear to all that the surge in birth rate among Palestinians is definitely a form of silent protest. Jews are a minority faith and people. Besides mass killing, the other element that could hinder and then destroy them is a Roman-esque inundation of others, whether it is Palestinians or whomever. The world is indeed changing and there are atrocities on all sides, but this study is purely salacious; it is highly ridiculous and, in my opinion, definitely meant to drum up paranoia and mount fear. Now, that being said, I do think that religion is largely and mostly dangerous, but spirituality doesn't bother me – as long as your are not trying to conquer the world with babies, I do not care what you believe in. Peace people, peace! And uh, less religion please, it has truly ruined everything!

    January 27, 2011 at 1:35 am |

      Ah! Sorry for the spelling errors! I truly tried to edit the post but it wouldn't let me...bah my computer is a fickle beast!

      January 27, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Scott

      You type...like...fast!

      January 27, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • Jarrod

      The religion wasn't founded in peace so why should fundamental any Muslim believe in peace if Mohammed was perfect.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:31 am |
    • Ames Wolffe

      Jarrod, you are correct....and XOXOXO99....I wish it was as you so eloquently write.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:44 am |
    • Fred

      The blacks have been doing this in the United States since the beginning of Civil Rights in America.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • asrael

      The report is "salacious"? How does that work...?

      January 27, 2011 at 9:09 am |
    • enid

      it is hard to find peace when you have a muslim terrorizing you to convert to their cult faith or die. There can be no peace with a muslim because their views are always violent and ego driven towards their backwards faith.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • MrsFizzy

      You've never met a Muslim, have you enid?

      January 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • sl

      @enid what do you think the missionaries do in in Africa, they buy christianity by giving food.

      January 28, 2011 at 3:34 am |
  6. Sid

    How is this different than any other socio-economic group? What about the rate of drug users going up? What about the comparative rates of corporate profits versus costs of living? Why arent you doing a story on something that matters?

    January 27, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • Raul

      it matters because militant islam is the most dangerous threat to world peace in security in our time. Are you that naive?

      January 27, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • Sherri

      Sid, Muslims are not a 'socio-economic' group. They are a group of people who are stating loudly, and often that their aim to to have worldwide Islam by 2050. THAT is the difference. They do not tolerate any other form of belief. Are you Muslim? Well then, they want you dead. Simple. Read the Quaran. Google "takeover of America" + Muslim. Watch the movie The Third Jihad. I have done a ton of reading the last 8 years and I have hundreds of articles on this. Do you want to live in a world of honor killings, stonings, suicide bombings? THIS is what they will bring to us. They have already started. Wake up.

      January 28, 2011 at 2:07 am |
  7. Pakistani Christian!

    @Scott .............. LOLZ! nice one, keep it up, (BRAVO!)

    January 27, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • Scott

      Just doing my part. And loving it!

      January 27, 2011 at 1:47 am |
  8. Pakistani Christian!

    @k i agree w/you Bro!

    January 27, 2011 at 1:34 am |
  9. Scott

    Come here honey. We need to keep the numbers even.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • lala


      January 27, 2011 at 9:37 am |
  10. Sheel

    Good, I hate having to drive 15 miles to get Halal meat.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • sl

      @DJANGO the KKK would like to make you an honorary member, oh wait i forgot you lead it.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • Peace101

      I like driving 20 miles for my food. It is nice to live in the country side and not the city. 15 miles is not so much when you think about it.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  11. Atheist

    Holy crap at all the bigotry.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • David

      Holy cow the sanctimonious atheists on here

      January 27, 2011 at 3:26 am |
    • django

      ..strongly agree David!

      January 27, 2011 at 7:45 am |
    • asrael

      Holy Pig!...Just us sanctimonious bigots havin' a party...

      January 27, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • Nonimus

      Holy dictionaries, Batman.
      Isn't it kind of hard for an atheist to be sanctimonious? (hypocritically pious or devout)

      January 27, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  12. David Houston, TX

    With the huge increase of all people it will be hard for the Earth to sustain human life.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Catie

      Ye of little faith

      January 27, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • hmmm

      Ye of blind faith...

