Islam may soon become the world's most dominant religion, eclipsing Christianity, Pew study says

The Kaaba, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is the centre of Islam. Muslims from all over the world gather there to pray in unity.(Wikipedia)

The rise of extremist Islamic groups has been the talk of the town for the past several months, and many countries are worried of the security threat these groups pose.

Here's some more worrisome news: The Pew Research Center recently projected that Islam may soon become the most dominant religion in the world, eclipsing Christianity.

In an interview with NPR, Pew Director of Religion Research Alan Cooperman said the Muslim population is set to grow more than the Christian population.

"Another way of thinking about it is Christianity had a seven-century head-start on Islam, and Islam is finally catching up," Cooperman said.

He explained that Islam's growth will be brought about by the high number of young Muslims who have high fertility rates.

"Between 2010 and 2050, the world's total population is expected to rise to 9.3 billion, a 35 percent increase. Over that same period, Muslims—a comparatively youthful population with high fertility rates—are projected to increase by 73 percent," Pew Research explained.

The study said Christians will also increase in number, but at a slower rate.

"The number of Christians also is projected to rise, but more slowly, at about the same rate (35 percent) as the global population overall," the research stated.

Southern Evangelical Seminary President and Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land admitted that Islam really has a potential for growth.

"The growth of Islam is partly due to Muslim families sharing their faith with their children," Land told Charisma News.

He, however, said Islam's rise as a dominant religion is not a definite thing.

"These young families may not grow and increase at the rate many think, especially as young Muslim women have more opportunities and may choose not to have as many children," the religious leader explained.

He added that Christianity may well expand its reach, even in areas where Christians once experienced persecution.

"Christianity is growing rapidly in China, the world's most populous country with 1.3 billion people. And despite news that 'nones,' or those unaffiliated with any religion, are increasing, let's not discount the fact that all religions are growing, as the world is perhaps not as secular as we once thought," Land explained.