France is traditionally a Catholic country, and boy can you tell! In Paris you will find some of the most renowned Catholic churches, such as Notre Dame (Our Lady). In nearly every village, regardless of size, there will be at least one church or chapel. In fact, a few months ago I was staying in a French village made up of only a dozen buildings, one of which was a church.
But that does not mean that France is still held firmly by its Catholic roots. Since 1905 France has been a secular state. According to the last census, 62 percent of the population are Catholics, 26 percent are without religion, 6 percent are Muslim, 2 percent are Protestant, and 1 percent are Jewish. Many of the people who call themselves Catholics are baptized, but no longer practicing. Many of the churches scattered in the countryside are no longer used. Some churches celebrate mass only sporadically, as there just aren’t enough priests to go around. Read More . . .