Just over half (51%) of French men and women do not believe in God and the Covid-19 epidemic has had little effect on religious practice, according to an Ifop survey for the Association of Journalists of information on religions (Ajir) published this Thursday.
To the question "Do you personally believe in God?"
", 51% of respondents answered" no "(against 44% in 2011 and 2004).
66% of the French believed in God in 1947, according to an Ifop poll at the time.
In detail, the most believers are among those 65 years and over (58%) then among the 18-34 years (48%). Has the Covid-19 epidemic brought them closer to a religious practice? “No”, say the interviewees, at 91%. Only 9% answer in the affirmative. Asked about the fire at Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral in 2019, 79% replied that this event did not awaken in them any "religious feeling" or "spiritual fiber". But 21% feel the opposite.
Another lesson: the French speak less and less about religion in family: they are 38%, against 58% in November 2009. And only 29% speak about it with their friends (49% in 2009). The study is also interested in their opinion on Pope Francis; 41% think that he defends the values of Catholicism "fairly well", 44% that he defends them "neither well nor badly" and 15% "rather badly". In addition, 68% of French people think that religions "can help to transmit to young people points of reference and positive values: respect for others, tolerance, generosity, responsibility". They were 77% to think so in 2009.
For 54% of those questioned, “all religions are equal” (62% in 2007).
For 47% of French people, “the message and values of Christianity are still relevant today”.
And for 47%, “religions can make a positive contribution to major societal debates: bioethics, moralization of the economy, family” (against 51% in 2009).
The survey was conducted from August 24 to 25 with a sample of 1,028 people, representative of the French population aged 18 and over by self-administered online questionnaire, according to the quota method.
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