Poll: France ‘No Longer a Catholic Country’

A poll published in a leading French religious magazine Tuesday showed that the number of French Catholics dropped dramatically while the number of atheists rose over the past decade, leading the publication to declare France “no longer a Catholic country.”

French Catholics in the early 1990s made up over 80 percent of the population, but they currently make up only 51 percent, according to a poll published in Le Monde des Religions, reported the Telegraph’s online daily UK newspaper.

Meanwhile, the number of atheists rose from 23 percent in 1994 to 31 percent.

"In its institutions, but also in its mentalities, France is no longer a Catholic country," wrote Frederic Lenoir, editor in chief of Le Monde des Religions, according to the UK newspaper.

Last fall, European evangelicals during a conference expressed serious concerns over the state of Christianity in Europe amid hopes for change.

“We all have a sense that our spiritually dark continent is experiencing more signs of light than many of us had realized,” concluded Gordon Showell-Rogers, general director of the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA), at the EEA and European Evangelical Missionary Alliance general assemblies in Warsaw, Poland in October.

Showell-Rogers described Europe as a “largely secularized continent” and “spiritually hopeless” before going on to encourage attendees to “rekindle” their passion for Christ and revive Europe.

Results from the French poll further concerns of the declining Christian population in Europe.

The poll indicated that only 10 percent of the French population attends church regularly and of the 51 percent who call themselves Catholics, only half said they believed in God. Those that don’t believe in God said they called themselves Catholic because it was a family tradition.

Catholicism, despite the drop, remains by far the dominant religion in France. The poll shows that Muslims account for only four percent of the population, Protestants, three percent, and Jewish, only one percent.