France: Muslim with ‘record of Islamist radicalization’ disrupts church service, breaks crucifix into pieces

“Paris: a man on file S arrested after disrupting a religious service,” translated from “Paris : un homme fiché S arrêté après avoir perturbé un office religieux,” by Aude Blacher, France 3, March 17, 2023 (thanks to Medforth):

A man was arrested on Thursday after disrupting a religious service. The man, who is registered under an S-file, is suspected of causing damage to property at a church in the thirteenth arrondissement of Paris.

A man, who has a record of Islamist radicalization, was arrested Thursday morning, in the Saint-Hippolyte church located on avenue de Choisy in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Agitated, he “disturbed the religious service,” according to a police source.

He is also suspected of having stolen a Plexiglas crucifix, two meters high, located inside the church the day before. This crucifix supported a wooden Christ dating from the 17th century.

This religious piece, which is said to have come loose during the theft, was found “broken into several pieces” on a nearby street corner, according to the same police source. The parish would not comment on these events. The suspect was taken to the psychiatric infirmary of the Paris police headquarters, his condition not being considered compatible with his police custody.

Eight churches vandalized since January
Last Friday, a man had already been arrested after uttering threats and insults in three Parisian churches, in Saint-Vincent-de Paul in the 10th arrondissement, in Saint-Nicolas-des Champs in the 3rd arrondissement then in Saint-François -Xavier in the 7th arrondissement. Since January, eight churches have suffered damage in the capital.

Faced with these acts, the town hall should soon meet the diocese of Paris. In the Council of Paris, the Changer Paris group has just asked for the implementation of measures to strengthen the security of religious buildings.

In particular, the group would like the police to ensure reinforced surveillance in front of places of worship and the installation of equipment to secure them.

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