Growth of Islam causes debate and concern that a new type of wall is being built.
| · 3.7 – 6% Muslim.
Alesha is a mixed up teenager. She speaks perfect German but her parents speak none. She has to wear a head-scarf but has no idea why. Her unemployed father can’t afford to take her on a holiday yet he received money to do the Hajj. She thinks a missionary’s one job in life is to turn her away from Islam but she doesn’t know anything about ‘her’ faith, nor has she ever been to a mosque.
Alesha is typical of many youth in Germany. Her Turkish grand father was invited to help rebuild the country after the second world-war. He had difficulty integrating into the society and was neither given language lessons nor encouraged to get any. Today she has few friends in the village and because they are “Muslim”, her brothers’ tires occasionally gets slashed.
Silvia is a mixed up mom. She can’t understand the neighbors since they speak a different language. She sees women around her wearing head-scarf’s but isn’t sure why they do. She baptized her children into a cathedral but her kids will learn about Islam in school. She also knows very little about ‘her’ faith; it is simply what she was born into and she normally never sets foot in anything remotely Christian.
Silvia is typical of many moms’ living in Bavaria, a predominantly Catholic area of Germany. Her grand parents were born there and helped rebuild the county into a thriving economy. She speaks not only “high German” but also a local dialect few Turkish immigrants would try to learn. Although open-minded, Silvia is frustrated at the influence Islam is having on her life and concerned that her culture is being stripped away.
According to the German evangelical news agency “IDEA”, the Muslim population in Germany is on the rise. So too is the cultural clash. Issues, such as head-scarf’s, teaching Islam in public schools and fear of any criticism towards Muslim’s has the parliament deep in debate. Most worry any religious laws will restrict freedom of worship, whatever the “faith”.
Let’s pray for Germany:
* In reality, neither Alesha nor Silvia has heard much about Jesus. Most Christian leaders agree a revival is needed to reach the country. Pray that God will respond accordingly.
* Islam in Germany is a “youth religion,” according to the Central Islam Archives Institute, which counts 850,000 Muslims as minors. One in five Muslim adolescents worships regularly. Pray for the youth to find true peace in Christ.
* More and more Muslims in Germany are becoming Christians. Most are Iranians in exile, which left their country after the Islamic revolution of 1979. Iranian converts estimate that each year approximately 60 Muslims are baptized in Germany. Pray that Iranian Christians can reach out to other Muslims in word and deed.
— Additional Facts —
According to statistics from the main churches in Germany (2003), the Roman Catholic Church has a membership of approximately 26.5 million. The Evangelical Church, a confederation of the Lutheran, United, and Reformed Protestant Churches, has approximately 26.2 million members. Together, these two churches account for two thirds of the population. An estimated 21 million persons, or a quarter of the population, either have no religious affiliation or belong to unrecorded religious organizations. While that statistic sounds as if Germany is a very Christian country, the truth is that very few of the above know much about God.
The institute believes that more than 100,000 Iranian Shiites have converted to the Christian faith since the Islamic revolution.
Background on Germany
As Europe’s largest economy and second most populous nation, Germany remains a key member of the continent’s economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key Western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the Communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring Eastern productivity and wages up to Western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro.
Economy of Germany
Germany’s affluent and technologically powerful economy – the fifth largest in the world in PPP terms – is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment and benefits from a highly skilled labor force. In its annual projection for 2011, the Federal Government expects the upswing to continue, with GDP forecast to grow this year at a real rate of 2.3%.
Population: 81,305,856 (July 2012 est.) [Second most populous country in Europe after Russia.] World rank #16
Life Expectancy at Birth: 80.19 years. World rank #28
Ethnic groups: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish)
Religions: Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%
School life expectancy: 16 years
Berlin in 3D – Video
For some of you high-tech people, this is a fly through demonstration in Google Earth of Berlin in 3D, very interesting.