What country comes to mind when you hear that 50 million of its people have no real link with the Christian Church, that the number of people that identify themselves as Muslim has tripled in 10 years, that the 50,000 occult practitioners outnumber the 30,000 full-time Christian workers, that only 10% of the population owns a Bible and that 80% have never handled one?
France was probably not your first choice! This is not uncommon. Many people look at France’s historical Christian roots and beautiful ancient churches and may not realize the immense need for the gospel of Jesus Christ in France. Consider some more statistics:
– 64% of French people consider themselves agnostic or atheist
– Less than 8 percent of the French population goes to church at least once a month
– The majority of France’s 10-15 million Muslims have never heard about Jesus
– To have one church for every 10,000 people, there still needs to be planted approximately 4200 new churches
Our family has a heart to bring the freedom that comes from knowing Jesus and His death and resurrection to the 60 million French people. We believe that God is raising up a harvest in France and this harvest will impact all of Europe and that we will see a movement of discipleship and renewal in France and beyond!
France by the numbers
While over 45% of French claim some form of Christianity, most don't attend services even once a month. Most hold barely nominal beliefs and often in conjunction with other worldviews, most notably the occult.
Along with the enlightenment also came a rise in the rejection of Christianity. Religion is a private affair in France, and evangelism is frowned upon.
While 52% of Europeans believe astrology has a scientific basis. France has especially embraced the occult. It is estimated that over 100,000 men and women are active occult practitioners.
Christianity is being assaulted on all fronts in France. Once embraced by over 45% of the French population, Protestantism is mired in liberalism and has now fallen to less than 2% of the population.
While much of Christianity is in decline in France. The Muslim population is increasing, resulting in one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe. Many are immigrants from former French colonies.
We are the Rileys – Matt, Katie, Micah, Ella, Annalise and Sophia. We have been married 18 years and during that time we have worked in the secular workplace, went to seminary, served as overseas as church planting interns, served in a full-time ministry position in Florida, and now we have been called to serve in France.
In 2012, while serving as rector of St. Pauls Anglican in Lynn Haven, Florida, Alongside Ministries International and the L’Eglise protestante unis de France asked us to join in a church renewal initiative in the east of France. So in 2012, we packed up our family of 5 and moved to France.
We want to hear from you!
We love hearing from our supporters and partners. Feel free to drop us a line, be it encouragement, constructive criticism, or needs that you might have. We ask for your prayers, but we also want to be praying for you! So let us know how God can be using us in your lives.
Partnering with us
Being in full time ministry and providing our basic needs is an endeavor that takes spiritual and financial resources. If you would like to be a part of our ministry in France, please click below to fill out a giving form with our sending agency Alongside Ministries.