Most French Still Praying, Survey Finds

Results Published in Pelerin Magazine

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PARIS, APR. 15, 2001 ( In an era of widespread consumerism, prayer continues to be of value for most Frenchmen, a survey indicates.

The survey, published Friday in Pelerin Magazine, the country´s largest-circulation Catholic weekly, was carried out by the public opinion enterprise Sofres. It revealed that prayer continues to inspire 67% of Frenchmen. Only 2% regard prayer as something ridiculous or old-fashioned.

Half of those surveyed said they pray and meditate, although only 42% said they pray in the strict sense of the term; 22% pray regularly, at least once a week.

Women are more pious (54%) than men (46%). Personal prayer at home is preferred by 79%, as opposed to prayer in a church (48%).

To the question «To whom do the French address their prayer?» the answers are: 65% pray to God; 35% to the Virgin Mary; and 25% to Christ.

Among the other findings:

–45% engage in prayers of praise and thanksgiving.

–43% pray for personal healing or success for others.

–39% pray for the problems of the world. Among the prayer intentions for personal reasons, 49% pray on important occasions, 35% for courage to face life, and 23% to overcome stress.

The Sofres survey was carried out from March 22-24, and included interviews with 953 individuals, representing Frenchmen older than 18 years.

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