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Hopeless Europe; Hope Filled Messages

Islam in Europe

The changing world of Europe. As the Muslim population grows, so do the converts to Islam. Are Muslims receptive to the gospel?
 |  Jerry Smyth  |  Europe

For 1000 years, Europe has been the last bastion of Christendom. The last 250 years have been years of worldwide advance for the gospel. But today there is a steady decline in faith. Europe has watched secularism and religious social policies erode the faith of their people. No longer are the days of John Calvin with a line-up of missionary candidates knocking on his door and seeking his advice on where they can serve the Lord.

Much of the change happening in Europe has resulted in a biblical illiteracy that is shockingly common. European ideologies have had worldwide dominance. Now we see how the effects of humanism, secularism, socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Nazi-ism, and amoral capitalism have contributed to the erosion of Europe’s Christian heritage.

In spite of the high levels of education and historic influence of the Scripture in European society, traditional roots of Evangelicals, Puritans, Anabaptists and free churches, unfortunately have lent to the tendency of Christians toward an outward quietism and withdrawal from engagement with society.

The result is a spiritual vacuum that leaves the door open to atheism as well as Islam and other religions.

In their book, Already Gone, Ken Ham and Britt Beemer draw attention to the fact that since 1969, 1500 churches in England alone have heard the final thud of their doors. Between 1998 and 2005 there has been an overall decline in regular church attendance of 15% and the trend continues.

Population decline is also a factor in the changes in Europe. Europe’s aging population and low fertility rate are major contributions to eminent change. Traditional Europeans are failing to reproduce themselves. Historically no culture has ever reversed a 1.9 fertility rate. As of 2007, the fertility rate in France 1.8, England 1.6, Greece and Germany 1.3, Italy 1.2 in Spain 1.1. As the population shrinks, so does the culture. Humanistic reasoning has led man to ignore the Biblical mandate to “be fruitful and multiply”.

A Peaceful Invasion. Immigrants have continued to flow into Europe, both legally and illegally in big numbers. The population of immigrants from outside Europe now reaches close to 30 million. Many pay exorbitant funds for the services of traffickers and others who try to sneak in by countless different methods. It is said that hundreds of thousands are illegally trafficked against their will into Europe, most of them women to be used in the sex trade. Others are forced to work in inhuman conditions for low wages and others still forced to marry against their will.

The population of Europe however is not declining, primarily because of Islamic immigration. There is a population explosion among Muslims. Since 1990, the French have produced 1.8 children per family, Muslims: 8.1 children per family. 30% of children of the age of 20 or under are Islamic. In four of the largest cities, that number has grown to 45%. By 2027 one in five Frenchmen will be Muslim. In just 39 years, France will be an Islamic Republic.

In the last 30 years, The United Kingdom has had a 30 fold increase of Muslims. In the Netherlands 50% of all newborns are Muslim. In just 15 years half of the population will be Muslim. In Russia there are 23 million Muslims, meaning, one out of five Russians are Muslim. 40% of the entire Russian army will be Islamic in just a few years. The government of Belgium has stated that by 2025, one third of all European children will be born to Muslim families.

With immigrants having babies three times faster than native Europeans, Europe’s future is going to be multicultural. But it may not be peaceful.

Islam is a political system as well as a religious system. While the entrance of Islam into a country appears “religious”, soon pressure is increased on local officials to allow Sharia Law to govern the Islamic population. The first step in the growth of a Muslim community is to put political pressure on local officials to establish laws prohibiting criticism of Islam.

The European Union has offered to host the next meeting of the so-called Istanbul Process, an aggressive effort by Muslim countries to make it an international crime to criticize Islam. The announcement comes less than one month after the United States hosted its own Istanbul Process conference in Washington, DC.

As the Muslim population grows, so do the converts to Islam.

France: The total number of mosques in France has already doubled to more than 2,000 during just the past ten years. An estimated 70,000 French citizens have converted to Islam in recent years, according to a report by France 3 public television. As in Britain, the majority of converts to Islam in France are young women who say they are disenchanted with materialism.

Brussels is the capital of Europe. But some are now calling it the Muslim capital of Europe. Muslims are still a minority in Belgium, but in the capital of Brussels, they’re already the largest religious group, comprising one-quarter of the city’s population. In less than 20 years they’re expected to be the majority. “Welcome to ‘Belgistan.”

