We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,735 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Muslim birthrate plunges in North Africa

Catholic World News - April 04, 2011

Philip Jenkins, author of The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice and The Next Christendom: The Rise of Global Christianity, notes that the birthrate has plunged in recent decades throughout the Maghreb.

“Since the mid-1970s, Algeria's fertility rate has collapsed from over 7 to 1.75, Tunisia's from 6 to 2.03, Morocco's from 6.5 to 2.21, Libya's from 7.5 to 2.96,” Jenkins writes. Smaller families could help foster a secularism and democracy similar to contemporary Europe’s, he believes.

“Church prestige rode high when priests were shepherding hundreds of local children through annual confirmation classes,” Jenkins adds. “But as the children became scarce from the 1970s onwards, so the churches emptied. At the same time, couples highly concerned with their own personal and emotional fulfillment became increasingly impatient about clerical attempts to enforce morality laws.”

“If the European precedent is anything to go by, that could well provide a model for religious developments in the Maghreb over the next decade or two,” he continues. A society so dependent on women in the school and the workplace simply cannot support the kind of intransigent orthodoxies offered by the familiar Islamists. Extremists may not vanish overnight, but they will have to adapt substantially to present their message in a civil society with a powerful taste for democratic values and gender equality.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($23,735 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,665.00
93% 7%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21