FRANCE: Religious freedom under threat: Over 85% of French people are against a new law

HRWF (20.12.2023) – On 15 November, the French government posted a bill “aimed at reinforcing the fight against cult-like deviations” on the NosLois website, in order to collect the opinion of its citizens.


The result is clear. On 19 December, out of 678 votes cast, 86.8% voted against, believing that the bill was not only useless, but also liberticidal. Only 10.9% of voters expressed a positive opinion, while 2.2% abstained.


When the number of 800 opinions is reached, members of parliament are informed. This consultation should achieve this objective without difficulty.


If the government intends to keep its promises to rely on the wisdom of citizens, or at least to draw some inspiration from them, it should draw the consequences and refrain from legislating on the subject against their advice or review its copy entirely. Especially as there was no obligation to seek their opinion.


As a reminder, this bill was drafted without any consultation, either mandatory or optional, having been carried out upstream by the Ministry of the Interior in charge of the project.


Another consultation, in the form of an online petition, is also in line with the rejection of the new draft law on “the fight against cult-like deviations”. CAP/Freedom of Conscience, a civic association with ECOSOC status at the UN in Geneva, is the initiator of a petition on opposing this law. Within 24 hours, more than 1,800 people had signed it, and it ended today, on 20 December with 2,040 signatures.


Further reading about FORB in France on HRWF website