Fearing Attacks, Catholic Church Gets Rid of Statues of Monks Beheaded By Muslims

A Catholic church in Lyon, France, has sold off statues of monks killed by Muslims, for fear they will provoke attacks. The statues, which were to be shown at Saint Louis church, honoured monks who were beheaded by Muslims in Algeria during the 1990s. The Algerian consul in the city responded with “fury” to the statues. The church sold the statues to an institute that hosts a private museum of Catholic artifacts to prevent conflict with local Muslims. Cardinal Barbarin approved the statues to be placed in the church’s grounds last year. But the more powerful Bishop of Lyon was persuaded by his personal entourage by arguments that the statues may cause Muslims to launch attacks on the works. The Bishop’s aides argued, “Imagine if [someone] unbalanced [were to] to decapitate these statues?”. They argued that because there is a Salafist mosque very close to the church, such attacks may be likely. As a result of this the Bishop of Lyon decided to sell the statues to a museum. The church had already delayed the inauguration of the statues to appease the Algerian consulate. They planned for their official launch to happen in the spring of this year. The date was moved to avoid clashing with Algerian Independence