      Let's pretend you are driving, and you see a cliff up ahead. Does faith turn the wheel of your car? No. And if you drive off the edge, will your god save you? No...

      Now, this is not to say your god does not exist, I won't try to take that from you. However, all life on Earth is headed for a cliff, and we all need to turn the wheel. Blind faith without action will not save you. In no religious text is ignorance equated with faith.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      Ah, Catie do you assume all the people who have died in famines so far died because they didn't have enough faith??

      January 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • adiemusdeo

      I hate to tell you this, but the natural world is already showing signs of serious problems. Unfortunately, people keep making more people, as natural resources dwindle. We're in trouble already, we just keep ignoring the signs.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  13. ijreilly

    I really want to go follow any belief that tells me I will be tortured endlessly for not believing in it. That sounds appealing.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • sl

      There is no torture, it is your ignorance about the religion reflected here.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • Nonimus

      No torture... It's called torment:

      Revelations 9
      4They were told not to (I)hurt the (J)grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the (K)seal of God on their foreheads.

      5And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for (L)five months; and their torment was like the torment of a (M)scorpion when it stings a man.

      6And in those days (N)men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  14. mom

    some horrible comments being said here...

    January 27, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Scott

      oh mom you're always so picky

      January 27, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • DAD

      This is why you got out of bed? No wonder your so tired.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  15. mgj

    This is a disaster for the Muslim world. Already, they can barely feed their poor, and their water supplies are collapsing. Already, poverty and overpopulation are driving the young men into extremism. By 2030, oil revenues will be much lower than today. Would it not be reasonable to manage this population growth in a more intelligent way?

    January 27, 2011 at 1:28 am |
    • Raymond

      Actually business is improving in the Muslim world and getting better every year. Muslims in the West will make great achievements as well. We are the new Jews.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • American Patriot

      Raymond: that is the most hilarious thing I have read. You basically are saying that you are trying to be the people that you have a HATE for. Makes perfect sense.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Raymond

      Business is starting to boom in Afghanistan for example. Give it 20 years it will be a decent country again. I follow the development there very closely.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • American Patriot

      Raymond, quit talking out of your bottom. Afghanistan will not be industrialized like the western world because you have idiots (the taliban) that will persist in taking control and making you live like you are stuck in the 1500s.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • ArtInChicago

      Mary, I know your race is superior. No need to write in CAPS.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • David

      Afghanistan was never a productive country unless hash and heroin are being counted.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:25 am |
    • Clarity

      DU Weapons on Wikipedia
      Try adding THAT into your story for Muslim birth rate!

      January 27, 2011 at 5:40 am |
    • cinge

      and israel is blamed for everything. mmmm.smart.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • sl

      @american patriot, muslims dont hate Jews only the Zionist land grabbers, you know like the Zanu pf in Zimbabwe who are criminals because they steal white peoples farm land. (pot kettle black)

      January 27, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • steve

      And mother nature will take care of the rest.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • Nonimus

      "Business is starting to boom in Afghanistan for example. Give it 20 years it will be a decent country again."

      I hope you are right. That would be a wonderful thing.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  16. AnAtheist'sView

    I take issue with the outcome related to these statistics. They talk about the birth rate increasing for Muslims, yet don't take in to account the support required for 8.3 billion people on the planet. Perhaps all figures, worldwide, will be toned down a bit when we can't support the number of people living on this planet.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:24 am |

      Awesome, awesome point! In order for these people to live, they have to survive – which is highly unlikely!

      January 27, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • ABeliever'sView

      Actually the resources of the world are enough for everybody. God created enough resources for everybody but the top most affluent people have access to most of them. They give tax breaks to rich people and social security cuts to poor people. Charity which is the most important part of most faiths was supposed to take money from rich and distribute to poor.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • jdy

      Actually, the article mentions that the birth rate of Muslims is decreasing, not increasing. It's the number of births that is increasing, not the rate of these births.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:53 am |
    • QuinClark

      @ ABeliever'sView Are you serious!?! That has got to be one of the most absurd and irresponsible comments I have read for quite a while. The world is running out of water for a start. Expected increase in demand for water is expected to reach 165% in the US and 130% in the EU in the near future. Rivers, lakes, aquifers are drying up and water tables dropping significantly. Now unless your god has some trick up his sleeve or you know something that the World Economic Forum does not we are in for a rough time. No water = No food! Take a look at the Davos 2011.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:55 am |
    • noboat1

      "soylent green is made out of people!!"

