October 8, 2009

1 in 4 People Worldwide are Muslim

CNN.com reports,
Nearly one in four people worldwide is Muslim -- and they are not necessarily where you might think, according to an extensive new study that aims to map the global Muslim population. India, a majority-Hindu country, has more Muslims than any country except for Indonesia and Pakistan, and more than twice as many as Egypt.

China has more Muslims than Syria.

Germany has more Muslims than Lebanon.

And Russia has more Muslims than Jordan and Libya put together.

Nearly two out of three of the world's Muslims are in Asia, stretching from Turkey to Indonesia.

The Middle East and north Africa, which together are home to about one in five of the world's Muslims, trail a very distant second.

There are about 1.57 billion Muslims in the world, according to the report, "Mapping the Global Muslim Population," by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. That represents about 23 percent of the total global population of 6.8 billion.

There are about 2.25 billion Christians, based on projections from the 2005 World Religions Database.
These are some interesting numbers, and beg the question of how we train and prepare for evangelism in the future of the church. This is one of the fastest (if not THE fastest) growing spiritual belief systems in the world.

In my daughter's school, I have noticed the rise of Muslim students. One of her friends is Muslim, and it opened the door for Bri and I to discuss the Christian faith and the Muslim faith when her friend was fasting for Ramadan. As a sidenote: it was interesting to me how Muslim's have no problem teaching their children about fasting as part of their spiritual practice, but, as a Christian, I had not taught Bri. It was a strong reminder that I need to be more intentional about teaching the Christian faith to my child...even the hard parts. Our children are more ready than we think. Bri fasted the entire day.

Here is one thing I do know...it requires us to be loving, patient, and understanding. We have to educate ourselves as to their beliefs and practices. The last thing the Christian faith can afford is to speak badly about them. We must first seek to understand so that we can speak appropriately in their lives.

Here are a few interesting article from Brian Mclaren about his participation as a Christian in Ramadan...interesting: check out this one and this one about why a committed Christian would observe Ramadan., this one, this one, and this one.

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