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Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of France

Ethnicity

Most of the people in France are ethnic French, but due to large immigration numbers in recent years and today the percentage of non-French is slowly growing. The ethnic French are primarily a combination of Celtic (Gauls), Latin (Roman) and Germanic (Teutonics & Franks) people with varying degrees of each. Among the growing immigrant population, the largest of these foreign groups are other Europeans as well as members of the former French colonies, including many African and Asian countries.

Language

The official language of France is French and both the country and the people strongly cling to this language. French is similar to the other Romance languages including Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, all of which are based on Latin. French today has significant influences from Gaelic languages, Germanic languages, as well as native languages on the lands prior to the Romans, such as the language of the Gauls, Gaulish, which is an extinct Gaelic language.

There are also multiple minor languages spoken by ethnic minorities in France, particularly along the bordering regions with Germany and Spain. However, Paris is a growing immigrant center and many people speak various languages natively, although nearly all also speak French and use this as their primary means of communication in the country. English, German, and other popular international languages are also spoken as secondary languages in France, but often times only at a basic level.

Religion

Most of the French proclaim Catholicism as their religion, although there is a small and growing Muslim minority due to immigration trends, primarily from North and West Africa.

Catholicism is a Christian religion that is one of the first Christian religions (founded after the death of Jesus in about 30-33 AD). Catholicism believes that there is a single God who created everything, a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins, and there is the Holy Spirit, which makes up the last part of the Holy Trinity. Catholics follow the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Much of the faith is based on the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the New Testament).

Continue reading on Safari the Globe to Learn the Catholic Church's doctrines, liturgy, symbolism, traditions, & hierarchy

This page was last updated: May, 2014