France is losing one church every two weeks due to “demolition, transformation, destruction by fire, or collapse,” according to Catholic media.
The consistent losses are causing the gradual disappearance of Christian culture inside what was once one of the most prominent Catholic countries.
“Although Catholic monuments are still ahead, one mosque is erected every 15 days in France, while one Christian building is destroyed at the same pace,” said Edouard de Lamaze, president of the Observatoire du patrimoine religieux. “It creates a tipping point on the territory that should be taken into account.”
“These figures have increased fivefold in only 10 years,” he added.
Many of the churches were burnt down due to arson, but others are historical churches collapsing due to neglect.
For example, only 33% of Catholic churches are protected as historical monuments, whereas the rest are owned by municipalities that can’t afford their upkeep.
“In fact, beyond the religious aspect, it is our country’s culture that is at stake here, as these jewels of art and architecture are an integral part of the spirit and greatness of France,” Lamaze continued. “And if we keep going like this, one day our heritage will be completely destroyed.”
“We will lose everything.”
Earlier this week, a fire erupted at the Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul Catholic church in Lille, France, but the church was spared from complete destruction.
However, other churches haven’t shared the same fate.
“On April 15, a fire destroyed the 16th-century Church of Saint-Pierre in Romilly-la-Puthenaye, Normandy; the fire was deemed accidental, and occurred two years after a fire severely damaged Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris,” reported the Catholic News Agency. “According to the country’s central criminal intelligence unit, there were 877 recorded attacks on Catholic sites in 2018.”
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