Updated 2 weeks, 3 days ago

Islam is spreading worldwide fastly!

It is the fastest growing religion in the world and is expected by the end of the century to overcome Christianity.

In Latin America, however, Islam does not seem to have the same boom as elsewhere.

In fact, according to a study by the Pew Research Center in the United States, Latin America will be the only region on the planet where the estimated growth rate for the population as a whole by 2050 far exceeds the increase in the number of Muslims.

The population of the region is expected to have increased by 27% compared to 2010, but the number of supporters of Islam will increase by only 13%.

During the same period, the number of Muslims will grow by 73% in the whole planet, while the general population will grow by 35%, according to figures from the Pew study "The future of religions in the world", which Included 19 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

If this trend continues, by 2050 in the region there will be an estimated 940,000 Muslims, a figure lower than the number of faithful of Islam that already had in 2010 in countries like Spain or Italy.

But how is this phenomenon explained?

1. Faith

"Latin America is a unique region in relation to the issue of the Muslim population because there are very few Muslims living there today. We estimate that by 2010 there were about 840,000 Muslims in all the countries of the region, including the Caribbean", Conrad Hackett, a demographer and associate research director at the Pew Center, had told BBC World in the past.

"That is a tiny fraction of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world," he added.

He explained that while in mainland countries such as the United States and Canada, immigration is driving the growth of Islam, there is no evidence that this is happening in Latin America.

"In North America, specifically the United States and Canada, the Muslim population is not very large, but we see a migratory trend in progress with large numbers of people arriving from countries with Muslim majorities.Not all immigrants are Muslims, But most do, "he said.

He explained that part of this emigration answers to the pursuit of better economic opportunities, but also to other factors such as the existence of programs such as the United States visa lottery or refugee programs.

"We have no evidence of major migrations that are coming to Latin America from Southeast Asia or other regions, which may change for economic reasons or for changes in migration policies, but at the time of making the projections there was no evidence that that Would happen, "he said.

2. Conversions

Another factor that could contribute to the increase in the number of Muslims in Latin America are conversions.

"It would be something that could make a difference if there were a lot of people in the region who were changing their religion," he said. "We have grown up as Catholics but they are attracted to Islam and converted. Hackett.

The expert pointed out that this is happening in the region but from Catholicism to various forms of Protestantism, that is, changes within Christianity.

"For example, Pentecostalism is growing at a faster rate than the population as a whole," he said.

3. Fertility

Another of the great engines that is driving the growth of the number of Muslims in the world is its high fertility rate.

"In Africa, where Islam is very strong, every woman has 4, 5 or 6 children, which accelerates the growth rate of the population, both for Muslims and for Christians. The region had high fertility rates in the past, in many countries now women are having 1, 2 or 3 children, "Hackett said.

"It is a relatively modest rate and we have no evidence that the Muslim population in the region has a higher rate," he added.

He noted that there is a possibility that the fertility rate of Muslims in Latin America will be slightly higher and that, in that case, their estimates would be very conservative.

"In Argentina, for example, which is the country in the region with the highest number of followers of Islam, we do not have specific data on the fertility rate of Muslims. Often when a religious group is very small, the census has no data In this regard, so it is difficult to know specifically what their characteristics are, "he added.

Hackett warned that in any case Latin America has a Muslim population so small that even if there were a large wave of migration the region would have a long way to equip itself with what is happening with Muslims outside the region, especially in Europe and Asia .