      January 27, 2011 at 7:26 am |
    • sl

      @quinton clark, i pray you get some faith in your heart

      January 27, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • David

      @ ABelieversView – be careful . . . they'll start calling you Socialist.
      Jesus had Socialist ideology you know.
      Tell that to a few Xtians.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Nonimus

      "God created enough resources for everybody..."

      Without man-made technology, e.g. modern farming, most of the world's population would die. Do you think the Earth as "God created" it would support 6+ billion people with hunter-gatherer techniques?

      January 27, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Sasha

      Amazingly enough, few people seem to realize exactly that. We are not even at 7 Bil. and we are already having some serious water and food issues. Anyone that does not see this needs to get out more. Just because it is not reported on the major "news" channels does not mean the problem is not real. The longer we ignore it the worse it will become. Then again, you have those that simply deny this reality (God will provide, REALLY?). When the problem becomes so big that they are no longer able to deny it, it will be "the end as God promised". Maybe that's like Darwinian code "survival of the fittest"; in which denial equals death. I am curious how this will turn out.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • EM

      Nuclear war is coming; mark my words.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  17. Richie Rich

    Cue the ignorant people and the Christian fundamentalists hitting the panic button in 3, 2,.....

    January 27, 2011 at 1:24 am |
    • Dean

      Wow, you called it... of course, it wasn't really that hard to do. 😉

      January 27, 2011 at 2:54 am |
    • qed52

      I was wondering what that clicking noise was.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:58 am |
    • David

      You're cueing the Muslims too?

      January 27, 2011 at 3:19 am |
    • eric g


      January 27, 2011 at 6:30 am |
    • john1113

      I'm not panicking. I don't like, but I'm not panicking... However, you might want to consider panicking..what with be covereted either peacefully or by the sword. I dunno, you tell me.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:50 am |
    • sheetiron

      Why in the world would we panic. Christians know that Jesus said that only the few would take the road that leads to eternal life and many would take the road that leads to destruction. The fact that Christianity is on top is a fluke. Just the right people getting converted at the right time.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • Nonimus

      "...what with be covereted either peacefully or by the sword."

      Didn't read the article, did you?
      "Conversion will play relatively little part in the increase, the report anticipates. It says little data is available on conversion, but what little there is suggests Islam loses as many adherents via conversion as it gains."

      January 27, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  18. Economics

    Economics will slow down the third world, we will make sure no more AID and sky high food prices,
    The population will out strip the resources long before we get to that, global trading and local markets will return soon,
    This the true future to get over it, and North America makes 39% of the worlds food, wait until a bushel of wheat cost $250 to export, and your making $3.00 a day in the third world.
    But us in North America will only pay $7.00, I wonder what will happen now?

    January 27, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • David

      The words Usless Eaters will return and they will be dealt with.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:17 am |
    • Hingir

      @Economics – Your thinking is too simplistic and wrong. Don't forget, we don't only export, we have imports as well. Imagine if they exported a barrel of oil for quadruple the price, will America live in the dark? Will your factories be able to afford it? etc.
      This is one single simple example among many that make your point completely wrong.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:29 am |
    • Atinks

      the US has a very generous immigration policy. they can take in more muslims including those in Wantanamo (cuba)

      January 27, 2011 at 7:45 am |
    • PJL500

      Eh, the main ingredient (by far) in the food the US produces is oil.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • John

      "Economics will slow down the third world, we will make sure no more AID and sky high food prices,"

      We don't send out any major kind of aid now, it's maybe 1% of our national budget, and I think it's even less than that. But rest assured that any aid and food we don't send out, will be covered by China, eager to get access to cheap third world labor and increase their global influence.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:32 am |
  19. Andrew K

    HILARIOUS article with pie charts and everything!! LOL

    January 27, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • Homer


      January 27, 2011 at 4:54 am |
    • Joe

      Carla, what exactly do you propse? Genocide? Forced sterilization?

