Protestants Voice Their Concerns
While traditional Catholics fight to save their religion and their churches, the Protestant Federation of France (FPF) is concerned about "discrimination" against mosques. The FPF issued this communiqué, which was also reported by La Croix and Le Salon Beige:
On Friday June 29, the new president of the Protestant Federation of France, pastor Claude Baty, accompanied by his predecessor, pastor Jean-Arnold de Clermont, met with President Nicolas Sarkozy, during a meeting that lasted about 20 minutes.
On the topic of houses of worship, they expressed concern over the difficult situation created by recent decisions of the administrative tribunals in Marseilles and Montreuil, that rendered invalid the long-term leases proposed by the municipalities. The pastor Jean-Arnold de Clermont declared to President Sarkozy that "such a situation is close to "discrimination."
Note: Mosques were being proposed in Marseilles and Montreuil. The courts' decisions are a victory for the patriots. Both tribunals deemed that the symbolic "rent" of one euro was tantamount to an illegal government subsidy.
Then pastor Claude Baty thanked the President for his courageous remarks on the Middle East and Africa.
Jean-Arnold de Clermont transmitted to Nicolas Sarkozy the Appeal drawn up by the Churches of Amman, on June 19, favoring the construction of an Israel-Palestine Peace.
The two pastors presented themselves as "African" and suggested that the French President receive leaders of the Churches of Africa with whom they are in close collaboration.(...)
Note: I'm not familiar with what Sarkozy said about the Middle East. Regarding Africa, this may refer to the fact that he has pledged to invest heavily in the continent and has opened a "corridor" to Darfur to provide humanitarian aid. He has also said, with regard to AIDS, that not all of Africa's problems can be blamed on external forces, i.e. that Africans are themselves responsible.
Nicolas Sarkozy has declared that he will listen to the voice of the Protestant Federation of France, convinced as he is of the role of religion in society. Pastor Claude Baty appreciated the frank and direct atmosphere of the meeting. (...)
The FPF represents 22 Lutheran, Reformed, Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, and 500 associations, for a total of 900,000 Protestants. A new Council of 25 members was elected for a period of four years, composed of pastors and laymen, men and women, representatives of the Churches and of the associations.
Photo by G. Boniface of the imposition of hands.
I once did a post on the Reformed Church of France in which I noted the tendency to social concerns and egalitarianism. More recently their website has an article expressing dismay over the proposed tougher immigration laws. The French Protestant Churches, if my impressions are accurate, tend toward socialism, and sympathy with immigration and the Palestinian cause. They are also much more liberal than the Catholics over gay rights.
Where does this liberalism stem from? I was always under the impression that the Protestants were even stricter than the Catholics. They were more puritanical, more restrained in their actions and speech. Today they seem to be discarding their entire tradition. Are they suddenly afraid of not being up-to-date? The great Reformers of the 16th century are now the great Conformists of the 21st.