In the last few years I’ve come to learn that there are some basic math principles at work which would indicate that for a population group to maintain itself for even 25 years there needs to be a fertility rate of 2.11 children per family. Further, no culture has ever reversed itself with a fertility rate below 1.9 per family.
One of the clearest consequences of the decline of traditional Judeo-Christian values across Europe is the decline of fertility rates in almost every county. As materialism and the pursuit of pleasure continue to deepen their roots, children and the building of larger families become an inconvenience. Perhaps it’s cloaked under the terms of wanting to be good stewards of the environment or some other noble cause.
But the reality is that the pursuit of convenience, wealth and pleasure are taking their toll on the birthrates of countries in Europe. While the birthrates of traditional European societies declines the birthrates of immigrant families is on the rise creating a changing demographic which over time will lead to a profound change in society.
In Europe, where the immigrant community is largely Muslim, that will lead to a lasting impact on Europe’s western societies and traditional democracies.
A recent video by TBN cites the following realities in terms of today’s European birthrates:
France 1.8 ♦ England 1.63 ♦ Greece 1.3 ♦ Germany 1.3 ♦ Italy 1.2 ♦ Spain 1.1
Across the 31 countries of the European Union the average fertility rate is 1.38
With the decline of the birthrate, comes the decline of the culture. There is no economic model that would allow for a regeneration of a people group or culture that would decline below 1.1.
Conversely the fertility of the mainly Muslim immigrants, in France for example, is 8.1.
Rather than cite a long list of additional statistics, our nightly news bears some witness to the growing influence of Islam in Europe – and now we see why. The spiritual decline of Europe over the past two centuries has opened the door for new influences – new cultures and new religions to take root.
The good news in this, is that the Lord is already using the growing social, political and economic turmoil in Europe to open hearts to Jesus and re-energize the church. The latter isn’t happening everywhere yet, but I’m encouraged by reports from Austria of thousands of students gathering to praise God, and reports of churches across Germany being awakened through the opportunity to reach immigrants at their door-step.
The reality of changing demographics isn’t necessarily bad news. As we see the sovereign hand of God at work we can see hope for the changing demographics that we care most about – not the ones that just reflect physical births, but the ones that indicate a growing number of spiritual births; of lives being changed for eternity.
To view the referenced TBN video :