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France
Population (2009 est.)64,057,792
Religious DemographicsRoman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%
Ethnic GroupsCeltic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
LanguagesFrench 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)

The country has an area of 211,209 square miles and a population of 64,100,000.

In accordance with its definition of separation of state and religion, the Government does not keep statistics on religious affiliation.
According to the 2008 Guide of the Catholic Church in France, France is 65 percent Catholic, including those who never attend religious services. Of Catholics, only 5 percent go to church regularly.

There are an estimated five million to six million Muslims (8 to 10 percent of the population), although estimates of how many of these are practicing vary widely. According to a January 17, 2008, survey in the Catholic daily newspaper La Croix, 39 percent of Muslims surveyed said they observed Islam's five prayers daily, an increase from 31 percent in 1994. Mosque attendance for Friday prayers rose to 23 percent, up from 16 percent in 1994, while Ramadan observance reached 70 percent compared to 60 percent in 1994.

Protestants make up 2.1 percent of the population, Jewish and Buddhist religious groups 1 percent each, and Sikhs less than 1 percent.

According to French daily newspaper Le Figaro, there were approximately 1.5 million Protestants in France in 2008.

According to La Croix, there are approximately 500,000 Buddhists in the country, making it the country's fourth-largest religion. This may underrepresent the actual number of adherents, as it is difficult to distinguish between practicing Buddhists and the much larger number of persons who characterize themselves as sympathetic to certain Buddhist principles. Scholars distinguish between "sympathizers" (approximately 5,000,000), "associates" (defined as having a certain degree of proximity to Buddhism and estimated to number between 100,000 and 150,000), and "practitioners" (approximately 12,000). The largest Buddhist meditation center in the West is in the region of Touraine, and two Tibetan monasteries in the Auvergne region have trained the largest number of Buddhist monks outside Asia, according to 2002 statistical data. In all, there are 300 Buddhist places of worship in the country.

The Jewish community numbers approximately 600,000 (70 percent Sephardic and 30 percent Ashkenazi). According to press reports, at least 60 percent of Jews are not highly observant, celebrating at most only the High Holy Days. The large majority of observant Jews--5 percent of all Jews in a country--are Orthodox. There are small Conservative and Reform congregations as well.

Jehovah's Witnesses reported that 250,000 persons attend their services either regularly or periodically, although they estimate approximately 120,000 are observant which would make it the fifth-largest religion.

Orthodox Christians number between 80,000 and 100,000; the vast majority are associated with the Greek or Russian Orthodox Churches.

Other religious groups include Evangelicals, Christian Scientists, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Membership in evangelical churches is growing (with as many as 400,000 adherents, according to January 2008 press reports), including African-style "prosperity" churches, especially in the suburbs of Paris, in large part because of increased participation by African and Antillean immigrants. According to a recent study published by the French School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), there were 34,381 members of The Church of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons, at the end of 2007, 30 percent of whom are observant. The Church of Scientology has an estimated 5,000 to 20,000 members.

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