conversation about religion

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conversation about religion

Post by peirol on Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:12 pm

I've just read in an English language newspaper that, due to the history of laicity in france, it is "unthinkable" to ask a French person what religion they follow - only to realise with horror that I did just that a couple of weeks ago: "vous êtes Catholique?" I said cheerily to an acquaintance in the course of a conversation about something or other. Now I fear that I may have caused offence, though the response at the time didn't seem shocked. Was the journalist right - has anyone else experience of this?

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Re: conversation about religion

Post by Inkflo on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:04 pm

I could be wrong, but I thought every French person was Catholic.

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Re: conversation about religion

Post by Tony H on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:46 pm

Perhaps because religion is separate from State in France, that it is a totally private matter, with each to his own beliefs.

After living next to french neighbours for 6 years and with whom I was close, I only discovered they were atheist when one died.. a totally non religious burial

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Re: conversation about religion

Post by tocyvi on Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:09 pm

peirol wrote:I've just read in an English language newspaper that, due to the history of laicity in france, it is "unthinkable" to ask a French person what religion they follow - only to realise with horror that I did just that a couple of weeks ago: "vous êtes Catholique?" I said cheerily to an acquaintance in the course of a conversation about something or other. Now I fear that I may have caused offence, though the response at the time didn't seem shocked. Was the journalist right - has anyone else experience of this?
Hi Peiro. I wouldn’t be too worried about it. My neighbours happily talk about it and have asked me if I was Catholic. Like all generalisations, they are seldom very accurate (see also the information below).

Inkflo wrote:I could be wrong, but I thought every French person was Catholic.
Well, yes, but there is a difference between Catholic and practising Catholic. Moreover, Wikipedia has this information:

According to a 2011 survey by Ipsos MORI 45% of the French are Christians (almost all Roman Catholics), 35% are irreligious, atheist or agnostic, 3% are Muslims, 1% are Buddhists, 6% adhere to unspecified other religions, and 10% did not give an answer to the question.

On this basis, less than half are professed Roman Catholic and of these, a sizeable proportion aren’t practicising (the actual proportion depends on which paper you read).

Not that many Jedi Knights in France then (unlike the UK, which had 176,632 in 2011, when it ranked seventh overall after Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism
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Re: conversation about religion

Post by Inkflo on Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:03 pm

There you go then, a melange of religions.
I have to say though, I've only ever been to Catholic funerals.

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