Religion is define as a set of beliefs and cultural practices that underpin relations between people and the sacred. Today, France has about 480,000 Jews, more than 4.5 million Muslims and about 38 million Christians, while the “no-religions” represent 35% of the population. Currently, religion is a very controversial subject in France. Since 1905, year of the separation of church and state, the debates on beliefs have not stopped. Different places of worship are not entitled to any subsidy from the state, wearing ostentatious signs in public places is prohibited, and the veil hiding the entire face is also prohibited in public areas. Catholicism remains for its majority in France, but the practice diminishes more and more. Yet it is inscribed in the French culture and the environment. However, in principle, when the French government census does not ask questions about religious affiliation, but institutes such as the INSEE and INED may conduct studies on religious practice in France. Despite secularism, many believers continue to refute some laws adopted in France, as abortion or gay marriage. We will study the influences of the major religions in France on the company from 1900.
How religions they have an influence on French society from 1900 to today?
First, we analyze the impact of these beliefs on culture. And secondly, we study the influence of religion on politiqueles family behavior. Finally, we will see what the impact of religion on medicine.
The influence of beliefs about culture and family behavior
In Frances Catholic families traditionally have more children than others. The standard is there to this day while many religious practice demoted? Other religions such as Islam in particular are growing because of immigration.
Those who did they also practice the more children than the average?
In France, Religious practice has weakened over generations.
More and more people declare themselves non-practicing.
Catholicism was the dominant religion in France for a long time, but since 9 December 1905 the French government became a secular state. After the fervor for religion decreases, particularly for Catholicism but remained majority over other religions. In 2006, 65% of French people declared themselves Catholics, but people who admit to being Catholics are fewer practitioners and a growing fraction of the population claims no religion. The second religion of France is Islam, it comes in a variety of expressions, Islam represents 6% of the population or 5 million Muslims in France, these Muslims are important to the culture and society French.
Agnosticism is increasing. The number of people identifying with no religion (more than 25% of French) increases, particularly among young people. However, to say “no religion” does not necessarily mean that one feels atheist or that one is not interested in issues called “spiritual.” Moreover, this trend does not stop the progression of parallel forms of diffuse or sectarian sacredness.
There is also Protestantism which represents 2% of the population or 1.2 million people, including 350,000 Evangelicals and Pentecostals. As the “historical Christendom” include about 750 000 people around the Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church and the various Eastern Churches.
Followers of Buddhism is estimated at 400,000.
Atypical religious movements are experiencing a certain vitality, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, who claim the number of 140,000.
And finally Judaism, which has about 600 000 people, who are mainly of Sephardic origin following the arrival in France of North African Jews in the sixties. A strong movement of renewal of identity, studies and practice marks the French Judaism.
regular practice is said of a religion strengthens with age, is more common in women and foreigners, but does not depend on social status. Saprogression from 1987 that is sensitive in the elderly. The share of people declaring no religious practice or sense of belonging has also evolved, especially among the young.
France is the European country with the largest number of Muslims, Jews and Buddhists. But the 3 major religions in France are Judaism, Islam and Christianity, which are all three monotheistic religions.
Age may influence the religious affiliation 5% of men and 3% of women aged 65 to 79 years say belong to any religion, so respectively 27 and 23% of 18-24 years.
The decline of religion is accompanied by a redistribution of confessions.
People who claim to have a religion, 95% of 65-79 years say they are Catholics against 88% of 18-24 year olds, particularly the Muslim religion is increasingly represented (less than 2% of 65-79 years against 7% 18-24).
In 2005, about 35 million of 18-79 years (80%) therefore as original religion or membership of Catholicism, a little over 2 million (5%) claim to be Muslims, 900,000 (2 %) and Protestants 800 000 (2%) of another denomination; 5 million (11%) say they have no religion.
Comparing family behavior and religious practice in four subpopulations:
– People “without religion” declaring no religion;
– “Non-practicing”, reporting no practical but with reported origin religion or membership;
– “Least assiduous practitioners” with a religious affiliation and practice below the median practice of their generation (taking account of gender);
– “The most assiduous practitioners” with a religious affiliation and practice greater than or equal to the median practice of their generation (taking account of gender).
The practice among those who say religion is lower at younger ages than at older ages: for 65-79 years, 68% of men and 55% of women claiming to belong to a religion say never “attend religious services” (apart from weddings, baptisms and funerals) against 18-24 years was 85 and 80%. And attendance is lower among practitioners: 12% for men and 20% for women 65-79 years old who attend religious services more than twice a month against 3 and 4% to 18-24.
