Introduction to religion in France

Parent Category: ROOT Published: Thursday, 07 May 2020 Print

Religion in France

France adopted a secularity principle in the early 21st century which means that the state is separate from religion and is not allied with any religion. However, Christianity is still the most dominant religion.

With the state being separate from religion, Christianity is still the most dominant religion. The Roman Catholic church has been dominating the place of religion in France for the most part of the last thousand years. Up to this day, around three-fifths of the French people belong to Christianity.

Demographics of religion

France is considered to be a Christian nation. With the majority being Christians, France’s place of religion is saturated with Christian traditions and beliefs.

Other religions in France are minorities. The second-largest religion after Christianity is Islam. It is followed by Judaism that is even less widespread.

France village

 

Christianity in France

In France, Christianity is the most popular religion. Around 65 percent of population is Christian.

From all Christians, around 83 percent are Roman Catholic, while 14 percent are Protestants.

While Roman Catholics mostly are spread across whole France, Protestants are mostly located in North Franche-Comte, Alsace, and Cevennes hills.

From all Christians in France, around 45 percent are of the working age.

 

Minority religions in France

Islam is the next most practiced religion in France. About 8% of the whole population is Muslim. This means that France has one of the largest Muslim population in Europe.

Majority of those, who practice Islam in France are of North African origin. This is no wonder since Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia were all colonized by France.

Apart from Islam, there are other religious groups that are a minority. For example, Judaism and reformed minorities are a small part of religions that France’s population has adopted.

 

Non-religious people in France

Around 25 percent of the population in France don’t belong to any particular religion. However, the majority of these French people are not opposed to the idea of religion or other religious people.

Usually, those who are not religious are of young ages. More and more people choose to be independent from any religion.

 

History of religion

Early Christianity in France goes as far back as the 2nd century. Originating from Jerusalem, Christianity took root in the majority of places in France.

Celtic people ruled in France during that period of time established communion with the bishop of Rome.

Later, when France was invaded by the Franks, the Frankish pagan tribes unified to form a kingdom. This kingdom nowadays is France. The proclaimed king of this kingdom was baptized before he became the ruler of France. For this reason, France adopted Roman Catholicism as a state religion.

During the French revolution in the late 18th century, the Catholic Church was heavily persecuted. A new policy came to life and it involved dechristianization. This led to the destruction of many churches and artifacts of Christianity.

Later, Christianity was declared as the state religion once again.

France gained absolute neutrality of the state and religion only during the Third French Republic. In 1905, a law on the separation of church and state was adopted.

From this time, France has remained to be separated from any religion.

 

Influence of religion

Religion has formed French society and culture for a long time. Since the birth of the French nation, Christianity has been the most influential religion in this country.

France is popular with the finest monuments that are mostly artifacts of Christianity.

With the amount of influence and power that Christianity holds over France, it is no wonder that the finest craftsmanship is demonstrated within the arts of this religion.

Most of the medieval French music was written and performed in churches. The same goes for literature. Many great pieces of literature were created in reference to religion. Catholic culture also inspired Renaissance art.

All of this demonstrates the great influence that Christianity has had over France during all this time.

However, society nowadays is significantly different. Only about 3 percent of Catholics regularly practice religious activities. This proves that the role that religion played has become significantly smaller.

With France becoming more and more cosmopolitan, a wider variety of religions integrate into society. Overall, religion becomes less important in today’s culture.

 

Overview of religion in France

Up to this day, France’s dominant religion is Christianity. With over 65 percent of the population believing in Christianity, it remains to be one of the most influential religions.

It has also served as a great foundation for the French culture. Many great artifacts still remain as a reminder of the greatness of this religion.

However, with each passing year, the number of people engaging in religious activities continues to decline. The future place of religion in France is up for changes.

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