|% Urban:||81.2 %|
|Population Under 15 Yrs:||17.8 %|
|Official Language:||French. Regional languages in decline. French is the first language of 136 million people worldwide|
|Literacy Rate:||99 %|
|HDI Ranking:||26 / 189|
|% Christian:||61.1 %|
|% Evangelical:||1 %|
|% Largest Religion:||61.1 %|
|Least Reached People Groups:||37|
|% Unevangelized:||5 %|
France stands at a political and economic crossroads. The economy needs radical reforms to prosper in the globalized world. The population has aged to the point that the current retirement age and pension system cannot support it. The large immigrant community continues to grow and challenges the traditional understanding of French identity. The majority feel content as individuals, but they do not have much confidence in the future of the Republic, with so many points of tension in their society. Young people especially feel the crisis, and often long for meaning and purpose. These factors, especially the economic frustrations of the working and middle classes, brought about the rise of the Yellow Vest movement. Pray for both economic justice in France and for Christians to be able to offer French people a hope beyond mere economic respite.
The accelerating decline of religious faith since the 18th Century has seen France’s Catholic and mainline Protestant legacies plummet in recent years, even as atheism has grown. Hostility toward organized religion as well as the privatization of spirituality mean that regular attendance in any church is below 8%. Some surveys show that over 30% of French people are non-religious. Most French have a profound ignorance of, or indifference to, the gospel, many having never meaningfully encountered it. Yet, the relativism of postmodernity has generated acute emptiness and existential angst; as many have noted, this in turn has created a spiritual hunger that has grown rapidly in recent years. Pray that such hunger might overcome the suspicion toward religion. Pray that Christians would be prepared to patiently and relationally share Jesus with those who seek.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.