Poll: One in two French people consider themselves in a spiritual quest

Ifop (French Institute of Public Opinion) conducted a survey on the faith of the French on the occasion of the release of Mission magazine. A two-part survey which focuses first on the spiritual reflection of the French and then on the relationship that Catholic missionaries have with their faith. 

The first issue of Mission, the magazine Mission Congress, a national evangelism fair that has been held annually for the past seven years, will be available at the end of September. On the occasion of its release, Ifop conducted a survey on the French and the faith.

This survey reveals that nearly one in two French people (49%) wonders about the meaning of life and is ready to say that they are on a spiritual quest. A figure that rises to 58% for those under 35 and reaches 60% for 25-34 year olds.

Jérôme Fourquet, director of the “opinion and business strategies” department of Ifop believes that this is due to “a decline in Catholic religious practice in France”. A collapse which today leaves a void and explains the fact that nearly half of the French population is in search of meaning or in spiritual research. "There is competition to address this vast public" underlines the political scientist, who considers that "the Church is not necessarily the first address to which one thinks or the first door to which one knocks".

Among the other figures to remember, 53% of the people questioned declared having already had an exchange on the Christian faith with a person who believes that Jesus is risen. This concerns 58% of the Catholics questioned, whether they are practicing, little practicing or not practicing, 92% of Protestants, 60% of Muslims and 48% of atheists.

29% of French people would be ready to meet Christians in whom they could confide and who would pray for them. A figure that rises to 77% for regular practicing Catholics and for Protestants. Among Muslims, 32% would be ready to take this step, against only 6% of atheists.

The relationship of Catholic missionaries to their faith

In its second part, the Ifop survey looks at the practices of Catholic missionaries, a file of 1 people to whom they had access thanks to the Mission Congress. The profile of the respondents is rather young with 310% of 60-18 years old, rather educated with 49% of higher education graduates, and rather Parisian with 71% of the respondents who live in Ile de France.

They are also practicing Catholics since more than half of them (53%) claim to attend weekday Masses in addition to Sunday Mass and 60% claim to systematically take personal prayer time per day.

Among them, 39% say they announce Christ to non-believers as often as possible, 56% occasionally and 5% never. 35% of them answered that they did not find it embarrassing at all to announce Christ to those who do not share their faith, while 63% of missionaries are more reserved and believe that it depends on the circumstances.

Almost all of the missionaries questioned (99%) say they are ready to explicitly announce Christ to people who are starting a process with the Church, and 94% to their relatives. 83% say they are ready to announce it to the sick, SFD or prisoners. On the other hand, only 44% feel ready to share the Gospel by going door to door.

Camille Westphal Perrier

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