The reports about Andrew Brunson’s release are just another example of how little the media know about evangelical churches.
“Islam is by far the most publicised religion by the largest French daily newspaper, Le Monde", specialist in Evangelical Protestantism Sebastien Fath says.
Is Protestantism well covered in the French media? Sebastien Fath, Evangelical Protestantism researcher, writes about it in his personal blog.
In the a documentary recently airde on tv channel France 5, "Protestants of France", political scientist and columnist Alain Duhamel concluded stating that the media know very little, and when they face a difficult situation, “there is a Catholic cardinal, there is a Rabbi and an Imam there but there never never is a Protestant.”
To see if Duhamel's statement was accurate, Fath searched through thematic tabs offered by Le Monde on its website, in the sections "Catholicism", "Judaism", "Islam", "Buddhism" and "Protestantism", to find what were the last 7 articles devoted to each religion.
CATHOLICISM AND JUDAISM
On Roman Catholicism, Fath observed that the last 7 articles, as of June 9, 2016, were published between 20 May and 8 June 2016. “It takes Le Monde 19 days to publish and reference seven articles on Catholicism.”
Meanwhile, regarding Judaism, also as of June 9, 2016, “you have about 4'5 months for Le Monde to publish seven articles and references on Judaism.”
ISLAM AND BUDDHISM
“On Islam, the last seven items ranged between 6 and 9 June 2016, which means it takes four days for Le Monde to publish and reference seven articles on Islam”, Fath said in his blog.
Articles on Buddhism are less common. It took 5 years and 8 months for Le Monde to publish and reference its last seven articles on this minoritarian religion.
Finally, Fath explained that the last 7 articles about Protestantism were published between 7 March 2012 and 23 November 2015.
“It took more than 3 years and 8 months for Le Monde to reference and publish seven articles on Protestantism.”
“EXCESSIVE MEDIA COVERAGE”
Fath also examine these elements “in proportion to the places of worship”, and concluded that “Islam is by far the most publicised religion by the largest French daily. We can even talk of excessive media coverage.”
“Judaism and Catholicism have their side of considerable media coverage, consistent with their respective weights. It seems that Buddhism, the fourth religion of France, receives less media coverage than the weight it actually occupies”, he added.
LITTLE COVERAGE OF PROTESTANTISM
“Although there are around 2 million protestants today in France, against a bit less than 6 millions for the Islam, Le Monde needs 44 months to publish the same number of articles about Protestantism that they publish on Islam in 4 days”, the specialist writes.
Additionally, “while the demographic scope of Protestantism is almost 4 times larger than the perimeter of Judaism, the pace of publication of Judaism is 10 times faster.
Sebastien Fath finished his blog post stating that “the clairvoyant Alain Duhamel is right to point out that there is a 'media sub-coverage' of Protestantism in France today.”