The Land and the
About the size of Texas, France has a fascinating variety of landscapes from snowy Alps to sandy beaches along the Mediterranean. Atheism, skepticism, politics, materialism, and the worship of pleasure, leisure, family, and health occupy the hearts of most Frenchmen.
Approximately 75 percent of the Frenchmen consider themselves Catholics, though less than 15 percent of the population practices the faith. There are 3.2 million Muslims in France. An estimated 6.26 million people claim to be non-religious, and 2 million indicate that they are atheists. It is estimated that there are not more than 300,000 born-again Christians in all of France.
Past and Current
When our first missionaries in Europe were forced to leave Czechoslovakia in 1948 because of the Communist takeover, they went to France. Immediately they were challenged by the tremendous spiritual poverty, especially in the cities. They began work in Bordeaux. This strong church is now being used of God to start daughter churches in the suburbs of Bordeaux.
Over the years, other works were begun in various parts of France. Missionaries used a wide variety of methods to proclaim the Truth, including tract distribution, children's clubs, radio programs, Bible bookstands, gospel films, a camping ministry, Bible conferences, English as a Second Language, and outreaches to university students.
The Pastoral Baptist Bible Institute was begun in 1978. The program includes a 3-year Biblical Studies course and a one-year Bible course.
Fundamental Baptist churches in France, planted by both Baptist Mid-Missions and Evangelical Baptist Missions, established a mission agency for their own outreach efforts in 1986. "Missionary Action of Independent Baptist Churches" (A.M.E.B.I.) has sent French missionaries into home missions efforts, including efforts among Arab and Basque populations, and to Bulgaria.
Among skeptical people indifferent to spiritual values, a Baptist church of 100 members is considered large. Those considering missionary service in France must be sound in doctrine, patient, and emotionally strong to minister effectively to this rationalistic and resistant population.
Church planters are needed to reach out to Catholics, Muslims, and atheists living in this country.
Focus on France
Our missionaries offer a four-week college internship for up to five students that gives hands-on experience in the day-to-day workings of church planting in France. This summer group trip teaches students about the French and their culture and why France is one of the today’s most neglected mission fields. Students will leave with a clearer understanding of how God can use their individual gifts in a cross-cultural situation. To learn more, click on opportunities and look under Group Trips.