France is a particularly interesting case study because it hosts both the largest Jewish community in Europe and the largest Muslim community. The electoral rise of the National Front since the mid 80s has polarised the political debate around the issues of immigration and national identity.
This is why this international conference about the evolution and reconfiguration of prejudice towards minorities (Jews and Muslims) in contemporary France is so strategic. Organized by Nonna Mayer, Vincent Tiberj and Tommaso Vitale, it will be held in Sciences Po Paris (France from the 18th to the 20th April 2013. Program here (PDF).
As far as France is concerned, I choose the huge media attention on "cellar Evangelicals" after a tragic accident that happened in Stains (Paris subburbs) on the 8th of April, 2012 (Easter).
Paris is not only the "city of light". It is also a multicultural metropolis where poverty, unemployment, high property prices and sometimes difficult relations with local authorities mean that minority religion have a hard time finding decent worship places.
For many years, media attention was mainly focused on islam. Scholar Gilles Kepel rightly highlighted a "cellar islam", lacking proper space in French subburbs.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).