Pentecostals, politics of space and power (Padova, 7-9 June 2012)
However, this italian pentecostal landscape is rapidely changing through African first-generation immigrants, mainly from Ghana and Nigeria. More and more new African Pentecostal Charismatic Churches are now spreading in cities like Milano, Pavova or Rome.
This is one of the reasons why scholars Enzo Pace and Annalisa Butticci have successfully conducted a 4 years research project on African Pentecostal churches in Italy. The coming Padova Conference (7-9 June, 2012) aims to share the results of this project, as well as boosting comparisons and further studies.
French pastor André Thobois (1924-2012) remembered
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.
Cocorico to "The Artist"
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).
"Jesus loves Paris", the new trendy shirt
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
Updated CV (2012)
Happy new year 2012 !
Death of a megachurch leader in France: Selvaraj Rajiah (1952-2011)
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.
How many Protestants today in the world ? 800 millions
This is one of the many questions the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life helps to answer, due to a huge world survey on contemporary Christianity.
This comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion. To know more, click here.
Understanding French Muslims' History: 3 films
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?
Now in bookstores and on Amazon: La nouvelle France protestante
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.
All Saints's Day in Paris
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.
French Evangelical News: a new portal
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.
Immigration impact on an old Parisian congregation: a case study
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.
Lorraine Winston (1922-2011)
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.
A rare insight on a French Evangelical "hub"
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.
Steve Jobs, death of a secular Messiah?
The death of Steve Jobs (1955-2011), founder of the Apple Brand and digital genius, has everything to fascinate observers of contemporary religion.
If you are blessed enough to read French, please click here to check out my French-speaking blognote. It you read English only (nobody's perfect), please read Andy Crouch's excellent analysis of Steve Jobs as a secular prophet (Wall Street Journal).
Forthcoming: the New Protestant France
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.
Religions as brands? A Lausanne Conference (13-15 October 2011)
In my 2008 book devoted to the study of megachurches, I had noticed that branding strategies could interfere with religious motives, especially in some big megachurches.
This Lausanne Conference, held from the 13th to the 15th of October, 2011, will put some fresh light on this questions. The title of the Conference is : "Religions as Brands – The Marketizalisation of Religion and Spirituality". It will include some remarkable speakers as Steve Bruce, Laurence Iannacocone, Philippe Simmonot and Roger Finke.
A French woman at the head of the IMF
In France, everybody knows her for sure, as she served as an able and hard-working Finance minister for 3 years. But the world still needs to get more familiar with the new head International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she replaces…. Another French politician, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, currently facing criminal charges in New York.
Regulating religion in the PARISIAN area
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.
Greece: an immigrant's nightmare
Even France, often self-described as "the hotbed of Human Rights" (French Revolution, blablabla), is currently facing the growth of extreme right wing party (with Marine le Pen, credited with 20% of vote intentions!).
Often described as a threat, migrants' rights are more and more at risk.
How do Civil societies react ? Including churches ?
French, Most Useful Second Language ?
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".
Severe cuts : France and UK compared
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).
Protestants in Canada: a forthcoming book from Brill
I juste received an email from Jason Zuidema (Concordia University) and I want to share the good news: a manuscript on French Protestantism in Canada has been officially accepted by Brill.
BBC page on French laïcité (laicity, secularism)
Here is the link: BBC page on French Laïcité (secularism).
This page rightly emphasizes the importance of French History:
Coming soon: a Paris Conference on French Protestantism
Whoever wants to know more about the current state of French Protestantism should notice: a big Conference will be organized in Paris in 2010, from November, the 18th, to November the 20th.
The conference's title is : "French Protestantism : A restructured family". This conference is impulsed by the Protestant Federation of France (FPF).
ASR Meeting in Atlanta: my draft paper
S.Fath's updated CV in English (2010)
Just before leaving France to the ASR annual Conference in Atlanta (2010), it is more than time to revive this blog.
Just in case you have forgotten this blog's author, well, please have a look to this short updated CV.
I did it two monthes ago for the British academic public.
French ban on face-covering veils (Burqa): some explanations
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).
2009 Protestant Festival in Strasbourg (Oct., 30 - Nov.,2)
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.