France to See More Adult Baptisms This Easter

PARIS, APRIL 16, 2003 ( The French bishops’ conference announced that 2,374 adults will be baptized during the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday.

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The figure shows a slight increase over last year, when 2,335 people were baptized.

The baptism of adolescents and adults has grown in France over the past decade, as compared to the decrease in the baptism of children (380,093 in the year 2000, down from 448,609 in 1991).

A third of the new Catholics come from Christian families, another third from a background of nonbelievers.

Six percent are of Muslim origin, 3% practiced Eastern religions, 3% are of mixed tradition, and 1% of Jewish tradition.

One percent of them have at one point belonged to a sect and 15% have an “undefined” spiritual origin.

Of those to be baptized, 85% are younger than 40, and 83% come from urban areas.

More information on the French catechumenate is available at

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