A 38-year-old caused a considerable amount of damage in the Saint John Church in Kitzingen. At around midday, the perpetrator is said to have climbed over the boundaries of the altar, where he threw down all the candlesticks which were partially damaged. He is also accused of having damaged the microphone system and the painting of Saint John from Jacques Grassmann with a sharp object. The 2 x 3-metre high altar painting was stabbed various times. The damage is summed to several thousand Euros. Police could identify and arrest the culprit.
Maristella, Italy. Unknown perpetrators are said to have attacked the church of the Virgin Stella Maris, in the village of Maristella in Alghero. It is reported that the attack happened on the night of 14 May. The perpetrators have allegedly put one of eight palm trees which are located near the entrance of the church on fire. The immediate action of municipal police and firefighters stopped the fire before it could affect the Church. It is also assumed that they destroyed a tablet at the Stella Maris' entrance. A fire in the nearby forest was also reported and brought under control by firefighters. The fire is assumed to have caused a yet unknown sum of damage. Police are investigating.
On the morning of 14th May, damage took place in the Saint-Pierre cemetery in Marseille. The graves of six veterans have been desecrated through the breaking both the commemorative plaques as well as hammering their photos. Among these graves are the ones of the Armenian killed during the Second World War. This was the first incident of its type that took place in the city of Marseille. A complain has been filled by the delegate of the Souvenir Français to Benoît Payan, the mayor, and Bouches-du-Rhône’s prefecture.
A life-size crucifix has been stolen sometime overnight between 12 May and 13 May 2021. The six-foot-high crucifix has been stolen from the All Saints' Church in Gosforth, Newcastle. The crucifix, which has been on display since 1965 "was situated in a consecrated area where many ashes are buried." said Rev Canon Andrew Shipton, from the All Saints' Church. He added, " It was a great shock to find that it had gone and a cause of considerable sadness". The police are asking the public for any information about the crucifix' disappearance and its possible whereabouts. The police are asking the perpetrators to return the crucifix, as it is also of immense sentimental worth.
The CEO of Scotland's largest grant-making trust, Kenneth Ferguson, has been fired for allowing the Stirling Free Church to rent Trust premises. Robertson Trusts Chairwoman Shonaig Macpherson is accused of having shammed and humiliated the organisation's CEO, over his link to the Stirling Free Church and their biblical views on marriage. A ruling in the case is expected soon.
The church of Saint Francis on Langenwand has been vandalised multiple times. Unknown perpetrators have entered the church where they graffitied the walls, tore off the barrier tapes to delimit the seats and left cigarette burns on the seat cushions and the kneelers. The altar has also been desecrated when the culprit(s) cleared the sacred goods away. The police have been informed.
Catholic MP Francisco J. Contreras in Spain got his Twitter account suspended for 12 hours after posting a Tweet saying that man can't get pregnant since they have neither an ovary nor a uterus. Twitter claimed that tweet to be 'inciting hatred'. Contreras published the tweet in response to an article claiming that a man gave birth to a child. The suspension fueled an already sensitive discussion.
The Marta Shimoni Church in Mehri, Turkey has been desecrated by currently unknown perpetrators. Since the Church is built into a cave and thus cannot be destroyed like any other church, the nature of the attack must have been severe. Footage obtained by the International Christian Concern (ICC) Organization shows items and relics inside the Church being destroyed, amongst others pictures of Jesus Christ, rosaries and crosses. It is unknown whether the incident was reported to the police or not.
On 9 May 2021, unknown perpetrators destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary. The over 100-year-old statue was ripped from its pedestal and then shattered. The statue was placed in the historical chapel in the Uzbornia forest in Poland which was built in 1880 and renovated in 2013. The city council, Mariusz Zając and other parishioners abhor the act. The police are investigating.
Trent Colleges' school chaplain Reverend Dr Bernard Randall held a sermon at the schools chapel in June 2018, in which he encouraged students to respect and debate upon 'identity beliefs' and 'identity ideology'. Rev Dr Randall was afterwards reported to the governments' anti-terrorist unit 'Prevent' and forced out of his job. The school claimed that the sermon was "harmful to LGBT+" Students, and Rev Dr Randalls views were extremist. The former chaplain is now taking Trent College to court for unfair dismissal, discrimination, harassment and victimization. A hearing is awaited for June 14, 2021.
A swiss Court in Geneva ruled the ban of public worship as unlawful. As safety precautions regarding the spreading of COVID-19, Geneva banned religious services and events except for funerals and weddings with restricted capacity. Although religious gatherings were banned, public gatherings were still allowed to take place. Dr Sommeruga, who was assisted by ADF International took the ban to Court. He is "delighted to celebrate this win for religious freedom".
A baptistery stolen from an evangelical church in the district of Waldeck-Frankenberg in Germany has been found. The baptistery from the 17 century has been found and brought back to its rightful place. According to the local authorities, the baptistery made of brass has been stolen from the evangelical church back in March of 2021. The police did not give any information about how they discovered the baptistery due to ongoing investigations. It is to be assumed that since the incident the church has not been able to carry out any baptisms.
