Geography and Climate

France is the largest nation in Western Europe with a land area in excess of 220,000 square miles. Much of the country (approximately two-thirds) is flat or gently rolling. The other one-third has a mountainous terrain. The Mediterranean Sea lies to the south of France and the North Atlantic Ocean lies to the west. France has major seaports on each of these bodies of water as well as on the English Channel. Western France, where our work is centered, enjoys mild winters and cool summers. Eastern France is subject to a wider range of temperatures.

Population

France has a population of more than 61 million. Seventy-nine percent of these people live in urban areas. Approximately 20 percent of all Frenchmen live in Paris, the nation's capital.

About nine percent of France's population is comprised of immigrants. These come from North Africa, other countries in Europe, Asia, and West Africa.

France is also the home of Europe's largest Jewish community.

Current Conditions

France has been called one of the world's most cultured and sophisticated nations (the literacy rate is 98 percent). Unfortunately, it is also one of the world's most secularized countries.

Although freedom of religion is guaranteed, few evangelical churches are to be found. Out of 38,000 towns and villages only approximately 3,000 Protestant congregations can be found in the country. Few people, whether Catholic or Protestant, attend church.

Intellectualism, rationalism, humanism, relativism, widespread involvement in the occult, individualism, and a nodding acquaintance with institutional Catholicism are barriers our missionaries must scale.

Statistics gathered from The World Factbook and Joshua Project.