The Protestants were seen as a great threat to the government for hundreds of years, religious wars were fought for decades, and at one point 30,000 - 100,000 huguenots (the nickname Catholics gave Protestants) were killed because of their threat and beliefs. Recently we were able to visit Aigues-Mortes, which has quite a history regarding the wars between Protestant and Catholics. It is a walled-in Medieval city that at one point provided protection to Protestants but then after the Edict of Nantes was evoked, the Huguenots were imprisoned there.
As we walked around the city interior, we went into a Catholic Church, at first just to see it - like another tourist attraction. But once we were inside and I sat down, I began to think of the history that had taken place here in this city, in this church, between two groups of people fighting and killing each other...over what? I felt a strong burden for those who had suffered in the name of religious war - and thought of how God must've been so sad to watch this happen.
I prayed for Christians today in France, both Catholics and Protestants, that they would see how similar they are and work together to build the Kingdom of God, rather than against each other.
I prayed for the Church in France, for her work is not easy. I prayed for partnership and that the Protestant Church would be trusted and respected, after all these years of being seen as a radical force.
I guess in many ways, the war continues...in France.