The Fastest Growing Religion™

Over and over again you hear the claim “Islam is the fastest growing religion” from Muslim apologists. Let me ask you, does that make Islam true?  Let’s say due to some reasons Islam becomes unpopular and Christianity became the fastest growing religion, would this make Christianity true?  Of course not. This is fallacious thinking.

The truth should not be judged based on numbers (ad populum).  The truth should be judged on the basis of it being true.

We know that the majority of the world does not follow Islam.  4/5ths of the word population follow other religions.  Does that make Islam false?  No, of course not.  That would be a silly and flawed argument.

But let’s look at the facts now about which religious group is growing and why.

What is actually the fastest growing religion?  No religion

In countries where there is unrestricted access to information and there is less censorship, you will find a rise in agnosticism and atheism.  This is because religions thrive on lack of information.  Religions cannot survive scrutiny.  This is why Answering Islam, WikiIslam, Faith Freedom and other such sites are blocked in most Muslim countries.  They are scared of people reading both sides of the argument and coming to a rational conclusion.  This is why Muslim preachers warn people from reading sites against Islam incase “Shaytan” will deceive them.

According to National Geographic:

The religiously unaffiliated, called “Nons,” are growing significantly. They’re the second largest religious group in North America and most of Europe. In the United States, nons make up almost a quarter of the population. In the past decade, U.S. nons have overtaken Catholics, mainline protestants, and all followers of non-Christian faiths. 

In Muslim majority countries it is difficult to ascertain the percentage of the population that is non-religious, atheist or agnostic. This is because of the repercussions (harsh penalties, societal ostracization, jail sentences or even death penalty at the hands of the government or the mob in some cases) that are associated with apostasy. This makes it difficult to rely on the statistics provided by the government.

However, a recent study by the Group for Analyzing and Measuring Attitudes in Iran (GAMAAN), a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands yielded very intriguing results. In a survey of about 50 000 Iranians, about 9% said they are atheists and 22% do not believe in a God. Also, this study shows that a growing population in Iran is no longer comfortable with many Islamic teachings and traditions for example mandatory hijab, ban on alcohol and most importantly the role that religion should play in the day to day politics of the state. These numbers prove that even in countries where there are severe information restrictions, Non-religiosity is slowly but surely making inroads even though most people are closeted about their apostasy.

Also, atheists tend to be less evangelical about their beliefs. Only about one-in-ten atheists (9%) say they engage in religious discussions  at least weekly, while roughly two-thirds (65%) say they seldom or never discuss their views on religion with religious people. By comparison, 26% of those who have a religious affiliation share their views at least once a week with those who have other beliefs; 43% say they seldom or never do.

People naturally tend to become atheists or agnostics after they are exposed to both sides of the argument.  The reason why people find it so hard to leave religion is because of fear of hell and because of desire for immortality.  People want to live forever.  And they want to meet their family members again.  People have a really hard time accepting that death is the permanent cessation of our consciousness.

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References:

  1. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160422-atheism-agnostic-secular-nones-rising-religion/[/ref]
  2. www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/06/01/10-facts-about-atheis
  3. https://gamaan.org/2020/09/09/gamaan-iran-religion-survey-2020/

 

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