Most French people belong nominally to the Roman church, but the number of practicing Catholics is possibly not more than 15 per cent in a population of 46 million. The strong and sometimes bitter anticlerical movement, which in 1905 led to a total separation of church and state, has cooled down to a large extent, despite the Communist increase. Roman Catholicism is more enlightened in France than it is in Spain or Latin America. Apparent at present is a kind of biblical renewal, and this is coupled with a great interest in the ecumenical movement.
Protestants comprise less than two per cent of the country. The recovery of Alsace-Lorraine in 1918 meant an addition of about 300,000 to the 500,000 who could be counted before World War I. 400,000 Protestants are members of the Reformed Church, 300,000 are Lutherans, and the remaining 100,000 represent Evangelical Reformed, Free churches, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostalists, Mennonites, Plymouth Brethren, and Salvation Army. There are, however, large areas totally devoid of evangelical ministry.
In 1938 two groups of Reformed churches (except for a minority who remained Evangelical Reformed), many Free churches, and the majority of Methodists joined and created the new Reformed Church of France, with no strictly enforced creed, so that the union displays various theological tendencies. Today there are those who would like to unite the different branches of the Protestant family in one church, but most evangelicals look with some suspicion upon this project. The things most needed today are:
1. A loyal stand for the Gospel, combined with a clear vision of the dangers of compromising with Romanism and modernism.
2. An enthusiastic proclamation of the Gospel. Although, apart ...1
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