Vienna police arrested the main suspect, who is alleged to have robbed and tortured six monks in Vienna-Strebersdorf. The man bound and gagged all his victims and brutally beat them with an iron rod. Five of the victims were seriously injured, while one fought for his life for several months. The suspect, a man of Serbian descent but with a Croatian citizenship, was caught and arrested in Zagreb after a two-year investigation. The suspect admitted that he committed the crime, as a motive he said he hated the church and wanted to avenge the ones hurt by them. He is facing a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
Unknown perpetrators have stolen relics from the Saint Joseph's parish in Krakow. The incident happened between 10 and 11 June. The parish reported the incident and shared it on their social media, stating "the relics of St. Brother Albert were stolen from our Sanctuary! They were located in the altar of the Apostles of Mercy. Please share this news". The priests are asking the public for any information.
The city of Edinburgh Council has apologized after violating church rights and paid £25,000 in damages caused by their action. They cancelled a Christian three-day conference after a complaint regarding the religious beliefs held guest speaker Larry Stockstill. A court ruled, that they violated the European Convention on Human Rights, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010. The council acknowledged that it "failed to meet its equalities duties to Destiny Ministries in terms of the Equality Act 2010 and therefore acted unlawfully."
In 2018 a state-owned bus company removed advertisements from the pro-life NGO Zavod ŽIV!M on the grounds of them being "intolerant". Although the NGO signed a contract with the company allowing them to display their ads for several months, the company took them down just after a little more than a week. On the ads the messages "We love Life!", "You are not alone", "Step out of Silence" and "I mourn my child", were accompanied by pictures of a happy family, a grieving mother and a woman holding a pregnancy test. In a first ruling the Slovenian equality body called "Advocate of the Principle of Equality" found the company to have acted discriminately towards the NGO. The company challenged the ruling, an outcome is expected in June.
The Church of Santa María de Tafalla in Spain has fallen victim to an act of vandalism. Unknown perpetrators have knocked down the fences attached to the parish and thrown a sack of cement over the door of the church. The attack is thought to have taken place sometime between Saturday afternoon and Sunday Morning. Alfredo Ondarra, head of the Tafalla Municipal Police, said that his team is looking for the culprit.
The All Saints Church in Kenton, Devon, could have its chimes silenced. The reason is a complaint from a member of the public. Build in the 14th century the Church's clock currently chimes every quarter of an hour. One new resident in the area has now complained to silence the same. All Saints Church vicar Rev John Williams admitted to 'The Telegraph' that he is aware that the noise measured by Environmental Health is higher than the current permitted. He added: "While some residents don't mind hearing the clock at night and find it comforting, we are nonetheless required to oblige with the law". The church council is now looking for sponsors to buy a £2,000 mechanism to silence the clock chimes at night. Kenton parish council is now worried that by the time they managed to raise the money the local council could have already silenced the clock.
On 30 May, a public Catholic procession in Paris, commemorating the city’s 19th-century martyrs, was violently attacked by several radical left groups. From the beginning on the procession was accompanied by interruptive whistling and booing. Soon the verbal attacks became physically violent. Flags were torn down and even heavy object thrown at them. The perpetrators also started to kick and punch participants of the procession, one elderly man was knocked to the ground suffering serious head injuries that needed to be stitched. The procession was then blocked by around 50 demonstrators and the police asked the believers to take refuge in a near by church until the situation was under control again. The police are investigating.
Vandals have violated the Way of the Cross leading to the Cemetery in Pizzoletta, near Verona. Although the stolen plates are neither valuable nor ancient, they carry religious and ideational value for the community. The act of vandalism and theft happened just a few days after the Way of the Cross has been restored. During the pandemic, the Way of the Cross, which encompasses fourteen stations, had suffered various attacks. It is unclear if the case has been reported to the police.
Hatun Tash a Christian and a regular speaker at the Speakers' Corner, has been arrested after questioning the Islamic faith. Police officers who were asked to come in to protect the speaker, decided to arrest Hatun after a mob of Muslims started threatening her. A video released on YouTube shows Mohammad Hijab, the leader of the antagonistic group who threatened Hatun, spreading hate speech against world politicians and Israel, threatening police officers and threatening to kill Jews and Christians. It is unclear why the Police arrested Hatun instead of Hijab.
