St. Sarkozy, French Leader finds Favor among Christians
A RECENT FRENCH POLL shows that majorities of both practicing Catholics and Protestants support France's pro-American president Nicolas Sarkozy, even as his overall polling numbers have dropped
Reportedly, 61 percent of practicing Catholics in France favorably view Sarkozy, as do 51 percent of Protestants. Protestants in large congregations, which are likely to be evangelical, favor Sarkozy by 62 percent. Non-practicing Catholics favor him by 44 percent, while only 30 percent of Muslims like him and 29 percent of Jews.
Sarkozy, very unlike most of his predecessors, has spoken openly of religion's importance in French public life. An infrequently practicing "cultural Catholic," Sarkozy's father came from a Hungarian Protestant family. His maternal grandfather was a Sephardi Jew who converted to Catholicism.
A French Protestant newspaper, Réforme, highlighted the latest poll because France's small Protestant community traditionally has aligned with the secular political left, which shared its historic distrust of the alliance between the political right and Roman Catholicism. Two recent Socialist premiers have hailed from Protestant backgrounds.