On March 23rd, the municipal police received a report that gravestones had been damaged at the cemetery in Olsztyn. A total of 201 graves were vandalised. A few hours after the report, the police arrested a 38-year-old man. The man confessed the crime of insulting a gravesite in connection with damage to property.
On 23 March, the caretaker of the Catholic church in Clarens discovered broken glass and noticed that the piece of cartilage of the parish's patron saint, Saint Theresa of Lisieux, had been stolen from a statue. The chairman of the parish council says: "Materially, there's a bit of a market for relics, but I'm more inclined to think it was sacrilege." The police is investigating.
On March 22, the chapel of the Saint-Louis Hospital in La Rochelle got severely vandalised and desecrated. "When I knelt down at the altar to begin my prayer, I noticed that something was wrong," explained the chaplain. He noticed that the altar cloths were stained with a yellow liquid and that in front of one of the side chapels an imposing plaster statue of Christ was "pulverised". Matches and a cigarette butts that were found at the scene indicate that the perpetrators tried to set fire to the chapel. The police is investigating.
A Catholic priest in Ireland has been fined 500 Euros because he did not close the doors to his church while we was celebrating mass, so people would not be able join the church service. Due to government health measures, public religious services in the country have been suspended since 7 October 2020. In a parish newsletter, Father P.J. Hughes wrote: “Next Sunday marks the journey of Holy Week. It is hard to believe that for a second year people cannot come to take part in the ceremonies of Holy Week. Despite the size of the church and the holy place that it is because of the presence of Jesus in the Holy Tabernacle, the church has been deemed a hot spot for the spread of the virus by the gardaí.”
During the night of March 20th, unknown perpetrators smashed a window of the Church of Santa Maria della Speranza in Catanzaro by throwing stones against it. According to Mayor Sergio Abraham, the vandalism "strikes directly at the heart of the neighbourhood church, which is a landmark for all residents". The police is investigating.
Unknown persons destroyed windows at the Sacred Heart Church in Singen probably on the weekend of 19-21 March. Since the windows are leaded glass windows, the destruction causes much more financial damage than normal windows. According to the church's pastor, the vandalism is not an isolated case, as the church has been the victim of repeated attacks recently. The police is investigating.
On march 20th, two perpetrators vandalised the interior of a small church in the Saint Isidore district, they also stole several consecrated objects. A few hours later the police arrested the perpetrators with the help of public video recordings. Another incident occurred in parallel at the Basilica of Notre Dame, the church where three Christians were killed by an Islamic Terrorist in October 2020. During this incident a perpetrator, who was later identified and arrested by the police, had praised the terrorist massacre during holy mass.
On 20 March, a rave party took place in the Armenian monastery of Sourp Magar in northern Cyprus, which was founded in the 11th century and has been empty since 1974. Although the rave party took place several weeks ago, it only became known this week through a video. The US Ambassador to Cyprus, Judith Garber, condemned the rave party: "The US Embassy strongly condemns the abuse of the Armenian Monastery of Saint Magar. Freedom of worship is a fundamental value and we join religious leaders in calling for all places of worship, whether in use or not, to be protected from abuse, vandalism and desecration."
An act of vandalism and property damage amounting to several thousand Euros, occurred at a church in Rheinstraße on 22 March. Unknown perpetrators broke into the unlocked place of worship and threw hymn books and brochures around. The church organ was also damaged. The police is investigating.
Unknown perpetrators rioted in St George's Church in Freistett and damaged the valuable organ. On 20 March, unknown persons entered the open church unnoticed and caused damage amounting to several thousand Euros. Individual church brochures, hymn books and pens were scattered on the floor, the lid from the baptismal font was placed on the altar, the permanent candles extinguished, electricity plugs pulled and the confirmation and baptism fish for good wishes torn. "The perpetrators have (also) wilfully damaged the organ," regretted the church's pastor. CCTV was now installed. The police are investigating.
During the night of March 19th, unknown persons attempted to set fire to the vestibule of the Protestant church in Glonn. According to the police, flyers and other informational leaflets were set on fire. The entrance door, a side table and a carpet were burnt, but the fire did not spread to the whole church. The caused property damage is estimated at about 2.500 Euros.
