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Well if you look at the history of France, the people were under a monarch where they had to follow that religion. Catholicism was the major religion of France up until the revolution period. After the American Revolution, where France played a key role in giving colonists aid to help win their war against Great Britain, the French saw the the religious freedom ideals of the colonists and were influenced by that. The American Revolution, and the U.S. Constitution with the Bill of Rights that states in the first amendment that people have freedom of religion played a key role in influencing other countries like France to fight for their relgious freedom also.
Yes, it played a huge part in France. At first, Catholicism was the main religion they had there at the past, where they were under monarchy. But, its long reign finally ended during the French Revolution and started the "First Republic" in September 1792. Now, Christianity plays a huge role in modern France.
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