All cases

Three Teenagers Shout Blasphemies During Mass in Sorso

September 12, 2021, Italy

Three times in a row, three teenagers entered St.Pantaleon's church during mass was taking place and started shouting blasphemies. After the incident, they just left rapidly. Residents and church parishioners have been asking for more control due to the rise of acts of vandalism. The police seem to ignore the requests.

New Study in Ireland Reveals: Catholic Students Are most Affected by Bullying

September 2, 2021, Ireland

A recent study by the "National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre" of the University of Dublin proves that Christian students are particularly affected by intolerance and discrimination in secondary schools. The report is based on 214 interviews with religious education teachers from each of Ireland's secondary schools. Half of the surveyed schools recognised bullying because of a students faith as a problem. Teachers expressed their concern about negative stereotyping and exclusion of students with strong beliefs or unpopular opinions. According to the responses in the study, Christians and particularly Catholics have been targeted the most. One teacher noted: "It is now socially accepted in Ireland that Catholics are insulted or belittled."

Priest Discovers Arson in German Church in Essen

August 30, 2021, Germany

The priest of the Catholic Church of St. Peter and Laurentiusin Essen found the remains of an arson on 30 August. The unknown vandals sprayed disinfectant alcohol on a pile of papers to create a fire, damaging two benches and the floor. The case was reported to the police, which is looking for the suspects.

Nottingham University Refuses to Instal Catholic Priest as new Chaplain because of His Catholic Views

August 27, 2021, United Kingdom

Nottingham University confirmed on 25 August, that they had declined to install Father David Palmer, a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our lady of Walsingham, because of "the manner" he commented on his social media site, a university spokesperson said. Palmer was supposed to become the chaplain of both Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University. While the latter instaled him the former invited Father Palmer to an interview in which he defended his posts about assisted suicide and abortion to go against the Catholic belief. After Bishop Patrick McKinney declined to propose another priest the University accepted to allow Father Palmer to celebrate mass as a "guest Priest".

Church Vandalised and Set on Fire in Behren-lès-Forbach

August 27, 2021, France

On 27 August unknown perpetrators set fire to the protestant church in Behren-lès-Forbach. The fire was started with rubbish and sacred objects found inside the church. Although the fire brigade managed to intervene quickly and got the fire under control promptly, it caused extensive damage, especially in the church's basement. The parish filed a complaint with the local police, who are currently investigating and looking for the perpetrators. Fortunately, no people were harmed, as the fire started outside of church service hours. Behrens Minister of Interior, Gérald Darmanin, as well as parishioners, condemned the incident.

Harvard University Elects Atheist as President of Chaplains

August 27, 2021, United States

The new unanimously elected president of the Harvard's organisation of Chaplains, Greg Epstein, is an atheist and humanist. He is also the author of a book called "Good Without God: What Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe" and he has served as a humanist Chaplain since 2005. Epstein says that he doesn't look towards God for answers, instead to personal relationships, sharing the idea that the value of religion relies on their strong community rather than the spiritual connection to God. Evangelical Chaplain Pete Williamson, who voted for Epstein, points out that even if the new president is not aiming to promote Atheism and promotes interfaith cooperation, the media has used a divisive tone that triggered outrage and worry among Christians. Bishop Robert Barron thinks differently as he says: “If a professed atheist counts as a chaplain — which is to say, a leader of religious services in a chapel — then ‘religion’ has quite obviously come to mean nothing at all.”

Doctor Appeals Court Decision

August 26, 2021, United Kingdom

In 2018 Christian A&E doctor David Mackereth was fired from his position because of his deeply held belief that God created humankind male and female. An employment tribunal consequently ruled that Davids belief is not 'worthy of respect in a democratic society' and that the Christian belief is 'incompatible with human dignity'. Supported by the Christian Legal Centre Dr David Mackereth is now appealing the ruling, which legally states that Christians could be discriminated against, as their belief is not protected by the Equality Act. The first hearing is expected to start this autumn, probably in October.

Theft of Sacrilegious Objects in San Felice Church

August 26, 2021, Italy

Unknown perpetrators stole offerings and gold objects such as rings and a golden necklace from the San Felice di Tenna parish church in Tramonti. The incident is said to have happened sometime overnight from 25 to 26 August. The culprits must have known that parish priest Father Justin Nnamdi Emeziem left the town to attend a summer camp. Apart from the stolen offerings and a broken offertory box, the military and the police found a damaged statue of the Virgin Mary and gold objects belonging to the statue missing. Police in cooperation with the military is investigating the incident, which was caught by nearby surveillance cameras. An exact amount of the stolen goods has yet to be determined.

Desecration of Graveyard in Zielona Gora

August 26, 2021, Poland

A cemetery in Zielona Gora has been desecrated by unknown perpetrators. The destroyed graves belonged to the family of Mariusz Michalski and his wife Małgorzata. They reported the incident to the local police on 22 August. Police found the gravestone overturned broken in four and scattered. As they haven't been to the cemetery for almost a month they do not know when it happened, but the family asked the locals for help. This is not the first case of vandalism in the Zielona Góra cemetery. It keeps happening over and over again, police are currently looking into CCTV while awaiting useful information from the public

Multiple Thefts from Cemetery in Vivonne

August 25, 2021, France

The municipality of Vivonne has now recruited a guard for their new local cemetery as it had been subjected to various acts of theft and vandalism. The latest incident happened on 25 August where an unknown perpetrator stole flowers from various graves. As the police were informed they asked the public to put GPS chips in their flower pots, as this had helped to capture a flower thieve in a prior case. According to Vivonne's major the public is traumatized by these repeated acts of disrespect to the dead.

