French evangelicals face backlash at home after success of Trump and Bolsonaro abroad

webRNS-France-Evangelicals3-121218Source: Religion News Service

BY Tom Heneghan

PARIS (RNS) — When evangelical voters cheer on President Trump in the United States or newly elected leader Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, probably the last thing on their minds is that they might be creating problems for fellow evangelicals elsewhere in the world.

It’s one of the first things that evangelicals in France think about, however, because many other French people instinctively link the small but growing evangelical presence here with large political movements abroad that they don’t like.

This can have practical consequences.

Hostile local officials can refuse permission to rent a hall, sponsor a gospel concert or distribute Bibles at a farmers market. Strictly secularist politicians can propose tighter controls on religion in public.

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