Protestant churches in the Paris region

At the University of Kent, Dr Anna Strhan (Department of Religious Studies) and Dr David Garbin (School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research), organised a conference entitled Religion and the Global City.

The aim of the conference was to explore city dynamics of religious presence in global contexts.

Questioning on:

  • how religious groups make space and ‘take place’ in the global city;
  • what kind of spatial models, morphologies and ‘religeopolitics’ do they produce and adopt;
  • to what extent does religion contribute to the ‘hyper-diversity’ of multicultural cityscapes;
  • what kind of religious centralities and peripheries are produced or reproduced on global cities (source

The event took place on Friday 11 September 2015.
Phil Hubbard (Kent), Paul-François Tremlett (Open University), Jeremy Carrette (Department of Religious Studies, Kent), and John Eade (University of Roehampton) were the discussants of the different sessions (Power, visibility, and the politics of space; Centralities, peripheries, and religious reterritorialization; Religious media, publics, and global cultural flows; Global migration, everyday multiculturalism, and religious place-making).

Yannick Fer and Gwendoline Malogne-Fer, both from the GSRL, presented a paper on :

“Religious territorialisation and the negotiation of urban margins in a fragmented city: Protestant churches in the Paris region”.

Drawing on fieldwork research conducted in 2012-2013 in the frame of a GSRL research program “Paris 2030” on Protestantism and diversity in Paris (funded by the Paris City Hall), they focused on the relationships that Protestant churches build with the urban space in Paris region.

Protestantism in the Paris region shows how social and spatial inequalities are closely intertwined with ethnic boundaries.

On the one hand, “indigenous” Protestants mostly from Lutheran-Reformed orientation whose presence is long-established in Paris intra muros, on the other hand, migrant populations (from African, Caribbean, Asian and Latin-American origins) mainly from Evangelical orientation whose position is peripheral in three ways: spatially, socially and within the Protestant field itself (at the margins of the Protestant representative institutions).

Yannick Fer and Gwendoline Malogne-Fer focused on the strategies these different Protestant actors develop in order to appropriate the most visible and centrally located public spaces.

They particularly related to two Protestant events in Paris: the March for Jesus, organised in May 2015 by Evangelical networks and the Protestants en fête rally organised in September 2013 by the French Protestant federation.

During the communication, they showed a 10-minute video on the 2015 Parisian March for Jesus. Hereafter the video realised by Gwendoline Malogne-Fer.


In 2014, Yannick Fer and Gwendoline Malogne-Fer edited another scientific film on a similar subject: Mission: Trocadero. The film showed how the Evangelical network Youth With a Mission sets up every year an open-air evangelistic campaign in Paris, on the esplanade of the Trocadéro.