What you may not have heard is that numerous other smaller attacks took place last year, including the firebombing of several Jewish food stores amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas. In 2014, French Jews actually became the largest immigrant group to Israel. Over 7,000 left France for Israel and it's estimated as many as 10,000 will leave this year.
Things are changing in France and we can only anticipate more difficulties ahead. (The nation is home to the largest Jewish and Muslim populations in Western Europe). We are certainly saddened by the recent events, but we also feel affirmed of our calling and look forward to what God will do in the coming years, whether through positive or difficult circumstances. We know that there is no safer place to be than right where God has led us.
The French people have shown great boldness in the face of these terror attacks.The phrase "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie), a demonstration of support of the magazine which was attacked and of free speech, has been seen everywhere. Right now the Arc of Triumph in Paris is lit up with the words "Paris est Charlie" (Paris is Charlie). Free speech rallies are taking place all over the country. Reports say the next issue of the Charlie Hebdo magazine will include a cover announcing an immediate job opening for new cartoonists.
As we see all this in the news, we can't help but imagine that same boldness used for God's glory. We pray and ask you to pray with us that in difficulties and tragedies God will be glorified and draw the hearts of lost people to Himself.
We don't know what lies ahead for France, but we're at peace knowing that Someone does, and that we're on His team. His plan may not be safe, but it is good, and of that we are certain.