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World religions


Islam: The second largest
world religion...and growing.

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Islamic terms About Islam:

  • Islam is the second most popular religion in the world. There were about 1.6 billion Muslims in the world in 2010, according to Pew Research. Muslims constituted about 23% of all people on Earth. The religion is currently in a period of rapid growth, and is expected to reach 2.8 billion by the year 2050, when the number of Muslims will probably approximately equal the number of Christians in the world. 1

  • Estimates of the number of Muslim adults in the U.S. have ranged from about 1 to 7 million. The former estimate is based on public opinion polls and assume that almost all adults who consider themselves Muslims are willing to respond openly to public opinion pollsters. Because of the widespread islamophobia in the country, this value is probably an underestimate. The latter estimate comes from Muslim groups in the U.S. who assume that all immigrants to the U.S. from Muslim countries were Muslims and have remained so to the present time. It is probably an overestimate. 2

    A Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life report in 2015 concluded that the U.S. population of Muslim adults is 2.6 million -- 0.6% of the total population. This places Islam as the third most popular organized religion in the U.S. after Christianity (71%) and Judaism (0.9%). 3

  • In any discussion of Islam, the topic of terrorism, murder, mass murder and genocide by a radical, violent wing of Islam is not far from the surface. One important item to remember is that terrorists, and their supporters, represent a small percentage of followers within the religion who follow a type of Islam that has little regard for human life. It is also important to recall that most victims of these terrorists are fellow Muslims.

  • In contrast, Zia H Shah, writing for the Muslim Times, has assembled a group of "Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living" from the Qur'an -- Islam's Holy Book.

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Symbol of Islam 4 Topics included in this section:

In addition to the above, we have short passages on:

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Michael Lipka & Conrad HacketT, "Why Muslims are the world's fastest-growing religious group," Pew Research Center, 2015-APR-23, at:
  2. The estimate of 1.1 million Muslim in the U.S. was derived from the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) of 2001. It was based on a telephone survey. See: The seven million estimate was obtained from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) web site. It was based on the number of immigrants from Islamic countries. See:
  3. "Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population; Unaffiliated and Other Faiths Continue to Grow," Pew Research Center, 2015-MAY-12, at:
  4. "Symbols of Islam -- Allah," Wikipedia, as on 2015-OCT-24, at:
  5. "Muslim students have something to tell you," AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM) on Monday, 2016-FEB-15, at:

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Copyright 1995 to 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last update: 2018-FEB-05
Author: B. A. Robinson

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