Catholic Television Channel Slammed for Airing Pro-Life Film

August 25, 2021, France

French TV channel C8 aired the American film "Unplanned" on 16 August. After airing the fact-base-movie members of the public, as well as high ranking members of the Government, called the movie a "despicable anti-abortion propaganda tool". C8, which is owned by Catholic French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, is now accused of "obstruction to abortion". Politician Élisabeth Moreno is now aiming to legally prosecute the broadcasting service.

Government Protects Collective Worship in British Schools

August 25, 2021, United Kingdom

UK's Minister for the School System, Baroness Berridge, took a clear position regarding collective worship in state-funded schools in England and Wales. Her statement came as a response to the National Secular Society (NSS), who asked the Government in a letter to repeal the law regarding the daily act of collective worship in schools earlier this year. In their statement, they asked to replace collective worship with secular worship, Berridge referred in her statement to the School Standards and Framework Act from 1998, which declares that state-funded schools in England and Wales must conduct acts of collective worship "wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character". Nick Gibb, the Minister for School Standards stated in March that "the department would remind schools of their duties if needed".

Church and Organ Vandalised in Beaucamps-le-Vieux

August 23, 2021, France

Unknown perpetrators ransacked the church of Beaucamps-le-Vieux on the night of 23 August. They are said to have ripped out the pipes of the church organ and thrown church clothes all over the place. Parish priest Father Daleb Mpassi discovered the heinous act. During the act, a wooden part of the organ pipe got damaged when the culprit(s) twisted and crushed the pipes. According to police, the culprit(s) waited to be locked in the church to commit these crimes as no door was forced open. Father Mpassi filed a complaint with the police, who are currently investigating.

Historical Church Windows in Cambrai Vandalised

August 23, 2021, France

Police in Cambrai has been called the crime scene where unknown perpetrators damaged a century-old stained glass from the Cambrai Cathedral. The incident happened on 23 August and was reported by the archdiocese. Unknown perpetrators are said to have thrown stones through the stained glass that survived both world wars, as it was built by the end of the 19th century. An investigation is already underway.

New School Guidance on "Supporting Transgender Young People" in Scotland Violates Human Rights and Is Ideologically Infused, Say Critics

August 21, 2021, United Kingdom

Scottish feminists groups and lawyers are siding with the Christian Institute who consider the new guidance introduced by the government as highly questionable and being promoting a dangerous ideology. The document states that some children "are exploring their gender identity in primary school settings", and that they can come out as transgender "at any age". It reads: “If a young person in the school says that they now want to live as a boy although their sex assigned at birth was female, or they now want to live as a girl, although their sex assigned at birth was male, it is important to provide support and listen to what they are saying.”Marion Calder, from For Women Scotland described the new guidance as "really, really worrying". Leading Human Rights Lawyer Aidan O'Neill criticised that this move goes against human rights laws and is additionally a threat to parental rights. The Government has now backtracked from their plans as the Christian Institute threatened them with legal action.

Christian Preacher Arrested for Reading the Bible out Loud in London

August 20, 2021, United Kingdom

“Be careful with what you say in future when reading outside”, this was the response a Christian street preacher received one month after he was questioned by the police for reading the Bible aloud in a calm voice and steady tone outside a railway station in London. During his interview, the police tried to determine whether the man's reading was "abusive" and harassing under the public order act. Organisations aiming to protect freedom of speech are concerned about peoples right to freely express themselves in public as the Public Space Protection Orders can easily censor and therefore criminalise normal people on the streets. Changes to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill are expected in September.

Church in Gieres Desecrated with Satanistic Graffiti

August 19, 2021, France

The church of Saint Martin de Gières located east of Grenoble was desecrated on 16 August. Unknown perpetrators smeared satanistic tags on the church. The profanation stated that "God is a fraud", "Satan is great" and that "The only Church that illuminates is the one that burns". The tags were one metre high and sixty wide and paint in black. The police were informed and are investigating the case.

Statue of Virgin Mary Desecrated in Plouay

August 19, 2021, France

The shrine of Lourdes in Plouay was vandalized by unknown perpetrators. They have decapitated the statue of the Virgin Mary, sometime overnight from 16 August to 17 August. Built in 1955, the Shrine was a remembrance of the miraculous healing in Lourdes of Marie-Félicité Le Goaller. Another statue was spared, it was the statue of Saint Bernadette. This was not the first vandalistic attack against the site. The police were informed and are investigating.

Man Enters Cathedral with Knives and Threatens Guard in Bourges

August 19, 2021, France

A 39-year-old man tried to enter the cathedral of Bourges armed with secateurs, a penknife and a butcher knife. He is said to have threatened a guard but luckily didn't injure anyone. The incident occurred on 19 August, the police were informed in time who managed to apprehend the homeless man. He is in custody and will have to respond for threatening the guard, insulting police officers and carrying prohibited weapons. Police are investigating and ruled out that the incident was a terror attack6667zzz.

Multiple Thefts in Church in Katowice

August 18, 2021, Poland

An unknown suspect stole a currently unknown amount of money from two churches in Katowice. Upon his return to one of the churches, he was confronted by the parish priest and a parish employee resulting in them being attacked with a spray bottle of gas. The 50-year-old was caught on CCTV and is now being searched for by the police who was informed by the parish personnel.

Church desecrated in Langeac

August 18, 2021, France

Unknown perpetrators desecrated a church in the Haute Loire region. Apart from finding excrements in the church, the vandals knocked down the altar and threw the objects on it through the collegiate church of Saint Gal in Langeac. The incident happened on 12 August and the police are suspecting more than one culprit. A complaint was filed and the police are investigating.

Police Apprehend Suspect of Church Vandalism

August 17, 2021, France

A man was arrested after urinating in the Sacred Heart Church in Agen. The arrest took place on August 15 after the man unknowingly set off an alarm while entering the church. Police arrived shortly after and apprehended the man who was irritated by what was happening. He is said to have confessed.

