French Evangelicals Release 'Convictions' Document Ahead Of Elections
Evangelical Christians in France have released a 'convictions' document ahead of the French presidential and parliamentary elections which begin on 23 April.
The manifesto-style document covers seven critical issues: the relationship between church and state; freedom of worship and speech; dignity of the human being; family and sexuality; education; protection of the environment and national cohesion and security.
The 19 page paper, titled 'Evangelicals in France: Convictions', has been produced by the National Council of Evangelicals in France (CNEF).
'Christianity of convictions brings hope' to France, says the document, and 'many evangelicals are ready to bring their positive contribution to the French society'.
Referring to the separation of church and state, it adds: 'Far from opposing religions, laicity is a constitutional principle which protects the freedom of thought, of conscience, and or religion of individuals and groups, as well as their freedom of speech.'
On poverty, the document states that 'the value of a society is shown in how it cares about the most fragile' according to a translation by Evangelical Focus.
When it comes to economic ethics, priorities should be to 'fight against corruption and tax evasion, work for a social economy and the energy transition' the paper says.
On migrants, 'we must show them the love of Christ', the section on 'human dignity' says.
The CNEF document says of family and sexuality: 'Evangelicals believe marriage and families are very important because the Bible presents the union of a man and a woman as an institution given by God from the beginning, as well as a parable of God's love for his people'. In this context, 'actions of information and prevention need to be taken to help find the right place of sexuality' in society.
On education, the CNEF says that 'school should be made for the child, not the child for the school' and that public education should be 'neutral, but respecting the faith of the pupils'.
Referring to the protection of the environment, the paper says that, 'It is indispensable to attack global poverty by stopping the negative effects of climate change'.
On national cohesion, the document warns the public authorities about the 'risks of certain ideological positions which advocate to reduce freedoms'.
The President of the CNEF, Étienne Lhermenault explained in an interview with the newspaper La Croix that 'evangelicals are worried about the growth of the extremes' in French society, apparently referring to Christians as well as Muslims. The document, he said, aims to have an 'educational' approach to promoting a biblical perspective on the issues of the day.
Latest polls suggest that power could be handed to either Emmanuel Macron, the former finance minister or the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, representing Front National.