Question from Christelle on 20/04/2019
You asked us on Twitter to find the origin of a map, which you found on the internet, presented as "The map of churches burned in France in the last four years".
– Christelle Dauvergne 🎗 (@elle_dau) April 19, 2019
It has also been presented by others as the map of churches vandalized or destroyed in 2018.
Map of churches vandalized or destroyed in 2018🤔 pic.twitter.com/k1m8KMR1KK
– jackie E. (@ jicki13) April 18, 2019
The map you submit to us is a map created and regularly updated by the Observatoire de la Christianophobie. This organization notes on its website that "Proposes, since May 2010, to list the acts of Christianophobia in France and in the world. He belongs to the network Riposte Catholique ».
The observatory is edited by Guillaume de Thieulloy and editor Daniel Hamiche. These two men are conservative Catholic activists found at the head of several sites allegedly "Reinformation" of the "Cathosphère", such as the Beige Salon, News from France where the 4 Truths. Guillaume de Thieullloy is also known to be the editor of the Memoirs of Jean-Marie Le Pen.
A map of Christianophobic acts held by Catholic activists
On its website, the Observatoire de la Christianophobie holds a "map of Christianophobic acts", which lists, mainly in France, arson, murder or assault, acts of vandalism, theft, attacks and kidnappings. aim at Christians. It is not just about fires as claimed by the tweet in Spanish sent, or churches vandalized or destroyed. The site does not allow to filter the acts by category, but it proposes monthly cards from December 2016 to December 2018. The card does not seem to have been updated since.
To create this map, the site uses its readers, invited via a form to report acts against Christians, providing as much information as possible. As a result, the work of the Observatory is well documented since for each point indicated on the map, there is a link to a description of the act reported, itself sourced by a press article, often local. The points are added according to the appreciation of the observatory. Thus, the will of a communist mayor to want to remove the cross from a cemetery is next to the recurring theft of santons, attacks of priests or acts of vandalism.
Since your request was about fires, CheckNews focused on pictograms showing flames. We have seen for the year 2018 that the Observatory of Christianophobia counted 26 fires or attempted fires that took place in or near churches. In two cases, he was less assertive about the criminal nature of the fire attempts, noting that he was "Pretty likely" for one and admitted for the other that it was finally accidental.
According to the official statement published in February, the Ministry of the Interior has «1063 acts» anti-Christians in 2018. At the end of March, Le Figaro revealed a report of the gendarmerie reporting 877 degradations and 129 flights targeting Catholic places of worship in 2018.