The number of French believers in God continues to decline. According to an opinion poll conducted by Ifop and published by Sud-Radio on the occasion of the Easter holidays, 56% of those questioned say they no longer believe in God. Atheism has risen especially among the youngest.
“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” In the immediate future, not in France, if we are to believe the survey carried out by Ifop for the Easter holidays.
To the question, Do you personally believe in God?, a majority of 56% answered no and 44% yes. We have observed a rapid decline in the level of belief over time: for the record, in 2011, a majority of respondents still answered in the affirmative at 56%. And 66% believed in God in 1947, a considerable loss of 22 points in less than 80 years.
We see in passing that the 18-24 year olds are those who believe the least in God: only 36% of young people in this age group believe that God exists. For 25-34 year olds, the percentage jumps to 47%, and for 50-64 year olds, the data is 50%.
We also find that faith in God varies according to income. A majority of believers are in the lower middle class (48%), while atheism or indifferentism is found more among the wealthier categories (40%), but also among the least educated who are the poorest (39%).
In terms of political color, it is not surprising to see that supporters of La France insoumise (LFI) and Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV) have the lowest rate of people saying they believe in God (42% and 31%). By comparison, 69% of supporters of the Republicans (LR) say they believe in God.
Religion is no longer really a subject of interest in France in 2023: 39% of French people say they talk about their religion or subjects relating to religions “often or from time to time” with their family, compared to 58% in November 2009, a decrease of 19 points; and 32% with their friends, compared to 49% in 2009, a drop of 17 points in nearly 20 years.
Indifferentism has also won people's minds: nearly one in two French people (52%) believe that all religions are equal, even if the message and values of Christianity are still relevant (48%) and that religions can contribute positively to major societal debates such as bioethics (47%).
It is also interesting to note that belief in God is markedly stronger in the Paris urban area (59%) than in the rural communities (37%), while the provincial urban communities (43%) are close to the national average: are we weeing there the imprint of Muslim origin immigration, more urban and less secularized than the French present on our soil for a long time?
Finally, the survey also highlights that only a minority of French people (32%) declare that Islam is compatible with the values of French society, a figure rising to 63% among those close to France insoumise – hence its Islamo-leftist orientation – against 25% among Les Républicains sympathizers, and 14% among National Rally sympathizers.
Pope John Paul II began his address to the French, during his first visit in France in 1980 asking: “France, eldest daughter of the Church, what have you done with the promises of your baptism?” Almost half a century later, the observation is the same, or worse, with a worrying loss of points of reference – especially ethical ones – which opens the way to all moral and political excesses.