PARIS (Christianity Today) — A fire erupted in the Armenian Evangelical Church of Alfortville, a suburb of Paris, at around 6 a.m. on the morning of April 2, in what is being described as an arson attack, the third such attack on the church in the past year.
Eight days prior, stones were thrown at the church building, and its telephone system was damaged.
Pastor Léonian told the newspaper Le Parisien that the attacks were ‘a surprise in such a quiet neighbourhood’, but said that though concerning, they ‘do not make us feel angry’. The church community, which numbers about 30, didn’t cancel its Sunday service but held it in a different room of the church.
The mayor of Alfortville, Luc Carvounas condemned the attack.
The National Council of Evangelicals in France also offered their “compassion and prayers” to the church, and emphasized the importance of “freedom of speech and worship.”
The attack is the third arson incident on an evangelical church in France in 12 months. In May and July 2016, two Assemblies of God churches were victims of arson.