As the flood of Middle Eastern refugees arriving in Europe recedes, and asylum seekers will settle into their new homes, Germany will suddenly become the country with the largest Muslim population.
The arrival of so many Syrians fleeing the civil war in their country, indirectly changed the face of Islam in Germany. Until now, Germany is still dominated by Turks who first came as guest workers in the 1960s.
While refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq and other Muslim countries arrive, Syria makes up one of the largest contingents estimated at around 45 percent, and has the best chance of being granted political asylum there.
The long-term impact of Germany will not be like Britain or France, as it has a tradition of taking immigrants from former colonies. Many refugees are still struggling through a number of issues, such as learning a language and getting a job. The number of people who will follow them is also unknown.
Some of the emerging trends, although Germany is familiar with the Muslim minority, remain cause for hope and concern.
The first change that happens is definitely numbers. “We could suddenly have five million Muslims,” said Thomas Volk, an Expert on Islam at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
France now has the largest Muslim population in Europe with five million people, followed by Germany with about four million. But Germany alone estimates 800,000 refugees will come this year, most of them Muslims. This trend will continue.
It will not stop abruptly on January 1, 2016,” Volk added. In addition, most are young adult males, so the number will increase further as they settle down and build a family.
Islamic America Second Order (Muslim In Europe and US)
If current demographic trends continue, Muslims could become the second-largest religious group in the United States by 2050, surpassing Jews, who are currently in second place, according to the Pew Research Center.
Muslims in the U.S. have the highest fertility rates and the youngest average age among the country’s major religious groups, which helps drive its growth, according to Michael Lipka of the Pew Research Center.
The number of people identifying as Jewish is expected to fall from 1.8 percent in 2010 to 1.4 percent in 2050. In 2010, the average age of American Jews was 41, while the average age of Muslims was 24, or 17. In addition, the average Jew has 1.9 children per woman while the figure for U.S. Muslims is 2.8, according to Pew.
In a 2013 survey, Pew found that more than 22 percent of adult Jews in the U.S. consider themselves atheists, agnostics or unaffiliated with any faith, but still identify as Jewish.
Pew did not include these people in the Jewish population. If the projected figures include these “ethnic” or “cultural” Jewish groups, perhaps the broadly defined Jewish population will still outnumber Muslims by 2050.
Whatever the changes, overall, the United States is still expected to remain a christian-majority country. In 2010, more than three-quarters of Americans, or 78.3 percent, identified as Christian.
Yet a growing number of Americans consider themselves unaffiliated with any religion, and by 2050, the number of people who consider themselves Christians is expected to drop to 66.4 percent.