These "new" Orthodox from France subscribers

In the heart of an austere industrial zone in La Courneuve (Seine-Saint-Denis), a new Orthodox church will be devoted on Saturday, January 29.Richly fitted out in a building without external charm, not far from Muslim prayer rooms and the installations of a recycling company, it depends on the patriarchy of Romania.

Fifteen places of worship in Seine-Saint-Denis

Installed in Romainville, another city of Seine-Saint-Denis, since 2008, the community guided by Father Mircea Filip was first able to settle in Catholic churches in accordance with the diocese.But, little by little, the idea of buying a building emerged before choosing the Courneuve, where the church was able to open after five years of work.

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"It was built from a perspective of the future for young people born in France," said Father Mircea Filip.The community between Romainville and La Courneuve brings together nearly 500 faithful, mainly of Romanian or Moldovan origin, but also some French.She is not the only one to settle in the Paris region in recent years.Sister Anne-Marie Petitjean, delegate to ecumenism of the diocese of Saint-Denis, lists to date 15 places of Orthodox worship in the department.

Discreet growth

If their growth is more discreet than that of evangelical Protestants, the fact remains that the Orthodox see their number increase, mainly due to the different migratory waves.After the Russians, the Greeks, then the Serbs, the most important and the most recent concerns Romanians, especially since the entry of their country into the European Union in 2007, and their neighbors of Moldova, explains Father Jivko Panev,Lecturer at the Saint-Serge Orthodox Theology Institute.

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Ces « nouveaux » orthodoxes de France Abonnés

The parishes of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Western and southern Europe are thus particularly dynamic, like that of Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis).First welcomed by a Catholic parish of the city, it has finally acquired land to build a church, whose bulk of the work, which really started in 2019, must be completed this summer."We are with us," said Father Valeriu Jornea, a native of Moldova.The community grows - around 300 to 400 people - under the effect of new arrivals in France of Romanian and Moldovan Orthodoxes.

In Palaiseau (Essonne), the Orthodox church, also dependent on the Patriarchate of Romania, settled in an industrial building, five years ago.

Eritrean communities

If certain Catholic churches are shared with Orthodox communities (Copts, Syriac, Macedonian, Ethiopian ...) for decades, requests have continued to reach parish and diocesan levels regularly.In Villeneuve-Saint-Georges (Val-de-Marne), the Catholic parish has shared the Saint-Joseph chapel for ten years with a young Moldo-Romanian community, from around twenty to nearly 300 today with manyfamilies.

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"We have seen the arrival of new communities for twenty years," says Sister Anne-Marie Petitjean, who ensures links with Catholics in the diocese of Saint-Denis.As soon as we will count 18 places of Orthodox worship, because Serbs and Copts are looking for another place.Just like a Eritrean community.»»

«I really discovered the Orthodox in the parish»»

Other faithful from Eritrea, country of northeast of Africa, of which almost half of the population is Orthodox, share the Catholic church of Saint-Maurice-de-la-Bissière in Montreuil for a dozen of'years.A relatively discreet community, which the priest of the Catholic parish, Fathertran Xuan Triet Jean-Baptiste Bui, learned to know.

"At the beginning, they were ten to meet in a room under the church," he says.Now, for the big holidays, they can be nearly 300 from all over Île-de-France.We have fraternal links.I really discovered the Orthodox in the parish.»»

The Eritrean Orthodox Community got closer to the city of the city to inquire about the way they have managed to build a church to them.With the goal, in the long term, to do the same.


Orthodoxy in France

►The Orthodox of France, estimated around 500,000 people, are marked by great diversity.The faithful attached to the patriarchy of Moscow belong for the most part to the archdiocese of the Orthodox churches of Russian tradition in Western Europe.The other major jurisdiction is the Greek Orthodox metropolis in France, attached to the patriarchy of Constantinople.

►The other churches have parishes in France such as the patriarchates of Romania, Serbia, Antioch, to which Copts-Orthodoxes, Ethiopians or Eritreans must be added in particular.