Notre Dame de Lourdes in Roly Vandalised Again

August 16, 2021, Belgium

Unknown perpetrators vandalised the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Roly. During the act, a crucifix broke. The incident itself dates back to August 16 and is not the first act of vandalism in the region. In the past two years, the shrine has fallen victim to vandalism several times. In order to maintain the shrine it was decided to install cameras. The police were informed and are investigating.

Statue of Father Eternal Vandalized in Trégastel

August 16, 2021, France

A statue of Father Eternal in Trégastel has been desecrated. The incident happened during the night of 16 August. Unknown perpetrators are said to have painted unpleasant tags onto the 152-year-old statue. Police have been informed and are currently trying to identify the culprit(s).

Church Desecrated in Langeac

August 15, 2021, France

Unknown perpetrator(s) desecrated the church of Saint-Gal in Langeac. The damage was reported on 12 August. They are said to have broken into the church and overturned the altar of celebrations and the objects placed on it. In addition, the police found excrements near the entrance to the place of worship. The police are currently investigating and looking for the culprit.

Statur of the Virgin Mary Desecrated in Massafra

August 14, 2021, Italy

A statue of the Virgin Mary was destroyed in Massafra. The incident happened sometime overnight from 13 to 14 of August. A Madonna from Medjugorje, as the statue is also known, was placed outside the Sacro Cuore Church. Massafra's community, as well as parish priest Don Michele Bianco, were shocked by the incident. The latter also informed the police about the incident. According to reports, the police is evaluating video surveillance, which shows two rather young people committing the act.

Desecration of Church Garden in Monfalcone

August 14, 2021, Italy

On 9 August, currently unknown perpetrators vandalised the garden of the church in Monfalcone. The incident was reported by the San Giuseppe association, which manages the oratory. Their president, Luca Waldner, explained the necessity of keeping the garden closed until the reparation work is completed. According to Waldner, this is just one of many vandalism acts targetting the church and its premises. Police have been informed and are currently investigating.

Street Preacher Arrested for Alleged Hate Speech

August 14, 2021, United Kingdom

Street preacher Ryan Williamson from Loughbrickland was arrested for alleged hate speech, while preaching in Larne on 10 August. Subsequently, MP Mr. Wilson expressed on social media that “police probably didn’t handle this very well”, for there is video footage of Williamson preaching and his arrest circulating on social media. Williamson was released 30 minutes later. However, the police are being harshly criticised. Williams stated to have received much support from the local community.

Vandalism and Theft at Church in Laskowa

August 13, 2021, Poland

Unknown perpetrators vandalised the church of the Most Holy Name of Mary in Laskowa. The incident is said to have happened sometime overnight from 11 to 12 August. It has been reported that the culprit vandalised the church and stole money and parts of the church's furniture. Damage has been estimated to be 2,200 Euros. Police were informed and are currently looking for the perpetrator.

Police Recovers Safe Stolen from Church in Lüdenscheid

August 13, 2021, Germany

In the night from 18 to 19 July, an unknown person stole a safe from the church "Queen Mary" in Lüdenscheid. In the latest event, the police managed to find the safe, which was discovered by a passer-by in a near park. The police are now looking for any possible eyewitnesses. The 200-kilos heavy piece will be returned to the church after the investigation comes to an end.

Repeated Arson Attacks against Church in Déols

August 13, 2021, France

Arsonists once again attacked a church in Déols near Châteauroux. The church was deliberately set on fire in the past already, one recent case dates back to August 8, 2021, in which the altarpiece was destroyed by the fire. In the year 2020, the church has also been subjected to arson, leading the clergy to close the church for reparation works. Police are investigating.

Swastikas Tagged on Church in Hénon

August 13, 2021, France

On 12 August, unknown perpetrators desecrated the church of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul in Hénon with swastikas. The damage was discovered by the sexton, who came to close the church's door. According to the report made, the vandals also damaged the porch of the building. Police have been informed.

Graveyards desecrated in Redessan

August 13, 2021, France

During the night of 13 August, unknown perpetrators vandalised the cemetery of Redessan. The cemetery is located on the road to Saint Gervasy. It was reported that a cross was broken, plaques were smashed and flower pots were thrown over. A complaint was filled with the police who are investigating the case.

Parish Priest in Vienna Locks Thieve in

August 12, 2021, Austria

A priest in Vienna simply locked up an offertory thief in his church. The priest had kept an eye on the suspicious 39-year-old male of Romanian descent, who has allegedly been stealing money from the offertory since July 2021. When he returned on August 10, 2021, the parish priest observed the man's actions through video surveillance and simply locked him up, while he stole again. Without further ado, he informed the police about the thieve. Police are currently investigating the case.

Toddlers Allowed to Change Gender without Parental Consent

August 12, 2021, United Kingdom

Under the new LGBT inclusivity guidelines, children as young as four will be able to change their names and gender at school, without their parents' consent. A 70-pages document authorized by the Scottish government, dictate teachers to ask pupils for their new names and pronouns instead of questioning their 'decision' to transition to living as the other gender. Campaigners fear for the safeguarding of children and the breach of parental rights to protect their children. Scottish lawyer Aiden O'Neill fears that this move could be very illegal and potentially dangerous.

Armin Laschet Publicly Mocked for His Believes, Experts Concerned for Religious Freedom

August 12, 2021, Germany

Armin Laschet, the CDU's candidate for the next federal elections, has been attacked in an anti-Catholic video shown at a political election event in early August. In the video, Laschet is seen as a Russian Matryoshka doll that 'hides' several other dolls inside. A voiceover says "whoever votes for Armin Laschet and the CDU, votes for ultra-Catholic Laschet confidants for whom sex before marriage is taboo". Bishops and politicians fear for a wider erosion of freedom of religion in an increasingly secular Europe.

