Flashback: 5 French Churches Attacked in One Week
In February 10 churches in France were attacked in one week, causing some to fear increasing religious tensions in the migrant-friendly country.
The attacks, allegedly sponsored by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, saw 5 churches vandalized, attacked, or damaged in a one week span.
Roman Catholic publication La Croix International first reported that four churches were vandalized in a week period in February. The first church to be vandalized was in Houilles, France on February 4 at the church of St. Nicholas, where a statue of Mary was found broken into pieces.
The next attack occurred on the following day in Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, when the parish’s secretary discovered “the smoking remains of the tablecloth of the altar” and the church’s nativity scene. Fortunately the fire did not spread, but a cross and statue of the crucified Christ were also vandalized. The event led the town’s mayor, Bernard Carayon, to remark that “God will forgive. Not me.”
On February 6, police were called to a church in Nîmes, where a tabernacle was destroyed, and human excrement was used to smear a cross onto one of the church’s walls.
In nearby Côte-d’Or, a tabernacle was destroyed and a table cloth was soiled at the Church of Notre-Dame de Dijon on February 9.
On February 10, the church of St. Nicholas was again struck with vandalism, as it had its tabernacle destroyed by a man who would later admit to the crime.
More churches would be vandalized in the following days.
Today the Cathedral of Notre Dame is currently ablaze, as an accident relating to the renovation and construction of the building is suspected to be the cause.
While the event is not suspected to be caused by vandalism, social media users on Facebook are celebrating the devastation with “haha” reactions and comments calling the fire retribution for centuries old French colonization, with one user remarking “Allah is grand.”