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It’s happening because in 1907, the French government expropriated all church buildings. It was theft, yes, but it also meant that the government took on the cost of maintaining them. Now it cannot afford to keep doing this, especially given that relatively few French people go to mass anymore.

That beautiful church above was built in 1880, but no masses have been held in it since the 1970s. It was deconsecrated a few years ago. After the demolition ends this week, and the space is cleared of rubble, a parking lot will go in where once there was a church.

A sign of the times. Those believers who hope to make it through what’s coming cannot sit quietly and hope the trouble will pass.