Sacred Hosts Stolen from Church in Houyet

August 12, 2021, Belgium

A thieve stole an 18th-century silver ciborium and consecrated hosts from a church in Houyet. The police have been informed and are now looking for the perpetrator. It is said that the incident took place on 12 August.

Accused Finish MP Päivi Räsänen Concerned over Religious Freedom of Christians in Europe

August 11, 2021, Finland

In 2004 MP Päivi Räsänen co-authored a church pamphlet about human sexuality for which she is additionally prosecuted on the grounds of ethnic aggravation . The other charges raised against her are based upon a TV interview and a social media post she made. If she is found guilty on all three counts she might be facing a prison sentence of up to six years. During a podcast with Jeff King, she told him that her case raises questions about religious freedom in Finland. "If, for example, any of the viewpoints contained in the Bible would be considered sufficient as such to fulfil the criteria for the crime of ethnic aggravation, then the distribution of the Bible, or rendering it available would in principle be considered a crime of ethnic aggravation and thus punishable", she cited a police report on her case. Talking to King she further stated: "This is also a question, are we allowed to agree with the Bible? Are we allowed to keep Bibles in public and teach what the Bible tells us? I think this is a very, very deep question of freedom of faith and religion." 

Church in Remigny Vandalised

August 11, 2021, France

On the 7th July, the church in Remigny has been attacked again only a couple of days of it re-opening. Unknown perpetrators broke two stained glass windows in the historical church. A complaint has been filed and police are currently searching for the perpetrators.

Police Apprehended Vandals of Cemetery

August 11, 2021, France

Police arrested two brothers at the age of ten who are said to have desecrated 18 graves in the communal cemetery of Ham-les-Moines. The incident happened on 31 July, however, the police only managed to arrest them in August. It was reported that the police caught them as they were trying to desecrate another graveyard. They were handed over to their parents, who might have to pay for the damage their children made.

Another Act of Vandalism in the Church of Lubliniec

August 10, 2021, Poland

An unknown perpetrator has knocked over the candles and the candlestick in the Saint Nicholas' Church in Lubliniec. The incident took place on the morning of August 7, 2021. It was reported by a churchgoer who noticed the broken votive chandelier. Police are investigating.

Polish Police Apprehend Man who Desecrated Church in Lubliniec

August 10, 2021, Poland

The Police arrested a 39-year-old male, resident of Lubliniec. The man was apprehended on 9 August and is accused of having knocked over and broken a votive candle holder in the Saint Nicholas Church in the city centre. According to a police spokesperson the man admitted to the accusations raised against him. He was charged with the crime and is now facing a punishment of up to five years of imprisonment.

Stolen Crucifix of Church in Vada Recovered

August 10, 2021, Italy

A stolen crucifix from the church in Vada was recovered and brought back to its place. The small sacred object was stolen from the altar of the parish of San Leopoldo for unknown reasons. A passerby spotted the gold-plated object in a bush, not far from the parish. Police were informed and the crucifix has now returned to its former place. However, the investigation to find the culprit is still ongoing.

Statue of the Virgin Mary in Tramoyes Desecrated with Degrading Drawings

August 10, 2021, France

Unknown perpetrators desecrated the statue of the Virgin Mary in Tramoyes. It is reported that the face of the Virgin was painted with a felt-tip pen, the incident occurred on 10 August. The culprit drew glasses and a moustache onto the statue, which is located near a church. A complaint was filed and the police were notified.

Catholic Priest Brutally Murdered in France

August 9, 2021, France

60-year-old priest, Olivier Maire, was murdered on 9 August. The alleged murderer is 40-year-old Emmanuel Abayisenga, who is currently under judicial supervision for the alleged burning of the Nantes Cathedral in July 2020. He is said to have turned himself in, to the police after the crime. The crime took place in Mortagne-sur-Sèvre, which is about 60 kilometres from Nantes.

Female Street Preacher Wins Legal Challenge

August 9, 2021, United Kingdom

Christian street preacher Hazel Lewis, 49, won her legal case after being accused of hate crimes and being falsely arrested by the local police. On 12 February 2020, the preacher was arrested for allegedly making homophobic and racist comments and was held in custody for several hours. Although Lewis provided audio evidence proving her innocence, the police went on to charge her for the accusations made against her. In court Judge Julia Newton ruled in favour of Lewis stating there is "no case to answer".

Update: Police Questioned Man Who Killed Priest in Saint-Laurent sur Sèvre

August 9, 2021, France

Police are questioning the alleged murderer of 61-year-old French priest Father Olivier Maire. 40-year-old Rwandan immigrant, Emmanuel Abayisenga, claimed to have killed the 61-year-old priest, who took him in and sheltered him, for currently unknown reasons. The incident happened on 9 August in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre. Abayisenga was on bail as he was awaiting his trial for the alleged burning of the Cathedral of Nante in 2020.

Pope Received Threatening Letter Containing Bullets

August 9, 2021, Italy

Italian law enforcement is investigating a suspicious envelope addressed to Pope Francis. The letter that contained three bullets, was discovered by postal employees at a mail sorting facility near Milan on 9 August. According to a paramilitary police spokesperson, the envelope had been sent from France and was addressed by hand in pen to “The Pope, Vatican City, St Peter’s Square, Rome”. Apart from the bullets, which police presumes to be for a pistol, the letter contained a message referring to financial operation at the Vatican.

Update: Man Who Sent Letter with Bullets to Pope Francis Identified

August 9, 2021, Italy

Italian law enforcement managed to identify the source of the mysterious letter containing three 9 millimetre calibre bullets from the Flobert type, addressed to the Pontiff at the Holy See. The man's identity is said to be already known to the Vatican gendarmes, who are currently coordinating and evaluating the situation. Although identified, police are still working on the individual's whereabouts.

