Growth of Islam Due Largely to Converts from Christianity

November 18, 2003

Source: Syndey Morning Herald

On November 18, 2003 the Syndey Morning Herald ran a feature article on several Australians who have converted to Islam, summarizing their conversion stories and reporting on the phenomena of conversion in Australia: "Islam is among NSW's [New South Wales] fastest-growing religions, the numbers of adherents increasing by 40 per cent since the 1996 census when 102,288 nominated themselves as Muslim. Its growth is not solely the result of Sydney's status as an immigration centre and the higher birth rates of Arabic-speaking families. Against all expectations, Australian Christians, including Catholics and Anglicans, and agnostics are finding Islam an answer to their spiritual voids...Why would Christians convert? A University of New England academic, Laurence Tamatea, says Islam is attractive because of its universal message, its 'sense of community, sense of belonging, of a brotherhood and sisterhood.'"