Sunday, May 14, 2017

Evangelical Christianity and Islam are growing quickly in secular France

In 2017, Evangelical Focus indicated,  "Three new evangelical churches open in France every month The number of worship places has increased tenfold in 60 years. There are 650,000 evangelical Christians in France, a new study shows."

In 2015, according to demographic estimates, at least 29% of the France's population identifies as atheists and 63% identifies as non-religious. However, in 2010, the academic Eric Kaufmann, who is an agnostic, declared "the rate of secularisation has flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France."

Salon reported in the their 2012 article Best 8 Countries to be an atheist
 France. Even though France still has a heavy layer of Catholic tradition to its culture that puts the names of saints on street signs and venerates churches as some of its most important landmarks, secularism has become a strong national value in France. As with the United States, erecting a separation between church and state was a central value to the revolution that created the modern democratic state in France. In 1905, France passed a strong law mandating a strict separation of church and state, and since then, secularism has been a strong central French value. Almost too strong, in fact, as French politicians have been too successful in appealing to these secular values in order to pass oppressive laws banning the use of face veils in public. Outside of this exploitation of secularism in service of Islamophobia, by and large the French commitment to secular values seems sincere. Only 25% of French citizens consider religion an important part of their daily life, and the government has laws to prevent proselytizing in schools.
France's evangelicals have grown from 50,000 to 400,000 in the past fifty years. What is God doing in France? What are the lessons learned that can be shared with the rest of the body of Christ?

On July 12, 2012, the Christian Science Monitor reported:
French scholars say, evangelicalism is likely the fastest-growing religion in France – defying all stereotypes about Europe’s most secular nation...Daniel Liechti, vice-president of the French National Evangelical Council, found that since 1970, a new evangelical church has opened in France every 10 days. The number of churches increased from 769 to 2,068 last year.

Muslims make up about 5-7% of the population of France, A Pew Forum study, published in January 2011, estimated 4.7 million Muslims in France in 2010. 

The Gatestone Institute reported in 2017: "France's Muslim population could quickly grow to close to 15-17 million, but no one can know precisely unless the law prohibiting the official collection of ethnic data is changed."

Is France one of the "Best 8 countries to be an atheist"? If so, it certainly does not appear that it will remain so. 

Lessons Learned from Evangelical Growth in France

Is Evangelical Christianity forever dead in France? No. Listen why.

Islam in France

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