Eglise porte ouverte à mulhouse

The evangelical church in Mulhouse that endured hundreds ns Covid-19 des boites always complied with the sanitary measures. Despite a media storm et fake news, the evangelical community proactively looked pour solutions.

Vous lisez ce: Eglise porte ouverte à mulhouse

BRUSSELS · 10 APRIL 2020 · 15:42 cette


Worshippers at a la Porte ouverte christian service in February 2020. / facebook La Porte ouverte chrétienne

France is the third most impacted country in european Covid-19 crisis, with much more than 10,000 deaths et 110,000 infections.

Lately, the diriger media oui tried to reconstruct auto scenarios to find an explanation venir the surtout sanitary crisis thé country is handle with. This search à la a ‘narrative’ has actually put the se concentrer sur on one ns the few mega-churches in France, the Église les Porte ouvert chrétienne (in English, The le christianisme Open Door Church) in the city of Mulhouse, north-east de the country.

A prayer and fasting conference was held there between February 21 and 24, i beg your pardon gathered about 2,500 people. Amongst them, there to be members de the locale congregatio,n marqué also representatives ns other regions, ont well as visitors indigenous the français Guyana (a territory in Latin America) et from neighbouring nations such as Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.

According to thé authorities, cette was in that conférence where thé first coronavirus infections of the Grand-Est - a region ns 5.5 million residents - happened.

Now we know that at least 20 toutes les personnes who to visit the conference have mourir their lives, and more than other 70 people oui been severely ill.

As they learned around the tons symptoms de some ns the attendants, thé pastor du the Église la Porte ouvert chrétienne, Samuel Peterschmitt, et the leadership of the church immediately asked tous attendants à visit a health and wellness centre et to self-quarantine. Marqué many had currently returned venir their cities du origin et even left France. The fact that non registration was required to attend the conférence made even an ext difficult venir reach tous those that could oui been infected.

A media storm

Although thé Covid-19 has affected all regions of France, the evangelical church in Mulhousehas been the one that has sustained much of the weight du media type in these critical weeks.

“An evangelical gathering spread out the germes in France”, was auto headline de Le figaro on march 5. Le Monde, de nouveau big intérieur newspaper, come to auto conclusion the “a week ns prayer launched auto epidemic in France”.


The Prefect (representative du the State) in thé region, Josian Chevalier, had talked to the media about “an evangelical gathering” in which thé needed “measures were not taken”. Conditions météorologiques a national level, the dirigeants of thé La france insoumise party (Insubordinate France) later on said in the intérieur Assembly (France’s parliament) the “it was a religious gathering that permitted this infection (...) si they had actually been Muslims, conditions météorologiques would ont heard about it pour days”.

Yet un autre political voice, a Senator of the Grand-Est region, accused La Porte ouverte croyant of “indoctrinating children” in the school the church operation in Mulhouse.

The church never breached auto rules

Bu the truth is that la france was in auto “Phase 1” de the epidemic crisis. The government had actually not yet announced severe measures such as the suspension of taille meetings.

An example de this is that, according to magazine ns Vie, thé President Emmanuel macron attended a political occasion in Mulhouse conditions météorologiques February 18 i beg your pardon was happening only 300 meters far from La Porte ouverte. The français head of State greeted toutes les personnes with handshakes.

It was not till March 6, three main after auto evangelical event, the gatherings of over 50 personnes were official banned.

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Later cette was recognized that before the Mulhouse conference, there were around 12 des boites of coronavirus infections in places like Paris, which dated back venir the seconde half du January.


Pastor Samuel Peterschmitt addressed the infections in his Mulhouse church ont he recovered native Covid-19. / Video occupation website ns Porte ouverte croyant

“If conditions météorologiques had had any kind of doubt conditions météorologiques would have immediately rely everything”, Samuel Peterschmitt told La Vie. In fact, the pastor said, cette was the church i m sorry “was ahead” de the measures de the authorities, oui they closed the school et suspended toutes les personnes worship services. Later, they began a plan venir serve vulnerable people in the city et offered their premises to auto authorities à use oui a field hospital.

Fake news, abuse and threats

But fake news and imprecise dutilisateurs added to thé “media storm”. Part photos ns cars parked in auto church’s terrain de stationnement were shared nous social media by a neighbour who was trying à prove that La Porte ouvert chrétienne ongoing with their activities. Seul a reduced grouper of team members was using thé building à prepare thé online praise services, cible the furious virtual reactions forced à improve the police abrite of thé building.

Death threats likewise started against church members, like one that called à “eliminate them v a kalashnikov”. Peterschmitt also spoke de abusive words versus members de his family and others of the le christianisme community in Mulhouse.

In this difficult context, both the church and the denchères Council ns Evangelicals in la france (CNEF, thé Evangelical Alliance) asked auto regional et national governments parce que le a conférence to address the situation - marqué did no receive année answer. “We have become scapegoats. Only a few toutes les personnes defend us. The stille is deafening”, Peterschmitt lamented.

Anti-evangelical stereotypes

How has this situation affected thé whole de evangelicalism in France? numerous would argue that thé media attention around auto La Porte ouverte le christianisme church has commander to unfair stereotypes which current evangelicals as people who, among other accusations, “consider your religion oui more important than public safety”.

“We check out in la france a clean stigmatisation ns evangelical Christians”, saus Christel Lamère Ngnambi, an adeptes in matters of faith and society in Europe. “It is a really sad caisse that affection the witness ns Christians. Thé bad press du these days have the right to severely affect auto work the evangelicals oui done in auto last 10 jaune 20 years to démontrer who they yes, really are”.

Lamère also believes that auto church in Mulhouse reacted to thé crisis with “transparency” and always search a conversation to look pour solutions, marqué was did not receive thé same treatment nous the side de the authorities.

Evangelical Alliance: non to scapegoating

A grouper of leaders ns Pentecostal churches ns around la france published nous 14 March an open letter title “I defend!”, in which castle expressed their soutien for auto church: “We safeguard pastor Samuel Peterschmitt, conditions météorologiques defend auto team that has actually been so excellent during this media tsunami, and conditions météorologiques defend toutes les personnes Christians that belong venir this probed church”.

The French Evangelical Alliance (CNEF) has also demanded a same treatment à la the evangelicals in Mulhouse. In an interview v InfoChrétienne, thé director of their pastoral service pour parliamentarians, Thierry le Gall, express their profound “compassion” v not only toutes les personnes relatives of Covid-19 victims, but also v “this church, unjustly under the fire of auto media et social media”.

Le gall alerted the “in all big crises ns history, auto necessity appears de finding a scapegoat. Cette is an extremely demagogic to do this, cible it is année easy method out to try à reduce a intérieur problem à a particular community and make them responsible ns the problem. This time, ce has to be us, the evangelicals”.

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“Prayer”, added le Gall, “is essential aujourdhui in thé situation nous are walk through”. “We aller not have specific information about quel is thé precise cause première of this pandemic. Marqué God knows. Hey is there venir provide help, venir comfort auto hearts of tous those that suffer. And he is listening venir us”.