      January 27, 2011 at 7:43 am |
    • Jupiter777

      Carla... Try Islam, consider it one of those courses you hated in college. But please, leave bias aside, it won't even help you be a good christian.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:50 am |
    • Chinada

      I agree... some people will look at the world map and think Canada will be over run. When the REAL numbers are...

      "According to Canada's 2001 census, there were 579,740 Muslims in Canada, just under 2% of the population.[1] In 2006, the Muslim population was estimated to be 783,700 or about 2.5% (though not all were practicing, some are "cultural Muslims").

      So when the map shows a 200%... please do not panic my American neighbours.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:01 am |
    • saganhill

      So Carla, christians are not hypocites? They (you) are some of the worst offenders. All religion is filled with 100% hypocrites. What makes you think that christians are any better? They are not and just as bad as muslims. You're all brainwashed sheep following a mythical old man who lives in the sky.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • Jupiter777

      Chinada, China and India account for a very large percent of the world population and both have a very large number of Muslims… Are you worried? Don’t worry, Islam will be the largest religion in 30 years because its God’s last testament. The next 10 years will be so vital in world’s history. Watch the events unfolding in the Middle East. Islam which created democracy (Shura) 1400 years ago has been suppressed by dictatorships supported by capitalism; it will be no more, Islam will regain its place as it was intended, and implement God’s wishes on earth.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • John

      "Islam which created democracy (Shura) 1400 years ago has been suppressed by dictatorships supported by capitalism; it will be no more, Islam will regain its place as it was intended, and implement God’s wishes on earth."

      I'm not one to criticize Islam, I'm typically one of those defending it as a belief system pretty much identical to most other belief systems, but it wasn't Islam that came up with democracy. Democracy came from the Greeks, from about the 5th century BC, nearly a thousand years before Islam. In fact, the word is of Greek origin, and there weren't any Muslims around when the Greek civilization was a big deal.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • sylvias mother

      Well, Saganhill, you may look down upon Christians, Muslims and other religions, but it seems as though you are an awfully angry, bitter and lonely self righteous person. Maybe if you found some peace and reliance on a Higher Power you would feel better.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • hmmm

      @sylvias mother: Not all atheists are as hateful as seganhill. Some of us realize there is no proof for any of it, and respect the religions others practice. That said, some of us also lack the need for the pacifier of a higher power. It is admittedly a hard concept to come to peace with; death being the end of one's consciousness. But some do come do peace with it; many of whom then find thier life and the lives of others all the more precious. Hence the respect for religions and anything else people choose to believe. The scary thing about religion is that zealotry serves to harm everyone. I for one have never seen an atheist start a genocidal war

      January 27, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Jupiter777

      John... Thanks for correcting me. My intention was to use Shura which an Islamic form of democracy. Due to lack of other words that would make the reader understand, I used the word democracy but did not have the intention to imply that Islam invented democracy; trust me, I will not make the same mistake Al Gore made with his claim to have invented the Internet . Read about Shura (Google it – http://www.ijtihad.org/shura.htm), and see its forms in early Islam after the death of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) through the Khaliphas (Deputies of the prophet). Thanks for pointing this out.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • saganhill

      s@ylvias mother...Why would I want to beleive in a higher power? Im only angry at stupid people who have no mind of their own and use this religious dogma as not only law, but a way of life.

      THere is no such thing as being self righteous in the context you put it, that is a religious term meant to take away any self worth and give to a mythical being who lives in the sky.