Police Apprehend Thieves after Repeated Thefts in Montebelluna Region

August 9, 2021, Italy

Police in Montebelluna caught the thieve who was stealing offerings from several churches. A 47-year-old male already known to the police, was charged with aggravated theft for stealing the offerings from different churches in the Montebelluna region. The thefts all happened over a time period of several months. The culprit was caught while leaving another church by a patrol of military officers on 5 August.

MP Calls for Save Zones around Abortion Clinics

August 9, 2021, Ireland

Stephen Donnelly is "fully committed" to introduce safe access zones at abortion-providing facilities, thereby censoring Pro-life groups. Donnelly's statement followed a publication from the Irish Department of Health, which stated the current public order legislation had abolished plans to deal with anti-abortion protests at clinics and GP surgeries. In 2018 Ireland liberalised legislation surrounding abortion. Christian organisations fear for the freedom of speech in Ireland.

Under Investigation: New Irish Conversation Therapie Bill Poses Problems for Therapists

August 9, 2021, Ireland

Irish therapists fear for the consequences their work could have in future. A proposal forwarded by Fintan Warfield seeks to amend gender dysphoria to the already existing law banning conversion therapy. His proposal seeks to criminalise “any practice or treatment by any person that seeks to change, suppress and/or eliminate a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression”. Therapists fear that this approach endangers the openness, efficacy and ethics of therapy in areas related with and to gender identity.

Church Vandalised in Casal Velino

August 7, 2021, Italy

Unknown perpetrators vandalised the church of San Matteo ad Duo Flumina in Casal Velino. The vandals damaged the altar, causing great sorrow among the community, who worked to maintain the spirit of the little church. According to the local press, the incident dates back to 7 August. A complaint has been filed by a member of the 'I Fedeli di San Matteo' association. The police obtained video surveillance and are currently investigating.

Hillsong Pastor Expresses 'Shock' about Sex Abuse Concealment Allegations

August 6, 2021, International

Lead pastor of the global multisite Hillsong Church, Brian Houston, is accused of concealing the sex abuse of his late father Frank Houston, who died in 2004. Australian police officials announced that they were charging the 67-year-old Houston with "concealing child sex offences". Houston expressed his surprise at the allegations raised against him, stating: "These charges have come as a shock to me given how transparent I’ve always been about this matter, I vehemently profess my innocence and will defend these charges, and I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight.”

Granite Cross Near Chapel of Pietat in Lamarque-Pontacq Vandalised

August 6, 2021, France

A cross made of granite with the purpose to surmount the tomb of a clergyman was broken near the chapel of Pietat in Lamarque-Pontacq. The damage was noticed and reported by a local farmer. The chapel of Pietat was built in the 16th century and is a Marian shrine. Masses are regularly performed in the chapel. Police are investigating.

Two Cemeteries Vandalized in Pau

August 6, 2021, France

Two cemeteries were desecrated in Pau. The two cemeteries are the urban cemetery and the Bessières cemetery. An 87-year-old resident noticed that objects are being taken from both cemeteries. The theft was reported to the police.

Update: Italian Homophobia Bill Divides Society and Stipulates Fear

August 6, 2021, Italy

The "Zan Bill" is still awaiting a decision from the senate. While it waits for a decision the public keeps to be deeply divided over the matter. Opposers of the bill fear that people holding a different view on lgbt+ issues could be penalised simply by publicly making a cross sign and therefore either face high fines or a prison sentence. The Bill has been approved in the lower house of the parliament in November 2020 but still needs to pass the Senate to become law. It aims to add amongst others sexual orientation and gender identity to the already existing law surrounding hate crimes and discrimination.

Christian Police Officer and Pastor loses Legal Challenge

August 6, 2021, United Kingdom

Former police officer, Winston Roderick, took legal action against his colleagues on grounds of religious discrimination. An employment tribunal under Judge Rhian Brace dismissed all of his claims on the grounds of Roderick, who is also a pastor, being too sensitive. According to Judge Brace, the comments were never made. Roderick also filed for two other cases, which were equally dismissed.

Update: Fire at Church in Marsala, Suspect Confessed

August 6, 2021, Italy

Italian Police apprehended 52-year-old Guiseppe Montalto, the prime suspect in the Marsala Church fire. Montalto allegedly set fire to the altar and the tabernacle of the church of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima. According to a police spokesperson, the suspect confessed to the crime stating "he was the author of the fire and that the insane gesture was the result of a rapture due to personal reasons". The police found that Montalto used a can of petrol to set fire to the church he and his wife frequented regularly. In addition, the police also found two bombs that would have caused devastating damage. He was charged with aggravated arson and is now awaiting his trial.

New Netflix Documentary Slams Christianity

August 6, 2021, International

Netflix's new documentary 'Pray Away' is filled with lies says, Jefferey McCall, a former Transwoman, who found freedom in Jesus. The documentary premiered on 3 August and focuses on the work of Exodus International, a US-based Christian organisation, which sought to “help people who wished to limit their homosexual desires” in the 1990s and early 2000s. It additionally portrays the experiences of people who went through conversion therapy lead by Exodus International. McCall, who is the founder of Freedom March, states that secular media is equating Christianity and his "freedom marches" with conversion therapy.

Hillsong Church Defamed by BBC Documentary

August 5, 2021, United Kingdom

In a recent statement published by the megachurch Hillsong, they accuse BBC of defaming and misrepresenting it. They state that Nick Aldridge the show maker of the documentary 'God Goes Viral' misled them from the very start. The show was supposed to cover how Hillsong grew from a family church to a megachurch frequented by celebrities and especially young people all around the globe. On their Website, they published a statement clarifying the misrepresentation and stating their position in relation to the false allegations raised in the documentary.

