High Level of Anti-Christian Crimes in France Can't be Ignored Anymore: Collective Statement by 20 Personalities

Country: France

Date of incident: March 3, 2023

The anti-Christian incidents have been rising in France, up to the point that 20 personalities from different organisations and careers have issued a letter to the authorities. The newspaper "Le Figaro" has published a collective statement signed by twenty french personalities asking for a better response against this problem in France and Europe. The article mentions recent news about two nuns who will leave the city of Nantes due to insecurity. The authors state: "If the worrying rise in violence against religions affects all believers, Christianity remains the primary target of anti-religious acts in France as in Europe." The statement asks the European Union to "react and recall that all anti-religious acts must be fought with the same force."

The article describes that two nuns living in the Bouffay district of Nantes will leave the city, as they were exhausted by the insecurity. 

This is underlined by the latest parliamentary report done by Isabelle Florennes and Ludovic Mendes on anti-Religious and anti-Christian crimes in France, which also revealed alarming numbers of anti-Christian acts in the country. (Le Figaro)

The French Ministry of the Interior and the OSCE ODIHR's Hate Crime Report have also acknowledged the rising trend of anti-Christian crimes. The "Le Figaro" article writes "The precise evaluation of these acts, both quantitative and qualitative, is certainly complex, but one thing is certain: this phenomenon is increasing in scope, seriousness and visibility."

The article also notes that this year alone has started with a shooting in a London church, several arson attacks against churches in Paris, and other severe desecrations. The Observatory (OIDAC) has also documented and shared many worrying cases in the first months of the year, like a devastating arson in Germany and a terrorist attack targeting Christians in Spain.

In the collective statement, the 20 personalities address the importance of protecting freedom of conscience:

"All anti-religious acts must be fought with the same force, because they threaten not only all believers, but also the founding principles of our civilisation, foremost among which is freedom of conscience."

The rise in anti-Religious crimes also affects Jews and Muslims. Nevertheless, the authors emphasize that the EU already has coordinators in charge of fighting anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic crimes, but there is no coordinator for anti-Christian cases:

"Stemming this scourge of anti-religious violence, which has moved from the realm of legitimate criticism to that of crime, requires coordinated action at the European level. In implementing its strategy against racism and acts of hatred, the European Union adopted the Council Framework Decision of 28 November 2008 and, as a follow-up, created the functions of coordinators in charge of the fight against anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred.

If such a fight is indispensable, which no one disputes, would it not be fair to extend it to the fight against what must be called anti-Christianity?"

The authors call the current situation an unjustified "double standard". The signatories mention that in a letter from 11. November 2022, the European Commission confirmed its refusal to appoint a coordinator in charge of the fight against anti-Christian acts. This was a response to a request made on this subject by the association La France en partage.

They add:

"What is at stake here is the equal guarantee of fundamental freedoms of thought and belief in Europe. But it is also, in the guilty indifference of the public authorities, the maintenance of the link with what founded European culture itself, from the monasticism of the origins to the twelve stars of its flag. And, with it, the perpetuation of an essential element of our civilisation."

"The Commission must take this step to confirm its commitment to equal freedom of conscience for all. We can no longer pay lip service to the idea that all believers benefit from the same European protection." 

Sources: Le Figaro "The European Union must accept to face the rise of anti-Christian acts!"

Valeurs Actuelles

Symbolic Picture by Luis Quinteros on Pexels

These were the signatories of the collective statement:

Carine Chaix, lawyer, president of the association La France en partage; Alban du Rostu, director general of the Common Good Fund; Jérôme Bascher, senator, vice-president of the France-Holy See group in the Senate; Henri de Beauregard, lawyer; Jérôme Besnard, lawyer and essayist; Olivier Bonassies, author, director of the Marie de Nazareth association; Loris Chavanette, historian; Typhanie Degois, former LREM deputy; Denis Duverne, president of the Saint-Jean de Passy association; Maxime Bonassies, head of the M de Marie association; Michel Degoffe, professor of public law; Thomas Delenda, director of the Hozana association; Jean-Michel Fauvergue, novelist, former LREM deputy; Julien Le Page, president of SOS Calvaires; Charles Prats, vice-president of the Professional Association of Magistrates; Gregor Puppinck, jurist, director of the ECLJ think-tank; Jean-Bernard Prim, general delegate of the Alliance Siméon; Thierry Rambaud, professor of public law, lawyer at the court; Frédéric Rouvillois, professor of public law, general delegate of the Fondation du Pont-Neuf; Joseph Macé-scaron, writer; Nicola Speranza, general secretary of the FAFCE.