The reports about Andrew Brunson’s release are just another example of how little the media know about evangelical churches.
Two thirds of converted evangelical Christians are former Roman Catholics. A survey asks about social engagement, secularism and euthanasia.
A survey published recently by the French Protestant Federation (FPF) and the magazine Réforme has anaysed Protestant Christians, of which 26% defined themselves as evangelical Christians.
The study was conducted by research institute Ipsos and included respondents aged 15 and older.
According to this survey, 2.65 Million people in France identify themselves as Protestants, but a large part of these are thought to be “cultural Protestants” who do not have a real commitment to the Christian faith.
About 50% of the self-identified Protestants said they where not practising Christians (almost never attended church), and only 24% were active churchgoers (at least once a week).
Among those who identified as evangelical Christians, 30% were not practising and 53% were active churchgoers.
The survey published in Réforme also concludes that “evangelical Christians are younger than Protestants”.
CONVERSION FROM CATHOLICISM
Six in ten evangelical Christians were born in an evangelical family, but four in ten converted from another religion, mostly from Roman Catholicism (62%). Another 27% had no previous religion.
The survey also asked about how Christians feel in the public arena. More than 7 in 10 practicing Protestant and evangelical Christians agreed with the following sentence: “In France, secularism frequently takes the form of a rejection of religions in the social life”.
SOCIAL ACTION AND REFUGEES
When asked about their social involvement, 23% of Protestants and 21% of evangelical Christians said they had some type of involvement with a charitable organisation. This social sensitivity is higher than among Roman Catholics (15%) and general French average (10%).
Protestants are more open to welcome people fleeing a war in other countries. Whereas 56% of all French are in favour of welcoming refugees, the number grows to 78% among practicing Protestants.
More than eight in ten French agrees with the statement: “In specific circumstances, people should be allowed to choose to die”. Among practicing Protestants, the number fall to less than one in four.
Among all Protestants who took part in this survey, 71% were born in France and 21% born in another country (half of them, in Africa).