The wooden church in Titan, Bucharest was vandalised by a radical Left group during the night of March 18th. Volunteers from the congregation discovered the damage when they opened the church the next morning. The outside walls of the wooden church were tagged with inscriptions such as "BLM" and "Be Gay do crime", which also covered the icons. BLM is short for Black Lives Matter, the movement in the United States. According to spokesperson of the Romanian Patriarchate, Vasile Bănescus, the act is just the latest example in a long line of violent acts dictated and perpetuated by neo-Marxism.
Unknown perpetrators have vandalised the facade of the parish church in Kożuchów. A threatening slogan in Spanish was tagged on the wall "The only church that lights up is the one that burns". The perpetrators face a sentence of up to five years in prison for destroying property. The police is investigating.
On the evening of March 15th, unknown perpetrators broke into the Greek Orthodox Church of Gödöllő. The perpetrators then set fire to the pews and sprayed an icon with flammable material. Neighbours noticed the fire and immediately alerted the fire brigade. The parish priest described the vandalism as a clearly anti-Christian act and said that damage the vandals caused is estimated to be around 2.5 million HUF. The police is investigating.
On March 14th, unknown persons smashed a church window and knocked over a barrel of gravel in Bielefeld. Police officers were informed and found a broken window and an overturned barrel with gravel. According to current information, the window was broken with two beer bottles. The police is now looking for witnesses.
In the early hours of March 13th, vandals smeared gravestones at a cemetery in Cork. The perpetrators sprayed headstones at St Mary and St John Church in Ballincollig with grafitti. In addition, stones were moved and knocked over. Fianna Fáil councillor Colm Kelleher described the scenes at the cemetery as: "This is someone's family member and for their final resting place to be desecrated in a way like this, it is absolutely disgusting," he said. The police is investigating and confirmed to the Irish Examiner that no arrests have yet been made.
Police are investigating a startling case concerning the 1000-year-old Clonattin graveyard on the outskirts of Gorey. Various headstones were damaged and graffitied with spray paint by currently unknown perpetrators. The spray paint used is a blue paint commonly used to mark roads. Some of the vandalized headstones are important for the Town's history. The damage may be irreversible.
A group of LGBT activists is said to have graffitied a Churchwall insulting the Virgin Mary. The occurrence happened on 12 March, at the Franciscan Church at the Prešeren square in Ljubljana. The vandals accused God of raping the Virgin Mary. The Spokesperson of the Slovanian Episcopal Conference Dr Tadej Jakopič said in a statement that they do not tolerate any form of intolerance and defamation of churches and requested the authorities to investigate in that case and to take appropriate action.
On March 10th, a group of anti-capitalist feminists sprayed the church of St. Leu-Saint-Gilles in Paris with the following inscriptions: "Nik tout", "Macron in the middle", "Prisons in flames", "anti-capitalist feminists" or "eat my period on your bolo noodle". The anarchist symbol (a circled A) has also been spray-painted on the walls. The Federation of Young Catholics FIDE commented on their Twitter account: "We will never be silent in the face of the attack, the desecration." This case is one in a series of increased vandalistic attacks against churches and Christian buildings in France.
On 10 March, unknown perpetrators vandalised the cemetery of a church in Barnet, knocking over gravestones and breaking them apart. Now additional surveillance cameras are to be installed to deter future perpetrators. The police is investigating.
On the evening of March 9th, a masked vandal scrawled the words "won" and three sixes on the walls of the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Opole-Gosławice. The parish is asking for help in identifying the perpetrators and informs that it will hand the case over to the police.
MPs in Westminster Hall debated a petition calling for the criminalisation of "conversion therapy" in England and Wales on March 8th. The government has indicated that it considers "conversion therapy" to be extremism. Christians in the UK fear that the criminalisation could restrict religious freedom, which is why the Evangelical Alliance now wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, saying that the ban could "place church leaders at risk of prosecution" but also limit the freedom of people seeking pastoral advise in this matter. It is possible that the LGBT activists deliberately chose a small format in Westminster Hall to avoid opposition in parliament.
