Dozens of faithful Christians gathered on Friday evening in front of the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris, France to pray for the reinstatement of masses. Due to a supposed second coronavirus wave, public masses were banned as of November 3, 2020. Catholics have decided that they will not take this next wave of assaults on their religious liberties lying down.
Catholics are asking for French President Emmanuel Macron’s confinement measures to be relaxed in order for them to be able to participate in mass again. Currently, containment measures keep places of worship open, but these measures do not allow the collective celebration of services. The only exceptions are funerals and weddings with very limited attendance.
The demonstration in front of Saint-Sulpice church was authorized by the prefecture to protest against the government’s totalitarian ban on the Christian religion. Church-goers sang hymns and gave speeches outside of the Church. One demonstrator explained to French media outlet BFMTV:
“The goal is not to accuse the government or the Minister of the Interior, but to make these people understand that for us salvation is Mass, Eucharist, Communion”
Many Catholics and church leaders across France have been organizing protests. Over 100,000 people signed a petition “Pour la Messe” (“for the Mass”) launched by two former college students of the ICES (Catholic University of the Vendée) telling Macron:
“At a time when the Catholics of this country are being targeted, we want to bury our dead, baptize our children, accompany our sick, surround our priests, claim these young people from several dioceses in an open letter to the President of the Republic. We refuse to let fear win. We want to comfort each other, to find each other, together, to reassure each other and face barbarism. We want to sing, implore, hope, celebrate. So please: leave Mass to us! ”
The targeting of Christians in France has garnished worldwide attention in the last month. Just a few weeks ago, a Greek Orthodox priest was shot at a church in Lyon, France. Also, in Nice, France, a Muslim refugee from Tunisia shouting “Allahu Akbar” stormed in the Basilica of Notre Dame and killed three Christians – two of the victims were reportedly decapitated.
Now more than ever, Christians across France want the government to know they will not take the assaults on their freedoms lying down. Watch French Catholics peacefully protest in front of Saint-Sulpice church: