A report by Real Clear Investigations Wednesday indicated that the French police had filed 129 thefts as well as 877 acts of vandalism in 2018, all in Catholic spaces. What is most notable about this is that the widespread incidents are not being called to the public's attention by either the French Media or the Church. Many are asking—why?
In an email, Thursday, to The Daily Caller News Foundation, Ellen Fantini of the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians In Europe stated: "We do know that the government has downplayed the official figures for years…The French government and media seem to be mostly complicit in their silence, perhaps because the Church and Christianity are both seen as a historically powerful majority."
However, the real story here is that the reported 2018 numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. The French Ministry of the Interior, between 2009 and 2019, reported attacks perpetrated on Christian sites have quadrupled. The types of attacks that are being reported are those of urination in baptismal fonts, desecration of Catholic cemeteries, and the destruction of centuries-old forms of art.
Many say that the increase of reports may very well be due to the growing of “Christianophobia," and even cite extreme examples, such as the Islamic extremist who on reportedly opened fire on a crowded Christmas market in France in December. The experts, when asked what would cause the cultural morphing to create these types of acts, the explanations pretty much ran the gamut.
A lack of respect for religion as a whole and not just Christianity was noted, along with the thoughts that the sites that were attacked were unguarded, making them pretty much easy targets.
However, the one that may play the most significant part in the whole problem is that of anti-Christian sentiment within the European nations, fueled on by the growing reports of clergy sexual abuse.
An author in September wrote that the recent acts of vandalism and destruction are in actuality, not isolated acts. On the contrary, they prove testimony to the fact that the climate in France is turning profoundly anti-Christian.
However, another individual, French political philosopher Pierre Manent took the view that the vandalism and destruction are drawn to Christian sites simply because there are so many of them, and they like mentioned before, are not guarded and present little to no risk to the perpetrators.
It remains that the actual number of incidents will never really be known, as the members of the Church who are proving to be the most affected by the incidences do not want to instigate a media outcry.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Will the number of incidences of vandalism and destruction against Christian sites continue to rise?