A. THE COUNTRY
The Republic of France is the largest country in Western Europe. It is
a democracy with a strong presidency/executive balanced by parliament.
The government has challenges that have emerged from unassimilated
minorities/immigrants, and the increasing tension with traditional
French identity. Painful decisions are being made about changes to the
pension system and retirement age because of the ageing population.
The sixth-largest economy in the world, France has a solid base in
agriculture and industry. Socialized economic policies provide good
public service, infrastructure and highly trained professional
workforce, but the system is prone to bureaucracy and strikes.
B. THE PEOPLE
The population is ~62,637,000 and the official language is French.
Indigenous and immigrant ethnic-minority figures are approximate due to
naturalization, assimilation, illegal immigration and a lack of official
statistics. ~83.5% are European, ~9.2% North African/Middle Eastern,
~4% African/Caribbean, ~2% Asian, ~1.3% Other (Jews, Romani).
C. RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY/PENTECOSTALISM
A secular state with freedom of religion, legislation bans obvious
religious apparel for those working in public service and education.
Traditionally dominant Catholicism has been declining for decades, while
there is growth in atheism, Islam, the occult and Evangelical
Christianity. The government currently forbids collecting data on
individuals’ religious faith, so all statistics are estimates.
~61.14% claim to be Christian, ~26.03% Non-religious, ~10.5% Muslim,
~0.97% Buddhist, ~0.94% Jewish, ~0.4% Other, ~0.02% Bahai.
In the Christian category:
~57.58% are Catholic, ~1.91% Protestant, ~1.05% Orthodox, ~0.14%
Independent, ~0.03% Anglican.
Evangelicals represent ~1% of the population.
Charismatics represent ~1% and of those ~0.7% are Pentecostals.
Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010