Christian Open Door Church

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Église Porte Ouverte Chrétienne
Porte Ouverte Chrétienne Church culte170517.jpg
Worship in 2017
Founder(s)Jean Peterschmitt
Senior pastor(s)Samuel Peterschmitt

The Christian Open Door Church (Mission du Plein Évangile – Église Porte Ouverte Chrétienne [POC]) is a French Evangelical charismatic megachurch whose main place of worship is located in Mulhouse. It is the second largest Evangelical church in France, with over 2,200 people. The church is a member of the Francophone part of the Federation of Full Gospel Churches and the Conseil national des évangéliques de France. The senior pastor is Samuel Peterschmitt.


Église Porte Ouverte Chrétienne building

The church was officially founded by Suzanne and Jean Peterschmitt in Mulhouse in 1966.[1] This assembly was registered under its current name as cultural charitable organization. In 1972, the church had between 60 and 80 members.[2]

In 1987, Samuel Peterschmitt succeeded his father as senior pastor of the church.[3] This same year, the premises were relocated to a former supermarket in Mulhouse, with a capacity of 600 seats.[4]

In 1989, the church established its new premises in a former supermarket with a capacity of 1,500 seats.[1]

In 1995, the sanctuary was enlarged to provide 1,900 seats.[4]

In 2005, 1,500 people were regularly attending the church.[5][6][7]

By 2010, about 4,000 people were watching the church's broadcast of worship on the church's official site.[8] Worships are broadcast by satellite in 37 countries and in Internet.[9]

In 2015, the church had expansion work done in its building to create a capacity of 2,500 seats.[10][11]

In 2017, the attendance had reached 2,200 people.[12] Churches were opened in Cayenne and in others cities in France.[13]

In 2020 the mass gathering of some 2000 members of the church in Mulhouse between 17 and 21 February was a key event for spreading of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the region of Alsace during the COVID-19 pandemic in France according to statements by French officials in early March 2020.[14]


The church choir and its pastor, Samuel Peterschmitt.

The beliefs of the church are shared with that of the Federation of Full Gospel Churches in Francophonie, an evangelical charismatic denomination.[15]

Social programs[edit]

The church is involved in the city with humanitarian aid and, in this, is recognized by the town hall; the church also provides school support, clothing donation and administrative assistance.[16][17]


In 1999, the church created the Philadelphia Cultural Association (Association Culturelle Philadelphie) which sells many books, DVD and CD.[18]


In the 1990s, the church was criticized by former members, their families, anti-cult associations and by the Catholic Church. In 1993, the group "Religious Evolution and New Spiritualities" ("Évolution Religieuses et Nouvelles Spiritualités"), led by the Catholic Church, added to the criticisms. Then, in 1996, the anti-cult association CCMM, received the first complaints from former members. In 1999, Claude Omnibus, the husband of a deceased follower, accused the movement of having killed his wife after her refusal of an organ transplant, and created an association of victims named Association of Victims of the Christian Open Door (Association des Victimes de la Porte Ouverte Chrétienne, AVIPOC).[19] He participated in many television programs to warn against the COD, and was supported by the ADFI and CCMM, two anti-cult associations (the CCMM asked the Mission interministérielle de vigilance et de lutte contre les dérives sectaires to add the COD in the 1995 list of cults). The COD was described as "a dangerous cult" in a book by two journalists[20] and in many press articles.[21] Activities of the group that are criticized include anti-social speech, family breakdowns, false promises of healing which led to abandonment of medical treatments, theological deviances and financial disclosures. Meanwhile, the COD sought support from French Evangelical Association (Association Évangélique Française [AEF]) and unsuccessfully tried to integrate the Protestant Federation of France.[22]

Pastor Peterschmitt and members denied these accusations when they were interviewed in the media.[23] The pastor said his church was a victim of religious discrimination.[24]

Two sociologists who studied this church in 2002 rejected these criticisms and said in their conclusion that any group might experience deviances.[25][clarification needed]


