France: Those of no religion and atheists

Source: FSSPX News


The Monde des Religions devoted its issue no 14 of January-February to atheists. A sociological profile of those “without religion” in France, has been established from a synthesis of CSA surveys carried out on around 20,000 people. One Frenchman in 4 (24.5%) regards himself as being “without religion.” Of these, 45% are women and 55% are men, mostly young (36% of those under 35, compared to 12.5% of those over 65) and graduates (34% of those with three or four years of higher education compared to 17% of those without qualifications). Their political orientation is more to the left (31% compared to 14% on the right). Among these people declaring themselves without religion, 34% hope that there is something after death, 22% believe in miracles …21% believe in God and 17% in the Final Judgment …

 Furthermore, the survey on the values of Europeans, started in 1981, establishes that the number of committed atheists is greatest in the countries “which have introduced or are introducing an institutional form of secularity or secular humanism: French secularity, Belgian and Dutch humanist pillars, Scandinavian social democratic trends, Spanish hard-line anti-Franco atheism.” In 1999 the percentage of committed atheists was 14% in France, compared to 8% in Belgium (as in Russia), 6% in Holland and Spain, 5% in Denmark. In Great Britain, the number was 4% as in West Germany (but 18% in East Germany). It fell to 3 or 2% in Portugal, Italy and Austria.

 Committed atheists represent only a quarter of the professing no religion, whose number is increasing (25% in 1999 in Western Europe compared with 15% in 1981).