The world's fastest growing religion? Islam

By Tricia Escobedo, CNN | Posted - Mar. 16, 2017 at 10:44 a.m.

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NEW YORK (CNN) — Islam is the world's fastest growing religion — and not just in Muslim majority nations: 10 percent of all Europeans are projected to be members of the Muslim faith by 2050, according to a recent Pew Research Center study.

The study estimates that from 2010 to 2050, Muslims will have increased across the world by 73 percent, followed by Christians who are projected to grow by 35 percent during the same time period, and Hindus at 34 percent.

That means that Islam — currently the world's second-largest religion — will surpass Christianity as the world's biggest religion by the end of the century, the study projects.

Why? Muslim women have more children, on average — 3.1 children compared to 2.3 for all other religious groups combined, Pew says. Also, those of the Muslim faith tend to be, on average, seven years younger than non-Muslims.

There's not a whole lot new in the findings from what Pew reported in 2015. This year's annual survey also sheds light on how Muslims are perceived around the world, including American views on Islam today compared to 2002 by political party. The study finds the people they surveyed who lean Republican had a more negative view of Muslims in the United States than in 2002, a year after the 9/11 attacks, while the opposite was true for those who lean Democrat.

The status of Muslims in the United States has been front and center with President Donald Trump's travel ban against six Muslim-majority countries being temporarily blocked by two federal judges. They cited Trump's statements about Muslims during his campaign for president as part of their rulings.

Last year, Trump told CNN's Anderson Cooper: "I think Islam hates us."

The new ban was announced earlier this month and was set to take effect Thursday. It would have banned people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days.

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Tricia Escobedo


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