European Christians must have more children or face the prospect of the Continent becoming Islamised, a senior Vatican official has said.
Fr Piero Gheddo, an Italian, said that the low birth rate among indigenous Europeans combined with an unprecedented wave of Muslim immigrants with large families could see Europe becoming dominated by Islam in the space of a few generations. "The challenge must be taken seriously," said Fr Gheddo, of the Vatican's Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.
"Certainly from a demographic point of view, as it is clear to everyone that Italians are decreasing by 120,000 or 130,000 persons a year because of abortion and broken families - while among the more than 200,000 legal immigrants a year in Italy, more than half are Muslims and Muslim families, which have a much higher level of growth. Newspapers and television programs never speak of this.