In Britain, the number of Muslim converts recently passed the 100,000 mark, according to a survey conducted by an inter-faith group called Faith Matters. The survey revealed that nearly two thirds of the converts were women, more than 70% were white and the average age at conversion was just 27.

Overall, at least 10,000 churches have been closed in Britain since 1960. There are now more than 1,700 official mosques in Britain, many converted from former churches. In addition, there are an estimated 2,000 Muslim prayer halls and unknown thousands of unofficial mosques in garages or warehouses scattered throughout the country.

Islam is set to displace Christianity in Britain even further in the years ahead. The number of Muslims in Britain is forecast to double to 5.5 million, or 8% of the total British population, by 2030, according to the Washington, DC-based Pew Research Center.

In Germany, more than 400 Roman Catholic churches and more than 100 Protestant churches have been closed since 2000, according to one estimate. Another 700 Roman Catholic churches are slated to be closed over the next several years.

By contrast, there are now more than 200 mosques (including more than 40 mega-mosques), 2,600 Muslim prayer halls and a countless number unofficial mosques in Germany. Another 128 mosques are currently under construction, according to the Zentralinstitut Islam-Archiv, a Muslim organization based in Germany.

In Germany, at least 20,000 people have converted to Islam in recent years, according to a report by RTL television. Some of these converts are playing a growing role in jihad in Germany. Germans are especially concerned about the refusal of millions of Muslim immigrants to integrate into German society, as well as the emergence of a parallel legal system in Germany based on Islamic Sharia law.

An initiative to hand out 25 million copies of the Koran has raised the concern of politicians and even Muslims in Germany.

Conversions to Islam are also rife in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

In Italy, Ambassador Alfredo Maiolese, an Italian MP, recently became a Muslim and now dedicates his time trying to improving the image of Islam in the West.

In Sweden, there are now at least 5,000 converts to Islam.

In Switzerland, young converts to Islam are a potential threat to the country’s security, according to Alard du Bois-Reymond, who was head of the Swiss Migration Office until he was removed for his politically incorrect observations.

In Spain, at least 50,000 native Spaniards have converted to Islam in recent years, many of them women., a Spanish-language website devoted to propagating Islam in Spain, recently published an article that encourages Spanish women to wed Muslim men. The article describes marriage to a Muslim this way: “Multiculturalism is a rewarding experience for all concerned.”

Bullfighting is now illegal in the Spanish province of Catalonia. Some arenas have been converted into business spaces. But Muslims want to turn the most famous arena, the Coliseum, into a giant mosque.

Are Muslims receptive to the gospel?

Some Muslims are vigorously opposed to the gospel, while others are very open. Media hype has taught us to stereotype and label all as terrorists. While the majority are nominal, many Muslims are serious about their faith. They have a sincere desire to please God. Most commonly they are family people, love hospitality, and once you gain their friendship and trust, they can be the most loyal of friends.

Every generation is responsible to reach their own world with the gospel. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus commands us to go to all nations, “...teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”... Acts 1: 8 tells us that we are to go and preach the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, in Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. In the garden, Jesus prayed “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;” John 17:20. Necessity is laid on us to tell them of our Savior.

The prophet Habakkuk was frustrated with his generation. He cried to the Lord for his people who honored God with their lips but not with their hearts. The Lord responded and promised that He would do a work that Habakkuk would not believe. God told Habakkuk what he was going to do. “For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwelling-places that are not theirs.” Habakkuk 1:6. Because Israel was unwilling to be a “light” to their generation, God would send the Chaldeans to them. Such seems to be the case in the former “Christian” Europe as well as in America. If we will not go to them, God will send them to us. God’s response to the perplexed prophet was “...the just shall live by his faith.” Habakuk 2:4

Well, we might say, it’s Europe’s problem, not ours, they’ve had their day. Let us note the evidence of Islam right here around us, where we live.

There are 20 Islamic centers in greater Cincinnati. The nearest one is less than a mile from First Baptist Church of Milford. God has brought them to us.

Will we ignore them? Or search them out to befriend them? The day of isolationism is over. It is our responsibility before God to reach out to our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world.

As for our children: we have been very strong on soul winning, but weak in discipleship. We must inlay the foundations of God’s Word deeply into the hearts of our children. The Chronological Bible Teaching series, builds a sure biblical foundation for both adults and children.

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalms 11:3.

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