Hundreds of Catholic churches in France have been attacked by vandals and thieves in the last year. Opposition politicians have called for a parliamentary investigation amid claims it’s linked to a more general wave of opposition to Christianity. Figures from the French police reveal that 75 of France’s churches were vandalised last year. A further 129 incidents of theft were reported and the interior ministry said 59 cemeteries were also vandalised. A fire at St Sulpice, which was used in the movie adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel Da Vinci Code, brought to media outlet’s attention other instances of church vandalism. Police believe the fire was started deliberately.
French daily morning newspaper Le Figaro said that the trend was “continuing at a worrying level”. “Every day, at least two churches are profaned,” Valerie Boyer, an opposition MP for the Republicans party, said to the paper. With at least two churches being targeted every day, opposition politicians are claiming that these crimes are a threat to the country’s Christian heritage. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has been criticised for not doing more to tackle the problem.
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