The designated bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland, Dr Juhana Pohjola, has been charged for 'incitement to hate speech against a certain group of people' by the Finnish Attorney General's Office. Similarly to the case of Finnish MP Päivi Räsänen, the reason for the charges placed against Dr Pohjola is his editorship of a booklet published by the Luther Foundation Finland (ELMDF) in 2004 and written by Räsänen. Beforehand, all charges have been dropped by the Helsinki Police because they could not identify any broken law by the booklet since same-sex marriage was only legalised in Finland in 2017.
The historic statute of Christ, classified as a historical monument since 1949, has been stolen from the church of Saint-François in Saint-Nazaire. The wooden statue, disappeared between 3rd and 10th April 2021. There is a high probability that the statute has been stolen during the opening hours in the middle of the day. A complaint has been filed to the police and an investigation has been underway.
On the 2nd May, 6th May and on the weekend, the church of Saint-Matoury has been vandalized. The faithful have found that the perpetrators managed to break into the church from a broken window situated at the back of the church. They found that they stole the tabernacle and partly ransacked the nave. Later, the church has again been a victim of numerous robberies and thefts. The parish and political authorities condemned these acts and an investigation has been opened.
Between the 17 and 19 May, the 50 centimetres high statue of Saint Jacques has been stolen. The 15th century limestone statute has among the historical monuments listed in the supplementary inventory on the 4th of May 1988. It has been in the commune of La Pernelle, in the Manche region. There are worries that the virgin in the grotto and in the church or at the baptismal font could also be stolen. The police of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue or the town hall of La Pernelle are asking for clues and witnesses.
During the night of 30 April to 1 May, unknown perpetrators vandalised two churches, as well as, monuments and streetlamps illuminating the Barbaresco-Tower. Windows of the San Bernardo Chruch were smashed in with stones. The stones also damged the ambo, causing it to fall and break. Another Church along the Pilgrimage route of Saint James was also affected. It has been reported that the perpetrators smashed beer bottles against the walls of the thousand-year-old church of San Giorgio. A few monuments and streetlamps illuminating the Barbaresco-Tower have also been vandalized and damaged through stones. Residents reported the incident and Town-Councillor Laura Gandolfo ordered an immediate investigation.
During the weekend of 1st and 3rd May , ten graves were vandalized in the Graville cemetery in Le Havre. In addition, religious objects on the altar from the chapel of the Virgin Mary have been broken.
Between 29 to 30 April, unknown perpetrators broke the window of a church in Schlema. According to the police a side entrance door of the church was smashed and an unknown liquid was applied to the facade of the building. The damage amounts up to 2.000 Euros. The police are investigating for damage to property.
MP Pävi Räsänen is facing three criminal charges for alleged hate speech brought against her by the Finnish Prosecutor General. This is not the first time MP Räsänen is being investigated for hate speech by the police but the first time she is confronted with criminal charges. The medical doctor, mother of five, and grandmother of six is accused of having engaged in “hate speech” for publicly voicing her opinion on marriage and human sexuality in a 2004 pamphlet, for comments made on a 2018 TV show and, most recently, a tweet directed at her church leadership. The Prosecutor General considers that Räsänen's statements are likely to cause intolerance, contempt and hatred towards homosexuals. The charges will be heard later at the Helsinki District Court.
By the end March in Romans-sur-Isère, a mother noticed that a large pot of flowers as well as the statute of Saint Gabriel have been stolen from the grave of the 37-age man. Shocked and affected by the act of the theft, the mother reported the incident to the police.
After the cemetery in Nowa Wieś Ełcka was first vandalised and then destroyed by felled trees, it is now to be restored to its original state. The bishop of the parish, Paweł Hause, said: "Destroying the sign of the cross, which is on an old gravestone, by handling it with heavy equipment, overturning it, destroying it and burying it, offends the feelings of all Christians - Catholics, Evangelicals, Orthodox. It was the residents of the village, Catholics, who first pointed out this anti-Christian behaviour. Whatever the perpetrators and those responsible say, there has been a lack of respect for the dead and for the cemetery, which is and should remain holy ground."
The priest's car, the church façade and the surveillance cameras of the church of Gussago, Franciacorta, were vandalised the night before 26 April. The perpetrators were a group of youths who had been celebrating frequently during services, next to the church the days before. After the parish priest Don Adriano Dabellani complained and called the carabinieri, vandalistic acts were perpetrated in the following nights, probably in revenge. The vandals wrote blasphemies on the priest's car, as well as on the façade of the church. Police are investigating.
From January 2020 onwards, damage of the church of Saint-Tudy in Loctudy have been regularly reported due to the repetitive acts of vandalism. The parishioners complained that on Palm Sunday, the Paschal candle were broken into two and that the curtains have been torn off and the frost, hydroalcoholic as well as confessionals gel were thrown and spilled on the pews of the church. Another act of vandalism occurred on the 17th April when lit and overturned candles were thrown into a trunk. In addition, inside the trunk, banknotes have been partially burnt. Due to these repetitive acts of vandalism and damage, the church will only be opened during mass times. Otherwise, it will remain closed until further notice.
