The National Council of Evangelicals of France claims 745.000 practitioners

The National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF) claims some 2.700 churches and 745.000 practitioners, eleven times more than in 1950, according to data from this body, which elected its new president, Erwan Cloarec, on Tuesday.

"There are at least 2.700 places of evangelical worship", indicates the CNEF, in the 2022 edition of its presentation. The number of practitioners is 745.000, a number "multiplied by 11 in the last 70 years (50.000 practitioners in 1950)", adds the Cnef.

He specifies that this is a "low estimate", due to the fact that "unstructured churches (no fixed premises, no member of a federation) are more and more numerous" and that he is difficult to identify them.

In 2017, this body indicated that it had 2.521 evangelical Protestant churches, for 650.000 regular practitioners.

At a plenary meeting on Tuesday, Erwan Cloarec, 42, was elected new president. A graduate in law and theology, this pastor from Lyon is a member of the Federation of Evangelical Baptist Churches of France (FEEBF).

The pastor wishes during this mandate to "continue to gather", "to present the care of unity" while working on the theological aspect to help the CNEF to "think about itself" and to "deepen its identity". It also aims to instill and support a new missionary impetus.

In his speech, he insisted on the fact that the “CNEF is first and foremost the work of God, the visible expression, before God and the world, of the unity that God gives us in Christ”.

The evangelical organization claims to represent more than 70% of evangelical Protestants in France (31 church unions and 170 member associations).

Camille Westphal Perrier (with AFP)

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