Evangelical Church in Marseille Severely Vandalised

August 5, 2021, France

The Vie et Lumière (Life and Light) evangelical church in Marseille, which is a member of the Evangelical Mission of the Romani of France, was recently vandalised. The church had placed a marquee on their rented space, which has been completely destroyed. A member of the community discovered the burned Bibles, the broken furniture and the broken marquee, which was lacerated with a cutter on the evening of August 4, 2021. That person also informed the police about the vandalism, who are currently investigating.

Church Vandal Caught by Police in Baranówek

August 5, 2021, Poland

Police apprehended a 36-year-old man who is the main suspect in a case of vandalism of a church in Baranówek. The man is thought to have painted offensive inscriptions on the wall of Christ the King Church in Baranówek. The incident dates back to early July. Police could point two other offences to the man who is now facing a prison charge of up to five years.

Update: Police Confirms Ansgarii Church Was Deliberately Set on Fire

August 5, 2021, Sweden

Swedish police confirmed the fire in the Ansgarii church was caused by arson. In course of theirs investigations, the police found petrol cans, which were used to start the fire. This is not the first church burned down in the local area. Residents and the local community are now urging the Swedish Government to better protect places of worship. The police are still looking for the perpetrator.

Clergy Personal Threatened with Death and the Basilica Robbed

August 5, 2021, France

On 3rd July 2021, the Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice witnessed a robbery attempt by a homeless man. He intended to steal a fifty kilo trunk and threatened the faithful as well as the priest with death. He shouted: "I'll come back and kill you all". In October 2020, the church has witnessed Islamic attack. A Tunisian migrant threated to slit the throats of three people in the church. He was sentenced to 17 months in prison for the attempted robbery and the threats.

Saint Mary Magdalene's Church in Caldecote Vandalized a Second Time Only a Week Later

August 4, 2021, United Kingdom

Less than a week after the Saint Mary Magdalene's Church in Caldecote suffered a thousand pound's worth of damage, it had been vandalised again. The Church, which had recently re-opened after several months of renovation had first been vandalised on 29 July, the second attack followed a couple of days later. Volunteers found several windows were broken and a door seemed to have been forced open. Police are investigating.

Update: Suspect in Desecration of Virgin Mary Statue to Face Charges

August 4, 2021, Poland

A 50-year-old woman is currently held as the main suspect in the case of desecration and vandalism of a Virgin Mary Statue in Poland. The woman is accused of having stolen a gold-plated crown from a statue in a church in Kościerzyna, Wielu, worth PLN 1,000 (€219). She was charged with theft and is now facing a prison sentence of up to five years. The incident happened on July 8, 2021. The 50-year-old pleaded guilty to the charges raised against her.

Sanctuary Set on Fire in Marsala

August 4, 2021, Italy

Unknown perpetrator set the sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Marsala on fire. The incident happened on 4 August, at around 5.30 p.m. Although the fire brigade prevented much damage, the church suffered partial damage to its altar, the gospel book and other furnishings. The police were informed and are now looking for the perpetrator, who was seen fleeing the scene.

Thieves Steal over €3.000 from Presbytery

August 4, 2021, France

Police arrested three suspects in a case of church theft. The three individuals are accused of breaking into the presbytery of the church of Ligueuil in Touraine on the 27 July. They are said to have searched the premises and escaped with €3.870 in cash. Parish priest Father Rémy Soubrier explained this is the third robbery of this kind.

School Teacher 'Sacked' from School after Stating Christian Views

August 3, 2021, United Kingdom

Joshua Sutcliffe, a maths teacher and a Christian pastor, was dismissed from his school in Oxford because he allegedly 'misgendered' a student. He is said to have said "well-done girls" to a group that included a student who identifies as a boy. In a legal challenge, Mr Sutcliffe claims the school has "systematically and maliciously" breached his rights which subsequently forced him to leave his job, for it had become impossible to continue the working relationship. The secondary school he worked in has not commented on the case.

Update: Suspect Caught for Setting Church Door on Fire

August 3, 2021, Italy

Police managed to apprehend a suspect in the case of arson at the Saint Andrew the Apostle Church. The individual identified is the same person who tried the set the church on fire in the previous year. According to parish priest Don Giuseppe the suspect has been committing acts of vandalism towards the church for some time now. Saint Andrew's community is collecting funds for the restoration of the church door.

Christian Missionary Arrested and Banned from Re-Entering Turkey to Return to his Family

August 3, 2021, Turkey

David Byle has lived in Turkey for 19 years and together with his wife Ulrike raised their five children there. The Christian minister has now been barred from re-entering the country because of his Christian faith. Supported by a legal team he is now taking the issue to the European Court of Human Rights. According to the Turkish government, Byle is a ‘threat to public order and security’ and has therefore been banned from the Country. The family is now residing in Germany until they are all permitted to return home.

Irish Government Once again Restricts Certain Church Services

August 3, 2021, Ireland

The Irish Government instructed the local parishes to hold communion and confirmation services this month. This newly imposed restriction came as a blow, as the churches were allowed to resume services only in May after a very long period of COVID-19 related restrictions. While five Bishops have now decided to defy the newly imposed restrictions, holding communion and confirmation services anyway, the reformist Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland has criticised the Bishops action.

Ansgarii Church in Vättersnäs Set on Fire

August 3, 2021, Sweden

An unknown perpetrator burned down the Ansgarii Church in Vättersnäs, Jönköping. The incident happened on 3 August, at around 2 a.m. when residents called the fire brigade. The Ansgarii Church belongs to the Swedish Ecumenical Uniting Church. There were no injuries reported. Police are investigating and treating the incident as a case of arson.

