Area: 543,965 sq km
The largest country in Western Europe.
Population: 62,636,580 Annual Growth: 0.53%
Official language: French. Regional languages in decline. French is the first language of 136 million people worldwide Languages: 62 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
The unreached sectors of French society are many, such as:
a) The nearly 50 million French people who have no real link with a Christian church.
b) Many urban areas, where evangelical presence is proportionately low. Inner-city Paris, Nantes, Nancy and other cities need many more congregations planted.
c) Of the 37,000 communes, around 35,000 have no evangelical church. Many rural communes are quite traditional and resistant to change. More than 300 towns and cities of over 10,000 people have no evangelical presence.
d) The Loire Valley and Brittany, Picardy and Centre regions are particularly lacking in evangelical congregations.
e) The Basques in the southwest are virtually without an evangelical witness in their language; they are suspicious of outside influences and allegedly quite disinterested in spiritual things.
f) The island of Corsica, birthplace of Napoleon, is quite closed to outside influences. In the population of 290,000, there are perhaps 300 evangelical believers.
The unreached minorities. France has integrated several waves of immigrants in the past two centuries, but it has not always been easy. Recent difficulties with integrating immigrant communities have led to tightened policies, a climate of fear and insecurity and increasing frustration for both sides. Pray about the following:
a) The French Jewish community ranks third in the world in size, following the USA and Israel. There are between 580,000 and 700,000 French Jews 320,000 in Paris alone and a further 100,000 in Marseille. Of the total Jewish population, 77% never attend a synagogue service. There are about 600 Messianic Jews in France 95% of these are integrated into evangelical churches. The other 5% are affiliated with the three known Messianic assemblies. Fewer than 20 workers in six missions labour among Jewish people in France (MT, CWI, JFJ, CPM and the French TMPI). A number of French Jews are leaving as a result of increasing anti-Semitism, perpetrated by some Muslims and the far-right-wing movements.
b) North Africans are almost entirely Muslim, few having ever heard the gospel. The majority live in large, low-cost housing areas in larger cities; antagonism between them and the French majority coupled with unemployment, discrimination and hopeless frustration among youth make for a ticking time bomb. Pray for churches and agencies seeking to break down barriers through friendship evangelism, radio, film, BCCs and literature. Believers of Muslim backgrounds do enjoy good relations with other evangelicals, a good testimony to Muslims and atheists alike. Agencies involved: AWM, CCCI, WEC, IMB and OM.
c) The Berbers form a large minority among the North Africans and possibly make up the majority of Algerians. Kabyle believers are increasing in number, although not on the scale of growth happening among their brethren in Algeria. Christian videos, audio resources, radio programmes and literature in Kabyle are being developed.
d) Black Africans have come in large numbers from Francophone Africa as students, refugees and work-seekers. There is great imbalance in Christian presence and ministry among them, with vibrant churches full of Central Africans while the West African Bambara, Wolof, Malinke, Soninke and others languish with few Christians and little outreach.
e) The large number of Indo-Chinese refugees of the 1970s and â80s from Frances former colonies retain a mostly insular existence. There are over 82 Asian evangelical churches, including 33 Chinese, 17 Korean, 11 Hmong and 9 Vietnamese. There is a definite shortfall of pastors and full-time workers for these people who remain unreached. COCM (Chinese) and CMA (Southeast Asians) are two groups ministering among Asians.
For an additional 12 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of France.