By Mike Evans, director of Evangile 21, the French branch of The Gospel Coalition.
The whole of France, but more particularly Paris, is coming to grips with the worst-ever terrorist attack on its soil in recent memory. Six almost simultaneous attacks have left in their wake 129 dead and more than 350 injured, including almost 100 in critical condition.
President Hollande, together with most other French political leaders, recognize that we are in a state of war. For just the third time since 1955 a state of emergency has been declared, but this is the first time that it has been extended to the whole of France. Border controls have been reinstated, street demonstrations have been banned, police and military presence has been reinforced, and people suspected of links with terrorist groups or preachers of hate have been assigned to residence.
Paradoxically, both fear and defiance are palpable as was demonstrated when the two suicide bombers blew themselves up in front of the entrance gates to the Stade de France, where 80,000 spectators were watching the football match between France and Germany. Initially they reacted with panic running on to the pitch, but then they left the stadium in an orderly manner singing “La Marseillaise,” the French national anthem.