Where is Islam
|Top 10 Largest Muslim Populations|
Click here to visit the Pew Research Center’s “Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Muslim Population.” Suffice it to say that Islam has a global reach, and you would be mistaken to think that the majority of Muslims are Arabs. There are almost 200 million Muslims in Indonesia alone. That is about the same number as live in all the Arab countries combined, and it makes Indonesia the most populous Islamic nation in the world. According to Timothy George’s book, there are more Muslims in China than there are Southern Baptists in the entire world. Islam in the 21st century has adherents on every continent. Islam is the second largest religion in Europe, and it will soon surpass Judaism for that spot in North America. In England, there are more Muslims than Methodists, and more Muslims than Episcopalians and Presbyterians combined in the US. One UN populations study estimates that by 2025 30% of the world’s population will be Muslim. There are about 1.5 billion Muslims in the world today, but only about 6% of the Christian mission force in the world has Muslims as their focus.
Islam is global and local. In North America there are more than 13,000 mosques. The majority of Muslims in the States are immigrants and their descendants, but Muslim communities are growing through conversion as well as immigration. This is especially true in the African-American community, and I’m not talking about conversion to the Nation of Islam, an organization that has been on the decline since the late 60’s.
Muslims live in my neighborhood. Their kids go to school with my kids. We shop at the same stores. Their presence will continue to increase in this country. This is not a reason to despair! This is an opportunity for Christian witness. So what will we do? Rather than reacting with fear, suspicion, or apathy we should be equipped and ready to share our faith with our new neighbors and friends. The British evangelical Ron George writes,
“God was so concerned that Muslims hear the Gospel that He has brought the mission field to the churches.”
How will we respond?