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World religions


Islam: The second largest
world religion...and growing.

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Islamic terms About Islam's population numbers:

  • The Pew Research Center reported that In 2015, the ten countries with the largest population of Muslims were:
    • Indonesia: 220 million
    • India: 195 million
    • Pakistan: 184 million
    • Bangladesh: 144 million
    • Nigeria: 90 million
    • Egypt: 84 million
    • Iran: 78 million
    • Turkey: 75 million
    • Algeria: 37 million
    • Iraq: 36 million 6

By 2060, India is expected to have the largest number of Muslims of any country: 333 million.

  • There were about 1.75 billion Muslims worldwide in 2015, according to the Pew Research Center. 1,6 About 23% of all people are Muslims. This makes Islam the second most popular religion in the world at that time, surpassed in numbers only by Christianity. Islam is currently in a period of rapid growth, and the number of its followers is expected to reach almost 3 billion by the year 2060. At that time, the total number of Muslims will probably approximately equal the total number of Christians in the world.

Between 2015 and 2060, the growth of:

  • The total population of the world is expected to increase by 32%;

Over the same interval, the various religions are expected to grow as follows:

    • Muslims by 70%;

    • Christians by 34%;

    • Hindus by 27%,

    • Jews by 15%;

    • Folk religions by 5%;

    • The Nones (a.k.a. Notas or Not Affiliated persons) by 5%

    • Other religions by 0%, and

    • Buddhists by -7%. 1

Thus, in terms of "market share:"

  • Islam will be the only world religion to experience major growth;
  • Christianity will increase its current "market share" ay about a third;
  • Other world religions will lose market share.
  • Estimates of the number of Muslim adults in the U.S. have ranged from about 1 to 7 million. The former estimate is based on public opinion polls and assume that almost all adults who consider themselves to be Muslim are willing to respond openly to strangers who claim to be anonymous public opinion pollsters. Because of the widespread islamophobia in the country, this value is certainly an underestimate. The latter estimate comes from Muslim groups in the U.S. who assume that all immigrants to the U.S. from Muslim countries were Muslims and that they have remained so to the present time. It is certainly an overestimate. 2

    A Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life report in 2015 estimated that the number of Muslim adults in the U.S. is 2.6 million, which is 0.6% of the total population. This places Islam as the third most popular organized religion in the U.S. after Christianity (71%) and Judaism (0.9%). 3

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Murder and compassion in Islam:

  • In any discussion of Islam, the topic of terrorism, murder, mass murder, and genocide by radical, violent Muslims is not far from the surface. Perhaps the most important item to remember is that terrorists, and their supporters, represent a very small percentage of followers within the religion who follow a type of Islam that has little regard for the lives of non-Muslims. It is also important to recall most of the victims of these terrorists are fellow Muslims.

  • In contrast, Zia H Shah, writing for the Muslim Times, has assembled a group of "Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living" from the Qur'an -- Islam's Holy Book.

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Symbol of Islam 4 Topics included in this section:

In addition to the above, we have short passages on:

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Michael Lipka & Conrad Hackett, "Why Muslims are the world's fastest-growing religious group," Pew Research Center, 2017-APR-08, at:
  2. The estimate of 1.1 million Muslim in the U.S. was derived from the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) of 2001. It was based on a telephone survey. See: The seven million estimate was obtained from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) web site. It was based on the number of immigrants from Islamic countries. See:
  3. "Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population; Unaffiliated and Other Faiths Continue to Grow," Pew Research Center, 2015-MAY-12, at:
  4. "Symbols of Islam -- Allah," Wikipedia, as on 2015-OCT-24, at:
  5. "Muslim students have something to tell you," AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM) on Monday, 2016-FEB-15, at:
  6. Rafiq A. Tschannen, "Pew Research Center: India will have the world’s most Muslims in 2060," The Muslim Times, 2019-APR-04, at:

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Copyright © 1995 to 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last update: 2020-JAN-10
Author: B. A. Robinson

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