Besides also the fact that practicing Catholics vote more to the right (39% for the UMP and 12.9% for the center-right) as their fellow citizens.
Any religious practice of the younger generation is that adherence to religion is more individual and less a matter of social conformity, so it requires less external manifestation.
Religious practice reinforces a certain age in the elderly, by against young adults are less and less concerned about religion so fewer practitioners in France.
In the past, marriage was often broken by the death of a spouse by divorce or separation.
The second were rare and the majority of failures were quite late.
In 2005, among elderly persons who lived with a partner at least once from 65 to 79 years only one in ten (11% of men and 9% of women) reported having experienced a second union against one in four among the 45 to 49.
Marriage remains a necessity and often a lifetime commitment; it remains the framework within which children are born and childless marriages are rare.
Offspring, higher than average, even increased in recent generations. In contrast, those reporting no religion reject marriage more than others and experience more marital journey complex; their infertility is increasing and their offspring is often restricted.
There are now 40, it was rare that the spouses live together before marriage (only one marriage in ten).
The attachment to religion is associated with a lower frequency of premarital cohabitation (see doc3). Premarital cohabitation is less common among people practicing a religion other than Catholicism, especially the Muslim religion among the most practicing Catholics, 75% have lived together before marriage. It is increasingly common also to live together without getting married. In 2005, among people aged 65 to 79 years having previously lived with couples only 2% have never been married, against 18% of men and 15% of women aged 45 to 49 years. These proportions differ greatly according to the attachment to religion: only 6% of men and 7% of the women practitioners are not married, then that is the case for about a fifth of people furthest from religion (no religion and non-practicing).
In 2012, a debate on marriage for all was stirred public opinion.
On 29 June 2012, the Minister for Family, Dominique Bertinotti, announced that a law allowing marriage and adoption to gay couples will be voted in 2013. In November 2012, Christiane Taubira has in Cabinet Bill . On 2 February 2013, Article 1 of the bill, opening marriage to same-sex couples is adopted. The Assembly adopted the text at first reading. On 23 April 2013, the project is finally adopted by Parliament despite numerous protests by opponents: all religions are opposed to marriage for all.
Religions are also opposed to contraception: Islam, Judaism and Christianity prohibit.
By 1970, less than a first born in five (18%) of unmarried parents, against one in two by 2000. The proportion exceeds two thirds among those claiming to be without religion, half among those without stating a the practice, the third in less assiduous practitioners and does not reach one third in most practitioners. However, even among these, the proportion has greatly risen since the 1970s, premarital cohabitation time is extended and marriage occurs more often after birth of first child. 7-8% of people 65 to 79 years who lived in couple does not have children, this whatever their attachment to religion. The next 45-49 years, the proportion ranges from 5% for most practitioners, 5% of those who practice little, and 12% for those without religion. For more practitioners, high fertility is not a new phenomenon (see Figure 4). Men who practice more and having lived with a partner at least once had on average 0.3 to 0.4 more children than others. This specificity is mainly due to the influence of religions other than Catholicism, the most practicing Catholics finally with similar descendants of those who practice little. Unlike women, most practitioners are detached from religion over time. Since the generations born in the 1950s, their offspring has even increased, especially among Catholics only.
There are twenty years, investigations showed that the contraceptive behaviors were somewhat related to the attachment to religion, however, for fertility in women as and as religious practice scarce, family values appear pervasively present in the minority of women who still practice.
Note that Catholicism is the dominant religion in France, is one that most fertile and whose marriages are the most numerous. So we can say that although the country is secular, Catholicism plays an important role in society.
The influence of religion on politics
Religions have always influenced society. One of the first topics is influenced politics. France is a secular state, that is to say, it does not recognize the “state religion”. The state is separated from the clergy, and he must therefore show neutral towards religious denominations. Many laws have been introduced over the years, the issue of religion becoming increasingly present in our daily lives. During elections, candidates always give their position vis-à-vis to the attitude to adopt beliefs, this creating many controversies, but it also directs individuals of certain denominations to certain political parties.
How Does religion influence politics?
