Revival in France

A revival similar to the one in Argentina is beginning in France.

France is a beautiful and prosperous nation proud of its cultural heritage. But spiritually it is dark. I visited France at Easter and learned that centuries of religious wars between Protestants and Catholics (which the Catholics won) have left a tiny evangelical community that makes up less than 1 percent of the population.

I also discovered that:

Despite its official status as the state church, the Roman Catholic Church seems to have been rejected by the French. Less than 10 percent of the population attend Mass regularly.

Both the occult and freemasonry have a great influence on the nation.

More than 5 million Muslims live in France, making the Muslim community 10 times the size of the evangelical community.

Yet I believe revival is stirring in France, and Carlos Annacondia, the Argentine evangelist who has been used by God to bring revival to his nation, agrees. I went to France to attend a crusade in which Annacondia ministered in Paris--the first citywide evangelistic crusade since Billy Graham preached there in 1986.

The spiritual history of France is an interesting one. After the Reformation in 1517 a thriving Protestant community grew up, totaling at one point almost 40 percent of the population. Fervent people called Huguenots spread revival throughout the country.

During the 16th and 17th centuries the Protestants endured great persecution. In 1685 King Louis XIV outlawed Protestantism altogether and required members to rejoin the Catholic Church or be killed. Several hundred thousand Protestants, including my own great-great-grandparents, fled France to gain religious freedom.

The few Protestants left in France had no pastors and were forced to meet in forests or ravines at the risk of death. The abuses were so bad that by the early 18th century, the Reformed Church of France totally rejected any manifestations of the Holy Spirit and adopted much of the rationalistic ideology espoused by Voltaire.

Add to the list of historical influences the French Revolution of 1789, the reign of Napoleon and two bloody world wars, and you begin to get a picture of the forces that have shaped France today. Interestingly, Annacondia sees parallels between France and his own Argentina. Both are officially Roman Catholic nations that have been resistant to the gospel message. Both nations are prosperous and proud.

God broke through the pride of the Argentines when they lost the Falkland Islands war in 1982, and a revival began that some leaders say has seen 3 million people saved out of a nation of 35 million. French leaders see a similar revival beginning in France.

Pastor Max Fleury of Orléans says he sees real spiritual hunger developing. Paul van der Hagen of Lyon believes God will give many descendants of Huguenots (such as me) a heart to pray for France to help bring revival to this leading European nation. Van der Hagen's Huguenot ancestors fled to Holland, but he and his wife moved back to France to be missionaries.

Pastor Vincent Esterman of Paris was born in Australia to French parents. He also came back to France in 1986 and has been involved in starting 23 churches. It was his vision to bring Annacondia to France, believing there is a need for the powerful preaching of the Word to get people saved.

Traditionally, not many people are converted in French churches. Yet when Annacondia preached to a packed-out tent seating 5,000, more than 600 were saved in three days. In a country where a church of 100 is large, that is like starting six churches a day.

Annacondia told me he has never seen such spiritual hunger. During his meetings, several thousand flooded the altars for salvation or prayer, and many received ministry in the tent of deliverance. Hundreds of others gave testimony to healings.

Certainly one evangelistic crusade doesn't constitute a revival. But it is the beginning of a spiritual breakthrough. We pray that this spark is fanned into a flame that will consume the entire nation with passion for God.

Stephen Strang is the founding editor of Charisma. He invites you to attend Charisma's 25th anniversary conference, to be held in Orlando, Fla., Aug. 3-5. To register call (888) 772-2223.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit