France flaunts its secular identity.
Before entering public schools, students and teachers must remove Muslim headscarves, Jewish yarmulkes, or Sikh turbans based on a 2004 law. Only “discreet” Christian crosses can be worn.
In 1905, France enshrined the strict separation of Church and State. The government took control of Catholic Church property, including Notre-Dame Cathedral, which it owns to this day.
Of course, this attitude can be traced back to the French Revolution. At the height of the Reign of Terror, in 1793, churches were closed, church bells were melted, religious symbols destroyed, and priests and nuns put on trial. Some were even guillotined, as in the case of the...READ MORE