A Nation of Influence and Reach
France is the largest country in Western Europe and the third-largest in Europe. It possesses the largest exclusive economic zone in the world and the world’s seventh largest economy and Europe’s third largest economy as measured by GDP.
France has earned prestige around the world for its contributions in art, music, dance, fashion, cuisine and cinema, playing a central role in the development of Western Civilization. It is ranked #2 in the world for cultural influence according to US News and is the most visited country in the world – receiving 89 million foreign tourists annually and tens of thousands of immigrants from around the world. Many of these come from closed and hard-to-reach people groups. In fact, French is spoken by a significant number of Muslim majority countries.
French is spoken by nearly 300 million people in 33 countries and, along with English, is the official working language of the United Nations, UNESCO, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), NATO, NAFTA, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Olympic Committee, Interpol, the International Criminal Court, the 31-member Council of Europe, World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, and the International Red Cross. French is the dominant working language at the European Court of Justice, the European Tribunal of First Instance, and the Press Room at the European Commission.
- 58% of the country is atheist, agnostic, or “deist” with 21% “convinced atheists.”
- 32% of the population say they are Catholic yet only 7% go to mass once a month.
- 69% of the population do not have a Bible.
- 8.8% of the French are Muslim and represent the largest Muslim population of Europe.
- 22% (15 million people) French people have seen or regularly see a medium or fortune teller.
- There are 100,000 mediums in France and about 2,500 pastors (40 mediums for every 1 pastor)
- French spend 4 billion EUR every year on spiritism.
- There is a new church planted in France almost every week
- From 50,000 Evangelicals in 1950 to over 650,000 today, the Evangelical church has grown over 10x in the last 70 years.
- 74% of the French have heard about Evangelicals.
- Over 90% of France’s population is within a 30 minute drive from an Evangelical church.
Evangelicals in France
For the first time since the 1950s, French Protestants make up close to 3% of the population – driven largely by growth in the Evangelical population (representing 1.6% of the population). While churches are being planted at an increasing rate, as of 2017, there was still an average of just one Evangelical church for every 26,485 people.
The goal set forth by the majority of denominations is to see one church for every 10,000 inhabitants – making the Gospel accessible to all French people.
For a complete breakdown of church statistics and information, visit the Directory of Evangelical Churches.
Evangelicals by the numbers:
- 650,000 – Regularly practice their faith (all ages).
- 10 – The number of Evangelical Protestants has increased 10 times in the past 60 years (in 1950, there were 50,000 practicing Evangelicals)
- 2,521 – There are 2,521 local churches in France, counting those communities that offer at least 3 services per month on the weekends (in 1970, there were 769). Additionally, there are 500 more houses of worship that meet less frequently.
- 10 – A new local church is born every 10 days – about 35 new churches per year.
- 45 – The majority of local churches belong to one of 45 denominations.