For health reasons, we have entered a period of considerable restriction of freedoms, freedoms to move, to work, to support associations, to meet our parents, our friends; freedom of worship for all religions, Christian or not. This restriction of freedom has so far been agreed by a very large majority of our fellow citizens, aware of the need to control the epidemic, but also aware that this loss of fundamental freedoms is temporary.
The President of the Republic announced the deconfinement from May 11, that is to say the progressive reconquest of freedoms whose loss had been provisionally agreed.
The exercise is not simple. It is made up of rules from above and of trust in the sense of responsibility of our compatriots.
The government has chosen progressive deconfinement. He issues an order of priorities which quickly becomes an order of importance.
This is where French citizens, practicing a religion in a place of worship, no longer understand this order of importance.
First, they note the ignorance of our leaders regarding religious practices, and the laziness of some of them when it comes to making the effort to better know and understand religions. When the Prime Minister said in the gallery of the National Assembly that places of worship would remain open but “ceremonies” could not be celebrated there, he was on the wrong track. Ceremonies are not prohibited, but only gatherings are. It is with this type of approximation that the national police entered the Saint André Church of Europe in Paris (8th), while the parish priest was celebrating mass without any assembly. Our leaders have never seemed so ignorant of the religious reality of our fellow citizens.
French citizens practicing a religion find that our leaders consider this practice as an accessory in their lives, when it is for most of them essential in the etymological sense of the term. These leaders, perhaps failing to exercise this spiritual life, do not imagine that it can be essential to our fellow citizens who practice a religion. They imagine that one can do without religious practice as one can do without superfluous leisure. Their ignorance leads them to take measures that are offensive to French people who practice a religion, or who consider it essential to find themselves in a place of worship during funerals. What becomes of a civilization that no longer honors its dead?
French citizens practicing a religion have shown great wisdom, even very great “resilience” since the start of the pandemic. Many of them, among others, have invested forcefully in solidarity actions. They are no less responsible than others when it comes to organizing worship in accordance with the rules linked to the pandemic and do not understand that their organizational proposals are being swept away.
The size of the places of worship allows arrangements to be made to keep the chairs away, to distribute the faithful to meet health requirements. These are no less than the other French, trustworthy. The ban on gatherings in places of worship before June 2, that is to say, in particular, after the great Christian feasts of Ascension and Pentecost, is often experienced as a humiliation and an unprecedented attack freedom of worship.
No, French citizens who practice a religion are not second-class citizens, who would be worth less than consumers authorized to frequent their favorite shop.
The prefects could bring together the departmental representatives of the religions to study locally the conditions for a resumption of the celebrations of the worship from May 11. The different cults are able to respect the same sanitary measures as the other public places currently open. It is therefore incomprehensible that as long as basic sanitary measures are respected in places of worship, gatherings for ceremonies are not authorized.
It is with seriousness that we appeal to the government to reverse this decision and examine with more “benevolence” and attention the request of the major religions of France who wish to be able to exercise worship in complete freedom. We draw their attention to the serious consequences that an unprecedented attack on one of the fundamental freedoms of French citizens could have: freedom of worship.
Marc Le Fur, Vice-president of the National Assembly, Deputy of Côtes d’Armor
Damien Abad, Deputy of Ain, President of the Group of Republicans in the National Assembly
Bruno Retailleau, Senator for Vendée, President of the Group Les Républicains au Sénat
François-Xavier Bellamy, Member of the European Parliament, chairman of the French delegation to the EPP group
Emmanuelle Anthoine, Deputy of Drôme
Julien Aubert, Deputy of Vaucluse
Serge Babary, Senator of Indre-et-Loire
Philippe Bas, Senator for La Manche
Jérôme Bascher, Senator of the Oise
Nathalie Bassire, Member of Parliament for Réunion
Thibault Bazin, Deputy of Meurthe-et-Moselle
Valérie Beauvais, Deputy of Marne
Jean Bizet, Senator for La Manche
Céline Boulay-Espéronnier, Senator of Paris
Bernard Bonne, Senator of the Loire
Jean-Claude Bouchet, Deputy of Vaucluse
Xavier Breton, Deputy of Ain
Bernard Brochand, Member of the Alpes-Maritimes
Anne Chain-Larché, Senator of Seine-et-Marne
Marie-Christine Chauvin, Senator for Jura
Guillaume Chevrollier, Senator of Mayenne
Martha of Cidrac, Senator of Yvelines
Pierre Cordier, Deputy of the Ardennes
Pierre Cuypers, Senator of Seine-et-Marne
Laure Darcos, Senator of Essonne
Marc-Philippe Daubresse, Senator from the North
Jacky Deromedi, Senator for the French Abroad
Chantal Deseyne, Senator of Eure et Loire
Dominique de Legge, Senator of Ille-et-Vilaine
Louis-Jean de Nicolay, Senator of Sarthe
Catherine Di Folco, Senator of the Rhône
Julien Dive, Deputy of Aisne
Pierre-Henri Dumont, Deputy of Pas-de-Calais
Dominique Estrosi-Sassone, Senator of the Alpes-Maritime
Daniel Fasquelle, Deputy of Pas-de-Calais
Nicolas Forissier, Member of Parliament for India.
Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, Senator for the French Abroad
Annie Genevard, Deputy of Doubs
Philippe Gosselin, Deputy of La Manche
Pascale Gruny, Senator of Aisne
Patrick Hetzel, Deputy of Bas-Rhin
Brigitte Kuster, Member of Parliament for Paris
Antoine Lefèvre, Senator of Aisne
Constance Le Grip, Member of Parliament for Hauts-de-Seine
Olivier Marleix, Deputy of Eure-et-Loir
Jean-Louis Masson, Deputy of Var
Gérard Menuel, Deputy of Dawn
Marie Mercier, Senator of Saône-et-Loire
Sébastien Meurant, Senator of Val-d’Oise
Brigitte Micouleau, Senator of Haute-Garonne
Jean-Marie Morisset, Senator of Deux-Sèvres
Philippe Mouiller, Senator of Deux-Sèvres
Jérôme Nury, Deputy of the Orne
Jean-François Parigi, Deputy of Seine-et-Marne
Guillaume Peltier, Deputy of Loir-et-Cher
Bernard Perrut, Deputy of Rhône
Didier quentin, Deputy of Charente-Maritime
Françoise Ramond, Senator of Eure-et-Loir
Damien regnard, Senator of the French Abroad
Frédéric Reiss, Deputy of Bas-Rhin
Jean-Marie Sermier, Deputy of Jura
Bruno Sido, Senator for Haute-Marne
Eric Straumann, Deputy of Haut-Rhin
Guy teissier, Deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône
Jean-Louis Thiériot, Deputy of Seine-et-Marne
Claudine Thomas, Senator of Seine-et-Marne
Laurence Trastour-Isnart, Deputy of Alpes-Maritime
Michel Vaspart, Senator of Côtes-d’Armor
Pierre Vatin, Deputy of Oise
Patrice Verchère, Deputy of Rhône
Jean-Pierre Vial, Senator of Savoy
Stéphane Viry, Deputy of Vosges
Eric Woerth, Deputy of Oise