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Christmas: Evangelical churches in France among those in need of protection

The specific measures to prevent terrorist attacks in places of worship on Hanukkah and Christmas were not announced.

AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus PARIS 19 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2022 15:27 h
Police officers in Bordeaux, France. / Photo: [link]Clovis Wood[/link], Unsplash, CC0.

The Interior Minister of France, Gérald Darmanin, called all prefectures of the police to protect Christian and Jewish worship places as the festivities of Christmas and Hannukah approached.



France is under a “very high” level of terrorist threat and therefore a “strong vigilance” including “a physical presence” and “on foot” in front of places of worship was needed, the minister in charge of national security said.



After the announcement, Evangelical Focus asked a representative of the National Council of Evangelical Churches (CNEF), who confirmed that the measure “includes evangelical churches”. But no further information had been given to the body representing evangelicals on a national level at that point.



The regional police departments have been asked to approach the leaders of the religions in their municipalities for an “evaluation of the situation”, the minister said, according to Info Europe 1. Police and gendarmes will have to pay “particular attention” to vehicles parked near places of assembly or worship. A “visible static presence” is also requested during gatherings and services.



Days after it was announced, however, it was not clear whether evangelical churches had been contacted by the police to see how to protect their Christmas gatherings. The CNEF told Evangelical Focus they did not expect that there would be police officers protecting every church, but probably “police patrols going through different worship places in the same town”.



 



End of year holidays



The end of year includes several festivities. The Jewish holidays of Hanukkah (18 to 26 December), the Christian Christmas holidays (24 and 15), Catholic and Armenian celebrations on 6 January and Orthodox Christmas on 7 January.


 

 


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