Wednesday, May 06, 2009

CULTURE, DEMOGRAPHICS, CHURCH-MOSQUE STRESSES By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden, Germany As I arrived in the Hessen and Rhine region to live earlier this


By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden, Germany

As I arrived in the Hessen and Rhine region to live earlier this year, I met a Christian living in Mainz, who revealed that demographically-speaking many churches in Germany and Europe are threatened by the growth of Islam on the continent, which is occurring as the native European populations birthrate per couple edged to under 1.5 kids per household.

Here is a fear-tactic video that summarizes some of the main points of those who are raising fear scenarios.

The basic drumbeat for the European viewer is that by 2050 their continent will be a majority Muslim one.

Here is a whole conference paper-set on the topic of “how to stop the islmamization of Europe”.

These fears about demographics and cultures is why the object of the misleading video (noted above) refrains at its conclusion: “Islam will overwhelm Christendom unless Christians recognize the demographic realities, begin reproducing again, and share the gospel with Muslims.”

On the one hand the fear-tactic echoes familiar in Central Europe where Hitler and the Nazis had raised national fears in the 1920s and 1930s that the continent would be overwhelmed by Slavic Bolshevists and Jews or Gypsies if ethnic cleansing and a baby boom was not produced as an intervention.

These same Nazis soon found many religious zealots to help propagate their fears and ideology. This ideology did lead to a baby boom in Germany. However, this then led to war.

War was real.

It was a cultural war headed by the Gods of fascism and Gods of Communism—and joined by Western Imperialists under the banner of Democracy.

How real are the fears in Europe or among European Christians today in 2009?


Despite this voiced fear on You-Tube and in some corners of Christianity in Europe, in the Rhine-Main river area where I live, I have not seen too many visible mosques on the rise.

As a matter of fact, Muslims are often quite careful not to draw attention to where mosques are locating. For example, the mosque in Kostheim is called simply a Cultural Center.

The residents in Kostheim whom I’ve talked to say the structure is clearly a mosque and aplace of prayer—but most neighbors are tolerant and assume correctly that Muslims need a place of worship. If they want to call it a cultural center instead of a mosque, that is fine with them.

This linking of cultural center or social work center is not necessarily a new phenomenon.

I have observed and read about the phenomena in the USA for decades. For example, in both Dearborn, Michigan and in Chicago, Illinois.

In some ways, this placement of cultural centers and centers of benevolent works in prominent corners is no different than where unobtrusive and well-meaning Christian groups go and evangelize or set up either a community or mission at some corner of their own state—or across the planet in heretofore-unknown regions of the planet, i.e. from Himalayan mountains to South Sea islands to the Amazons.

On the other hand, there is a lot of interfaith work going on around the world, too. Here are a few examples in Singapore and Indonesia.

In the end, both Christians and Muslims need to sit down together and discuss their hermeneutics and their ideas on evangelism. It is clear that most Christians and most Muslims do not hold much from buying a soul or conquering a soul, i.e. by money or threat.

Such conversions give both faiths simply a bad name. They both expect people to be called to the faith—not bullied or tricked through famine nor promises of wealth.

As far as Christians are concerned, they need to know “(1) how Christian scriptures are drawn upon on to accept or reject dialogue, (2) how different denominations address religious pluralism and the role of mission, (3) the specific motivations for dialogue, and finally, (4) the impact of majority-minority status and culture on the imperative to dialogue or not to dialogue.”

The fact that in some places the majority-minority role is changing in the planet is nothing new. Every century sees such changes and fluxes in overall populations of cultures and religions.

In turn, many Muslims live in lands where the true history of the land and how people were brow-beaten to join one faith, one sect or another is often non-existent. This is why people cannot tell the difference between faith and culture at all in far too many cases.

However, I can name some Christian groups who have the same problem.

However, Christians in Europe (and elsewhere) the current change in demographics in Europe has had more to do with immigration law and family practices than it has to do with any grand plans of Islam to evangelize or take over the world.

For example, it was the developed countries which began in the 19th and 20th centuries (through today in the 21st Century) to severely limit immigration from other lands.

This century-long attempt to stave off non-native population growth and to box off a culture has seen its limits of success.

Instead, of raising populations by simply having more babies, why cannot a better immigration policy be put in place in Europe (and America), so that the growth in populations are more balanced?

Likewise, as far as evangelism in either Islam or in Christianity is concerned, the most important thing is how well one develops one’s own society. This attracts very good immigrants of all types.

If one has to have larger families to get by because the economy is horrible and sharing the wealth is the only way, why not divide up the society’s wealth and goods much better than is the case to date.

I am certain that many American Christians would be happy to move to and live in Europe if some of the dysfunctional facets of societal development (,especially Europe’s convoluted immigration and integration bureaucracies are concerned,) were revamped substantially to have a human face.



Blogger Rashid Patch said...

I have heard from European Muslims that they are often not permitted to build mosques. That may be why they get called "Islamic Centers".

In the U.S., for the last several decades a lot of places got nemed "Islamic Centers" because the organizations of immigrant Muslim were top-heavy with MBAs, MDs, and engineers, and they thought it sounded better.. They also were somewhat enamoured of "religion as total lifestyle" ideas, so the place had to be a community center besides just being a mosque. The convert Muslims, mostly African American, never hesitated to call their establishments mosques.

1:56 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home