670 Million Muslims Expect Mahdi In Their Lifetime

http://www.wnd.com

Two-thirds of a billion Muslims expect the Mahdi – the last Islamic imam they believe will come and rule the world – to arrive in their lifetimes, according to a new Pew Research poll.

The results affirm the warnings from author Joel Richardson, whose just-released book “Mideast Beast” it moving up Amazon listings.

It’s a sequel to his New York Times bestselling 2009 “The Islamic Antichrist,” and it recently surged past Joel Rosenberg’s “Implosion: Can America Recover from its Economic and Spiritual Challenges in Time?” and “The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days” by Mark Hitchcock to claim the top spot in the Eschatology category on Amazon.

In a column written in WND, Richardson notes that he has been criticized repeatedly for believing many Muslims have a faith in the coming Mahdi, especially that there are a significant number who believe that will happen soon.

The survey by Pew Research notes that in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, “half or more Muslims believe they will live to see the return of the Mahdi. This expectation is most widespread in Afghanistan (83 percent), Iraq (72 percent), Tunisia (67 percent) and Malaysia (62 percent).

The survey said that belief drops to about four-in-10 across Central Asia, except for Turkey, where 68 percent expect to witness his return. It drops slightly further across southern and eastern Europe.

“In some countries with sizable Sunni and Shi’a populations, views on the Mahdi’s return differ by sect. In Iraq, for example, Shi’as are more likely than Sunnis to expect the Mahdi to return in their lifetime, by an 88 percent to 55 percent margin. In Azerbaijan, the difference between the two groups is also large (25 percentage points),” the report said. “Differences between Shi’as and Sunnis on this issue may reflect the more central role that the Mahdi’s return plays in Shi’a Islam.”

The result? An estimated 672 million Muslims expect to witness the Mahdi’s return.

On his portrayal that such a belief is widespread, Richardson said, “I have certainly had my share of critics, not only from the pollyannas on the left, but also from within the Christian church.”

Richardson said until now it’s been hard to refute any statements regarding the percentage of Muslims who await the Mahdi.

“Now, for the first time, a comprehensive study including tens of thousands of Muslims, in over 23 countries, were asked if they believed that the Mahdi’s emergence was imminent, that it would occur within their lifetimes. And the results conclusively prove that which I have been warning about all along,” he wrote.

“The bottom line is that it is far worse, far more widespread than even I would have guessed,” he wrote.

And in Turkey, from which he believes the Antichrist will come, “68 percent of Turks, a large majority, are expecting the imminent appearance of the Mahdi.”

via 670 Million Muslims Expect Mahdi In Their Lifetime.

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