Church Door Set on Fire in Italy

August 2, 2021, Italy

The wooden door of the church of Saint Andrew the Apostle in Capodrise has been set on fire by an unknown perpetrator. The incident happened on the evening of 2 August. Thanks to the quick intervention of the local fire brigade the fire was brought under control and quickly put out. Police are investigating the scene and are looking for the perpetrator.

15 Graves Desecrated in Stains

August 2, 2021, France

15 graves were desecrated on the cemetery of Stains. The incident occurred on the night of 31 July to 1 August. The perpetrator(s) knocked over flowers, broke plaques, smashed vaults and broke open tombstones. A complaint was filed with the local police. In the past, the cemetery had been vandalised numerous times, but never to this extend says mayor Azzedine Taïbi.

Update: Suspect Appears in Court After Attacking Priest

August 1, 2021, United Kingdom

After attacking a priest with a glass bottle in the Saint Mary's Catholic Cathedral in Edinburg, the main suspect appeared in court. The male is accused of assaulting a priest who was praying in the Cathedral at the time of the incident. 31-year-old Jason Irvine has been treated as the main suspect in the case. He has been charged with two counts of assault and is held in custody while expecting a court hearing.

Desecration of Statue of the Virgin Mary in Church in Koscierzyna

July 30, 2021, Poland

A statue of the Virgin Mary has been desecrated in the church in Kościerzyna. Police managed to detain a 50-year-old female suspect, who is said to have entered the church and tore off the gold-plated crown from the statue of the Virgin Mary. As the main suspect, the woman is being charged with theft and is consequently facing a maximum of five years in prison. 200 Meters from the location of the theft, police found the crown. It was reported that the suspect confessed to the crime.

Major Theft of Consecrated Vessels in Zagórów

July 30, 2021, Poland

Police arrested a 45-year-old man who is said to have stolen from the Roman Catholic Church in Zagórów. The incident dates back to the end of July when it was reported that dozen gold-plated vessels, used for the daily celebration of the Mass, have been stolen. During a search of the suspect's flat, police recovered the stolen chalices, patens and ciboria. The suspect is already known to the police and is now facing a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Until the end of his process, the man was put under police supervision.

Suspect Arrested for Assaulting Priest in Church

July 29, 2021, United Kingdom

Scottish police managed to apprehend a 31-year-old man in Cumbria. It is assumed that Jason Irvine is connected to assaulting a priest on July 26, while the same was praying at the Saint Mary's Catholic Cathedral in York Place. Police charged the man with two assaults, they could connect him to. He is now expected to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Update: Fired CEO Wins Legal Challenge Against Former Employer

July 29, 2021, United Kingdom

Former Robertson Trust Fund CEO Kenneth Ferguson was fired because he held traditional Christian views on marriage. In a legal challenge, the Employment Tribunal found that Ferguson was a victim of religious discrimination and unfair dismissal. The consequences of the ruling are not yet revealed. A further hearing is expected to take place in order to determine the amount of compensation the Robertson Trust has to pay Mr Ferguson.

Karl's Church in Vienna Repeatedly Vandalised with Graffiti

July 29, 2021, Austria

The Karls Church in Vienna has been repeatedly attacked and spray painted by vandals. Figures of the crime statistics show that this is by no means an isolated case since the number of offences of damage to property has increased by 46.7 per cent alone in the last year. After the latest attacks on places of worship, the Vienna People's Party (ÖVP) is requesting security measures to keep places of worship safe.

Saint Mary Magdalene Church in Caldecote Severely Vandalised

July 29, 2021, United Kingdom

10 days after the Saint Mary Magdalene Church in Caldecote reopened it fell victim to vandalism. Windows were smashed, a powder fire extinguisher was emptied inside the church and the decorations were torn off and bleach was thrown over the floor and altar. The incident is said to have happened between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. on 29 of July. Police have been informed and are currently investigating the case.

Major Acts of Vandalism at Chapel Memorial in Besançon

July 29, 2021, France

During the night of 29 July to 30 July vandals are said to have caused great damage to the memorial at the Chapelle des Buis. The memorial houses a statue of the Virgin Mary and a crypt, which was built in 1949 in remembrance of 5,500 victims the town lost to the Second World War. Brother Nicholas from the Diocesan Association, who is the owner of the memorial, discovered the destruction and reported it to the local authorities. Acts of vandalism have increased lately, as especially young people come during nighttime to the monument to party and take drugs, stated the local residents. A plan to protect the monument is underway.

Church Burned Down in Glasgow, Possibly by Arsonist

July 28, 2021, United Kingdom

Glasgow's St Simon's church fell victim to a devastating fire. Emergency services were called to the location in the morning hours of 28 July. Saint Simon's Catholic Church was the 'spiritual home' of the cities' polish community. Additionally, residents were evacuated or told to keep windows and doors shut. One person had to be rescued from the flames and was given treatment at the scene. Police were informed and are currently investigating the cause of the fire.

Update: Stabbed Evangelist Hatun Tash Speaks after Attack

July 28, 2021, United Kingdom

Hatun Tash, the converted Chrisitan evangelist who was stabbed with a knife during a debate by a Muslim man, spoke out on the attack. Speaking to local newspapers the former Muslim called on the state to enforce better safeguard measures to prevent future attacks. Her attacker unleashed a series of violent stabs at her throat and upper body leaving her with wounds to her face and hands. She called the attack a result of "police inaction" since the aggresor "was not afraid to do this right in front of them."

Church Theft in Poland Leaves Community Shocked

July 28, 2021, Poland

Treasuries placed on the pillars in the garrison church in Gniezno were stolen by unknown perpetrators. During the incident, the facade of the historic church was damaged, money is said to have been stolen as well. The incident is thought to have taken place around noon, on 28 July. "Fara Gniezno" the parish's Facebook profile shared the incident stating they had "No words" to the occurrence. The police are investigating the case.

