Amid Islam's growth is a turning to Christ

Thursday, April 23, 2015
 | 
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

The leader of a Messianic Jewish ministry is concerned about a new study that shows Islam is growing at a faster rate than Christianity.

Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, isn't surprised at the growth of Islam, even in America.

"I think that's for many reasons. [For example, in] the jail population they're converting, particularly [among] the African-American people," Markell tells OneNewsNow. "[But] Islam is glorified in the news every day – not glory in our eyes, but to the eyes of a radical Muslim – so when they see this faith is glorified and is making headlines every day, people are converting and joining the cause there."

The Pew Research Center study reporting the growth rates is called "The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050." It predicts that over the next four decades Christianity will remain the largest religious group worldwide, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion – to the point that by the middle of this century "there will be near parity between Muslims (2.8 billion, or 30% of the population) and Christians (2.9 billion, or 31%)."

While conversion to Islam is a concern to many Christians, implicit in the study is that birth rate also will play a part in Islam's accelerated growth. According to Pew Research, Muslims have the highest fertility rate globally – an average of 3.1 children per woman; Christians are second, at 2.7 children per woman. The "replacement" level – the minimum typically needed to maintain a stable population – is 2.1 children per woman.

Markell, Jan (Olive Tree Ministries)Conversion, though, works both ways. Markell says the good news is that more Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus Christ than any other time in recorded history.

"The center of Islamic revival is Iran, even though they're persecuted and thrown in jail. There is a literal revival going on in Iran," she reiterates. "Muslims are coming to faith through supernatural experiences; Jesus is appearing to them – and they're getting saved on the spot."

And for their decision to follow Christ, says the ministry leader, these converts from Islam often pay a price that no Westerner can imagine.

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