More Church Attacks Hit France

More Church Attacks Hit France

The long string of attacks on churches, priests and Christian congregations is continuing in France. Last week the Sainte-Madeleine church in Angers, Maine-et-Loire was attacked. “The Church of Saint Magdalene was wildly vandalized today,” the mayor of Angers revealed. Jean-Marc Verchère explained that “many statues were decapitated, crosses were broken and the main altar in the church was desecrated”.

The mayor announced the filing of a lawsuit against the unknown perpetrator and added that he strongly condemns this cruel act that affected an important religious and cultural building in our city. “I express my support to the parishioners and the Catholic community who are deeply affected by these attacks, which took place the day after the Easter holidays.”

The vandalism of the Catholic church prompted a response from the interior minister Gérald Darmanin on Twitter: “Unacceptable beheading of statues in the Church of Saint Magdalene in Angers. I express all my support to the Angevin and French Catholic population. We will do everything to catch the perpetrators of this interference in the religious heritage.”

She also condemned the attack on Twitter, while Rima Abdul Malak, the French Minister of Culture said that “An attack on cultural heritage is an attack on what constitutes our common history. We are all affected, whether we are believers or not.”

Attacks on Catholic religious buildings are not uncommon in recent years. Just before Christmas, the 22nd. In December, the Sainte-Anne d’Arvor church in Lorient was attacked, suffering serious vandalism. According to Ouest-France, statues of the Virgin Mary, St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus were broken on the ground, Christmas nativity scenes were destroyed and candles were swept across the floor. The desecrations took place during the day when the church was empty.

On December 19, graffiti was written on the facade of the Saint-Roch church in Paris “False nobles…”, “Nazis, French out”, “You are reading your book in the wrong direction”. Very similar graffiti had been written on some of the walls and doors of the Louvre just a few days before.

France now has a long history of attacks on church buildings and Christians, be they priests or believers. In 2018 alone, according to a report by Liberté politique, as much as 80% of all desecrated sacred buildings in France were Christian.