For many American Christians, the religious experience of modern Western Europe offers a dire warning. European church membership has been in free fall for a generation. Each new survey shows ever-growing numbers willing to proclaim themselves totally nonreligious. Meanwhile, burgeoning Muslim populations lead some observers to warn grimly of a coming Eurabia, a continent dominated by the most reactionary forms of Islamic fun damentalism. While native Christian populations have extraordinarily low fertility rates, immigrant Muslims continue to raise large families.
For conservatives, the triumph of Islam would offer proper retribution for societies that tried to live without God. “So you didn’t like Christian concepts of morality and family? Well, try living under Shari‘a law!”
Philip Jenkins is professor of history at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion and author of The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade and The Many Faces of Christ: The Thousand-Year Story of the Survival and Influence of the Lost Gospels.