Europe will turn Muslim in about three decades and Christians will be so afraid of persecution that they will live in secret during those times, the Russian Orthodox archpriest has warned.
In a statement to Soyuz TV channel translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Russian prelate Dmitri Smirnov warned that the Christian civilization only has very little time left before its demise. He also predicted that Islam will rule in the western world because Muslims are willing to give their all to fight for what they believe in, but the people of the West are just too tired to do so.
In addition, the Russian prelate said Christians will be persecuted and scattered across Europe and will live in secret, gathering in small groups instead. Interfax-Religion also reports that Smirnov said Muhammad is now the most popular name given to British baby boys.
"In three decades, the whole Europe will turn Muslim and Christians will live in a semi-underground," Father Smirnov added.
Father Smirnov's warning about Islam overtaking Christianity in Europe is in line with a Pew Research Center study released earlier this year. Based on the results of the study, Muslim populations in America and Europe will see a significant increase in the next five decades, The Sun relays.
In 50 years, Pew expects the world's Muslim population to rise by 73 percent, with Europe's Muslims to contribute significantly to this increase. This trend would reportedly be driven by growth in Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and other countries.
The Christian population, on the other hand, is expected to increase by around 35 percent in the same period of time.
The imminent rise of Islam is partly because women in Muslim-majority countries give birth to an average of 3.1 children, while females from other faiths only deliver 2.3 children. Plus, the U.K. has been found to be the European country that is most tolerant of Muslims.