French Muslims getting more devout

Published: Saturday, 19 January, 2008, 08:37 AM Doha Time
PARIS: A growing number of French Muslims say they are practising believers, according to a survey for the Catholic daily Le Croix made public on Thursday.
In the poll, 70% of respondents said that they adhered to the Islamic laws on fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. In 2001, the figure had stood at 60%.
In addition, 70% said they were believers in the faith, and one-third of those said they practised it. Of those asked, 39% said they prayed daily, compared to 33% in 2001.
The poll also found that the number of Muslims that take part in Friday prayers has grown from 16% in 1994 to 23% in 2007.
The survey confirmed that France’s Muslims are far more devout than the rest of the French population, which is becoming less religious.
A December 2006 poll by Harris Interactive, published in the Financial Times, showed that nearly two-thirds of the French population described themselves as agnostic or atheist, and only 27% believed in any type of God or supreme being.
In addition, a January 2007 poll published in Le Monde des Religions found that only half of the 51% of the French population that described themselves as Catholics said they believed in God.
In the early 1990s, 80% of the French had described themselves as Catholic, and the figure was 67% in 2000.
In the Le Monde des Religions poll, only 10% of respondents said that they went to church regularly. – DPA

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