The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
The French government has confirmed that attacks against Christian places of worship have increased by 20% and anti-Semantic and Islamophobic figures continue to remain high since 2015.
The anti-Muslim acts “tripled” in 2015 and anti-Semitic acts remained “at a high level”, the Interior Minister of France Bernard Cazeneuve said in an interview with the newspaper La Croix.
Cazeneuve reported a “5% decrease in anti-Semitic acts, which nevertheless remain at a high level, with 806 recorded acts.”
The number of anti-Muslim acts, grew to “about 400”, which has become the worst figure since 2011.
INTERNATIONAL VIOLENCE HAS LOCAL EFFECTS
Since 2005, anti-Semitic violence and threats have only exceeded the threshold of 800 acts in 2009 and 2014. Both times, the figures echoed a hardening of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In 2015, more than half of anti-Muslim acts were recorded in the first quarter, in the wake of the attacks against Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher in January.
810 ATTACKS AGAINST CHRISTIAN PLACES
Christian places of worship and cemeteries “are not spared, with 810 attacks”, the minister explained, adding that this is a “20% increase.”
“I cannot accept such acts. They will be severely punished”. Cazeneuve said.
Since early 2015, the minister also informed that “40 deportation measures against hate preachers or self-appointed pseudo-imams” were decided.
FATH: “INTOLERANCE COULD CONTINUE TO GROW”
Sebastien Fath, a French specialist in the study of Evangelical Protestantism, said the new figures show how “the Jews of France, in proportion to their population, always pay by far the highest price for intolerance” in the country.
“But a sharp increase of Islamophobic acts, coupled with the increase in attacks against Christian places, leads to the conclusion that intolerance against religions in France could continue to grow.”