In our last post, we just highlighted the paper published by the Christian Science Monitor on French Evangelicals. A few days after, the GetReligion website (worth a visit!) released a critical review of this paper, written by George Conger.
Although it may be a little bit severe, it is inspiring (read also the comments).
Immigrant Evangelical churches are a fast-growing movment in France. Mostly related to the Francophone world (According to the La nouvelle France protestante 2011 book, there is around 40 millions of French-speaking protestants in the World), they are often poor, and have a hard time finding proper worship places.
Connexion (June 2012) is the CNEF magazine (written in French). Its third issue is the opportunity to get a confirmation that social work, social Gospel and solidarity are back on the map for French Evangelicals, after a few post World War II decades during which these themes became old-fashioned.
Under the umbrella of the CNEF organization, evangelism appears to be defined in a holistic way, starting from the individual to reach social level. One of the reasons of this emphasis may rely on the CNEF distinctives.
A memorial service was held on the 31th of March, 2012, in the Avenue du Maine Baptist Church (Paris, France).
Christians from all denominations came to express their thanksgiving for what they considered to be such a lasting and fruitful ministry.
A recent IFOP survey published by the French daily La Croix confirmed this pessimism.
But should the French be so pessimistic? The triumph of "The Artist", a French movie just winning 5 oscars including a best director Oscar for Michel Hazanavicius and a best actor trophy for Jean Dujardin invites also to say COCORICO (the victory song of the rooster, the French national emblem).
Just a few days ago, I came accross this post from a blogger who discovered this shirt in front of Beaubourg, downtown Paris: "Jesus loves Paris".
After painful research (kidding), I found out that the bold discoverer of this new French hybrid between religion and marketing is Pamela Poole, a witty freelance writer, blogger and translator.
History will tell if this new shirt (currently only available in ONE single shop) will make regular headlines and sell well... Click to continue
Megachurches are not just a US (or Nigerian, Korean...) phenomenon.
Even Secular France has got some, including Paris Christian Center in La Courneuve (North of Paris), attracting more than 4,000 regular attenders every week.
This is why the sudden and unexpected death of Selvaraj Rajiah, senior pastor of PCC, is a major event in the French protestant news.
Even more than the Evangelical growth (between 600,000 and 750,000 Evangelicals in today's France), the Muslim growth is "the" big religious news of the last 40 years.
In 2011 France, there are an estimated five million Muslims living in the country. A century ago, they were referred to as "colonials". During the 1960s, they were known as "immigrants". Today, they are "citizens".
But how have the challenges facing each generation of immigrants changed?
While many speak openly about the collapse of organized Christianity in contemporary France, the heirs of French Reformers (including French-born John Calvin) are currently growing.
Although this is unexpected, it can't be denied. This process goes along with the spread of Evangelical new communities. A third of all current French protestants are Evangelicals, while 60% remain attached to the presbyterian and lutheran traditions. This new landscape draws questions and requires analysis.
Why? Because they celebrate the TOUSSAINT feast (ALL SAINTS's day), a Catholic day designed to honour the memory of the dead.
As millions of French people place flowers on the graves of their loved ones, let's have a look on some famous Parisian cemeteries, thanks to Heather Stimmler-Hall, who posted a very nice illustrated note on her Parisian blog.
Under the umbrella of an Evangelical network whose main ambition is to support Christian witness in France, let's highlight this website: http://www.scoop.it/t/french-evangelical-news.
This new portal puts together news from many different origins (including this blog), and appears to be a valuable ressource in order to document French Evangelicals' contemporary life.
Although all Christian traditions are impacted by immigration, Evangelicalism is at the frontline, as warm, grassroot and zealous Evangelical congregations appear more attractive to migrants than other more traditional religious forms.
Strange, while highlighting the Faculté de Vaux-sur-Seine's impact on the French Evangelical field, I mentioned a few days ago John Winston and Lorraine Winston's legacy. In their own ways, both of them impacted French contemporary Protestant history.
I just learned that Lorraine Winston passed away. The service will be held on the 24th of October, 2011.
In terms of practicing Protestants, however, the rate is very different. Around two thirds (if not three quarters) of practicing Protestants in contemporary France are Evangelicals.
But lots of research still needs to be done in order to know better these French born-again citizens.
After a year-long process, let me proudly announce that La nouvelle France protestante (The New Protestant France) will be released this month!
In this big volume, written by 22 contributors, the whole new French protestant landscape will be described at length, with maps, data (including a big global IFOP survey), in-depth analysis.THis "must-have" is published by Labor-et-Fides, a strong Swiss-based publisher.
My topic was: Regulating religion in the Parisian area. You want to know more? Here is my PDF draft paper (sorry, you won't see the Powerpoint presentation, but there was one also).
It is a preliminary document which will need to be revised, improved and extended.
Watching the French media, one of the many things that puzzles me during the current Arabic revolutions (from Tunisia to Egypt) is that in spite of the French decline, French language is still used by many (even by some in Lybia).
Why? Many strong historical reasons explain that. But there are also some more pragmatic reasons. I just found a quite well-documented article (published online in 2008) which explains pretty well why French language might remain "the most useful Second Language for English speakers".
How do the French and the Brits react to this time of sacrifice ?
Glory be to Schrank, everything is explained in one single drawing (see below).
Here is the link: BBC page on French Laïcité (secularism).
This page rightly emphasizes the importance of French History:
In a very cruel, unfair and misleading editorial, the New York Times criticized the French will to ban the Burqa in the streets (one should say the Niqab: full radical muslim face-covering veil). This editorial was published on January 26, 2010.
The title was: "The Taliban would applaud" (sic).
During the whole 2009 year, French Protestant have been celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin, the French-born church reformer who inspired a movement that now has tens of millions of adherents worldwide.
Unfortunatly, I was not in my home and I did not have the opportunity to answer in due time.
There were Baptist churches in France before Baptist churches started in Texas!
Our French President has recently drawn criticism after one of his speeches during his visit to the Vatican.
In front of the highest Roman Catholic Clergy, he emphasized the importance of the French "christian roots" (mainly Catholic), while he also pleaded for a "positive" version of "laïcité" (laicity, sometimes translated by secularism).