French Mormons find a less hospitable ‘Mormon moment’

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RNS photo courtesy LDS Church.

RNS photo courtesy LDS Church.

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CHESNAY, France (RNS) With 36,000 members and a history stretching back to the1850s, France's Mormon community is among the biggest and oldest in Europe. But while Mormons in the U.S. bask in the so-called "Mormon moment," French Mormons are facing stiff opposition in their bid to build the country's first Mormon temple. By Elizabeth Bryant.

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    “Marie Drilhon, local chapter head of UNADFI, a nongovernmental group that fights religious extremism, is also skeptical about the Mormons and their project. ‘It’s a demanding church for the faithful,’ she said, describing some cases of members who have left the church who were pressured to return. ‘People who are more fragile don’t do well in this church.'”

    I am a 62 year old Mormon and have lived in Japan, Virginia, Maryland, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, California and Washington, and I have NO idea what she means about “people who are more fragile don’t do well in this church”. To the contrary, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cares for and nurtures people, and provides financial and emotional support to those in need. It gives people who are lonely an opportunity to contribute and gain a sense of self-worth because everyone in the church is an unpaid volunteer, including the bioshop who heads each congregation. All are amateurs, who do their teaching and leading for the love of the Church and their neighbors.