France witnessed yet another religious attack when a church statue was defaced. The interior minister has pledged to do everything in his power to find the perpetrators, the right wing has called for an exemplary punishment. Such incidents are on the rise nationwide.
Attacks against the Christian religion have become a regular occurrence in France of late. As V4NA has highlighted in an earlier article, plans are afoot – in line with a recently issued court ruling – to remove several religious statues from public spaces, after an association had complained that such displays are in breach of France’s 1905 law on the separation of church and state.
However, the ruling is not the only attack against religion that has caused considerable public outcry. Recently, the Sainte-Madeleine church was vandalised in the city of Angers in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France. Several statues were decapitated and mutilated, crucifixes were broken and the main altar was also damaged. Maxence Henry, the deputy mayor of Angers, has shared photos of the shocking destruction.
Jean-Marc Verchere, he city’s mayor, issued a statement to strongly condemn the attack against the city’s important religious heritage building. The act of vandalism took place just after Easter, one of the most significant holidays for Christians, the mayor emphasized, adding that he had filed a complaint with the authorities.
Taking to Twitter, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin also reacted to what happened, writing that he considers this type of vandalism unacceptable, adding that he will do everything to find the perpetrators of the attack against religious heritage.
Marine Le Pen, one of the most popular French opposition politicians, has also condemned the vandalism, pointing out that the most recent desecration of a church is proof that anti-Christian hatred is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon in the country. According to the right-wing politician, the justice system should set an example by issuing a severe sentence, because the number of such incidents has been on the rise for years, yet the authorities have remained inactive.
The number of attacks against Christian churches has seen a steep surge of late. A previous article published by V4NA reveals that 2022 saw an exceptionally high number of such crimes. Early last year, three churches were looted and vandalised within a single week in what appears to be a sadly evidence of growing anti-Christian sentiment across the country.