Monday, May 26, 2008

About France

The beauty of France stands in great contrast to the darkness of its spiritual climate. From taking a quick look at France, it is easy to see what a spiritually dark place it is. Only 0.8% of the population is Evangelical, and while a great many of the French will say they are Catholic, it is only by heritage. They see no association between being Catholic and a belief in God and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Though 67% of the population claims to be Catholic, only 6% of French people attend church on a regular basis. This is in contrast to the 47% of Americans that attend church every weekend. If you approach the average French person under the age of 30, and ask them if they know what the Gospel is, you could most likely expect them to look at you with a confused face.
Due to the fact that very few Catholics are practicing Catholics, around 4-5%, Islam has become the predominately practiced and fastest growing religion in France. This is due in large part to immigrants from French-speaking North Africa. This increase has created tension between both the anti-religious who frown upon any kind of religion, and those who see it as a threat to the French culture.
France is one of the most secular countries in the world with a tremendous separation of church and state. It is now against the law for any student to wear a religious symbol of any kind to school. Evangelicals have now been listed among groups that are dangerous by the French Parliament. It can now be considered against the law to have Sunday school because it can be seen as influencing minors psychologically. Cults have done a great deal of damage to the ability of evangelicals to witness because of the fact that evangelicals have been grouped among the cults by the French government. Devotion to God is seen as fanatical and irrational.
In 1997, the French government made a list of 172 religions that should be considered dangerous. Evangelicals are among those who are listed.

Besides the anti-spiritual government, the general population does not fair any better. France has the highest abortion rate in Europe, with 220,000 being performed every year.
As is shown by this short list of facts, France desperately needs the truth of the Gospel. This is why TEAM exists. To, by God's power, fill this need through the establishment of churches with a mission to reproduce, and to bring light to this dark place.

No comments:

Post a Comment