France Religion and Climate


The constitution (Article 2) guarantees freedom of religion and legally equates all religious communities. There has been a strict legal separation of church and state since 1905. Alsace and part of Lorraine (Moselle), which belonged to the German Empire in 1905 as the Reichsland Alsace-Lorraine (from 1871 to 1918), have a special status under state church law. The basis of the relationship between the state and the church is still the Concordat of 1801, on the basis of which the state employs the clergy as civil servants at the suggestion of the churches, pays their salaries and pensions and maintains a Catholic and a Protestant theological faculty in Strasbourg.

Official counts of religious affiliation do not take place. The results of individual surveys differ accordingly. B. the “Annuario Pontificio” of the Vatican, so (end of 2009) over 74% of the population are to be assigned to the Catholic Church; at the same time, the “Institut français d’opinion publique” (IFOP) only has around 64% (with a share of less than a third of practicing Catholics). Around 2% of the population belong to Protestant churches (especially Reformed, Lutherans, Pentecostals), almost 1% to oriental and Orthodox churches (especially Armenian Apostolic, Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox Christians).

The Catholic Church comprises 15 ecclesiastical provinces (15 archbishoprics with 77 suffragan dioceses), an exemtes archdiocese (Strasbourg) and an exemtes diocese (Metz). The two largest Protestant churches are the United Protestant Church of France (more than 0.4% of the population; formed in 2012/13 from a union of the Reformed Church of France and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of France) and the Lutheran Protestant Church of Alsace and Augsburg Lorraine, which since 2006 with the Protestant Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine in the Union of Protestant Churches in Alsace and Lorraine is united (together just under 0.4% of the population). The great majority of the Protestant churches (Reformed, Lutherans, Baptists, Salvation Army, etc.) work together in the Protestant Federation of France (Fédération Protestante de France). Within the Orthodox Christians, the Armenians form the largest group with over 0.4% of the population (Armenian Church).

The second largest religious community in terms of numbers is Islam with an estimated 8–10% of the population. The Muslims are predominantly Sunnis and the majority of them are of North African origin. Muslims have a high proportion of the population, especially in the city and the greater Marseille area.

The Jewish communities, whose historical tradition in the area of ​​what is now France goes back to the 5th / 6th centuries. Century (testimony to Jewish communities in Vannes, Valence, Orleans), make up just under 1% of the population; The Jewish umbrella organization is the Central Council of Jewish Communities in France (seat: Paris).

France Religion

Climate and vegetation

The climate of France, due to its location in western Europe and the opening to the Atlantic Ocean dictated by the relief design, is largely determined by the Atlantic type and free of major contradictions. Only the narrow edge of the Mediterranean, which is deeply indented to the north in the Rhône basin, has hot, dry summers; the precipitation falls here in spring and autumn often as heavy rain. In the rest of France, precipitation falls (over 500 mm) throughout the year (the maximum is in October / November, in the remote areas in June). Precipitation over 2,000 mm can be found in the Alps, the Jura, the Massif Central and the Pyrenees. Snow only stays longer at heights above 1,000 m above sea level. The growing season is long. In the Armorika area, the influence of the sea softens the climate so much that special crops (potatoes, winter and early vegetables) can be grown in individual narrow coastal strips even during winter; figs even ripen in sheltered locations; Roscoff (on the north coast of Brittany) has a milder winter than Perpignan (on the Mediterranean), but a cooler summer (August 16.7 ° C). Visit for travel destinations in France.

In eastern France, the climate has somewhat more continental, Central European characteristics (because of the greater number of thunderstorms, the maximum rainfall is in summer). The Aquitaine Basin, like the Mediterranean region, has hot summers and mild winters, but, in contrast, also often has high levels of rainfall in summer. The Rhone Valley, narrowed between the Massif Central and the Alps, is afflicted by stormy, cold north winds (Mistral, Cers [near Narbonne], Tramontane [near Perpignan]), especially in winter and spring; Sirocco-like south winds are the Autan and the Marina.

The natural vegetation in the north of France corresponds to that of the temperate latitudes of Central Europe. However, the predominant deciduous and mixed deciduous forests, especially in the basin landscapes, have largely fallen victim to human cultivation. In the interior of Brittany, which is exposed to the Atlantic, heather forms the natural vegetation. In the south of France, shrubs and shrubbery of the Mediterranean vegetation, maquis and garigue, have replaced the evergreen hardwood forests. Olive trees, cork oaks and cypresses also thrive there.