At least 1.5 million Muslims are thought to live in London, England. This means that about 1 in 6 people living in the city are Muslim. They come from many different ethnic backgrounds and social circles and speak many languages. Yet there are several common themes influencing the Islamic community worth noting. Here are a few:
Muslims becoming more religious.
This happens often among second generation immigrant Muslims who do not connected to their parents’ original country because it seems foreign or backward to them, or with the UK because UK society feels too permissive for them. They therefore find their primary identity in Islam. They become more religious than their parents; a few become vulnerable to radicalization.
Muslims abandoning Islam.
This movement has been happening among Iranians and Kurds for a while but is now spreading among Muslims from many ethnic backgrounds, including Arabs and Somalis. Catalysts for this movement include disillusionment with political and extremist groups who claim to be implementing Islam properly, and being unable to reconcile certain teachings in Islamic texts and stories in the life of their prophet. Many identify themselves as ‘atheist’. Many may still believe in God, but do not believe in any religion. Very few have heard the Gospel.
Muslims emphasizing ‘humanity’ over religion.
Many Muslims in the street who still identify as Muslims say that it is not important what religion you follow if you are kind to others. It is difficult to know what is driving this view, or how sincere it is.
How to Pray
- Pray for Muslims seeking a place of belonging and identity to find it in Christ. 1 John 3:1-3
- Pray that followers of Christ in London will be an effective witness with opportunities to share their faith with Muslims and former Muslims.
- London is a city with great influence and opportunity. Pray for a movement to Christ among Muslims who live there, as they have connections all over the world.
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Top photo of Muslim ladies in Trafalgar Square, London, England by Garry Knights via Flickr CC