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Besides raiding Christian bookstores and arresting Christians, authorities threatened to kill South Sudanese Christians who do not leave or cooperate with them.
Hard-line Muslims have been fighting construction of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God building since 2009, having demolished the partially built structure twice before then.
There are almost 4,000 evangelical worship places in the country, according to new figures. Muslims rank second, with more than 1,500.
A letter distributed on social media asks for the “attacks against the church” to stop. Twenty-five buildings are set to be demolished, but Christians in the country are “very resilient”, a source says.
Evangelical pastor Hector Peñafiel, a welding master, uses his skills to teach his profession and share the gospel with asylum seekers. “They can plan their future now”, he says.
Since 2014, 27 places of worship have been closed, affecting around 40 Christian communities. Some “bought a premise with a loan, remodeled it, but cannot use it”, says pastor Daniel Magnin.
The pastor of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Alfortville and his wife were sleeping in the first floor when the fire started. It is the third arson attack against an evangelical church in France in the last 12 months.
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.
There are 3,759 Protestant places of worship in the country, according to a December 2015 official report. An overwhelming majority of Protestants are evangelical Christians.
New churches in northern Italy will need to have large parking sites and a “minimum distance” to other places of worship. Evangelicals fear “damage to freedom of religion” and denounce new rules might be “unconstitutional.”