French evangelicals join 100,000 against antisemitism in Paris

Almost all political parties were represented in the peaceful march. The French National Council of Evangelical Christians condemns the one thousand antisemitic acts recorded in recent weeks.

Evangelical Focus

PARIS · 13 NOVEMBER 2023 · 13:15 CET

A picture of the march against antisemitism in Paris, 12 November 2023. / Photo: <a target="_blank" href="">Twitter Élisabeth Borne</a>.,
A picture of the march against antisemitism in Paris, 12 November 2023. / Photo: Twitter Élisabeth Borne.

France is one of the European countries where antisemitism has increased most in the last years, and tensions have risen even more since the beginning of the Israel-Gaza war.

It is in this context that almost all major political parties joined citizens and civil groups in a demonstration in Paris on Sunday 12 November to condemn any sort of new forms of hate against Jews. The march was organised by the Presidents of the Senate and the National Assembly to fight against what former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe described as a “an old demon of France”.

Over 105,000 people walked peacefully through Paris, and other 77,000 joined marched in other cities such as Lyon, Grenoble, Lille or Marseille, said the police.

Among those in Paris was Erwan Cloarec, President of the National Council of Evangelical Christians (CNEF).

The evangelical body he leads lamented the “rekindling of community tensions and a rise in antisemitism” that have led to “over one thousand recorded antisemitic acts in France in recent weeks”, the CNEF said in a statement on 9 November.

“At a time when current events remind us of the darkest hours in our history, the CNEF is once again calling on its members to react by praying for peace, both in the Middle East and in our country, and by taking concrete action against anti-Semitism”, the statement said.

Also last week, the European Evangelical Alliance (of which the CNEF is France’s national member) issued a document addressing the historic roots of antisemitism, offering specific Biblical positions and points of action.

Growing insecurity for Jews in Europe

During the march in Paris, the President of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France said antisemitism “does not threat only Jews but all of France”. He added he was hoping to see specific actions of the government to tackle growing insecurity.

Days earlier, on 9 November, Jews across Europe commemorated the Kristallnacht of 1938, when Jews and their businesses were attacked in Nazi Germany. Events organised this year in several European countries needed special protection, and some were cancelled for security reasons.

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