Sometime between 27 and 28, May thieves have entered the church of San Michele Degli Scalzi in Italy. They broke into the tabernacle and have taken the sacred hosts. Don Lorenzo, the parish priest, noticed that the closing flap was slightly out of place and when he approached the tabernacle, he saw the theft and reported it to the police. The hosts did not have a material value, however, they have spiritual value for the religious community. Surveillance cameras might have caught the thieves. The Police are investigating.
A French court ruled that 6 of 10 children had to be removed from their parents home because their catholic mother enrolled them on a catholic boarding school. Two of the six children have now been put into a foster family of Muslim descent, who refuses to educate the children in accordance with their Catholic faith, mother Clare says. The children have additionally been taken out of their Catholic boarding schools and put back into state schools. The mother also stated that the foster family tries to change their children believe, by teaching them Muslim prayers and worldviews. A petition to help the family get their children back has been launched.
Faisal Jahangir a Pakistani Christian is facing deportation in Germany, despite being fully integrated. Jahangir lives and works in Germany since 13 years. Despite him facing a great threat of religious persecution in Pakistan, the german authorities remain tough. If he doesn't leave voluntarily, he might face a three-year ban. He is now trying to get a visa through the church.
A bill proposed on May 21 would punish Pro-Life campaigners near abortion clinics. The bill is said to criminalise "harassing women going to clinics for the voluntary interruption of pregnancy." If the bill passes pro-life groups campaigning near abortion clinics could either face a prison sentence of up to one year, or community service of up to 80 Days. In individual cases, an individual could also be barred from the specific location for a minimum of six months and a maximum of three years. A petition to oppose the bill has been launched.
The Church Saint Wolfgang in the Parish of Haidhausen, Germany has received a threat of arson. Vandals sprayed onto the church walls "The only illuminated Church, is the one, on fire". A slogan often used by anarchist or radical left groups attacking the church. Father Alfons Friedrich discovered the act and reported it immediately to the police. The case might have happened sometime between 16 May and 18 May. This is not the first attack on the Sait Wolfgang Church. It has been reported that in Fall 2019 unknown perpetrators broke into the church and destroyed the churches pipe organ - built in 1907 - causing over 6,000 Euros damage. The Police are investigating, charges against "unknown" have been pressed.
The Saint Alexander's Church in Warsaw has been vandalized by the Women's Strike group. The perpetrators painted a lightning bolt onto the churches facade, which is the groups' symbol, and poured paint onto the same. A video posted on Twitter shows the extent of the vandalistic act. Inscriptions were also painted on the pavement in front of the church. The attack shows that their primary intention was to disfigure the church located in Warsaw's Trzech Krzyży Square.
A 38-year-old caused a considerable amount of damage in the Saint John Church in Kitzingen. At around midday, the perpetrator is said to have climbed over the boundaries of the altar, where he threw down all the candlesticks which were partially damaged. He is also accused of having damaged the microphone system and the painting of Saint John from Jacques Grassmann with a sharp object. The 2 x 3-metre high altar painting was stabbed various times. The damage is summed to several thousand Euros. Police could identify and arrest the culprit.
Maristella, Italy. Unknown perpetrators are said to have attacked the church of the Virgin Stella Maris, in the village of Maristella in Alghero. It is reported that the attack happened on the night of 14 May. The perpetrators have allegedly put one of eight palm trees which are located near the entrance of the church on fire. The immediate action of municipal police and firefighters stopped the fire before it could affect the Church. It is also assumed that they destroyed a tablet at the Stella Maris' entrance. A fire in the nearby forest was also reported and brought under control by firefighters. The fire is assumed to have caused a yet unknown sum of damage. Police are investigating.
A life-size crucifix has been stolen sometime overnight between 12 May and 13 May 2021. The six-foot-high crucifix has been stolen from the All Saints' Church in Gosforth, Newcastle. The crucifix, which has been on display since 1965 "was situated in a consecrated area where many ashes are buried." said Rev Canon Andrew Shipton, from the All Saints' Church. He added, " It was a great shock to find that it had gone and a cause of considerable sadness". The police are asking the public for any information about the crucifix' disappearance and its possible whereabouts. The police are asking the perpetrators to return the crucifix, as it is also of immense sentimental worth.
The CEO of Scotland's largest grant-making trust, Kenneth Ferguson, has been fired for allowing the Stirling Free Church to rent Trust premises. Robertson Trusts Chairwoman Shonaig Macpherson is accused of having shammed and humiliated the organisation's CEO, over his link to the Stirling Free Church and their biblical views on marriage. A ruling in the case is expected soon.