Secularism as it is in France does not exist anywhere else: it comes from the troubled history of relations between the Church and the Republic. Companies are increasingly multi-faith, yet she seems destined for a bright future. The beginnings of secularism appeared in 1789, in the Declaration of human rights and citizen. Article 10 proclaims religious freedom, “No one should be harassed for his opinions, even religious (…)”. In 1791, the Constitution establishes freedom of worship. Secularism is in discussions for several decades. In July 1901, the Law on Associations limit the influence of religious congregations in education. Catholic congregations must request authorization.
The 1958 Constitution implies that the French Republic is secular without more than the equality of citizens before the law without distinction of religion, adding the respect of all beliefs. We can define secularism as a political conception in which the state does not exercise religious authority while religions have no political power. Long time, and still today, secularism was mistaken for a fight against religion, because of the conflict environment when the law was passed to separation of state and church. Today, religions, except for a small minority fundamentalist movements are fully satisfied with the principles of secularism. However, the state must exercise control to enforce them.
In 1902 lorsqu’Emile Combes is Chairman of the Board, he shut unauthorized Catholic congregations, causing a wave of protest of the bishops. In July 1904 held a rupture of diplomatic relations between France and the Vatican, caused by the fact that no more Congregationalist has the right to teach. The law of separation of church and state appears in December 1905: “The Republic ensures freedom of conscience guarantees freedom of worship but not recognize, pay for, not subsidize any”. This means that the French state had no official religion and is not involved in their operation. From 1906 to 1907 held the conflict of inventories: Inventories shrines property provoke protests parishes. The left is divided into two: the radical left, wishing to eliminate religion, and the moderate left to the freedom of conscience. Just as the right: the radicals reject the separation and the moderates are trying to mitigate the effects of this separation.
In January 1907 is introduced a new law on membership of religious buildings: more than 30,000 buildings are made available to churches. Between 1914 and 1918, relations with the Vatican are restored. Many congregations come back because they are tolerated by the authorities. At the end of the war, Alsace-Moselle returns to France, their school legislation is maintained. When the law separating Church and State was promulgated in 1905, the departments of Alsace and Moselle were still German (since 1871). The German power did not change the status of the Concordat of 1801, which under the First Empire defined the relationship between the State and the Church. After the return of the three departments in France in 1918, this status was maintained and is still in effect today despite attempts to abolish. The state pays and appoints the leaders of Catholic worship, Protestant and Jewish.
In 1924 involved a coalition of socialists and radicals in parliamentary elections. The “Cartel of the left” enjoying success. Secular laws are cured, but the bishops mobilize Catholics, creating a new force to the Church. In 1936, secular leagues experiencing triumph circular Jean Zay prohibit all forms of proselytism, political or religious school. In 1940, under the Vichy regime, held a cancellation of most secular conquests, followed by a law of March 1941 with the same goal. The State therefore subsidizes private schools. During the Fourth Republic, so from 1945 to 1958 the Constitution states that “France is a Republic, one and indivisible, secular, democratic and social.” The secular term appears for the first time in an official text in the Constitution of 1946: “France is a secular republic” and “the organization of public education, free and secular at all levels is a duty of State. “The Constitution of the Fifth Republic adds” The Republic shall respect all beliefs. ” Regarding Guyana, French department since 1946, it is still run by a royal decree of 1828 and the priests are permanent staff of the department.
Democrats, Christians Fund of the Popular Republican Movement and socialist work. Attempts quiet negotiations between the Vatican and France held under Guy Mollet, President of the Council and the Socialist Party. In 1959, the Debré law grants public subsidies to private schools under contract, an outcry among secular leagues. From 1962 to 1965 held the Second Vatican Council. The advances of the Catholic Church on matters of morals and theology open a period of appeasement with the French anticlerical. The Savary Bill, Minister of the Government of National Education Mauroy, was voted in 1984. It aims to unite public education and private schools in one of the national education system. Advocates of religious schools and the simple freedom of choice rally at an event on 24 June in Paris. They are more than a million to demonstrate, causing the withdrawal of the law and the government fell.
The first case concerning the sailing takes place in 1989: a main of Creil college denies access to the property of Muslim students wearing the Islamic veil. “Circular Jospin”, the name of the Minister of National Education of the time, is opposed to the headscarf. The second veil affair takes place in 1993-1994: the “Circular Bayrou” opposes the wearing of religious signs “ostentatious” in public institutions, making the difference with “discreet” symbols that can be worn in class. The third case takes place in 2003-2004. The Stasi Report on secularism entails voting, in March 2004, a law banning the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols in schools and other institutions of the Republic. The relevant religious symbols are the kippa, large cross and the Islamic veil. However, the law allows the port of discrete symbols.
