Report Shows Increased Hostility toward Christians across Europe
Amanda CasanovaReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2019 Apr 17
Each day in France, two churches are desecrated in the country, according to the Middle East Forum.
According to CBN News, the report from the Middle East Forum showed that across Europe, there has been an increase in attacks on churches and Christian symbols in recent years.
In 2018, there were some 1,063 attacks on French Christian churches and symbols, such as statues and crosses. That number of attacks was a 17 percent jump from the year prior.
"I think there is a rising hostility in France against the church and its symbols," stated Ellen Fantini, executive director of Observatory of Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe. "It seems to be more against Christianity and the symbols of Christianity."
"These attacks are on symbols that are really sacred to parishioners, to Catholics," she added. "Desecration of consecrated hosts is a very personal attack on Catholicism and Christianity, more than spray-painting a slogan on the outside wall of a church.”
Catholic churches in France have been broken into and crosses have been destroyed, statues smashed and tabernacles vandalized.
The Church of St. Sulpice in Paris was most recently targeted and set on fire after service on a Sunday. Earlier in the month, the St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Houilles was targeted where criminals destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary and tried to break the altar cross.
In February, there were some 47 documented attacks on churches and religious sites. One such attack was at the Saint-Alain Cathedral, where the altar cloth was burned and the church’s crosses and statues were broken. At the church of Notre-Dame des Enfants, vandals smeared human excrement on a cross.
This greatly affects our diocesan community,” Bishop Robert Wattebled said. “The sign of the cross and the Blessed Sacrament have been the subject of serious injurious actions.
"This act of profanation hurts us all in our deepest convictions," he added.
Photo courtesy: Chuttersnap/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.