Église La Porte Ouverte Mulhouse

The evangelical church in Mulhouse that endured hundreds ns Covid-19 caisse always complied with thé sanitary measures. Despite a media storm et fake news, the evangelical community proactively looked parce que le solutions.

Vous lisez ce: Église la porte ouverte mulhouse

BRUSSELS · 10 APRIL 2020 · 15:42 cet


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

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

Lately, the major media ont tried to reconstruct auto scenarios à find année explanation to the diriger sanitary crisis auto country is handle with. This search for a ‘narrative’ has put the se concentrer sur on one of the couple of mega-churches in France, the Église les Porte ouvert chrétienne (in English, The chrétien Open Door Church) in the city of Mulhouse, north-east du the country.

A prayer et fasting conference was hosted there between February 21 and 24, which gathered approximately 2,500 people. Amongst them, there to be members ns the locale congregatio,n marqué also representatives of other regions, ont well oui visitors from the french Guyana (a are in Latin America) et from neighbouring nations such oui Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.

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

Now we know that at the very least 20 toutes les personnes who attend the conference have mourir their lives, and more than divers 70 people have been severely ill.

As lock learned around the first symptoms ns some ns the attendants, auto pastor ns the Église la Porte ouvert chrétienne, Samuel Peterschmitt, and the leadership de the church instantly asked tous attendants to visit a health and wellness centre et to self-quarantine. Marqué many had currently returned venir their cities ns origin and even left France. Thé fact that no registration was required to je suis en attente the conférence made even more difficult to reach toutes les personnes those who could have been infected.

A media storm

Although thé Covid-19 has affected tous regions of France, auto evangelical church in Mulhousehas to be the une that has endured much de the weight of media attentif in these critical weeks.

“An evangelical gathering spread the germes in France”, was the headline of Le chiffre on in march 5. Le Monde, another big national newspaper, come to the conclusion that “a week du prayer launched thé epidemic in France”.


The Prefect (representative of the State) in the region, Josian Chevalier, had spoken to auto media about “an evangelical gathering” in which thé needed “measures were not taken”. Conditions météorologiques a national level, the dirigeants of auto La la france insoumise party (Insubordinate France) later said in the intérieur Assembly (France’s parliament) that “it was a religious gathering that permitted this infectera (...) si they had been Muslims, conditions météorologiques would have heard around it parce que le days”.

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

The church never ever breached thé rules

Bu thé truth is that france was in the “Phase 1” du the epidemic crisis. Auto government had actually not however announced serious measures such ont the suspensions of super meetings.

An example of this is that, according venir magazine les Vie, the President Emmanuel piron attended a political event in Mulhouse conditions météorologiques February 18 i m sorry was vantardise only 300 meters away from La Porte ouverte. The french head de State greeted people with handshakes.

It to be not till March 6, three mainly after the evangelical event, the gatherings of over 50 personnes were official banned.

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Later it was known that avant the Mulhouse conference, over there were approximately 12 caisse of coronavirus infections in places like Paris, which dated back venir the lundi half du January.


Pastor Samuel Peterschmitt addressed thé infections in his Mulhouse church as he recovered from Covid-19. / Video occupation website ns Porte ouverte chrétienne

“If nous had had any doubt conditions météorologiques would ont immediately rely everything”, Samuel Peterschmitt told La Vie. In fact, thé pastor said, cette was the church which “was ahead” ns the measures de the authorities, as they closed thé school and suspended all worship services. Later, they began a plan venir serve vulnerable personnes in auto city and offered your premises to the authorities à use ont a ar hospital.

Fake news, abuse et threats

But fake news et imprecise informations added to the “media storm”. Some photos ns cars parked in auto church’s place de stationnement were shared conditions météorologiques social media by a neighbour that was trying to prove that La Porte ouvert chrétienne continued with your activities. Seul a reduced grouper of team members was using auto building venir prepare the online prayer services, cible the furious online reactions forced venir improve the police abri of the building.

Death threats likewise started against church members, like one that called venir “eliminate them through a kalashnikov”. Peterschmitt likewise spoke ns abusive words versus members ns his family et others ns the le christianisme community in Mulhouse.

In this complicated context, both the church and the intérieur Council du Evangelicals in france (CNEF, auto Evangelical Alliance) asked thé regional and national governments pour a rencontrer to address thé situation - marqué did not receive année answer. “We have become scapegoats. Only a few people defend us. The stille is deafening”, Peterschmitt lamented.

Anti-evangelical stereotypes

How has actually this instance affected the whole ns evangelicalism in France? plenty of would controversy that auto media attentif around auto La Porte ouverte christian church has directif to unfair stereotypes which existing evangelicals as people who, among divers accusations, “consider your religion as more de nombreux than auditeur safety”.

“We see in france a clean stigmatisation ns evangelical Christians”, says Christel Lamère Ngnambi, an adeptes in matters du faith and society in Europe. “It is a yes, really sad case that affects the witness ns Christians. The bad press de these days can severely affect auto work the evangelicals have done in the last 10 jaune 20 years to seul who they really are”.

Lamère additionally believes that auto church in Mulhouse reacted to thé crisis with “transparency” et always seeking a dialogue to look pour solutions, marqué was did no receive thé same treatment nous the side ns the authorities.

Evangelical Alliance: ne sont pas to scapegoating

A coporation, groupe of leaders de Pentecostal churches of around la france published on 14 March année open letter titled “I defend!”, in which castle expressed their appui for auto church: “We defend pastor Samuel Peterschmitt, nous defend thé team that has actually been so excellent during this media tsunami, and nous defend toutes les personnes Christians that belong à this probed church”.

The French Evangelical Alliance (CNEF) has also demanded a fair treatment for the evangelicals in Mulhouse. In année interview v InfoChrétienne, the director du their pastoral service pour parliamentarians, Thierry le Gall, expressed their extensive “compassion” with not only toutes les personnes relatives de Covid-19 victims, cible also v “this church, unjustly under the sur le feu of auto media et social media”.

Le gall alerted the “in tous big crises of history, the necessity appears ns finding a scapegoat. Cette is really demagogic to do this, cible it is année easy means out venir try à reduce a denchères problem venir a certain community and make them responsible ns the problem. This time, ce has to be us, auto evangelicals”.

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“Prayer”, added les Gall, “is essential today in auto situation conditions météorologiques are going through”. “We faire not ont specific information about what is the precise raison of this pandemic. Marqué God knows. Hey is there venir provide help, à comfort the hearts of tous those who suffer. And he is listening venir us”.