News from Europe

Less churches and more mosques: the crisis of Christianity in France

The Religious Heritage Observatory reports that French religious monuments are disappearing at a rate of two buildings per month. On the other hand, the number of mosques is growing at a similar rate.


Edouard de Lamaze, president of the Observatory of Religious Heritage (Observatoire du Patrimoine Religieux), spoke to the Catholic News Agency about the alarming situation of the mostly Catholic religious monuments in France. His analysis shows that one religious building disappears every two weeks.

After a fire that destroyed the sixteenth-century Saint Peter’s Church in Romilly-la-Puthenaye in Normandy, Lamaze raised an appeal to raise awareness of the problem of Catholic material heritage in France. The tragedy, considered accidental, occurred exactly two years after the Cathedral of Notre Dame was set on fire.

The commentator pointed out that the destruction is not accidental in most cases, and such a large number of disappearing sacred objects result from demolitions, transformations and collapses, and fires – with as much as two-thirds of them caused by intentional arson resulting from religious aggression.

At the same time, there is a dynamic development of Islamic communities, often enjoying special rights compared to the faithful of the Catholic Church. An example of such an attitude by the French government was the inconsistent application of a curfew on Muslims customarily visiting in the evenings of Ramadan, while for Catholics there were no similar exceptions to covid restrictions.

– Although there are still many Catholic monuments, in France, one mosque is erected every fifteen days, and one Christian building is destroyed at the same pace,” Lamaze explains.


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