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Proving You’re Not Dead

Jeanne Pouchain knows she’s not dead. But she has to prove it in court. The 58-year-old French woman was declared dead by a court in 2017 during a decade long legal case. An employee Pouchain had fired years ago sued her for lost wages and told a court that Pouchain was dead after she stopped responding to the employee’s letters.

Without evidence, the French court accepted the allegation and levied a judgment against Pouchain’s estate. The court’s decision set off a chain reaction in France’s bureaucracy, which scrubbed her from official records and invalidated her identity cards and licenses.

Pouchain recently told The Guardian, “I have no identity papers, no health insurance, I cannot prove to the banks that I am alive … I’m nothing.” Pouchain’s attorney then presented an affidavit to the court from her doctor attesting to her continued existence. Her former employee says Pouchain had been pretending to be dead in order to avoid paying the court-mandated damages.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Christians can also appear to be dead if they let their spiritual life lapse. This is true in church membership (Rev. 3:1) and also in the lifestyle they choose if they fall into worldliness (Eph. 5:14-15; Rom. 13:11).

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