France Rocked by Christianity and State Segregation

From: Old Catholic Church of Great Britain
Published: Wed Oct 26 2005

It is 100 years since France separated the Church from the State and are now having to deal with an extremely volatile situation with many challenges said Old Catholic Archbishop Gary Beaver.

In a traditionally Catholic country, Protestants welcomed the separation of French Church and State in 1905, believing that this would enable them to be on equal terms with Catholicism.

"The change in France’s religious make-up is fuelling mistrust, conflict and a sort of "secularist rigidity", the Rev Marcel Manoel noted in an address last week to the executive committee of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, which groups 75 million Protestants worldwide.

Since the separation, there has been an immense growth of Islamic followers and the proliferation of new religious groups. Though no official national statistics on religious affiliation has been carried out, Muslims are reckoned to account for between 5 and 10 per cent of France’s 60 million population.

Official reports from the Old Catholic Church in Europe show a major increase in growth of those answering the calling to become priests, especially with the shared view of the Reformed Churches in permitting women to become ordained clergy.

Archbishop Gary stated that "Christian Evangelical groups are viewed by French authorities as being dangerous sects, with several African churches suspected of political scheming".

"The message we must carry to the Government of France is simple" said Archbishop Gary "the harmony of the Church Universal, the Body of Christ, will support the understanding of diversities of Reformed Churches and carry the banner that we are all one in Christ".

The Old Catholic Church of Great Britain which is in Communion with the Free Catholic Church of Europe is a growing federation of Old Catholic Churches and has taken up the calling of Christians from smaller French church denominations to help combat the issues via the Archbishop’s personal crusade "Doing Hard Time for God!" which raises global awareness of Christian persecution [ visit ].
Company: Old Catholic Church of Great Britain
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