This blog is written by a Christian living in the Middle East. My desire is to discuss Islam and Christianity in ways that will be helpful for people of the other religion.
Justin Long on Religion Trends for 2016
Great information from Justin Long:
Religionists, 1.31%. The world is becoming more religious, not less.
Christians, 1.3% vs. Muslims, 1.8%. Both Christians and Muslims are gaining ground in the world, but Muslims are gaining ground faster. This is largely a function of faster net demographic growth rates in countries that have large Muslim populations; this in turn is caused partially by declines in mortality.
Hindus, 1.26%. The Hindu population is making gains worldwide, but not as fast as Christians or Muslims.
All of the remaining groups (except the very small Sikh population) are declining vs. global population.
Non-religionists, 0.3% – agnostics are growing at .36%, and atheists at 0.05%. Despite headline-grabbing trends in certain parts of the world (the West, mostly), the world as a whole is becoming progressively and massively less non-religious (and atheists in particular are in sharp decline).
Well, well. What can one say about Jay Smith? He's....a special fellow!
In this great video he gives us a great lecture summarizing the latest research about controversial topics: did Muhammad exist? Was Petra, not Mecca, the original qibla. Did Abd al Malik invent Muhammad? Why did the earliest mosques not face Arabia at all? How is it that sections of the Qur'an have been found that predate the alleged life of Muhammad?
Dr. Anthony Greenham of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary did a study of Palestinian MBB's back in 2004 entitled "Muslim Conversions to Christ: An Investigation of Palestinian Converts living in the Holy Land." He interviewed 22 MBB's (11 men and 11 women).
Greenham in Ch 5 provides two lists of categories explaining why Muslims convert:
Lesser Importance are
1) political Instability,
2) Rejection of Islam,
3) Christian Media,
4) Personal Crisis,
6) God’s Honor.
The categories of “Greater Prominance” are
1) Reading the Bible,
2) Role of Believers,
3) Truth of Jesus’ Message,
4) God’s Miraculous Involvement,
5) Person of Jesus.
Update on this: most of Ant Greenham's research and findings were published in an article in St Francis Magazine. Here is THE LINK.
Twenty-three Years, by Iranian thinker Ali Dashti, is one of my favorite lives of Muhammad. Written by an Iranian Muslim who had a critical and questioning mind, I am happy to share this link to a PDF of the book which I have found online: