The concern in the 2003 article focused on the fact that
Britain, and continental Europe for that matter, are becoming increasing secular while immigrant populations of devoted Muslims are growing.
The recent survey shows that while Christianity remains the dominant religion in the U.K. at over 50%, more than half the population if over the age of 50 and, for the first time, less than half the people under 25 consider themselves Christians.
Meanwhile, the Muslim population in
Britain is growing so rapidly that Islam is predicted to overtake Christianity within the next 20 years. Combined with the growing secularization of native Britons, the Christian/Muslim ratio could tilt in favor of Islam even sooner than estimated.
Such a change could be a serious concern. When Islam becomes the dominant power in a society, Sharia law oftens follows and non-Muslims may be relegated to dhimmitude which means they are subjects of the Islamic state.
Already there are problems with Muslims taking to the streets of
London and Paris on Fridays to observe prayers. Streets become jammed with faithful Muslims who create several blocks of traffic congestion. Though there are laws against such public gatherings, authorities usually look the other way.
Stockholm, one district of the city now allows mosques to play Muslim calls to prayer.
The overall population of
England and Wales increased by 3.7 million people from 2001 to 2011, but the number of people who said they are Christians declined by 4.1 million and 6.4 million said they had no religion at all. Meanwhile, the Muslim population grew by 1.2 million.
Such statistics do not tell the entire story, however. The decreasing number of native British Christians is alarmingly higher than first thought due to an increase of Christian immigrants which skewed the data.
In addition, Christians had the oldest age profile in 2011 while Muslims had the youngest among all primary religious groups. Almost half of Muslims in
Britain are under 25 and nearly 90% are less than 50 years old.
Another important factor in the study showed that Muslims are more diverse than Christians. More than 2/3rds of the British Muslim population comes from
Asia with another 10% reported as Black/African/Caribbean/Black British. Currently more than a million Muslims are from Pakistan and roughly 400,000 come from Bangladesh.
The problem is further complicated by the fact that Muslims have the lowest level of economic activity in the
U.K. at 56%. Christians are at 60%, but there is another discrepancy in these figures. With the aging British population, the demographics for Christians are distorted because of retirement.
A professor of theology at
Cambridge University, Fraser Watts, says that in many churches throughout Great Britain the bulk of the congregation is over 60. As Watts sees it, those numbers are so striking that Christians could become a minority within the next decade rather than the estimated 20 years.
While the Christian population declines, the evidence seems to show that younger Muslims are more devoted to their faith than their parents. In 2011 the name Muhammad was by far the most popular boy’s name in
England and Wales by a wide margin. It should be noted that there are no less than 22 accepted ways to spell the name “Muhammad” and all were counted in the total.
According to David Coleman, a demographics professor at
Oxford, the U.K. will undergo a major change in national identity that will impact them culturally, politically, economically and religiously when the white British population becomes a minority.
As Coleman put it, “The ethnic transformation implicit in current trends would be a major, unlooked for, and irreversible change in British society, unprecedented for at least a millennium.
Many observers believe the current trend is the result of unacceptable immigration policies. Others have opined for years that much of the problem is due to increasing secularization in British society.
Recent immigration problems in
Sweden have raised concerns throughout Europe that the Islamic immigration situation is gaining momentum and could soon be out of control if something is not done soon to halt such influences.
Muslim extremists make no secret of the fact that their ultimate goal is to gain control over the non-Muslim world. Many Islamic analysts have warned of such consequences for decades.
In light of recent riots in Sweden and the current study in Great Britain, the question remains whether the alarm has been sounded or if is still being ignored.