On ARTE, a documentary aimed at children defines evangelical churches as sects

A documentary on sects broadcast on ARTE includes Evangelical Churches in this category. An amalgam which made the National Council of Evangelicals of France react. 

According to an ARTE Junior file on sects, accessible on the channel's website since September 18, “a sect is a group of people who share a philosophy or a religion and who apply its principles rigorously, sometimes at the risk of isolating themselves from their loved ones”. The documentary also indicates that people under the influence of sects "are divided into 500 small groups and large movements such as Jehovah's Witnesses or Evangelical churches" page (in French).

A definition that aroused the reaction of the National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF). On Twitter, the evangelical organization denounces "a simplistic definition and defamatory shortcuts". She recalls that if there is " some rare sectarian excesses, they are absolutely not representative, and are taken very seriously ”, she also specifies that "These drifts are incompatible with the Gospel". 

The CNEF announces that it has contacted the services of the channel "in the hope" that they will remove the documentary from their platform. So far, the organization has not had any responses.

“It is unfortunately common for the media to make this type of amalgamation” confides Romain Choisnet, communications director of the CNEF. He deplores and is astonished, however, that it is a channel like ARTE, with a “credible and reliable” image, which is at the origin of this type of false information.

A "double disappointment" because it is more here about a program for children. "The vigilance of journalists should be increased on this type of program" adds Romain Choisnet. "It is a shame in 2021 to still have to correct this kind of disinformation which presents the evangelical churches as a sect" continues the communicant.

Nevertheless, he underlines that it is one of the missions of the CNEF to play an educational role with regard to the evangelicals of France. A mission that the organization intends to carry out with "benevolence".

In a short video published on September 22 titled "Evangelical Protestants: Who Are We Talking About?" », The organization was offering a presentation of evangelical Christians in France.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image Credit: 360b / Shutterstock.com

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