Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Opponents Of LDS Temple Near Paris, France Organize Petition Campaign To Subject It To A Popular Vote In Hopes Of Derailing It

Local opposition to the proposed temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be built near Paris, France has emerged. They've started a petition campaign to get it stopped, and part of their strategy is to ask that the project be submitted to the local electorate for a popular vote. As of this post, 6,000 people have signed the petition.

According to Voice of America, Chesnay Mayor Philippe Brillault, who admits he was not thrilled to receive the church's request to acquire the property, says most of the signatories are not local residents. The mayor's opponents have criticized the project primarily for political reasons. But Marie Drilhon, local chapter head of UNADFI, a group fighting religious extremism, views the Mormon faith with skepticism. Drilhon says the Mormon church demands a lot from its members, both financially and spiritually. It uses marketing methods to proselytize, which Europeans are not used to. And she doubts the temple will benefit the local community. Listen to the Voice of America report below:

Here is the Google English translation of the petition:

We ask that public consultation be organized [for] citizens about the future of 46 Boulevard Saint-Antoine, with all Chesnaysiens entitled to vote. October 27, 2011, the mayor of Chesapeake has signed an order granting permission for the creation of the French National Mormon Temple, the field offices of former EDF-GDF, 82 days after filing the application. We believe that - an implementation of this nature and magnitude of this change permanently our city and its surroundings - this project does not meet any needs of the town and its inhabitants - the future of 46 Boulevard Saint-Antoine b has not been properly disclosed. The notice of Chesnaysiens on a project that commits to this point the future of their country deserves the means of public consultation are implemented across the city. Also, we ask that all Chesnaysiens entitled to vote in local elections are asked to vote for an opinion "for" or "against" the selected project to date by the mayor about the future of 46 Boulevard St. Antoine, the Chesapeake.

Local LDS Church spokesman Christian Euvrard says the Chesnay temple will allow other French people to discover his faith, which has been established in France since the 1850s. Euvrard notes that the temple project includes gardens that will be open to the public, and with time and greater awareness, he believes French fears about the Mormons will disappear.

The LDS Church first announced the proposed French temple in July 2011. The complex will also include a residential hotel and several pavilions for the exclusive use of templegoers, as well as an underground car park, and could cost as much as 80 million euros to complete. The LDS Church provides a French-language overview of the project HERE.

1 comment:

Laurent Lechifflart said...

All this noise is just one of many episodes in a fierce battle among the local conservatives. Those who lead the opposition to the building of the temple belong to the "official" French conservative coalition, Sarközy's UMP and its NC partner, while the mayor who granted the construction permit left the UMP a few years ago. Raising irrational fears about the Mormons is an easy way for the opponents to seduce voters in an area where the average population is rather aged, wealthy and catholic.