12 January 2007

Religion in France

According to this poll, only 51% of the French now self-identify as Catholics -- and even half of those say they don't believe in God. As the headline proclaims, France is "no longer a Catholic country" in any real sense.

The low figure of 4% for self-identified Muslims is also interesting. France does not keep statistics on its population by religion or ethnic origin, so any figure you do see is an estimate, but the usual estimate for the number of Muslims in France is five million, which would be 8.3% of the total population. Is it possible that this figure is hugely inflated? Or could it be that many people of Muslim ethnic origin have turned away from the religion, as in Russia? Either way, it's another blow against the Europe-is-doomed-to-Islamization pessimists.

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