France (MNN) — It’s a clash of cultures in France when French values of secular government and religious freedom meet Islamic fundamentalism.
After a French teacher was beheaded for showing a caricature of Muhammed in class, France has seen more attacks. Thursday, three people were killed inside a church by a man wielding a knife.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s attempts to settle things down haven’t worked very well. He said that while he understands the outrage over caricatures of Muhammed, that outrage should never justify violence. These statements have inflamed many Muslims into anger, and thousands around the world have marched in protest of Macron’s comments and boycotted French products.
Floyd Brobbel of Voice of the Martyrs Canada talks about the intent behind these attacks. “They are looking for Muslims to rise up and to recreate, by all means necessary, the rule of Islam throughout the world. That’s the end goal of this radical, militant form of Islam.”
Opportunity for Christians
Most French Muslims, however, are horrified by the violence and do not support the protests against France and Macron. Read a statement from several French Muslim leaders here.
Brobbel says Christians can see this unrest as fertile ground for sharing the Gospel. “I have seen that the church shines best in darkest places. That the church often does its work most effectively when persecuted. And why is that? Because while we can hold our governments accountable to do the work that they’ve been empowered to do (administrating justice, the rule of law, and those types of things) the church fights on a different plane. And what does God call us to do he calls us to? In Micah 6:8, He calls us to do justice and righteousness, to love mercy and kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.”
Pray that Christians in France will bear witness to the love and hope of Christ during a frightening time. And pray that extremists in France and around the world would not be drawn into radical, violent movements.
The header photo shows a memorial after a terrorist attack in France in 2015. (Courtesy of the U.S. State Department, Public Domain)