A gathering organised by the church in mid-February 2020 in Mulhouse and attended by about 2,000 faithful became a significant event in the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across France. On 3 March, seven local participants had tested positive for the virus;[26][27] [28] five returnees from the Mulhouse event were confirmed positive in French Guiana on 4 March.[29] On 5 March a retired couple from Lot-et-Garonne and another person from Deux-Sèvres who had attended the same gathering were declared positive for the disease;[30] five new cases from this cluster were registered in Corsica,[31] and three more in Normandy the same day.[32]

On 6 March, it was announced that 81 cases had been detected in the previous 24 hours in Mulhouse.[33] The department of Haut Rhin, in which Mulhouse is situated, imposed strict limits on the gatherings; all schools were closed henceforth.[34] Physical church services were suspended in favour of internet worship.[26]

During the spring of 2020, the church received blame for the spread of the virus in France, and its pastor and other members reported receiving threats.[35] However, a May 2020 study by a doctor at the Albert-Schweitzer hospital in Colmar suggested that the impact of the church meeting had been overstated, reporting that the virus had been present in the region since November 2019, and that the Church was "only one link in the chain of virus transmission".[36]

See also[edit]


  • Willaime, Jean-Paul; Amiotte-Suchet, Laurent (October 2004). "" La pluie de l'Esprit " — Étude sociologique d'une assemblée pentecôtiste mulhousienne: " Mission du Plein Évangile. La Porte Ouverte Chrétienne "" (PDF) (in French). Groupe de Sociologie des Religions et de la Laïcité. Retrieved 14 August 2009. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)


