The number of baptisms sharply increasing in France: how to explain this increase?

According to the French Bishops' Conference, the number of adult baptisms at Easter in 2024 will be up 31% compared to 2023.

The number of baptisms sharply increasing in France: how to explain this increase?

According to the French Bishops' Conference, the number of adult baptisms at Easter in 2024 will be up 31% compared to 2023.

This is a trend that has been observed since 2021: the number of baptisms is increasing in France. According to the Conference of Bishops of France, 7,135 adults should be baptized at Easter, an increase of 31% compared to 2023. The body, which brings together representatives of the Catholic Church, also announces that this increase particularly affects young people aged 18 to 25. They now represent 36% of all baptized adults. They were 23% before the Covid-19 pandemic. Among adolescents aged 11 to 17, the number of baptisms increased by 50% in France this year. In certain dioceses, the increase in requests for baptism, all ages combined, is even greater. For that of Saint-Claude, located in the Jura, it is 200% more compared to 2023.

“There is a basic trend in French society, in the younger generations who approach the question of religious experience and the quest for meaning in a more uninhibited way,” analyzes Father Daniel Blaj, head of the adult catechumenate in Alsace. , interviewed by BFMTV. According to him, the model of transmission of faith has evolved: "we transmitted the faith within a family tradition (...) in an automatic way. We are now moving to another model where the experience corresponds to a questioning.” According to Catherine Chevalier, director of the National Service of Catechesis and Catechumenate of the French Catholic Church, the subject of religion is "less taboo, perhaps than in previous generations."

The survey by the Conference of Bishops of France also reports that the number of people “from families without religion” is increasing significantly: this represents a quarter of adult catechumens.

However, the Catholic Church remains in decline. 200,000 people were baptized in 2019, compared to 400,000 in 2000. The number of baptized people from families of Christian tradition is also decreasing: 61% in 2024, compared to 69% in 2023.

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