Baptist International Missions, Inc.

Euro-Islam – The Islamic Community in Europe

Islam is widely considered Europe's fastest growing religion. However, Muslim presence in Europe is certainly not new. Historically, Islam came to Europe in various ways, including through conquest as far back as the seventh and eighth centuries. While most Islamic concentration is in the Balkans, Islam has now spread through Western Europe as well. Most of this current Muslim population is due to immigration.

During the continent's reconstruction after World War II, Britain and France turned to their former colonies in South Asia and North Africa to fill their manpower shortages while Germany opened its doors to "guest workers" from Turkey. Most of these workers never returned home, and their children were born and grew up as Europeans. Recently, new waves of immigration, along with much higher than average birth rates, have augmented the already substantial numbers of Muslims in Europe.

The exact number of Muslims in Europe is very hard to determine because many European countries do not include "religion" as an item on their census. Therefore, most experts agree that the actual number of Muslims is probably substantially higher than the published statistics indicate. In fact, some sources estimate the total Muslim population of Europe at 6–8% or about 38 million to 50 million. In addition, many scholars project that at current rates of increase the total population in Europe by 2040 will be upwards of 20%.

This presents a wonderful "open door" to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While many Arab nations are closed to missionaries and evangelism, God has brought millions of Muslims from those closed door countries to the "open door" of Europe. In most countries in Europe, missionaries are able to witness, plant churches and train pastors and church workers. Very, very few Muslims have ever heard a clear presentation of the Gospel of Christ. There exists now the opportunity to evangelize the great Muslim concentrations and plant churches to disciple the converts as well as conduct training institutions to prepare nationals to reach their own people.

For many years we have been publishing Bibles in various languages to get into the hands of Muslims. This is a wonderful ministry. However, our responsibility to these people is the same as it is to all men. We must do more than just pass out Bibles. We must go, evangelize, baptize, plant churches and train nationals. True, the challenges are great, but this is an opportunity that may well be without precedent. As we pray for the souls of men, let us not neglect these for whom Christ died. Pray the Lord of the harvest that He would send forth laborers into His harvest.

Europe Director

Ed & Carole Hembree

Read more about the Hembrees. He can be contacted through the BIMI office (423) 344-5050.

Email View Email Address
Euro-Islam (Europe)
• Islam: the fastest growing religion in Europe
• Many European cities with Muslim concentrations of 15–25%
• Very few Muslims having heard the Gospel

Rwanda (Africa)
• Most densely populated country in Africa
• To our knowledge, only one Baptist church planter working here
• Language preference recently changed from French to English

Tohoku, Japan (Far East)
• Northern part of Honshu (tsunami hit area)
• Includes 6 different prefectures
• Population 9,335,636 (only 11 independent Baptist churches)

Oceania Islanders (Southeast Asia)
• 71 language groups in the Solomon Islands
• Land mass of Papua New Guinea larger than California
• 108 language groups in Vanuatu

Greenland (Far North)
• Population of approximately 56,500
• 88% Inuit and 12% European
• State religion: Lutheranism

US Military Personnel (Military Missions)
• US military presence in 150 countries
• Our goal: to see a church planted near every military base
• Often results in international ministry

Northwestern United States (USA)
• Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
• Home to over 13 million citizens
• The state of Washington: highest percentage of people in US claiming to have no religion

The Mayan Nation (Central America)
• Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize
• Between 20 & 30 million Mayan descendants
• 69 different spoken dialects

Northern Dominican Republic (Caribbean)
• Over 2 million people in this area
• Immediate need for 8 churches
• Very little work done in this area by independent Baptists

French Guiana (South America)
• Population 235,000 (70% Creole and approximately 14% European ancestry)
• 83% Catholic with no known independent Baptist missionaries
• Predominantly French speaking with a Creole/Caribbean culture

The Forgotten People of the Amazon (Brazil)
• Largest concentrations of uncontacted people in the world
• Most remote and uncharted places on earth, yet inhabited by 67 different people groups
• Mobile medical clinics opening doors in areas otherwise inaccessible