Megachurches in France

Sebastien Fath, French researcher and academic, presented a paper at last August’s Association for the Sociology of Religion in Atlanta, GA, in which he discusses four French megachurches (a church of over 2,000 members). These pentecostal or charismatic churches are described against a backdrop of just under an estimated 2 million French Protestants.  Characterised by their’vigourous worship’ three of these Churches are located in the Paris region, Rencontre Espérance, Paris Centre Chrétien andCharisma Église Chrétienne, with a fourth, Porte Ouverte Chrétienne, located in Mulhouse, Alsace.

On top of these another 30 churches are approaching memberships of 1,000. The better known from among these include the Evangelical Church of Sarcelles, the Evangelical Center Philadelphia, the Communauté Amour et Vérité and the Pentecostal EvangelicalChurch in Lyon. Other congregations founded as recently as the 1990s and 2000s now number several hundreds. These include the Baptist church of Honfleur(Normandy), the Centre du Réveil Chrétien (Paris), the evangelical congregation of La Défense (Paris), the Impact Centre Chrétien (Ivry-sur-Seine) and Hillsong (Paris).

French Roman Catholics are taking note of the megachurch phenomenon. Bishop Dominique Rey (Fréjus-Toulon) authorised a visit studying US megachurches in 2006. The Roman Catholic church of St Thomas (Sarcelles), sees 10,000 Chaldean rite Catholics celebrate mass at one of seven masses per week. Not quite a megachurch, this Roman Catholic congregation is not far behind.

One wonders what the secular philosopher J.P. Sartre would make of this renewal of Christian faith in the land of laïcité.

Fath’s paper can be downloaded from:

Explore posts in the same categories: emerging, europe, France, megachurch, mission, Uncategorized

One Comment on “Megachurches in France”

  1. Robin Says:

    It is very rare to find knowledgeable people with this matter, but you sound like you are aware of exactly what you are dealing with! Thx

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