The church of Saint Francis on Langenwand has been vandalised multiple times. Unknown perpetrators have entered the church where they graffitied the walls, tore off the barrier tapes to delimit the seats and left cigarette burns on the seat cushions and the kneelers. The altar has also been desecrated when the culprit(s) cleared the sacred goods away. The police have been informed.
Catholic MP Francisco J. Contreras in Spain got his Twitter account suspended for 12 hours after posting a Tweet saying that man can't get pregnant since they have neither an ovary nor a uterus. Twitter claimed that tweet to be 'inciting hatred'. Contreras published the tweet in response to an article claiming that a man gave birth to a child. The suspension fueled an already sensitive discussion.
The Marta Shimoni Church in Mehri, Turkey has been desecrated by currently unknown perpetrators. Since the Church is built into a cave and thus cannot be destroyed like any other church, the nature of the attack must have been severe. Footage obtained by the International Christian Concern (ICC) Organization shows items and relics inside the Church being destroyed, amongst others pictures of Jesus Christ, rosaries and crosses. It is unknown whether the incident was reported to the police or not.
On 9 May 2021, unknown perpetrators destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary. The over 100-year-old statue was ripped from its pedestal and then shattered. The statue was placed in the historical chapel in the Uzbornia forest in Poland which was built in 1880 and renovated in 2013. The city council, Mariusz Zając and other parishioners abhor the act. The police are investigating.
Trent Colleges' school chaplain Reverend Dr Bernard Randall held a sermon at the schools chapel in June 2018, in which he encouraged students to respect and debate upon 'identity beliefs' and 'identity ideology'. Rev Dr Randall was afterwards reported to the governments' anti-terrorist unit 'Prevent' and forced out of his job. The school claimed that the sermon was "harmful to LGBT+" Students, and Rev Dr Randalls views were extremist. The former chaplain is now taking Trent College to court for unfair dismissal, discrimination, harassment and victimization. A hearing is awaited for June 14, 2021.
A swiss Court in Geneva ruled the ban of public worship as unlawful. As safety precautions regarding the spreading of COVID-19, Geneva banned religious services and events except for funerals and weddings with restricted capacity. Although religious gatherings were banned, public gatherings were still allowed to take place. Dr Sommeruga, who was assisted by ADF International took the ban to Court. He is "delighted to celebrate this win for religious freedom".
A baptistery stolen from an evangelical church in the district of Waldeck-Frankenberg in Germany has been found. The baptistery from the 17 century has been found and brought back to its rightful place. According to the local authorities, the baptistery made of brass has been stolen from the evangelical church back in March of 2021. The police did not give any information about how they discovered the baptistery due to ongoing investigations. It is to be assumed that since the incident the church has not been able to carry out any baptisms.
During the night of 30 April to 1 May, unknown perpetrators vandalised two churches, as well as, monuments and streetlamps illuminating the Barbaresco-Tower. Windows of the San Bernardo Chruch were smashed in with stones. The stones also damged the ambo, causing it to fall and break. Another Church along the Pilgrimage route of Saint James was also affected. It has been reported that the perpetrators smashed beer bottles against the walls of the thousand-year-old church of San Giorgio. A few monuments and streetlamps illuminating the Barbaresco-Tower have also been vandalized and damaged through stones. Residents reported the incident and Town-Councillor Laura Gandolfo ordered an immediate investigation.
Between 29 to 30 April, unknown perpetrators broke the window of a church in Schlema. According to the police a side entrance door of the church was smashed and an unknown liquid was applied to the facade of the building. The damage amounts up to 2.000 Euros. The police are investigating for damage to property.
MP Pävi Räsänen is facing three criminal charges for alleged hate speech brought against her by the Finnish Prosecutor General. This is not the first time MP Räsänen is being investigated for hate speech by the police but the first time she is confronted with criminal charges. The medical doctor, mother of five, and grandmother of six is accused of having engaged in “hate speech” for publicly voicing her opinion on marriage and human sexuality in a 2004 pamphlet, for comments made on a 2018 TV show and, most recently, a tweet directed at her church leadership. The Prosecutor General considers that Räsänen's statements are likely to cause intolerance, contempt and hatred towards homosexuals. The charges will be heard later at the Helsinki District Court.
