The French President and the Minister of the Interior participated in the Charles Gide Circle event. Macron talked about migration and the separatism law, among other issues.
On Tuesday 26 October, over 200 personalities from the French Protestant world gathered for the first Economy and Protestantism dinner organised by the Charles Gide Circle.
The main guests of the event were the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin.
The Charles Gide Circle is a Protestant association which is committed to a responsible economy. It brings together Protestants and people close to Protestantism who are involved in economic, social or cultural life and whose ambition is to work for the common good.
The aim of the meeting is to make the voice of French Protestants heard on important issues for French society such as the economy and culture. It also “intends to show that Protestants are involved at different levels in the political, social and cultural life of France”.
Furthermore, it also seeks to raise funds that will be donated to the social works of Protestantism.
"Protestantism is one of the many actors committed to the construction of society, to its qualitative growth, to its adaptation to the profound changes that are modifying many aspects of it", assured François Clavairoly, president of the Protestant Federation of France an host of the dinner.
President Macron pointed out that there is a gap between the wishes of the Protestants, whose “honourable motives” he nevertheless recognised, and the choices with a collective vision that he must make as head of state.
According to Macron, "our post-modern democratic societies have emerged from a grand narrative that was religious"; but in issues such a as migration religious people do not see it "at all in the same terms, with the same concerns nor the same emphasis that we find in the public debate".
Regarding freedom of conscience and secularism, the French President stressed that the Republic "must construct at every moment the harmonious framework of compatibility between [its principles] and free conscience".
"We do not prevent debates in society, but I believe that the law brought by the Minister of the Interior and several of his colleagues is an important law, because we cannot deny today the fact that, in our society in the name of religions, strategies have been set up that want to separate the Republic”, he said.
Macron added that “this does not mean that the Republic and the society must separate itself from religion. To put it in more direct terms, the Republic must allow each and every person to believe or not to believe and does not have to worry about how one believes or does not believe".
"I do not accept any speech that separates an individual from these rules of the Republic or from the community of the Nation on the basis of a religion, a philosophy or anything else. That is the basis of this law" , concluded Macron.
Clavairoly had said before him that "the ideas of separatism to date are carried by speeches of hatred and withdrawal as much in the world of religious radicalism as that of a narrow secularism without serious philosophical references that stigmatises those who believe".
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