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    Why are churches in France on fire?

    According to French law enforcement officials, the fire of the historic cathedral in Nantes could have been caused by an immigrant from Rwanda, who had been a caretaker at the building as a volunteer. Fires, acts of blasphemy and hooliganism towards the Christian churches and symbols are becoming an ever more common everyday reality in France.

    The investigation regarding the arson of the St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral in Nantes, in the west of France, is still continuing. Yesterday morning, a fire broke out which firefighters managed to extinguish after almost two hours. A 39 year-old refugee from Rwanda has been detained in connection to the case. He allegedly set the Cathedral on fire after having been refused a visa. He was also supposedly responsible for closing the Cathedral on Friday evening.

    “We know that the fire, which took place in Nantes, was not an accident. We still don’t know if the arrested person is the one who actually committed the act. Maybe the perpetrator was inspired by the fire of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Who knows, maybe that fire wasn’t an accident either. If it is as they reported initially, that some immigrant did not receive a permit to stay in the country, then why would he set the Cathedral on fire, and not, let’s say, the immigration office”, commented Jakub Jałowiczor, a columnist from “Gość Niedzielny”.

    “The investigation of the prosecution pointed to the fact that it was indeed a case of arson. Three sources of fire were found. One was at the organ, which was entirely destroyed, and two additional ones were located at the choir. Even though the church’s structure survived, the interior suffered a lot of damage. The historic organ, which was 500 years old, was destroyed, just as other priceless pieces of art. These are horrible losses for the national heritage of France”, added Zbigniew Stefanik, a correspondent for Tv Republika in France.

    France, which was often called “the Church’s oldest daughter”, is now a country where cathedrals and churches are catching fire all too regularly . According to Dominican Father Stanisław Tasiemski, the burning churches are a symbol of the more frequent attacks on the Christian faith.

    “It all points to the fact that we are unfortunately facing an attack on the heart of Europe, on its core. Faith is what Europe was breathing for centuries and it is an attempt to take away Europe’s soul. The soul, which once bore great fruits for the world”, said Father Tasiemski.

    It is the second fire of the Nantes cathedral. The first one took place in 1972 as a result of an accident. This second one is still being investigated.




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