In reference to International Women's Day on 8 March, unknown perpetrators spray painted the main portal of the Catholic Church of St. Mary's Conception in Wuppertal, criticising the "patriarchal system" and the "unequal treatment of women". Some of the symbols used in the left-wing extremist scene are also found on house fronts and garages in the surroundings. Chaplain Tobias Menke of the Catholic parish community Wuppertaler Westen commented: "Since the wooden parts and fittings of our portal were also sprayed, the removal will be very costly." "This is quite massive damage to property." The police is investigating.
Last Friday, March 5th, unknown perpetrators vandalised a cemetery in Dryżykowa, Zawiercie. Decorative crosses from about 30 gravestones and images of Jesus Christ were stolen. According to the spokeswoman of the Zawiercie district police, they have received three reports of vandalism and theft so far. The police is investigating.
While supermarkets and hardware stores remained open under security measures during Easter, Christians in Ireland were unable to attend religious services for their biggest celebration, as churches, unlike public transport, were deemed dangerous. The restrictions on religious freedom adopted by the Irish government are those of the greatest magnitude compared to other European states. For violating the ban on worship or visiting churches, believers can be fined or imprisoned for up to six months. ADF International has now challenged the worship ban in court, following a successful challenge to a similar ban in Scotland.
On the evening of March 2nd, a group of youths attempted to break into the church and desecrate the shrine of Our Lady of Myślenice. After failing to do so, they began vandalising the area around the shrine and damaging the epitaph on the façade with a bottle, which was recorded by CCTV cameras. The spokesman for the Krakow Curia, Father Łukasz Michalczewski, explained that the attack was not random, as the perpetrators recorded the incident with a mobile phone. The case is being investigated by the police.
On the night of March 3rd, St Elisabeth's Church in Berlin-Schöneberg was attacked with paint for the third time by pro-choice activists. The perpetrators sprayed slogans with "My body, My choice" on the church walls to the right and left of the main portal. Although the perpetrators are not yet known, the attack is in line with two very similar attacks last year, after which there were letters of confession from a left-wing extremist pro-choice group. For this reason it is assumed that the same group is responsible for the crime occurring this year. The damage amounts to about 4000€, which the parish has to pay for itself. The police is investigating.
On the morning of March 1st, the Church of Sant'Agostino in Corleone was attacked by unknown vandals. The perpetrators set fire to the entrance door of the church. The fire brigade immediately intervened and extinguished the fire to prevent greater damage to the 15th century church. The police is investigating.
Unknown perpetrators stole two monstrances and a paten from the parish church of St. Konrad and Elisabeth in Freiburg during the night of February 26th. According to the police, the perpetrators broke open the outer door and got inside the church, where three religious objects, two valuable monstrances and a gold-plated paten, were stolen. The damage caused by the theft amounts to about 7,000 euros. According to Father Frank Prestel, the theft of the monstrances and the paten had damaged "the heart of the Eucharist" and the crime was part of a series of recent burglaries in churches in the area. The police is investigating.
Recent figures show that Catholics are the most common victims of religious prejudice and hate crime in Scotland. 42% of religiously motivated hate crimes are perpetrated against Catholics, compared to 26% against Muslims and 10% against Protestants. In contrast, Scottish Government figures show that racially-motivated hate crimes have fallen by 20% between 2014-15 and 2019-20. At the same time, the hate crime rate against transgender persons doubled in number. Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie expressed that hate crime is an "under-reported offence", which means that victims "can be targeted on numerous occasions before they report to our officers".
On February 26th, three youths vandalised the Church of Our Lady of Fatima in Aranova. The three perpetrators entered the church, set fire to the canopy and damaged the lectern. Local politicians described this as a very serious act that desecrated a sacred place of great value for all people who profess the Catholic faith and all those who believe in freedom of worship.
