Over the past three years French churches have become the target of vandals and criminals with an average of almost three churches targeted for vandalism per day.
A report from the Central Criminal Intelligence Service of the gendarmerie noted that from 2016 to 2018 there had been thousands of cases of church vandalism, peaking in 2017 with 1,045 cases, Le Figaro reports.According to the French Interior Ministry, when cemeteries and other sites are taken into consideration, the number of acts of vandalism rose to 1,063 in 2018.Earlier this year, in one week alone, in a detestable case of anti-Christian vandalism, France saw twelve churches vandalised, including attackers attempting to set fire to the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris.In Nimes, an even more heinous attack occurred, with vandals smearing feces on the wall of the church of Notre-Dame des Enfants and stealing objects from the altar.In March, the over 800-year-old Basilica of Saint-Denis in the now heavily migrant-populated suburbs of Paris was also vandalised, with the basilica's organ being heavily damaged and stained glass windows were broken.
Thefts of religious objects have increased since 2016, rising from 121 to 129 in 2018. According to the gendarmes, the robberies are mostly opportunistic because churches are often an easy target. A chalice can be sold for anything between 200 to 2 000 euros.French authorities arrested a pair of Romanian migrants last year who were suspected to be behind a number of church thefts in both Paris and the suburbs of the city. The pair had allegedly stolen up to 70 000 euros worth of property.