European Humanist Federation Newsletter 2012 n°4

posté le 19/07/2012

In France, the separation of religion and state applies for the whole territory with the exception of Alsace-Moselle, French Guiana and Mayotte (Concordat). During the campaign for the presidential election, the candidate Francois Hollande had initially announced that he would include the first two articles of the 1905 law (establishing the separation between churches and State and the non-funding of religion) into the Constitution. This measure would have ended the particular status of these 3 French territories. However, pressure from several political representatives has made the new President stepping back and agreeing to include these exceptions in the Constitution. This derogation would be a positive sign for those who request State funding for religions in France. In these times of crisis and budget restrictions, it would be to the detriment of public services like schools, hospitals, equipment and various social services. A group of about 20 secularist and humanist associations (among them EGALE and UFAL), has mobilized to lobby the government and French MPs against the inclusion of these exceptions into the Constitution. A press conference was held in Strasbourg on July 5 to raise awareness on this issue, followed by meetings with government officials and various actions directed at MPs.