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In 2006, an official report by Jean Pierre Machelon drew the following distribution of the religious population in France: 65% of the French people declare themselves Catholics, 25% Agnostics, 6% Muslims, 2% Protestants (including more and more of Evangelicals and Pentecostals), around 750,000 Historical Christians (Orthodox, Armenian, Copt, Syriac, Chaldean, Maronite, etc.), 600,000 Jews, 400,000 Buddhists, and a notable presence of “members of New Religious Movements.” However, some scholars believe that the reality of religious life in France is less Catholic and more Protestant than the statistics suggest.

History

France has been traditionally called the “eldest daughter of the Church” because of its strong Catholic tradition. This history has been marked by the conversion of King Clovis in 496, the king who became Saint Louis in 1297, ...

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