Marlène Schiappa entrusts MIVILUDES to write a report on "sectarian drifts imported from the United States"

Marlène Schiappa

During the program "Dimanche en politique" Marlène Schiappa, Minister Delegate at the Minister of the Interior, in charge of Citizenship, declared that "More and more families influenced by Evangelical branches from the United States are asking for certificates of virginity".[1]

And she added: "For example, you have more and more families influenced by Evangelical branches from the United States who ask for certificates of virginity." The declarations of the Minister Delegate aroused a wave of indignation among the Evangelical pastors.

The National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF) responded that Evangelicals requesting virginity certificates is an unknown practice and that it was a very regrettable word from Mrs. M. Chiappa.

Sébastien Fath, historian at the CNRS (National Center of Scientific Research) and specialist in Evangelical Protestantism assured that “Virginity before marriage is valued by all monotheistic religions, including Evangelical Protestantism. But the evangelical churches, here targeted, do not ask for a certificate of virginity”.

The Minister Delegate went further because she announced that MIVILUDES (Interministerial mission for vigilance and fight against cultic drifts) would have been entrusted to draw up a report on “sectarian drifts imported from the United States”.[2]

In fact, since July 2020, MIVILUDES has been placed under the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior.[3]

One of the reasons given to justify the transfer of MIVILUDES was that the Mission could provide its expertise on radicalization.

The Minister Delegate instructs MIVILUDES to draw up an assessment of the religious movements coming from the United States.

The MIVILUDES had already pointed out in its last report in 2018 the danger that the Evangelical Churches could represent.

It is Evangelical and Pentecostal Protestantism which is, in the eyes of MIVILUDES, the most questioning. “Even though we have good relations with its representative structures, there are a myriad of independent communities that are beyond their control,” says Serge Blisko. These drain socially fragile populations and offer so-called healing therapies that raise questions”.[4]

The new mission of MIVILUDES is worrying because, as it happened in the past, it will generate a wave of suspicions and rumors against Churches which live in peace.

In 2012, MIVILUDES was given the task to write a report on alternative medicines. In the guide that MIVILUDES had published, dozens of practices had been suspected of “abuses”.

The guide of the MIVILUDES was the subject of two complaints and one conviction by the Anthroposophical Medicine.[5]

In previous years it has been the Hindu Gurus who have been the focus of MIVILUDES’ attention. Dozens of movements were therefore targeted by MIVILUDES and by the anti-cult associations that are members of MIVILUDES.[6]

This climate of suspicion created around the Hindu movements had led to the arrest of Neelam Makhija, an Indo-Canadian citizen[7] passing through France. Mr. Neelam Makhija had been wrongly accused of being a Guru and on that assumption alone had served two months of preventive detention.

In this same climate of intolerance towards Hindu minorities, France finances 100% an anti-cult association based in France, FECRIS. The vice president of FECRIS, Mr. Alexander Dvorkin, has been attacking the Hindu community in Russia for years.[8]

This year the American Commission for the Freedom of Religion (USCIRF) denounced in a report the actions of the vice president of FECRIS and the financing of FECRIS by France.[9]

The observation that we have made of the working methods of MIVILUDES, since its creation, is worrisome for freedom of religion and conscience.[10]

The new mission of MIVILUDES focused on churches coming from the United States risks creating once again a movement of intolerance towards peaceful communities.



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