This is a follow up to my recent article surrounding the conspiracies that have quickly spread across social media platforms concerning the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. There is speculation that the fire was a terrorist attack as many attacks on Christian churches and cemeteries have taken place across France in recent years.
I have already explained why these attacks occur in my original article. It does not represent a map of Muslim only attacks, as Muslims have very little to do with the majority of these incidences, so let me discuss this map in further detail.
A lot of the times, anti-Muslim sites and activists create fake-news stories to stir the pot between Christians and Muslims. They take a true story out of its original context. If people were not too lazy to read and research, a lot of this deception could have been avoided.
I must repeat myself again. Under no circumstances am I denying that atrocities have been committed against Christians or their places of worship under the name of Islam by extremists. However, there are many incidences where it was completely made up or taken out of context.
This blog is not about disrespecting Christians or Christianity. The aim of this blog is to teach Christians the true version of Islam, that is free from propaganda. For example, there are false Christian (as well as Muslim) preachers who are being paid to mislead Christians (and Muslims) about End time prophecies and the Antichrist, as well as Muslims claim to the Holy land, and Islam itself. They also write false stories on Christian persecution to scam naive and gullible Christians out of their money.
There are so many gullible Christians who believe every false teaching they are told, that also includes what they learn about Islam. Some even deliberately let themselves be deceived. There will be many people in life who will try to manipulate you or maybe they already have. They try to manipulate by twisting, removing, or adding on to scripture.
I know it is not always easy to verify the truth of claims that are made on social media. But it often is. All it takes is just one Google search and a few minutes reading time to debunk such dubious stories.
I am not sure why certain Christians seem so prone to share such patently groundless stories on social media without thinking. Whatever the reason, I contend that sharing such information without verifying it is damaging to society as a whole. It is the individuals responsibility in halting the spread of fake-news and misinformation.
Facebook has become an incredibly powerful platform for influencing and shaping how people perceive the world and each other. I certainly urge you to be as transparent as possible on social media. There is enough nonsense circulating on the internet without well-meaning but naive Christians adding to it. Be a seeker of truth, not a peddler of conspiracies and a swallower of fake-news.
Simply identifying anti-Christian persecution with Islam is misleading. It should also not be forgotten that most victims of Islamic extremism are, in fact, Muslims. In many instances, it seems more like a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, than an anti-Christian act.
So now that I have gotten that part out of the way, let me go on to explain this map that has been shared by hundreds and thousands on Facebook users.
So, where does this map of ‘burned churches’ in France in the last four years actually come from?
A map off the Observatory of Christianophobia (l’Observatoire de la christianophobie) site, which lists various anti-Christian acts since 2016, has been shared, suggesting that it is only churches burned or vandalised (and the readers assume by Muslims). It has also been presented by others as the map of churches vandalised or destroyed in 2018.
The map was created and updated regularly by the Observatoire de la christianophobie. This organisation notes on its website that it “proposes, since May 2010, to list the acts of Christianophobia in France and in the world.”
On its website, there is a map of Christianophobic acts, which lists, mainly in France, arson, murder or assault, acts of vandalism, theft, attacks and kidnappings, which often involves satanism, aimed at Christians (but not necessarily for being Christian).
As you can see from the page that I have automatically translated:
It is not just about fires or churches vandalised or destroyed. The site does not allow to filter the acts by category, but it is from December 2016 to December 2018. It does not seem to have been updated since.
For each point indicated on the map, there is a link to a description of the act reported and sourced by a press article, often local. It lists a communist mayor who wants to remove the cross from a cemetery, to the recurring theft of santons, attacks on priests or acts of vandalism. It counted 26 fires or fire attempts that took place in or near churches in 2018. In two cases, it was most likely accidental.
UPDATE: This was one of my most popular posts. I received a lot of comments to further explain the current situation and atmosphere in France.
There are many scammers taking advantage of gullible Christians and asking them for donations, further dividing the communities with obvious propaganda, and non-French speakers are unable to question what they are being told.
Yes, these “attacks” are occurring here in France, but it has very little to do with Muslims, and it is a sheer lie that our media has remained silent, nor questioned the identities of the perpetrators.
To better explain, here is an excellent article, from on this subject: “What about profanations of Christian places of worship and burials?” (in French). I will only highlight important points from this article.
“On February 1, 2017, at a press conference on Beauvau racist and antisemitic acts, Bruno Le Roux, Minister of the Interior, reveals that the attacks on Christian sites (places of worship and burials), accounted for separately, increased by 245% between 2008 and 2016. With 949 incidents in 2016, up 17.4% from 2015, acts against Christian places account for 90% of all attacks on places of worship (Christian, Jewish or Muslims) .
An important part of these attacks on Christian places are acts of vandalism (399) and theft of religious objects (191), according to the data of the Ministry of the Interior and the interministerial delegation to the fight against racism.
According to a 2009 note from the Directorate General of the National Gendarmerie (DGGN), 83% of the profaners are minors and 79% are male.
The facts mainly concern Christian sites (308 churches and 214 cemeteries in 2010, figures that are 33% higher than in 2009), then Muslim places (50 mosques and 7 cemeteries, + 216%) and Jewish places (30 synagogues and 12 cemeteries, -36% after a spectacular increase between 2008 and 2009). Figures for 2011 show 434 acts of degradation in Christian sites.
As previous studies have noted, acting out often occurs in groups, after excessive alcohol consumption, idleness, or the work of people with psychiatric disorders. But if the cemeteries of Christian denominations alone represent 85 to 90% of the theaters of profanation, we also speak of acts with satanic connotations. These acts often occur on April 30 (which is both the birthday of Adolf Hitler) and the founding of the Church of Satan in the United States.
All these surveys show that the perpetrators are very young, between thirteen and twenty-five years old, they wear blue jeans, “White power” T-shirts, red suspenders, and most of them come from broken families and are constantly confronted with a great deal of domestic violence.
Satanists and neo-Nazis are two of the most most common profiles of profaners.