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Religious Freedom for Christians in France Up in the Air, Says Observer

By Chad Groening

December 7, 2005


A Messianic Jewish leader believes the political winds in France could go either way when it comes to religious freedom for Christians. The Jewish evangelist thinks the tide has changed somewhat.

Stephen Pacht spent 14 years in France serving as station chief for Jews for Jesus in Paris until his transfer to London this summer. The Messianic Jewish believer says many Christians in France believe their religious freedom of speech is being curtailed by the government. “That remains to be seen,” he says — but notes hopefully that some in the government are sympathetic to Christians.

“I think the tide has changed somewhat,” he offers. “You can see the tensions within the French political system. You’ve got the more conservative part, which is in power at the moment” — particularly from the French Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy, who Pacht says is “sympathetic to Christians.”

But Pacht says then there are those who are against Christians: “[Y]ou have the traditional, more socialist-leaning politicians who are opposed to Christians,” he shares. “So we see that tension within French politics — and Christians don’t know which way the wind is going to blow.”

Pacht says Christians both within and outside of France need to pray that God will continue to open doors so that the gospel is preached “with confidence and assurance