The Spanish authorities still maintain severe restrictions on public meetings and also religious services. In late February it was officially announced that public marches with up to 500 participants will be allowed on the International Women's Day, March 8th, which was demanded by feminist groups. At the same time, restrictions have already been announced for Holy Week celebrations and other church-related festivals, on the grounds that Holy Week processions are riskier than Women's Day marches. Fr Francisco José Delgado criticised the official decisions, saying that they were not primarily a matter of health policy: "The Ministry of Health advises against these marches, showing this is more about the political confrontation between the political parties in the government than from a real concern for the health of the people, which has been missing in the decisions that have been made since the pandemic started".
Richard Page, NHS director and judge, has lost his appeal after being dismissed and now wants to take his case to the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal had ruled last Friday that his dismissals were lawful after Page said in a television interview in 2016 that children grow up best with a mother and a father. At the time, Page, who is now 74 and from Kent, was presiding over an adoption case and said he was discriminated against because of his Christian beliefs on parenthood. Since then, he has been fighting decisions to remove him from his positions and is supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC).
"Buffer zones" around abortion clinics are to be introduced in Edinburgh to prohibit pro-life activists from standing and praying around the clinics. The buffer zones are initiated by a campaign of university students called "Back off Scotland", who got supported by the city council's policy committee. The campaign group repeatedly called for 150-meter "no protest zones" outside the entrance to Chalmers Street Sexual Health Centre after a survey showed that pro-life protests outside the clinic made the majority of women feel uncomfortable. The pro-life activists say their aim is to support women to make a different choice and the wrong allegations towards them are neither supported by Police Scotland, NHS Lothian nor the council itself.
The chapel of the former Jesuit college Saint-Joseph in Lille, which dates back to the 19th century but was not classified as a historical monument, was demolished on 24 February. Previously, the association 'Urgences Patrimoine' had appealed against the decision before the Lille Administrative Court, but was not successful. The chapel is part of a complex that is to be completely redesigned as part of a campus project led by Junia, a major engineering school and member of the university. It envisages 40,000 m2 of teaching space, including 22,000 new rooms and an investment of almost 128 million euros. As part of this, the chapel, which is desanctified, had to be demolished.
After criticising the Irish government's plans to legalise euthanasia, Twitter has banned the Irish bishop Kevin Doran on February 20th. In his tweet, he spoke out about the Christian dignity in dying, paradoxically Twitter argues "he violated their rules by promoting (..) suicide or self-harm" because the tweet mentioned the term "Assisted Suicide" in it, which he opposes. According to writer David Quinn, Twitter has turned the bishop down on appeal.
Three years after the publication of the bestselling book "When Harry became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment" by Dr Ryan T. Anderson, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) in Washington, Amazon removed the book on gender ideology from its online store on February 20th. The book gives an accurate and accessible account of the scientific, medical, philosophical and legal debates surrounding the transgender phenomenon. Amazon has not notified the author or the publisher that the book has been removed, nor have Amazon representatives responded to any of their enquiries.
During the night of February 19th, unknown perpetrators sprayed red paint on the doors and walls of the historic St Augustine's Church in Wola, Warsaw. After the police started an investigation in which they also released a video showing the suspect, the police arrested two men in connection with the case.
In March 2019, Christian West End actress, Seyi Omooba, was removed from a leading role in a musical and dropped from her agency for a Facebook post about homosexuality citing the Bible over four years earlier. With representation by the Christian Legal Centre, she launched a legal challenge on September 30th against Leicester Curve Theatre and her agency, Global Artists, for breach of contract and anti-Christian discrimination.On November 25th, the judge rejected arguments from Seyi Omoobas lawyers that the theatre critic, Lloyd Evans should be allowed to give evidence in her claim. The trail of Omooba's religious discrimination and breach of contract claim is scheduled to run for 11 days next February. After the last ruling of the court she was offered a compensation which she reclined arguing that it was disproportional. In its latest decision the court ruled against the actress.
In February, Facebook permanently deleted the page of Core Issues Trust (CIT) on the grounds that the charity is in breach of its community standards. Since June 2020, LGBT activists have viciously attacked the site and refused to recognise people who previously identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. During this time, Facebook did not respond to the attacks against CIT and its employees, even though their personal safety was at risk. Now Dr. Mike Davidson, CEO of CIT, wrote a statement on the case in which he makes clear to continue to platform "the voices of those who with free conscience express the transformation they experience and the Christian convictions that are important to them and protected by Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights".
