A Man Interrupts The Holy Mass Shouting and Hits A Parishioner

Country: France

Date of incident: July 24, 2022

On Sunday 24. July, a 25-year-old resident of Chambourcy was arrested after he seriously disrupted a Holy Mass in the church of Saint-Germain, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines). The man, who happened to be Muslim interrupted the celebration by shouting and calling the parishioners "hypocrites" and "shitty Christians". As a parishioner approached him to ask him to leave, the man hit him with a headbutt and knocked out two of his teeth.

"He called us hypocrites. Shitty Christians. He said we were making him look like a fool. Then a man, quite tall, came up to him and told him to leave. The other man asked him if he wanted to fight. That's when the headbutt happened. Others intervened to restrain him," a witness recalled.

"He was insulting on the fly. He accused the Church of being racist when he came to pray like a Muslim. He shouted: Satan has entered me! I don't want to hear the priest's words. He also said that he was the second son of God because his blood was the blood of Jesus. All this while struggling and spitting," was also quoted by the newspaper. 

The priest temporarily stopped the Mass and after the incident, he asked the church to pray together for the perpetrator.

In actu 24 it was reported that many parishioners became very afraid: "Some cried. Children especially have cried," said one of the parishioners.

A parishioner also said that the man first came into the church and threw his things into a corner, which were a backpack, his keys and his phone. After that it seems that the perpetrator stood at the altar and knelt down, during this time the parishioners were not paying much attention to him. 

Christophe Bentz, the town councillor for an opposition group "Audace pour Saint-Germain" and RN deputy for the Haute-Marne described the event as "very shocking", as he also was present. 

"It is a very serious incident that took place during the mass where there were families. It is the first time I have witnessed something so violent in a church. The person seemed to be in a state of hysteria. He was extremely determined and seemed very angry at Christians. I can't stop thinking about the man who first tried to reason with her and who was hit in the head with this very violent blow. I called the police and while waiting for them to arrive, it took more than a dozen people to subdue the individual who had a lot of strength. It's very worrying what happened. What will this person do when he is free again? One wonders whether he might not come back."

The mayor, Arnaud Pericard, has assured to the parishioners that he will contact the parish to improve the security of the services and better protect the faithful.

"All the places of worship in the city are equipped with the same system that exists in our schools. It is a box that triggers a silent alarm. When it is activated, in the event of an intrusion or a problem, it arrives directly on the radios of the municipal police and indicates the location," explained William Petrovic, deputy mayor in charge of security in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

According to the information, there is no evidence of a terrorist dynamic in this event. It seems like an isolated case and the man might have some mental issues, but this will have to be confirmed by experts.

Sources: Actu.frActu.fr 2, Facebook

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