A 40-year-old unemployed man appeared in court on 10th of September 2018 for the arson of two churches, St. Jodok in Ravensburg and St. Martin in Schlier. The incidents occurred in March 2018, which we reported at the time. The fire at St. Jodok church in Ravensburg caused at least two million euros in damage. Read more about the first day of trial below.
A fire broke out in a basement of the cloister of the Church of Santa Maria della Roccella. The flames affected some unused materials and various forms of waste that had piled up in a basement of the cloister. The fire brigade intervened and found four LPG tanks near the fire which they removed and secured promptly. Fortunately there was no damage done to the building and no one was hurt. The police started an investigation and did not exclude arson as the cause of the fire.
Between 18.00 and 22.45 on September 7th, unknown perpetrators vandalized the facade of the parish church in Gutau with red and black paint. The cost of the damage is still to be determined.
Sometime in the early morning hours of September 5th, vandals sprayed the anarchist "A" on the well-known monument. After city workers were unable to remove the paint using water, the monument's sculptor himself, Elías Rodríguez Picón, arrived to remove the paint. Local residents and officials expressed their outrage over the incident. Police began an investigation and reviewed security camera footage to identify the perpetrators of vandalism.
Parish announcements and a lectionary were burned in the small chapel Saint-Jean in the district of Péré, the lower town of Saint-Sever. Additionally, the monstrance was broken and a cross was thrown into a confessional. The vandalism occurred on the same day as the school fire of Toulouzette Park school in Saint-Sever. Police investigated a connection between the two incidents.
An appellate court ordered a rehearing by immigration tribunals after Judge Lord Glennie, one of the appeal judges, found that the asylum judges had disregarded churchgoer's evidence of the Christian conversion of two Iranian asylum seekers who have been attending Tron Church in Glasgow and had been predisposed to rejecting their claims.
"The Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe has published a 74-page 2018 Report that’s a real eye-opener. This is not simply a compilation of complaints or over-sensitive reactions to clashes in pluralist societies. It provides a portrait of an extensive problem that everyone who cares about liberty, religious liberty included, should be aware of." - Robert Royal, editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C.
Ellen Fantini joined Ján Figel', EU Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU, and Tristan Azbej, Hungary's Deputy State Secretary for Persecuted Christians, on a panel in Bratislava.
The cases in Observatory's report for 2016 and 2017 represent the range of hostilities Christians experience in their daily lives: from the ‘squeeze’ of interference with religious liberty, parental rights, freedom of expression and conscience, to the ‘smash’ of physical attacks, and vandalism of churches and cemeteries.