After the cemetery in Nowa Wieś Ełcka was first vandalised and then destroyed by felled trees, it is now to be restored to its original state. The bishop of the parish, Paweł Hause, said: "Destroying the sign of the cross, which is on an old gravestone, by handling it with heavy equipment, overturning it, destroying it and burying it, offends the feelings of all Christians - Catholics, Evangelicals, Orthodox. It was the residents of the village, Catholics, who first pointed out this anti-Christian behaviour. Whatever the perpetrators and those responsible say, there has been a lack of respect for the dead and for the cemetery, which is and should remain holy ground."
The priest's car, the church façade and the surveillance cameras of the church of Gussago, Franciacorta, were vandalised the night before 26 April. The perpetrators were a group of youths who had been celebrating frequently during services, next to the church the days before. After the parish priest Don Adriano Dabellani complained and called the carabinieri, vandalistic acts were perpetrated in the following nights, probably in revenge. The vandals wrote blasphemies on the priest's car, as well as on the façade of the church. Police are investigating.
On the night of 22 April, the church of Sainte-Thérèse de l'Enfant Jésus in the Nétreville district of Évreux was the victim of a burglary for the seventh time in six months. In the process, a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary was found lying on the floor with large cuts to its head, having been subjected to repeated attempts at destruction in the days before. The other complaints in the intervening period include damage to several entrances to the interior of the church and the theft of numerous religious items. Meanwhile, a suspect has been arrested. The police is investigating.
After the stone capital on the steps of the Marian Sanctuary of San Francesco all'Immacolata in Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Noto was vandalised, the perpetrator has now been identified and reported. The police were able to gather useful clues with the help of images from the video surveillance in the area, which made it possible to establish the identity of the vandal. It is a 33-year-old man already known to the police, who is facing charges of serious damage to historical objects - a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Pastor John Sherwood, the pastor of a church in North London, preached a sermon on a public street on 23 April, in which he advocated for the biblical image of the family consisting of a father, mother and children and that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. After a while, some police officers appeared on the scene, approached Pastor Sherwood and stated that three complaints had been received about the sermon. After a lengthy conversation between the pastor and the police officers, the police officers asked him to come down from the steps where he was standing and said that he was now under arrest. The police accusation was that Pastor Sherwood had made homophobic remarks. An officer then took the Bible from the pastor's hand, pulled him off the steps and handcuffed him behind his back. The pastor was arrested for causing alarm and distress under section 5 of the Public Order Act, according to police. The preacher was detained by the police for about 21 hours, and he is still under investigation after his release.
On 19 April, in front of the Polish Church of the Assumption at 'Concorde' in Paris, the bust of St John Paul II was vandalised . An unknown perpetrator covered the bust with red paint. Father Paweł Witkowski mentioned the great merits and achievements of John Paul II, who "certainly did not deserve such treatment". The case is being investigated by the police.
For the second time in a month, the church of Lazzaretto in Golasecca has been vandalised. This time the perpetrators damaged the door and vandalised the interior. Unknown persons had already broken into the small sacred building on 21 March, at which time the parish priest had filed a complaint with the Carabinieri. The church of Saints Simon and Judas is located in the woods near the village. The police are investigating.
On the afternoon of 15 April, a fire was set at the door of the church of Saints Jacopo and Filippo in Montecatini Alto. The door was partially destroyed. The fire brigade and the Carabinieri intervened right away. So far, there seem to be no direct witnesses to the arson, which can be safely assumed. The police are investigating.
A woman vandalised sacred objects in the sanctuary of the Maxkirche in Düsseldorf between 12 and 16 April. The perpetrator threw candles and altar cloths on the floor. The congregation is shocked at the extent of the devastation. The city Deacon, Frank Heidkamp, said: "An adult woman threw candles, candlesticks, floral arrangements, altar cloths and sacrificial candles on the floor during normal opening hours last week and obviously caused this devastation with wanton intent." The case was recorded on a security camera and has already been handed over to the police, who is now investigating.
Vandals attacked the parish cemetery in Mosina during the night of 11 to 12 April. Broken candles and other damages were found. The case was also investigated by the police, who have already arrested one person. The city police also found a vandalised car in a nearby car park.
In Höxter, unknown perpetrators vandalised the church of St. Anna on 11 April. Inside the church they destroyed the ornamental organ pipes. The vandals also lit candles, spread matches on the floor and left two notes with inscriptions. The damage to property amounts to 1.000€. The incident was reported to the police.
