November 15, 2004

Islam, Persecution Growing Fast in Africa

By: Jim Jacobson, President of Christian Freedom International

In the early 90s Muslims comprised between 1 percent and 2 percent of the population in Rwanda. Today that figure is 5 percent, census returns show. The number of mosques has risen to 570 from 220.

"In Uganda, Islam is growing so fast. Every single minute we are getting people converting," Sheik Harun Sengooba of the Union of Muslim Councils for East, Central and Southern Africa, said to Reuters.

In South Africa, Islam is growing among blacks in a country where 80 percent of the 45 million people are Christian.

Currently, less than 2 percent of South Africans, or about 650,000 people, are Muslim. But the semi-autonomous Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) estimates 74,700 Africans are Muslim from fewer than 12,000 in 1991.

Islamic non-governmental groups in Africa, many backed by Gulf oil cash, grew from 138 in 1980 to 891 in 2000, more than twice the rate of increase in the total number of Africa's NGOs in the period.

Along with the growth of Islam, naturally, religious persecution targeting Christians is on the increase as well.

For example, in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, religious violence targeting Christians has killed at least 5,000 since 2000, when 12 northern states predominantly inhabited by Muslims established Islamic Sharia law.

And, in Sudan, since 1983 an estimated 2 million persons have been killed; approximately 4 million have been displaced internally as a result of fighting between the Islamic north and mostly Christian south.

I can't believe the numbers... A jump from 12k to over 74k Muslims in just over 13 years?

Just what exactly is the appeal of Islam in the poorest regions of Africa? I've yet to find any shred of hope in the "religion of peace."

I can't remember the last time I heard about a MUSLIM charitable organization flying in tons of food, clothing and medical supplies to persecuted refugees in war-torn countries.

Can you?

Posted by Kyer at November 15, 2004 08:28 PM