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Religious groups in France

This heading provides information on the main religious minorities that can be found in France. For information concerning the social impact of religion in France, see the Religion and society heading.

Religious belonging is nowadays in France difficult to determine precisely, the relationship of individuals to the religious institutions being increaslingly vague.
According to a survey of TNS-SOFRES 2007, les Français et la religion, more than 2 French out of 3 (69%) claim to have a religious belonging. Surveys, however, do not give very precise information concerning the belonging to minority religions, because of the small numbers involved. One should rely on these surveys for a general impression, not for precise statistics. For instance, according to an IFOP survey 2011 les Français et la croyance religieuse, 7% of interviewees were declaring themselves as Muslims, 4% Protestants, 1% Jews, 2% from other religions, and 25% "no religion". The two latter categories, on the rise, deserve to be analysed more precisely.
A survey of CSA, from 2004, provided a more detailed information, unfortunately now a bit old: 8,7 % of French declared to have another religion than Catholic. Among these, 49,4% are Muslims, 21,8 % Protestants, 7 % Jews, and 21,8% "other" (Buddhists, Orthodox Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or groups of the "new religious movement" type).
The more recent numbers come from a Sociovision survey of 2014 and are as follows: 48% of French declare themselves to be Catholic, 6% Muslim, 2% Protestant, 1% Jew, 1% Buddhist, 1% of another religion.

A source of information: Anne-Laure Zwilling (ed.), Minorités religieuses en France. Panorama de la diversité contemporaine, Paris, Bayard, 2019, 1312 p.

D 4 March 2015    AAnne-Laure Zwilling

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