      I am not lonely, I have 100's of freinds and a family who loves me. I dont have to beleive in something thats not real to make my life feel full. I already have that without all your stupid dogma.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • saganhill

      @hmmm....what makes you think Im hateful? Telling someone that an old man who lives in the sky is false to me is being truthful. The people who are hatful are the religious ones who try and make averyone the same as they are. I could care less if you think Elvis is god, just dont tread on my rational thinking.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Nonimus

      Reading the Wikipe.dia article on Shura, it seems fairly va.gue. It sounds like different Muslim groups define it different ways, from dem.ocratic parliamentary systems to di.cta.torships. How do you reco.ncile the different interpreta.tions of 'Shura'?

      January 27, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Kristi

      saganhill, you ARE hateful because you call anyone who believes in a higher power or follows a religious dogma "brainwashed sheep", "stupid people who have no mind of their own", and ". . . must not have a rational bone in your body" among other things. And yes, you ARE self-righteous. You would know that if you bothered to look up the definition rather than spout off that it's "a religious term meant to take away any self worth and give to a mythical being who lives in the sky." In fact, it means "confident of one's own righteousness, esp. when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others." Yep, that sounds like you.

      BTW, why do you care if I (or anyone) believes in the "invisible magic/boogeyman in the sky"? You have chosen the live you're going to live, as have I, so go live it. And do LIVE it because it's the only life you're going to have!

      January 27, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • hmmm

      @saganhill: you said you hate religion. I share your views of it, and of god. The difference in our thinking is that I admit I cannot disprove a god. I also refuse to bring hate into my feelings about religion, because this only serves to fuel zealotry. When people feel thier religion is under attack, they become like a cornered boar. I encourage open discussion about it, and will tell people why I choose to believe what I do; however, I find it more productive if I don't belittle them route thier faith.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Joe

      While this report is not so surpising to me, I was in a state of shock for a few minutes when I read the part that Pakistan's population could grow by 70 million in the next 20 years.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Jason

      @hmmm, you haven't seen Pol Pot, Stalin, and others kill off millions of people. They were all atheists "cleansing" impure minds who were against their atheistic ideologies.

      January 28, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • Jupiter777

      Nonimus, the wiki article is very out of touch, please google Islamic Caliphate and Shura, there is a good article on wikia dot com.

      January 28, 2011 at 5:05 am |
    • claybigsby

      Jason: "@hmmm, you haven't seen Pol Pot, Stalin, and others kill off millions of people. They were all atheists "cleansing" impure minds who were against their atheistic ideologies."

      You haven't seen Hitler, the KKK, or Timothy Mcveigh? What about Christian extremist groups such as the Army of God or Lambs of Christ who attacked abortion clinics and doctors (no better than terrorist or gangs)? These were all Christians who killed people who were against their christian ideologies.

      January 28, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Nonimus

      Thanks for responding.

      I'm still a bit confused. While the Wikia[dot]com article on Caliphate initially says, "... Shura, elected by Muslims or their representatives," it later states, "...there was no specified procedure for this shura, or consultative as.sembly." This is also apparently, just the Sunni Muslims; the Shi'a, if I understand correctly, believe that imams or "an Islamic jurist or faqih" should rule.
      Back to the Shura though, the Wikia[dot]com article does seem in line with your first article at ijtihad[dot]org that basically states that it is va.gue, or:
      "There is no doubt that shura is the Islamic way of making decisions. But is it necessary and obligatory? ...We do not have a decisive answer to that issue."
      The necessary and obligatory question relates to the nature of the government that it is 'consultated' by. If obligatory, then the government is more in line with a Western democracy, but if it is just "consultative", then the government can be anything, including a di.ctatorship that consults with a Shura if it wants to.
      The article goes on to state very directly, "I do not believe that shura and democracy are the same kinds of insti.tutions." The first reason, and I agree that it is big issue, he states as, "Unlike shura democracy allows modification of foundational texts. You can amend the consti.tution but not the Quran or the Sunnah."

      So while the Shura may have some similarities to certain democratic structures or functions, it doesn't seem to me, to support a fully democratic, or truly representative, government. But I'm obviously not an expert on the subject, so perhaps I'm mistaken.