During the night of February 17th, unknown perpetrators destroyed the statue of the Virgin Mary in the parish of the first Martyrs of Poland, Czestochowa. The statue which represents the Virgin Mary had its hands cut off and the surrounding area vandalised, flowers and candles were scattered. According to the parish priest, Father Jasionek, the incident was not reported to the police: "I did not report it to the police because I think it is not a material loss but a moral loss and the police will not help us in this matter."
On February 17th, three unknown young men tried so set fire to the Madonna delle Grazie church in Piedimonte Matese. The young men were supposedly noticed by a resident who immediately alerted the police. However, the vandals managed to escape. The case is being investigated by the police.
On February 16th unknown perpetrators attacked a catholic church in Sligo with red graffiti. The incident occurred after politician Tánaiste Leo Varadkar appeared on the Irish RTE programme "Prime Time" in which he claimed that dead babies were buried in a tank in Tuam. Varadkar referred to the mother and child home in Tuam that was run by the church and were it was recently discovered that mothers and babies have been severely abused and even a mass grave for babies were found. Sligo is about a 50-minute drive from Tuam. According to the Irish government, there is no evidence that babies are buried in a tank in Tuam. So far it is not known whether the two cases are related.
On February 17th, the police invaded the New Life Full Gospel Church in the Belarusian capital Minsk. The operation was recorded on video by members of the parish, and there is also footage from the security cameras. Pastor Vyacheslav Goncharenko had not allowed the police and court officials to enter, so the police broke the locks forcefully. The city administration of Minsk, after the church's territory was annexed by the city of Minsk, had already issued an eviction order for 31th December, which the parish apparently did not comply with. The leaders of the Full Gospel Union, the Union of Baptists and the Pentecostal Association of Churches in Belarus defended the New Life Church in a joint statement on the 19th of February.
On the 2nd of February, the police in Poznan was called to a case of vandalism. The front doors to the Church of the Resurrection in the Wilda district was spray painted with anarchic symbols and threats. An unknown perpetrator wrote the vulgar slogan "Kler to hell" in white paint on the church door. The police is investigating.
During night of February 14th, unknown perpetrators wreaked devastation on the parish cemetry complex of St. Barbara's Church in Warsaw. Ten inverted crosses were painted on the church doors, pillars and memorial plaques on the church walls. Among other things, memorial plaques of Warsaw insurgents and former parish priests were vandalised. The police is investigating.
Vandals desecrated a Church in Rožnik with the picture of the Minister of defence Matej Tonin. The incident was reported to local authorities on 13 February 2021. Tonin describes the incident as a hate crime against Christians. The police are still investigating.
For being pro-life, almost one of four students have been "threatened, abused, alarmed or distressed" at their university. According to a survey by the national student pro-life group, the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS), nearly three quarters of pro-life students have been confronted with situations in seminars where they experienced a restriction in freedom of expression. APS Executive Director Madeline Page said: “These statistics are alarming, yet confirm what we already know – pro-life students are being marginalised and silenced at universities. Institutional policies which refuse to allow certain topics to be discussed don’t just damage free speech – they destroy a culture of tolerance and respect on campus, ruining the chance for all students to engage with people of diverse opinions and understandings."
In late January and early February, more than 10 residents of Rybna, Poland complained about the vandalization of crosses and grave monuments of their relatives. Several people found gravestones with broken and stolen crosses and figures of Christ that were torn off crosses and thrown away nearby. People started intervening and reported the matter to the municipality. It was later discovered that the damage was not reported to the police, because according to the municipality, they did not have a report on the matter.
In the beginning of February, police officers from Zgorzelec arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of destroying windows and a stained glass window in one of the churches in the district. Another act of vandalism of a church took place in the Wołów district. The perpetrator painted symbols on the walls of the church and on the front of the cross at the main gate, offensive to religious feelings . As a result of the investigation, police officers arrested a 22-year-old resident of the district.