According to the Pew Research Centre, the religiously unaffiliated – referring to atheists, agnostics and other people who do not identify with a religion – are declining as a share of the population.Sixteen per cent of the population was unaffiliated to a religion in 2010 and Pew predicted by 2050, this would fall to 13 per cent, mainly because individuals in this group are older and have less children.
It is widely known that Islam is increasing globally but despite this increase, by 2050, only two more countries (51 in total) will have a population of Muslims that is more than 50 per cent.
By 2050, the Pew report predicted that 30 per cent (2.8 billion) of the population will identify themselves as Muslim compared to 31 per cent (2.9 billion) identifying themselves as Christian. In Europe, it is suggested that by 2050, 10 per cent of the continent will be Muslim and in the US, it will become the second-largest faith.
* A revival of Christianity in the West. In the late eighteenth century atheism, rationalism and Freemasonry seemed to have taken over Europe. By the mid to late nineteenth century religious revival had swept through Europe and Christianity was surging forward. This revival was a result of fervent preaching, supernatural occurrences like Lourdes, new saints and evangelization.* war or natural disaster – war, natural disaster or plagues can affect the religious demographic–both wiping out whole populations and turning people back to religion
* Mass conversions – history has shown (Mexico in the sixteenth century) that there can be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and whole populations will suddenly convert to Christianity. While missionary efforts to Islamic countries are largely unsuccessful a supernatural conversion of Muslims to Christianity could change the landscape.
* Immigration and population controls. Western governments might start restricting Islamic immigration and deport Muslims. This would alter the religious scene and make the predictions go awry
* Unexpected change in human reproduction. Many of the predictions are based on the assumption that artificial birth technologies will continue to advance throughout the world. Things could go either way: Muslims who are reproducing more than Christians might start to use artificial contraception and abortion or Christians might stop using them. Social trends might be reversed by economic conditions and people may start wanting large families or the unimaginable might happen: birth control pills might stop working and everyone will start having more babies.