      January 28, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  20. ArtInChicago

    "What we say, we don't feel
    What we feel, we can't show
    What we show isn't real
    What is real–we don't know.
    Come on Lord, if you're great
    Show me how, where to go
    Show me now–I can't wait
    Maybe it's too late Lord
    I don't know."

    From Leonard Bernstein's Mass

    January 27, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • Name*Chedar

      Google " The Heart Sutra and the Diamond Sutra" this will answer the very reason of what Leonard Bernstein is asking.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • flfx

      As with any group, it's the radical portion that is dangerous. I'm a Christian and have no problem with Muslims..it's radical Islam that is the problem and hijacking their religion for murder. Just like the Westboro whackos that are a menace. They do not represent the God I worship.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • sl

      @saganhill, please do not comment on topics you are ill informed/brainwashed against as it makes your comments stupid besides atheist shoukd not comment on religion its a opic you are unfamiliar with. if you actually have a religion than you should have HYPOCRITE stamped on your forehead.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • Almaqdisi

      There is something wrong with this statement:
      "Israel will become nearly a quarter Muslim. The Palestinian territories have one of the highest growth rates in the world."
      If you define Israel as being the land excluding the West Bank and Gaza, then already Israeli-Arabs are 21% of the Population. Majority of Israeli Arabs are Muslims although a sizable Christian community also exists.

      If you talk about Israel as the land encapsulating the West Bank and Gaza, then already Palestinians (West Bank Palestinians, Gaza Palestinians, and the Israeli Arab Palestinians) are already about 50% of the people living between the river Jordan and the Mediterranean.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • MauiGuy

      The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity

      This book actually has solid facts and figures amased over a few decades. I don't know that the author is Christian, but the data looks solid. He paints a completely different picture and is much more convincing. ...for all the actual students out there.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • hmmm

      @John "Christianity" encompasses many different practices; some of which do allow gays. Like Islam, there are different interpretations of the teachings. You would do well to inform yourself.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • bailoutsos

      Americans will soon be mandarin speaking Muslims. Welcome to the New Order.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • Patrick

      Islam is 800 years younger than Christianity. 800 years ago Christianity was at it's peak of power. Scientific progress and reason had been set back a thousand years, the dark ages were underway. Well, now it's time for a new religion to infect the world and set it back. I wish all you nut jobs would give up your desperate childish need to believe in a holy protective father. The divine is within and is beyond your description or understanding. Anybody who claims to know about god has been fooled by the devil.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • wong


      Everybody makes mistakes in spelling and punctuation from time to time, but someone who can't spell "should" and "topic" is hardly in a position to call anyone stupid.

      @saganhill, please do not comment on topics you are ill informed/brainwashed against as it makes your comments stupid besides atheist shoukd not comment on religion its a opic you are unfamiliar with. if you actually have a religion than you should have HYPOCRITE stamped on your forehead.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • nijas

      This article is a good example for islamofobia ,

      January 27, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • RobD

      The question is really what type of Christian, what type of Muslim, will the world see. We have these 'faith traditions' now where people don't take the beliefs of their parents, where they pick and choose what they are going to take – little bit of Buddhism here, little bit of Christianity there.

      Frankly the 'tradition' doesn't make any practical difference in their lives – they are really secularists believing whatever is the norm for society, and throwing in a little tradition and ceremony. Harmless little people really.

      So – you tell me we will have all these "Muslims" but in some countries those Muslims will be 'integrated' and will have the same values as everyone else. Then you are in another country – where that may also still be true in a sense, but because the whole country is Muslim-dominate, you will see this translate into people living lives dominated by religion.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Nonimus

      "...theist shoukd not comment on religion its a opic you are unfamiliar with."

      "Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions."

      January 27, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Nonimus

      Sorry, sl's quote should have been,
      "...atheist shoukd not comment on religion its a opic you are unfamiliar with."

      January 27, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • MAMMA

      Why don't you find a study on JEW cnn?

