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But in some other countries, especially in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – including Turkey (12%), Kazakhstan (10%) and Azerbaijan (8%) – relatively few favor the implementation of sharia law. Recent surveys show that most people in several countries with significant Muslim populations have an unfavorable view of ISIS, including virtually all respondents in Lebanon and 94% in Jordan.
But while Islam is currently the world’s second-largest religion (after Christianity), it is the fastest-growing major religion.
Indeed, if current demographic trends continue, the number of Muslims is expected to exceed the number of Christians by the end of this century. Our demographic projections estimate that Muslims will make up 2.1% of the U. population by the year 2050, surpassing people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion as the second-largest faith group in the country (not including people who say they have no religion).
While it does not change the global population, migration is helping to increase the Muslim population in some regions, including North America and Europe. Like any religious group, the religious beliefs and practices of Muslims vary depending on many factors, including where in the world they live.
But Muslims around the world are almost universally united by a belief in one God and the Prophet Muhammad, and the practice of certain religious rituals, such as fasting during Ramadan, is widespread. For instance, a Pew Research Center survey of Muslims in 39 countries asked Muslims whether they want sharia law, a legal code based on the Quran and other Islamic scripture, to be the official law of the land in their country. Nearly all Muslims in Afghanistan (99%) and most in Iraq (91%) and Pakistan (84%) support sharia law as official law.
Yet many facts about Muslims are not well known in some of these places, and most Americans – who live in a country with a relatively small Muslim population – say they know little or nothing about Islam.
Here are answers to some key questions about Muslims, compiled from several Pew Research Center reports published in recent years: How many Muslims are there? There were 1.6 billion Muslims in the world as of 2010 – roughly 23% of the global population – according to a Pew Research Center estimate.
As a result, a larger share of Muslims already are, or will soon be, at the point in their lives when they begin having children.
This, combined with high fertility rates, will fuel Muslim population growth.