All cases

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: Stabbed Evangelist Hatun Tase 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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

Blackpool Transport Has to Apologise and Pay Reparations for Discriminating against Christian Event Organizers, Court Rules

July 16, 2021, United Kingdom

After a court ruling, council owned Blackpool Transport has now agreed to pay £109,000 in damages caused to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for banning adverts for an event organised by the same. The public transportation company banned the advertisements after evangelist Franklin Graham, who was an invited guest speaker at the Festival of Hope event, commented upon Islam and homosexuality. Additionally, the transport company offered a public apology and have now implemented clear policies regarding adverts. Franklin Graham is "grateful to God" for this outcome.

Law Allowing Employers to Ban Religious Symbols at Workplace in Germany Confirmed by European Court of Justice

July 15, 2021, European Institutions (EU, ECHR, et.al.)

The EU's European Court of Justice ruled that employers are allowed to ban visible religious symbols from their businesses, i.e. they are allowed to forbid their employees to wear crosses and headscarves. In its ruling, the Luxembourg-based tribunal stated its member states should weigh up if the ban corresponded to a "genuine need" on the part of the employer, especially since it potentially interferes with the employees' rights to freedom of religion. The case came to court after two Islamic-identifying women in Germany filed legal complaints against their workplaces for interfering with their beliefs. Subsequently, the case was brought in front of the European Court of Justice ruling on the legitimacy of the national legislation.

Church Vandalised and Almost Set on Fire in Bollengo

July 14, 2021, Italy

Unknown perpetrators tried to set fire to the Romanesque church of Santissimi Pietro e Paolo in Bollengo. Mayor Luigi Ricca noted that the police "found traces of flammable liquid in the churchyard. The same group then broke one of the road signs indicating the route of the Via Francigena in the area". Since the modus operandi is similar to the case of church vandalism at the San Silvestro church in Chiaverano from June 2021, the police are suspecting the same group to be responsible. However, Mayor Ricca does not think that it is the same group. Investigations are ongoing.

Church in Grüfflingen Desecrated by Vandals

July 13, 2021, Belgium

Currently unknown perpetrators desecrated a church in Grüfflingen. The incident happened sometime between 13 to 14 July. It had been reported that the culprits desecrated the church walls and the labelling close to the church. The police are investigating.

Desecration of Statue of Virgin Mary in Bayeux

July 13, 2021, France

During the night of 5 to 6 July, currently unknown perpetrators decapitated the statue of the Virgin Mary in Bayeux. The statue is located near the Augustines chapel in Bayeux and had already fallen victim to other acts of vandalism. In 2013 a young man decapitated the statue, while in 2017, the head of the statue was covered in black paint. Although the police managed to recover the head of the statue nearby, the search for the culprit continues.

Historic Relic Stolen from Church in Blaye

July 13, 2021, France

Unknown perpetrators stole a relic from the church in Blaye. The perpetrators stole a fragment of a rib belonging to Saint Romain, a Gallo-Roman priest who lived in the 4th century, making the rib 1,800 years old. Additionally to the rib, a silver case, containing the rib, has also been taken. The parish and the association for the protection of the church have filed a complaint with the local authorities. They are currently investigating the case.

Eight Fires Set at Church in Déols

July 11, 2021, France

The Saint-Etienne church in Déols, near Châteauroux, was deliberately set on fire. The incident happened on 11 July. It is currently unclear how many people were involved in the arson. The local town hall investigated and uncovered eight intentional fires set to the church and decided to close the church for one week. Orléans judicial police were entrusted with the case.

Attempted Break-In at Church in Moreuil Caused Damage

July 10, 2021, France

Unknown perpetrators are said to have attempted to break into the Saint-Vaast church in Moreuil. The incident dates back to 9 July, on which vandals left their mark on different parts of the French commune. A parishioner noticed the broken door and broken windows the following morning. The police had been informed, and a complaint was filed.

Street Preacher Takes Up Legal Action Against Police After Arrest and Fine

July 1, 2021, United Kingdom

46-year-old street preacher, Andrew Sathiyavan, got arrested on Easter Sunday 2020 for publicly preaching on the street. Three police officers told him that he was "not allowed" to preach the gospel because he is causing anti-social behaviour and is in breach of current COVID regulations. Mr. Sathiyavan was then arrested and received a fine of £400. Since this is not the first time Mr Sathiyavan has been arrested by the police for street preaching he is now lodging an appeal and will be seeking legal action against the police, who arrested him for preaching, fined him and strip-searched him in Solihull in November of 2020.