  1. ^ a b Sébastien Fath, Dieu XXL, la révolution des mégachurches, Édition Autrement, France, 2008, p. 151
  2. ^ Laurent Amiotte-Suchet, Jean-Paul Willaime, GSRL,, La pluie de l’Esprit – Étude sociologique d’une assemblée pentecôtiste mulhousienne – Mission du Plein Évangile. La Porte ouverte chrétienne, France, 2004
  3. ^ Francis Messner, Anne-Laure Zwilling, Formation des cadres religieux en France: une affaire d'Etat?, Labor et Fides, France, 2010, p. 96
  4. ^ a b Patrice de Plunkett, Les évangéliques à la conquête du monde, Éditions Perrin, France, 2009, p. 161
  5. ^ Sébastien Fath, Du ghetto au réseau: Le protestantisme évangélique en France, 1800–2005, Édition Labor et Fides, France, 2005, p. 221
  6. ^ Poiraud, Franck (2007). Les évangéliques dans la France du XXIe siècle (in French). p. 102. ISBN 9782356070326. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  7. ^ Sauvaget, Bernadette. "Une Mega Church à la française". Réforme (in French). Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  8. ^ Baer, Sébastien (3 February 2010). "Le mouvement évangélique s'enracine en France" (in French). France Info. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  9. ^ Emilie Blachere,, La vague évangélique, France, 8 January 2010
  10. ^ Anne Ducellier,, Une église évangélique de 7000 m² inaugurée à Mulhouse, France, 10 May 2015
  11. ^ AFP,, Une «megachurch» évangélique inaugure ses locaux agrandis à Mulhouse, France, 9 May 2015
  12. ^ Warren Bird, World megachurches, Leadership Network, USA. Retrieved 29 October 2017
  13. ^ Patrice de Plunkett, Les évangéliques à la conquête du monde, Éditions Perrin, France, 2009, p. 162
  14. ^ Katrin Hauser, Simon Bordier: "«Wir haben in Mulhouse die Epidemie-Phase erreicht»" BAZ 4 March 2020
  15. ^ William Kay, Anne Dyer, European Pentecostalism, BRILL, UK, 2011, p. 141
  16. ^ Élise Descamps,, A Mulhouse, 7 000 m2 pour célébrer Dieu, France, 6 May 2015
  17. ^ Christian Open Door Church, Le social, website, France. Retrieved 31 October 2017
  18. ^ Laurent Amiotte-Suchet, Jean-Paul Willaime, GSRL,, La pluie de l’Esprit – Étude sociologique d’une assemblée pentecôtiste mulhousienne – Mission du Plein Évangile. La Porte ouverte chrétienne, France, 2004, p. 59
  19. ^ "Les "miracles" de la POC – Fonds de commerce de cette enterprise familiale pentecôtiste: la guérison divine. Des associations et une Église protestante parlent de dérives sectaires" (PDF). L'Express (in French). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  20. ^ Stucki, Jean-Pierre. Les Sectes dans l'Est de la France (PDF) (in French). Actu-sectarisme. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  21. ^ "Porte ouverte aux excès – D'anciens fidèles de la Porte ouverte chrétienne évoquent des dérives sectaires" (PDF) (in French). News d'Ill. September 1999. p. 4. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  22. ^ Willaime, Amiotte-Suchet, 2004, pp. 128–63.
  23. ^ Naegelen, Lucien (21 April 1996). "Le supermarché de Dieu" (PDF). Alsace (in French). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  24. ^ Kounkou, Dominique; Poulat, Émile (2005). Les discriminations religieuses en France: situation à partir des églises... pp. 85–90. ISBN 9782747562379. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  25. ^ Willaime, Amiotte-Suchet, 2004, pp. 163-76.
  26. ^ a b "Mulhouse : sept cas de coronavirus après un rassemblement religieux à Bourtzwiller" [Mulhouse: seven cases of coronavirus after a religious gathering in Bourtzwiller]. France Bleu (in French). 3 March 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  27. ^ "Alsace : Un médecin de Bernwiller contaminé par le coronavirus". 3 March 2020.
  28. ^ "DIRECT. Coronavirus : le CIO n'évoque "ni annulation ni report" des JO de Tokyo" [DIRECT. Coronavirus: the IOC does not mention "neither cancellation nor postponement" of the Tokyo Olympics]. Journal L'Union (in French). 4 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  29. ^ Catherine Lama (4 March 2020). "Coronavirus : cinq cas à Saint-Laurent du Maroni" [Coronavirus: five cases in Saint-Laurent du Maroni] (in French). Guyana: FranceTV. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  30. ^ "Coronavirus : deux cas confirmés en Lot-et-Garonne" [Coronavirus: two cases confirmed in Lot-et-Garonne]. (in French). Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  31. ^ "Trois premiers cas du nouveau coronavirus confirmés en Corse" [Three first cases of the new coronavirus confirmed in Corsica]. 20 Minutes (in French). Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  32. ^ "Coronavirus EN DIRECT : Trois premiers cas dans les Hautes-Alpes… Les écoles ne fermeront pas en cas de stade 3…" [Coronavirus LIVE: Three first cases in the Hautes-Alpes… Schools will not close in case of stage 3…]. 20 Minutes (in French). Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  33. ^ Ronan Tsorière (6 March 2020). "Coronavirus : comment le Haut-Rhin et la ville de Mulhouse font face à l'explosion de l'épidémie" [Coronavirus: how the Haut-Rhin and the city of Mulhouse are coping with the explosion of the epidemic]. Le Parisien (in French). Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  34. ^ Florence Grandon (6 March 2020). "Coronavirus dans le Haut-Rhin : la totalité des écoles, collèges, lycées, crèches fermés lundi 9 mars pour 15 jours" [Coronavirus in Haut- Rhine: all schools, colleges, high schools, nurseries closed Monday March 9 for 15 days]. (in French). Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  35. ^ "Coronavirus : Les membres de l'église évangélique de Mulhouse toujours sous la pression des menaces". 10 May 2020.
  36. ^ Emilie Blachère, Coronavirus : Le rassemblement évangélique de Mulhouse accusé à tort. Nos révélations., Paris Match, France, 30 May 2020

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°46′13″N 7°19′36″E / 47.7702°N 7.3266°E / 47.7702; 7.3266