Photo Source: Masters View / Howard Erickson
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In the 4th century AD, Gaul's eastern frontier along the Rhine was overrun by Germanic tribes, principally the Franks, from whom the ancient name of "Francie" was derived. The Franks were the first tribe among the Germanic conquerors of Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire to convert to Catholicism. France obtained the title "Eldest daughter of the Church," and the French would adopt this as justification for calling themselves "the Most Christian Kingdom of France."
Existence as a separate entity began with the Treaty of Verdun in 843. Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire was divided into East, Middle, and West Francia. West Francia approximated the area occupied by modern France and was the precursor to modern France. The Carolingian dynasty ruled France until 987, when Hugh Capet, Duke of France and Count of Paris, was crowned King of France. His descendants progressively unified the country through a series of wars and dynastic inheritance.
The monarchy reached its height during the 17th century during the reign of Louis XIV. At this time, France possessed the largest population in Europe and had tremendous influence over European politics, economy and culture. French became the common language of diplomacy in international affairs and remained thus until the 20th century. Much of the Age of Enlightenment occurred in French intellectual circles, and major scientific breakthroughs were achieved by French scientists in the 18th century.
In addition, France obtained many overseas possessions in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. France maintained colonial possessions, in various forms, beginning early in the 17th century and lasting until the 1960s. Their once vast colonial holdings meant that they now live in many parts of Africa and Southeast Asia. Today, the French live not only in their own country, but over 100 others as well, including Angola, which was once a Portuguese colony.
Professional sports are popular among the French. Bicycle racing, tennis, golf, rugby, soccer and basketball are among the most popular. When one thinks of the French in Angola, one thinks of professional athletes.
Approximately one-half of the French population consider themselves to be Roman Catholic and one-third consider themselves agnostic or atheist. Many have adopted New Age spirituality.
The French are considered "post-Christian" by many Evangelical theologians. No matter where they live, the French need to meet people who demonstrate biblical Christianity in their everyday lives to understand why they need Jesus Christ.
Pray for God to send loving laborers to the French people no matter where they live.
Pray for workers who understand the French mindset and have the discernment how to approach them with the gospel.
Pray that soon there will be French people who love the Lord discipling others who will disciple others.
Pray for the French to turn their backs on New Age spiritual answers and recognize the lordship of Jesus Christ.