After red-light parties with prostitutes were held in the Cassino cemetery, the local church officials felt compelled to return sanctity to the desecrated place and rededicate the cemetery. "This rite of reparation", the diocese said, "became necessary as a result of the recent judicial investigation of the management of the municipal cemetery, which revealed serious acts that qualify as desecration of the bodies. In the name of the Church and representing the entire community of Setina, we went to the cemetery, prayed for the deceased buried there and renewed the rite of blessing the cemetery as an act of reparation for the desecration and sacrilege committed."
A fire broke out in the empty church of St. Mary's Assumption in Gelsenkirchen on the evening of Easter Monday, 5 April. The fire brigade was on the scene with 80 emergency personnel. The fire started inside the building and had broken out into the sacristy. From there, the fire spread to the nave and smoke came out of the roof. While the cause of the fire was initially completely unclear, the police announced the following day that "deliberate arson is to be assumed".
On the night of Easter Sunday, thieves gained entry into the Église Saint-Joseph des Nations church in Paris. They escaped with the proceeds of the collection, two sacred vessels and a consecrated host. According to Aleteia, “the thieves took away the large chest containing the proceeds of Easter collections, three (empty) boxes and two ciboriums that they located by forcing the doors of the tabernacle. The hosts were found on the altar tablecloth, while the large host used for adoration was taken away by the vandals. The police are investigating.
On the night of Easter Sunday, April 4th, unknown perpetrators tagged the facade of the town parish church in Aichach with an insulting and stereotyping slogan. In the morning, the sacristan reported the damage to property to the police. The police are investigating.
In the days immediately before Easter, the parish of Saints Leo and Nicholas in the town of Scalo in the Gallo D'Oro area was targeted. During the night, unknown persons broke into the church through a smashed window and stole from the church interior only a few coins that were kept in the offertory. They also broke open a door and stole a loudspeaker. The police are investigating.
Three unknown, alcoholised young Muslim men have disturbed the Easter Vigil service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church "Zum Heiligen Geist" in Nidda, Central Hesse. According to the church congregation, they repeatedly attacked worshippers (especially children and teenagers) and shouted "There is only one God, and that is Allah" and "Allah is the greatest". The unknown perpetrators had already insulted some of the worshippers outside the church and even filmed them. The perpetrators were asked to leave numerous times, also because they did not wear masks but refused to do so. The State Security Service has started an investigation for disturbing the exercise of religion.
On the 2nd of April posters explicitly attacking the Catholic Church and mocking the holy cross were hung on the door of the Polish House in Bydgoszcz. The Catholic House in Bydgoszcz, also called the Polish House, is a historic public building used as a place of activity by Catholic organisations and associations in Bydgoszcz. The unknown perpetrators also left the blasphemous inscription: "The secret of faith - cars and dollars". The holy cross, The incident was reported by the church authorities to the city police.
On charges of violating COVID-19 rules, police in the UK have interrupted up a Good Friday service celebrated at the Roman Catholic Christ the King Church in London. Police also threatened to fine each person sitting in the pews $280. According to the British Independent newspaper, churches are allowed to hold services during the lockdown in England with no limit on the number of parishioners as long as the congregation adheres to social distancing and wears masks. The church rejected the police claims, saying in a statement, "We believe, however, that the police brutally exceeded their powers by issuing their warrant for no good reason, as all government requirements were met."
A statue of the Virgin Mary of historical value has been destroyed at the Holy Spirit Church in Koszalin in Poland on 1 April. The statue was of exceptional value since it was given to the Parish by a survivor of the Dachau concentration camp and was seen as a shrine of memorial for the ones who did not survive the camp. The chapel in which the statue was standing was also vandalised. Police are investigating.
Far-left groups in Poland are proud to show themselves profaning the Church of the Holy Saviour in the centre of Warsaw on social media. Local anarchists lit flares in front of the entrance to the temple and hung a banner with vulgar inscription on the scaffolding. The assault took place on the afternoon of March 31st. The far-left in Poland seems to enjoys an impunity. This is evidenced by the minimal reaction of the judiciary to the series of provocations, desecrations and attacks carried out against Catholic churches since October 2020. According to the TVP Info portal, the recent attack did not cause any material losses, and no one was physically harmed. Nevertheless, the series of incidents strongly accentuated the symbolic dimension of these acts.