Anti-Christian incidents on the rise but sharp fall for anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish incidents in 2016

By Willy Fautré, Human Rights Without Frontiers


HRWF (20.02.2017) – According to the annual report of the French Ministry of the Interior published on 1st February, the number of racist, anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish incidents largely decreased last year while the number of anti-Christian incidents dramatically increased over the same period.


After a record number of reported incidents in 2015 (2,034 incidents), racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents decreased in 2016 with 1,125 reported incidents (-44.7%). These statistics are reflective of incidents (acts of violence, arsons, degradations…) and threats (insults, hate speech…) about which complaints were filed.

Protection of religious community buildings

In 2016, incidents targeting Jewish and Muslim community buildings respectively decreased by 54% and 37.5% in comparison with 2015 while there was an increase of 17.6% concerning Christian (Catholic) places of worship.


A closer look at the statistics indicates that:


  • 90 % of all the incidents in 2016 were targeting Christian places
  • From 2008 to 2016, incidents concerning Christian places of worship increased by 245 %





According to the statistics of the Interior Ministry, 4,320 places of worship and religious community buildings were under surveillance of mobile (non-static) patrols of law enforcement forces and soldiers:


  • 2,400 were Christian and 45,000 churches (5%)
  • 1,100 were Muslim and 2,500 mosques (44%)
  • 820 were Jewish and 500 synagogues (100%)


Anti-Catholic incidents in January 2017


According to the website of the Observatoire de la Christianophobie, twenty-two anti-Catholic incidents were recorded in France in January 2017.


Incidents targeting churches, chapels and other Catholic places of worship:

vandalism (5), theft (6), arson (4), profanation (2), tags (1), vandalism in cemeteries (2), and against schools (1)


Physical or verbal aggression against priests: 1 case


Some recent incidents in the first two weeks of February 2017:


  • Caen: Anarchist tags on a calvary
  • Ste Anne d’Auvray : Vandalism dans la chapel of Mary Immaculate
  • Reguisheim : Deliberate damage in the church and the cemetery
  • Avon : Theft and profanation in the convent



For more cases and details, see


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