“During this march, two stops were planned. During the first stop, the procession was engaged by several people who uttered insults and crude and violent threats. The torch of a faithful was snatched away and thrown at the participants.”
“The procession restarted and continued, joined by the police, to Sainte-Marie-des-Fontenelles. A complaint is about to be filed.”
It added: “The diocese has contacted the public authorities to ensure that the safety of the faithful, who are legitimately concerned, is fully guaranteed now and in the future.”
The Paris Police Prefecture confirmed in a Dec. 11 social media post that a complaint would be filed.
“On Wednesday, Dec. 8 in Nanterre, participants in a religious procession were targeted by 3 individuals,” it said, adding that perpetrators fled after “rapid intervention by the police.”
The incident in Nanterre followed an attack in May on Catholics taking part in a procession in Paris commemorating the city’s 19th-century martyrs.
As soon as the group left the square de la Roquette, east of the city center, those in the procession were subjected to jeers and whistles, reported the French weekly Famille Chrétienne, which identified the attackers as “antifas,” or anti-fascists.
A few minutes later, a group of around 10 men reportedly physically attacked the procession, tearing down flags and throwing projectiles.
Two elderly people were knocked to the ground, with one later requiring stitches for a head injury.
A video posted on social media showed black-clad far-left demonstrators punching and kicking participants in the procession.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) recorded 159 hate crimes against Christians in France last year.
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Its figures showed that the number of hate crimes against Christians rose sharply across Europe in 2020.
In August, the Catholic priest Fr. Olivier Maire was murdered in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, a commune in the Vendée department in western France.