      January 27, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • saganhill

      @SL...The very notion of god in itself is brainwashing at its best. It was the first big brainwash. As Carl Sagan put it, It was the great Bamboozle of all time. If you think for one second there is a god, you as other people who beleive the same must not have a rational bone in your body. There is no proof of god, you cant simply make it up as you go along and interpret it out a 1700 year old book. Its totally anti-science. And yes, I do hate religion. Its been nothing but a hinderance to the human population ever since it was made up by men.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Havildar

      No one should be surprised that the Muslim Population is growing worldwide. It is in fact one of the fastest growing religion in the World since it formed 600AD. Science, Medicine, Maths, Literature,etc., etc. It was in the Islamic world that ancient literatures were preserved and helped us get out of the "dark ages brought on by the Christian Lunatics " Banning & Burning of Books seems to be a Christian Right wing hallmark. Like the Christian Right wing of Lunatics there is a mirrow image in Islam also. Being a terrorist has nothing to do with what fate one belives in. All are equally at fault.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Darren

      @Saganhill: I support your reasoning. Listen up people, you are the religeon you are because of your parents. They took you to church as a child and raised you Christian. This article (correctly) assumes the MUSLIM population will double because of the muslims that are going to give birth. If any of you christians were born into a muslim family you would also be MUSLIM! HOW CAN YO ARGUE WITH THAT!?!?! I promise the almighty God and Jesus you know and love would be Allah if you grew up in a Muslim family. Are you going to tell me if you were born into a Muslim family you would one day read the Bible and ON YOUR OWN, decide that "oh, you know what, this is actually the correct relgion. I'm going to switch.". The answer is no, you wouldn't. You'd be Muslim. So, like Saganhill said, you are sheep.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • SensibleAmerican

      @flfx Well said.

      @precise Ironic choice in screen name, considering your post is not precise, but rather conjectural & slanderous, at best.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Jheron

      Havildar, you are right of course with what you have said about preserving the knowledge of the Eastern roman Empire as well as adding to it especially in terms of m mathematics...but what you fail to mention is the steady decline of the Middle east as Islam grew.

      As for the article...less than 20% of the world was Muslim in 1990. It is now 2011...last time I checked, 1.1 billion is still s significantly less than 20% of the world's population which is still just under 7 billion I believe.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • NeoCeon

      Religion is a disease that must be fought, if our species is to evolve further.

      And out of the big religions, Islam is the worst. It is a potentially fatal cancer in our human society that must be destroyed, or "cured" before it is to late.

      All people, who are not psychologically crippled by religion, must begin to take the responsibility to work for a religion-free humanity.

      * NeoCeon *

      January 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Carlos

      Holy moly! Run for the hills! They're comin, Ma!

      January 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • jmmer

      @Darren Muslims do transition to Christianity on a regular basis. Atheists become Christians as well. To say that you are born into Muslim family means that you will remain Muslim goes to show you that you are not open to any opinions other than your own. I am Christian and did go to church when I was a child, did not really pay much attention to religion because I was young and stupid. Then something (which I will not go into detail) happened to me on ONE specific day that opened my eyes to being a good Christian. I am not mad at Muslims or Atheists because as a Christian, they are all still children of God. I hope and pray something happens in your life to make you realize that FAITH is what you need, not proof. Just because you cannot prove what is beyond our Galaxy does not mean that nothing exists there. The Bible has been able to exist for longer than any fairy tale story and there are enough Miracles in our world to prove that something exists that we cannot control. I hope you get your Miracle one day, then perhaps you will SEE.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • jmmer

      @Darren, thought I may just show you what I mean.... http://www.nowpublic.com/world/thousands-muslims-convert-christianity-iraq

      January 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • pwaveno bamaiyi

      Thanks for this detailed report that hopefully will remove the fear of "Eurabia" from the minds of many!

      January 28, 2011 at 7:02 am |
    • Reality

      Ignorance through religion continues to spread. Send me some money and I will send you an unproveable story!!

      January 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • nutnhuney

      if chrisian and muslim populations are growing due to natural growth factors since the world population as a whole is growing chances are the mormon n jewish n hindu populations are growing too so what exactly is the point of this article except to make everone fell better about killing more muslims...faster 'the secret of min' apageinthelife blog

      January 29, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.