Evangelical body in France calls for prayer before parliamentary snap-election

By Chris Eyte |
President Macron dissolved parliament
CNEF representing evangelicals in France has called for prayer after President Macron dissolved parliament for a snap eletion | Emmanuel Macron's YouTube channel

The National Council of French Evangelicals (CNEF) has called on the country’s evangelicals to pray following President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to dissolve the National Assembly and call a two-round snap election on June 30 and July 7. 

European parliamentary elections earlier this month resulted in a boost to the far-right party National Rally, led by Marine Le Pen, with 32 percent of votes, as previously reported by Christian Daily International. Macron’s own Renaissance party had been left behind with 15 percent, and the Socialist party scored 14 percent of the voting share.

In a televised address, Macron called the dissolution of the parliament in France “the only way to clarify matters.”

“Because we are at a time when our country must rise to a number of challenges and cannot be blocked by the extremes and because it is an act of confidence in our people, in democracy, in the Republican spirit, in a national common sense. In my view, returning to the sovereign people is the only republican decision,” he said. 

In a statement sent to Christian Daily in French, CNEF gave no instruction on how evangelicals should vote in the snap-election “other than to go and vote!”

“It's important for us to encourage evangelical Protestants in France to get involved as citizens,” a CNEF spokesman said.

“On a regular basis, and in particular during national elections, the CNEF uses various means to offer believers guidelines for discernment informed by the gospel. While the CNEF seeks to stimulate reflection, it refuses to lead the way to the polling booth by issuing voting instructions. In this way, the CNEF keeps its distance from partisan posturing.”

The organization is keen to distance itself from “imposing Christian hegemony on society” but focuses instead on sharing the gospel through witnessing and “Christ-like service,” the CNEF spokesman added.

Even so, the evangelical body sees prayer for the forthcoming snap election as essential and important from a Biblical perspective.

“CNEF members respect the authorities in their mission to serve the common good, and pledge to pray on their behalf, whatever their political affiliation,” said the CNEF spokesman. “In particular, they pray that they show wisdom, act in favor of peace and the common good, and preserve freedom of conscience, worship and expression.”

The spokesman referred to a CNEF-produced booklet originally created as a prayer guide for the recent European parliamentary elections, which carries similar advice for the snap election in France. 

The CNEF spokesman acknowledged that the country faced important issues, which pose a challenge to the country’s harmony. 

“We're in a delicate period, following various crises that have weakened national unity and living together,” added the CNEF spokesman. “The forthcoming elections to the National Assembly may help to strengthen this unity, but they may also aggravate the fracture observed between different social milieus.”

“Let us pray that peace, unity and cohesion will be strengthened in France, leaving a social climate conducive to the spread of the gospel.”