Arsonist Charged with Glasgow Church Burning

July 28, 2021, United Kingdom

Police charged a 24-year-old man with "wilful fire-raising" for setting Saint Simon's Catholic Church on fire. The incident took place on July 28 and damaged the Archdiocese of Glasgow severely. As a result of the fire the churches roof, interior and upper walls were completely destroyed. The church was the 'spiritual home' to the Polish community in Glasgow. Further information was not released by the police.

Priest Physically Attacked with Glass Bottle inside St. Mary's Cathedral

July 27, 2021, United Kingdom

Police are looking for a man who attacked a priest with a broken glass bottle inside Saint Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh. The unnamed clergyman was praying alone inside the church when he was approached by a male individual who asked if he was a priest. Upon his "yes" he was attacked with a glass bottle. The occurrence happened at around 9.30 a.m. on the morning of 27 July. Police are investigating.

40-Year-Old Man Arrested for Theft of Service Book from Church in Ravenna

July 27, 2021, Italy

Italian police arrested a 40-year-old suspect in the case of theft of a missal in a church in Ravenna. The stolen missal was placed on the altar of the church of San Rocco, where a man of Moroccan descent was seen taking it. The theft had been reported to the authorities a couple of days prior to the arrest. Police are still searching for the stolen book. The suspect is being charged among other things with offending a religious denomination.

Cemetery Vandalised in Rendeux

July 27, 2021, Belgium

Unknown perpetrators damaged various graves in the cemetery in Beffe in the city of Rendeux. It has been reported that vandals knocked over flowers and broke grave markers. The incident dates back to 27 July. A complaint was filed with the police who are currently looking to identify the culprit(s).

Christian Activist Hatun Tash Stabbed in London

July 26, 2021, United Kingdom

39-year-old Christian activist Hatun Tash has been stabbed several times while speaking at the "Speaker's Corner" in London's Hyde Park. The incident happened on the afternoon of 25 July, during a gathering. She suffered light injuries to her head but was taken to the hospital for care. Police are looking for the culprit who left the knife at the scene before escaping.

Pastor Faces Charges for Granting Church Asylum

July 25, 2021, Germany

Pastor Andreas Schlechtweg and his wife Susanne Wittmann-Schlechtweg are facing charges for granting asylum through the church in Bamberg. The pair had granted asylum to a young Irani woman in 2020, who was supposed to be deported to Croatia according to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. On 26 August, they have to respond to the charges raised against them. If found guilty they might be incarcerated.

Arson at Church in Finistère

July 25, 2021, France

Unknown perpetrators set fire to a plastic folder containing sheets of songs and prayers inside a church in Loctudy, Finistère. The incident occurred on 25 July. Further damage was prevented, thanks to the quick intervention of a visitor. According to the parish, no complaint has been filed yet. The first deputy mayor of Loctudy, Sylvain Cosnard, ensured that measures would be taken to protect the church from further attacks.

Catholic Group Attacked During Demonstration In Nantes

July 24, 2021, France

A group of Catholic demonstrators has been attacked by people wearing black clothing. The incident happened on 24 July, during an anti-sanitary pass demonstration. Fifteen demonstrators gathered around a Civitas banner, a catholic political movement, to demonstrate against the implementation of the sanitary pass in France. While demonstrating a group of individuals dressed in black, with hidden faces started to attack the demonstrators. It is unclear whether or not the police has been informed.

Update: Street Preacher Wins Legal Challenge

July 23, 2021, United Kingdom

A court in London ruled in favour of 31-year-old pastor Joshua Sutcliffe. The street preacher was preaching in Camden, North London on Good Friday in April 2020, as he was approached by four police officers, who claimed he is breaching government COVID restrictions and subsequently fined him. "We find the defendant not guilty on all charges. We find that the defendant was outside and that he had a reasonable excuse as he was travelling to his place of work, as a worship leader", ruled the Magistrates Court in London.

Desecration of Statue of Virgin Mary in Kraplewo

July 20, 2021, Poland

An unknown perpetrator is currently being searched for by polish police. The perpetrator is accused of having desecrated a statue of the Virgin Mary and the destruction of a roadside shrine in Kraplewo near Ostróda. Build in the 1950s the shrine has a cultural and historic meaning for the locals. If identified, the perpetrator is facing up to two years in prison for insulting an object of a religious group or a place intended for the public performance of religious rites.

European Bishops Urge Action to Protect Religious Freedom as Attacks Increase Globally

July 20, 2021, Belgium

European bishops are urging the European Union to ensure religious freedom is protected in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement released by the Commission of Bishops Conference of the European Union, it can be read that “vulnerable religious communities are experiencing discrimination, intolerance and, in some cases, persecution as victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.” The statement followed a meeting of church representatives held on July 15.

Teenagers Accused of Arson at Church in Mauléon-Licharre

July 20, 2021, France

Police arrested two suspects in the case of damaging the church of Saint Jean Baptiste in Mauléon Licharre in the Atlantic Pyrenees. The incident dates back to 7 July. The suspects are accused of having tried to set fire to the church, by lighting songbooks and throwing them into the church. It is thought that in the course of this action, a statue of the Virgin Mary was damaged. Police are investigating

Repeated Arson Attacks against Church in Pont-de-Vaux

July 19, 2021, France

In the course of 72 hours, french authorities were called two times because of a suspected arson inside a church in Pont-de-Vaux. Thanks to the quick interference of the authorities the fires were extinguished without causing much damage. It is suspected that both fires have been deliberately set by currently unknown perpetrators. The church is under surveillance and the police are investigating.