BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

France: security tightened at places of worship ahead of festive season

Worshippers to be searched on entry Churches to open only one door Congregations asked to flag up “suspicious” behaviour France is tightening

Now Reading:

France: security tightened at places of worship ahead of festive season

Text size Aa Aa
  • Worshippers to be searched on entry
  • Churches to open only one door
  • Congregations asked to flag up “suspicious” behaviour

France is tightening security around its places of worship amid concerns about potential extremist violence during the festive season.

It is just over a month since the Paris attacks claimed the lives of 130 people, shaking France to the core.

There are visibly more soldiers on the streets and in places where people are likely to gather.

Churches will only keep one door open to allow congregations to be filtered, while worshippers may be searched on entry.

Speaking after meeting representatives of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities in Paris, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said everything is being done to ensure the festive season passes off as peacefully as possible:

“There are just under 300,000 police officers in our country. We have 77,000 schools, thousands of places of worship and thousands of official buildings. We will be able to ensure security by using mobile patrols and through the measures taken by the religious institutions themselves. Everything is being done to guarantee security.”

Cazeneuve has also said one terror plot in the Orléans region was foiled last week. To Frenchmen aged 20 and 24 are in custody and are said to have been planning an attack on police and army personnel. Both are believed to have been in contact with another Frenchman currently in Syria who is suspected of organising the attack.

There are 45,000 Catholic churches in France, 4,000 Protestant churches and 150 Orthodox.

Likely precautions

There are 45,000 Catholic churches in France, 4,000 Protestant churches and 150 Orthodox.

Security guards will be posted at the doors of religious buildings while some entrances may be closed to allow crowds to be filtered in.

Worshippers may be asked to open their coats and jackets to show what is underneath while congregations will be asked to point out anyone who is acting suspiciously.