Information on religion in France. Description of beliefs and social cross-section.
For centuries, France was considered one of the most faithful Christian countries. It cannot be denied that he is also one of those who were the first to adopt Christianity on the European continent. However, this era ended with the French Revolution. Since then, the role of the church in French social life has diminished more and more. Today it is a secular state in which no religion has the status of an official denomination. There is a strict separation between the religious and the state spheres, and no religious associations are subsidized by the state. On the other hand, French society is open to various trends and traditions. As a result, French society can be described as multi-religious. The issues related to religious tolerance and correctness in approaching people of different faiths are also very developed.
Catholicism in France
According to official statistics, about 80% of Catholics live in France. However, it is a declared religion, not a practiced one. The latter concerns a much smaller number of people. Only one in six people in France claims to attend church regularly and participate in the life of the community. In the sacred sphere, there are, above all, such moments of life as baptism after birth, wedding and funeral. Much importance is also attached to participation in church services during the most important holidays. On the other hand, one cannot see too much attachment of the French to Catholicism in everyday life. The secularization of society, which has been going on for over 200 years, has resulted in the separation of the public and the sacred spheres here very clearly. Although the state treats the church with kindness, it does not finance it in any way and does not support it in its decisions.
The second largest religious group in France are Muslims. They constitute around 7% of the population and come mainly from immigrant communities. They usually live in compact groups in the suburbs of large cities. While the French are very tolerant of their neighbors, it is difficult for them to accept the secular nature of France. It involves, for example, the prohibition of displaying religious symbols in public. For this reason, there are irritations, for example, against the prohibition of Muslim schoolgirls wearing headscarves in schools. French Islam is closely related to the poorer part of society. its followers are mostly unemployed people living in poor neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city. They consider themselves discriminated against by the state and sometimes express it by causing riots.
Other religions in France
In addition to the two main denominations, i.e. Catholicism and Islam, in France there is a whole mosaic of religious groups and denominations. The most important of them are: Judaism, which is declared by over half a million inhabitants of France, Orthodoxy by 40,000 people and various types of Protestant denominations. The latter are the legacy of the Reformation and include Lutherans, Baptists, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, and Adventists.