Europe has long been famous for its beautiful churches and cathedrals. Millions of visitors are drawn every year to awe-inspiring sights like the Sistine Chapel, which processes some 25,000 tourists every day.
Architectural marvels like St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and Notre Dame in Paris, are woven into European culture, and these revered sites represent the old Europe that is dear to the hearts of many.
Smaller churches blanket the landscape across Europe with more than 40,000 in Germany alone.
But these houses of worship that doubled as community centers are rapidly disappearing. Since the 1960s, thousands of churches have been shut down, demolished, or sold. The phenomenon is seen across Europe, in England, France, Germany and Denmark.
Nowhere is the trend away from religion more pronounced than the Netherlands. In the early 1960s, more than eighty percent of the population belonged to a church or religion. That figure has slipped to about half today.
Church attendance began dropping in the 1980s and never recovered. And since that time, more and more real estate has been reclaimed from the Catholic and Protestant churches of Europe.
The large, ornate buildings that once served hundreds of worshipers every week, are expensive to maintain after they go dark. The properties are often sold to developers who wish to convert them to meeting facilities, medical centers, and even retail space.
More and more, the disturbing trend of churches being converted to mosques is being seen across Europe. The official church guidelines discourage selling of their buildings to other religious groups, but it still happens. And since Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe, many of the buildings will be sold to Muslim groups.
One such example is the church of Saint-Eloi in the French region of Vierzon. The diocese of Bourges put the church up for sale, and a Moroccan Muslim organization made the highest bid on the site.
The church is located in a Turkish and Moroccan neighborhood where the majority of residents are Muslims. Rather than being an exception to the rule, this area is emblematic of what’s happening throughout Europe.
Of 27,000 inhabitants in the town of Vierzon, only about 300 of them go to a Christian church every week. This is a dramatic drop from times past, when attendance was in the thousands.
As French Catholic bishops continue to close churches across France, mosques are springing up everywhere to take their place.
It’s no different in the rest of Europe. In Germany, the Catholic church closed more than 400 churches. In Belgium and Sweden, empty churches are being transformed into mosques with the help of the government. In Dublin Ireland, the largest central mosque is located in a former Presbyterian church.
Islam is now considered the “most widely practiced religion” in the Netherlands. An astounding two Christian churches are permanently closing their doors every week, with numbers concentrated in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
In England, 10,000 churches have been closed since the sixties. Another 4,000 are expected to close by 2020, while 1700 new mosques will be built. Many of these mosques will be built upon sites of former churches.
It turns out, the single biggest factor in the decline of Christianity is the demographic replacement that has been happening through mass migration.
According to a recent report from the U.S. Pew Center, Islam is already “the fastest-growing religion in Europe,” where the number of Muslims has tripled over the past 30 years. One-third of all European children will be born to Muslim families by 2025.
While Christians have been having fewer and fewer children per household, Muslims have been multiplying at dizzying rates. Their religious doctrine instructs them to achieve dominance over other cultures through high birth rates. This strategy is serving them particularly well in Europe’s generous welfare state where they get financial awards based on the number of children they claim.
Another major factor in the decline of Christianity is the liberalization of Europe. As ideas like feminism, atheism, and moral relativism take hold, organized religion falls out of fashion. Birth rates plummet, due to more feminist women choosing career over family. Today, White Christian birth rates are below replacement levels all across Europe and the West.
While Christians are seeing dramatic birth rate declines, Muslims are all too happy to move in and make up the difference. Muslim households will commonly have five or more children.
Unfortunately we are starting to see the same things happening in the United States. While religion is not on as steep a decline as it is in Europe, there are other troubling signals that ring familiar.
The decline in Christian birth rates has been striking in the US, as it has been across the West. And like in Europe, there is a large immigrant population willing to move in and take advantage of the collapsing demographic numbers.
But in the case of the US, most of the immigrants have been Christians and Catholics from Latin America up to this point. If anything, the ranks of the Catholic church in the USA have been strengthened by Mexican immigration. We have not seen the same abandonment of church properties that’s taking place in Europe.
But as more Muslims come to America seeking asylum, some churches are likely to extend a welcome to them. United Methodist Church in Texas is potentially seeking to fill that role.
Conservative activist Pamela Geller reports on her blog The Geller Report that a member of a congregation in Texas reached out to her about a disturbing case in Waco. The source wished to remain anonymous due to fears for his safety, but he described a situation where an interim pastor was placed in his UMC church, and began preaching parables traced to the Islamic Quran.
The interim pastor Rev. Patterson was said to focus on themes of helping strangers, and persuading the parishioners that it was their duty to assist refugees.
According to the source, the pastor eventually came straight out and admitted that he wanted church members to accept Islamic migrants in their congregation:
“After weeks of inundating the congregation with watered down, Islamized scripture, the board of trustees at the church was later asked by the reverend to approve a (surprise, surprise) federally supervised refugee scheme, which they ultimately refused,” the source told the Geller Report. “After the church trustees said no, UMC sent its District Supervisor to ask the congregation directly, ‘How would you feel about taking in some Syrian refugees?'”
Many large church organizations across the country have decided that immigration is the best answer to to the problem of low attendance numbers. The way they see it, recent immigrants are more likely to be church-goers than most Westerners are. Besides, they receive attractive federal subsidies for each migrant that they house, clothe, and feed.
It would seem that a better approach would be to address the problems Americans are facing that lead to delayed family formation, lower community trust, and rejection of faith. These problems are largely centered around our economy, which has been on the decline since the 1950s due to uncontrolled immigration and outsourcing. Leftist tax-and-spend policies have left us with an outrageously high national debt, while our communities have been fractured into a dozen different pieces.
No matter how one personally feels about religion, it’s impossible to deny that living under Christian Democracy is preferable to Islamic Shariah Law. And one cannot point to any atheistic society that has been successful long term.
America functions better when it is unified behind the moral and religious framework of its founders. The majority of American citizens have always been Christians. And yet if the country can’t find its resolve to beat back the advancing hordes of Islam, then it’s not guaranteed to remain that way. With radical Islam, there is no middle ground. It’s either us or them. If we lose the demographic war, we will be forced to fight the bloody ground war, like at so many other times in history.
If the West loses that war, the whole world loses something that cannot be easily regained.