.- The number of adults receiving the sacraments of Christian initiation is increasing steadily in a country strongly affected by secularism. This year, 2.650 adults were baptized on the Easter vigil. This figure shows a steady increase from last year, when 2409 adults were baptized, according to figures from the national service of Catechumens of the French Bishops Conference (CEF).
The number of catechumens, refering to the adults currently preparing the sacraments of Christian initiation, grew as well, amounting to 9.564 in 2005 ( 9.364 in 2004) . This time of preparation lasts two years.
Among these adults entering the Catholic Church, 48% proceed from other Christian denominations, 5% from Islam, 3% from oriental religions and 22% were atheists. Adults receiving this sacrament of baptism, also receive the sacrament of Confirmation and participate for the first time in the Eucharist during the Easter vigil, steps that are taken progressively by children.