France implements new subsidy mechanism for religious associations
A new tool has been implemented under the french "anti-separatism law", which aims at reinforcing "respect of republican principles". This is the Republican Commitment Contract (CER). which was approved in 2020, and it needs to be signed by all associations, including religious ones, in order to have access to subsidies.
While the National Council of Evangelicals (CNEF) and the Protestant Evangelical Committee for Human Dignity (CPDH) welcome the contract that seeks to guarantee freedom of association and freedom of conscience, thought and religion, as well as the fight against violence, they are concerned about the application and interpretation of these measures by public authorities or administrations, as “some terms could be misinterpreted.”
During the controversial discussion about this new measure in 2020, the Minister of Interior, Gérald Darmalnin, made some negative statements against evangelical Christians.
In an interview with C News, he said: “Evangelicals are a very important problem. Obviously not of the same nature than the Islamism that makes terrorist attacks and deaths.” And a day before, he stated to the radio broadcaster France Inter: “We cannot discuss with people who refuse to write on paper that the law of the Republic is superior to the law of God”.