Interfaith Service Held in Response to Cemetery Vandalism

May 3, 2004

Source: Expatica

On May 3, 2004 Expatica reported, "In the wake of the desecration of Jewish and Christian cemeteries in eastern France, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin on Monday called for an interfaith service later this week to combat religious intolerance. 'Hatred is the adversary of all democrats, of all those who are humanists,' Raffarin said at a ceremony outside Paris marking the European Union's expansion and the 25th anniversary of the death of EU mastermind Jean Monnet. 'Each time that hatred rears its head somewhere, we must react with a fierce intensity,' he told European ambassadors from 20 of France's 24 EU partner states gathered for the ceremony. The ecumenical service was set for Thursday in the eastern town of Colmar, Raffarin announced after a meeting of an interministerial committee on the fight against racism and anti-Semitism. Set to attend Thursday's service were Dalil Boubakeur, leader of the French Council for the Muslim Faith (CFCM), France's chief rabbi Joseph Sitruk and the archbishop of Strasbourg, Monsignor Joseph Dore.Raffarin also invited Education Minister Francois Fillon to take part in the service 'to highlight the importance that the education ministry and the teaching profession accord to the fight against racism and anti-Semitism.'"