One mosque is erected every fortnight in France, while one Christian building is destroyed by demolition, transformation, collapse or fire, Edouard de Lamaze, president of the Observatory of Religious Heritage in Paris told CatholicNewsAgency.com (May 4).
Two-thirds of fires in religious buildings are due to arson. Lamaze states that on average more than two Christian monuments are targeted every day by thieves or desecrators.
According to France's Central Criminal Intelligence Service, 877 attacks on Catholic places of worship were recorded in 2018 alone. “These figures have increased fivefold in only ten years,” Lamaze said, adding that, in comparison, 129 churches were vandalised in 2008.
In France there are roughly 45,000 Catholic places of worship, many of them abandoned. There are about 5,7 million Muslims in France of which 30% attend a mosque at least once a week. There are at least 2500 mosques in the country.