Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Demographics, Religion, and the Future of Europe

Demographics, Religion, and the Future of Europe


Immigration and changing demographic trends mean that Europe will in the very near future inevitably be transformed, culturally and politically. As in the Cold War, it again represents a critical theater for rivalry, but this time it is between Christianity, Islam, and secularism. European nations will either be the sites of religious conflict and violence that sets Muslim minorities against secular states and Muslim communities against Christian neighbors, or it could become the birthplace of a liberalized and modernized Islam that could in turn transform the religion worldwide. We urgently need to understand the developing contours of European religious beliefs and practices, and not just as they apply to Muslims, for the outcome of the rivalry there will have profound implications for the United States.

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