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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Church Attendance Has Risen after Murder of French Priest

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Sep 15
  • Comments

Church attendance has reportedly increased in France after a French priest was murdered by Muslim extremists in July.

According to, Father Jacques Hamel’s throat was slit by the terrorists while he celebrated Mass at his parish in the small French town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

The world mourned Fr. Hamel’s death along with France, and Pope Francis yesterday indicated that Fr. Hamel will eventually be made a saint.

"He accepted his martyrdom there on the altar," the Pope said. "He is a martyr and martyrs are beatified."

Archbishop Dominique Lebrun who oversees Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray also praised Hamel’s faith and held him up as a martyr.

Lebrun also said that since the priest’s murder, attendance at mass has increased.

"A week ago, I met with the vicars of the diocese and everyone told me that some people phoned asking if there was mass, if they could go, if there [was] a risk. At the same time, more people are at mass. On a psychological level, there is fear, but on a deep level in the soul, there is strength,” stated Lebrun.

Though miracles are required for someone to be made a saint, there are exceptions for those who were martyred for their faith.

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Publication date: September 15, 2016