In September 2013, Vincent Peillon, Minister of Education, made known the first secularism charter school. This charter should be visible in the public schools: primary schools, secondary schools. It contains 15 points. She recalled that France is a secular republic, freedom of conscience, access to a common, shared culture, the personal duty of neutrality of education and banning the wearing of ostentatious signs.
Besides having an influence on the laws, religion also has an impact on the vote. Indeed, all political candidates should give their opinion and program on religion. Which can lead individuals to certain beliefs to different candidates.
France 24 conducted a study to try to measure the influence of religion on political beliefs.
Religious affiliation plays a good role in voting, “much more than social class,” says Claude Dargent, researcher Cevipof (Centre for Political Research at Sciences Po).
In France, the Catholics are the majority in the electorate (57.2%), followed by Muslims (5%), Protestants (2%) and Jews (0.6%). However, people declaring “no religion” not less than 30% of voters.
To measure the impact of religion on the political choices of French, France 24 interviewed several individuals of different faiths, two Catholics, two Jews and two Muslims, each claiming to be the UMP or the Socialist Party. The same question was posed to them: what is the weight of your religion in your political beliefs. Claude Dargent is the author reports on the Muslim vote and the vote of Catholics in France
According to Claude Dargent, Muslims are more likely to enroll on the electoral register. They represented 5% of the electorate in 2007, against 0.7% in 1997. This increase is mainly due to French immigrant turning more towards Islam. The faith community is moving rather left: 95% of Muslims voted for Ségolène Royal against 5% for Nicolas Sarkozy in the second round of the presidential election of 2007.
The proof is that three-quarters of the Muslim electorate are among the popular classes (workers and employees in majority), but their vote does not reflect that of the latter, which divide rather between left, right and far right. We can deduce that the vote of Muslims is oriented to the left because of their religious affiliation, not social class.
Claude Dargent also focused on the Catholic vote. He found that for several years, practicing Catholics voted five to six times to the right of voters declaring “no religion”. In the first round of the 2007 presidential election, 49% of practicing Catholics we voted for Nicolas Sarkozy, against 12% for Ségolène Royal. however we see that this faith community is not attracted by the extreme right. In 2007, Jean-Marie Le Pen, National Front candidate, had done her worst score among practicing Catholics.
As for François Bayrou, candidate of the modem, only 14% of practicing Catholics showed themselves susceptible to his arguments in 2007, while he is yet coming from the Christian Democratic movement.
Claude Dargent notes that the electoral weight of Jews being less than 1%, the vote of this faith community is very difficult to study. He however explained that this is a strong vote left, with some evidence, however, showing that a part of this electorate was seduced by Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007.
In terms of the Protestant vote, Claude Dargent said that historically, they predominantly vote left. This trend is however mitigated by the turn of the twenty-first century.
Claude Dargent says the religious vote is “about values before it is a question of challenges.”
Election candidates take into account the institutional representation of different faiths, making regular visits to different faiths. The interior minister is also minister of worship. We studied the programs of both political parties, the National Front and the Left Front about religion.
In 2012, the National Front denounced a communitarianism promoting “the extension of foreign lifestyles French civilization and strong political movements to establish the supremacy of a religion or religious law.” This particular political party accuses the “Islamic fundamentalism”, which they “imposes its law with the aim of applying Sharia law in France.” The National Front denounced an “Islamist pressure,” influencing the shops, schools, public places, hospitals. He also said that communal politics denies the fundamental principles of secularism, as some places of worship would be subsidized with public money, “through scabrous legal arrangements”. Thus the national front the program about religion was based on these points: the inclusion in the Constitution that “the Republic does not recognize any community” and the establishment of a “Ministry of the Interior of Immigration and Secularism “.
The Left Front indicates that secularism is “a pillar of the Republic, one and indivisible, living and bearer principle of inalienable rights guaranteed to every member of society.” This party wants no religion is “blacklisted the pretext of secularism as does the National Front regularly about the Muslim religion.” The Left Front states in its program reaffirm the merits and relevance of the 1905 law on secularism: all subsequent amendments to that law affecting these principles will be repealed. No public funding should only be granted to the construction of new private schools or renovation of existing ones. The Left Front wants to defend secularism in the European institutions, and refuse public funding of religions.
We can conclude that despite the principle of secularism established in 1905, religion still has an influence on French politics.