Vatican City, Sep 8, 2020 / 05:30 am
Attacks on churches in France are back to their “normal” level following a nationwide lockdown, according to an organization led by young Catholics.
A spokesperson for the group Protège ton église (Protect Your Church) told CNA Sept. 6: “It is clear that the pandemic led to a decrease in attacks against churches, at least during the period of confinement.”
The French population was required to remain at home from March 17 to May 11, as the country battled the coronavirus pandemic.
Protège ton église noted that attacks continued on a smaller scale, even though citizens were only permitted to leave their homes for a limited number of reasons, including exercise and shopping.
“But this lull was only temporary,” the organization said. “We deplore a ‘return to normal’ of this unfortunate trend.”
Since 2017, the Paris-based L’Observatoire de la Christianophobie (Observatory of Christianophobia) has recorded anti-Christian incidents in France month by month on interactive maps. The most recent map available, for August 2020, shows 11 incidents, comprising six acts of vandalism and five thefts. The Observatory recorded nine disturbances on its map for August 2019.
Protège ton église highlighted the fire at Nantes Cathedral July 18, which followed the blaze at Notre-Dame de Paris a year earlier.
“Two cathedrals in two years: this is starting to cost France dear,” it said.