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Les Français et la laïcité

The French remain very much attached to secularism. According to the CSA/CNAL survey on the French and the law of 1905 carried out in February 2005, 79% of the French think that secularism is important at school and 75% say it is an essential element, that is, 23% believe it is very important and 52% say it is an important element for the French identity.
58% of them think it is in danger in France while 40% believe it not, among which 19% say it is not at all in danger.

A TNS SOFRES study carried out on the French, integration and secularism for Lire la Politique in January 2004 highlights the French’s attachment to the principle of secularism :

Question : Are you personally very attached, relatively attached, relatively less attached or not at all attached to the principle of secularism ?

- Very attached 43 %
- Relaticvely attached 34 %
Sub total of those attached 77 %

This is confirmed by the results of a TNS-Sofres study of 2005, Les Français et la laïcité (the French and secularism).

Finally, the IFOP survey conducted in October 2004 on the French and secularism reveals, in particular, that the majority of the French are opposed to the idea of the European constitution making a reference to the influence of Christianity. 57% of the French are against the State and local communities financing the construction of religious edifices while 42% are for the idea.

Question : You know that the preamble of the European constitution refers to cultural, humanist and religious heritages in Europe. Would you prefer that the preamble refer precisely to the influence of Christianity on the European civilisation ?

French population Catholics Without religious affiliations
TOTAL yes 45 58 20
Yes, absolutely 19 26 5
Yes, rather 26 32 15
TOTAL no 53 40 76
No, rather not 19 17 22
No, not at all 34 23 54
- Do not answer 2 2 4
TOTAL 100 100 100

However, the French do not have a very positive image about religion. As revealed by the 2004 CSA survey on the French and religion, only 40% of them think religions work for a better world while 54% hold a different opinion.

See also The struggle for laïcité in France, Anne-Laure Zwilling, on the website ORELA.

25 septembre 2012