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Priest Attacked During Mass As Voters Decide on the Future of France

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While French voters decide the future of their country at the ballot box, one priest is recovering after being attacked with a knife while performing a Sunday mass.

One priest and one nun have received non-life-threatening injuries after being attacked by a knifeman in a church in France.

The incident occurred as many in France take to the ballot box to decide the future of their country, which has seen a significant number of attacks on those associated with Christian clergy over the last decade.

According to a report by Le Monde, the two members of the church were injured after the priest, who was celebrating Sunday mass in the Saint-Pierre-d’Arène church in Nice, was attacked by the knifeman.

The priest was reportedly stabbed “several times” by the assailant, while a nun who tried to intervene in the attack also received at least one injury to the forearm.

The man thought to be responsible for the attack — supposedly a French citizen born in 1991 — has since been apprehended, with authorities saying that they are not yet suspecting any sort of terror link.

Instead, Le Parisien reports a police source as saying that the man is “obviously bipolar”, and that he had “spontaneously declared to the police that he was of the Jewish faith and that on this election day he wanted to kill Macron and that he had finally fallen back on a church”.

The attack represents only the latest violent event to befall those associated with Christianity in France, with the Western European country having seen a number of attacks on priests over the last year by militant Islamists and men with “psychiatric problems“.

This latest of many incidents occurs at a time when the country is deciding its future, with the nation’s electorate being presented today with the choice of opting for another five years of globalist President Emmanuel Macron or a more hardline approach to immigration and Islamism under national populist Marine Le Pen.

However, while this choice is stark, it does not appear to be one that the French are overly enthusiastic about, with voter turnout falling to a 15-year low for this stage of a presidential election.

Euronews reports that by midday, only 26.41 per cent of those eligible to vote in the election had cast their ballots, two points down on the midday turnout of the previous 2017 election.

The figure is also substantially down on the midday turnout seen in 2007 and 2012, with both years seeing over 30 per cent of those eligible to vote cast their ballot by noon.

While exactly which candidate the low turnout favours, if either, ultimately remains a mystery, some of those praying for a Macron win have said that establishment complacency could cost the current president the election.

“An industrial [scale] accident is possible,” one supporter, former Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, told German publication Der Taggespiegel, noting that even if polling for Macron was good, such figures had been significantly wrong before.

“The French extreme right wants to destroy the institutions of the Fifth Republic as well as the universalist value system that has endured since the French Revolution,” the French politician went on to say, before alleging that a Le Pen win would lead to violence.

Follow Peter Caddle on Twitter: @Peter_Caddle
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