On the night of 22 April, the church of Sainte-Thérèse de l'Enfant Jésus in the Nétreville district of Évreux was the victim of a burglary for the seventh time in six months. In the process, a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary was found lying on the floor with large cuts to its head, having been subjected to repeated attempts at destruction in the days before. The other complaints in the intervening period include damage to several entrances to the interior of the church and the theft of numerous religious items. Meanwhile, a suspect has been arrested. The police is investigating.
After the stone capital on the steps of the Marian Sanctuary of San Francesco all'Immacolata in Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Noto was vandalised, the perpetrator has now been identified and reported. The police were able to gather useful clues with the help of images from the video surveillance in the area, which made it possible to establish the identity of the vandal. It is a 33-year-old man already known to the police, who is facing charges of serious damage to historical objects - a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Pastor John Sherwood, the pastor of a church in North London, preached a sermon on a public street on 23 April, in which he advocated for the biblical image of the family consisting of a father, mother and children and that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. After a while, some police officers appeared on the scene, approached Pastor Sherwood and stated that three complaints had been received about the sermon. After a lengthy conversation between the pastor and the police officers, the police officers asked him to come down from the steps where he was standing and said that he was now under arrest. The police accusation was that Pastor Sherwood had made homophobic remarks. An officer then took the Bible from the pastor's hand, pulled him off the steps and handcuffed him behind his back. The pastor was arrested for causing alarm and distress under section 5 of the Public Order Act, according to police. The preacher was detained by the police for about 21 hours, and he is still under investigation after his release.
In Pleumeur-Bodou in the Côtes d'Armor, a theft act has been committed in the cemeteries. Numerous funerary objects as well as flowers have been stolen. The town hall and the first deputy, Christelle Broudic, condemns these thefts. The police operation will be intensified in order to prevent these criminal acts.
Unknown perpetrators committed an act of vandalism in two churches in Bad Griesbach in the District of Rottal. The incidents happened on the weekend of 17 and 18 April. The damage caused by the perpetrators is estimated to be around 5.000 Euros. The Police are investigating, and asking the public for help.
On 19 April, in front of the Polish Church of the Assumption at 'Concorde' in Paris, the bust of St John Paul II was vandalised . An unknown perpetrator covered the bust with red paint. Father Paweł Witkowski mentioned the great merits and achievements of John Paul II, who "certainly did not deserve such treatment". The case is being investigated by the police.
For the second time in a month, the church of Lazzaretto in Golasecca has been vandalised. This time the perpetrators damaged the door and vandalised the interior. Unknown persons had already broken into the small sacred building on 21 March, at which time the parish priest had filed a complaint with the Carabinieri. The church of Saints Simon and Judas is located in the woods near the village. The police are investigating.
On the afternoon of 15 April, a fire was set at the door of the church of Saints Jacopo and Filippo in Montecatini Alto. The door was partially destroyed. The fire brigade and the Carabinieri intervened right away. So far, there seem to be no direct witnesses to the arson, which can be safely assumed. The police are investigating.
A woman vandalised sacred objects in the sanctuary of the Maxkirche in Düsseldorf between 12 and 16 April. The perpetrator threw candles and altar cloths on the floor. The congregation is shocked at the extent of the devastation. The city Deacon, Frank Heidkamp, said: "An adult woman threw candles, candlesticks, floral arrangements, altar cloths and sacrificial candles on the floor during normal opening hours last week and obviously caused this devastation with wanton intent." The case was recorded on a security camera and has already been handed over to the police, who is now investigating.
Vandals attacked the parish cemetery in Mosina during the night of 11 to 12 April. Broken candles and other damages were found. The case was also investigated by the police, who have already arrested one person. The city police also found a vandalised car in a nearby car park.
Over the Easter weekend, form 3 to 5 April, both churches, the church of Rides, in the commune of Cours, and Marsac, in the commune of Laugnac were vandalized. The perpetrators used old stone cross from the cemetery in order to break down the doors of the churches. Both churches are isolated and emptied of all materials for a long time. Locals and rural elected representatives are often faced with this type of vandalism and delinquency by perpetrators who do not respect places of worships.
On the 12th of April, particularly around 11am, one of the aisles of the the 12th-13th century church of Saint-Hilaire in Bouy has been set on fire. The origin of the fire remains unknown. The firemen were successful to douse the fire with water.
In Höxter, unknown perpetrators vandalised the church of St. Anna on 11 April. Inside the church they destroyed the ornamental organ pipes. The vandals also lit candles, spread matches on the floor and left two notes with inscriptions. The damage to property amounts to 1.000€. The incident was reported to the police.
After red-light parties with prostitutes were held in the Cassino cemetery, the local church officials felt compelled to return sanctity to the desecrated place and rededicate the cemetery. "This rite of reparation", the diocese said, "became necessary as a result of the recent judicial investigation of the management of the municipal cemetery, which revealed serious acts that qualify as desecration of the bodies. In the name of the Church and representing the entire community of Setina, we went to the cemetery, prayed for the deceased buried there and renewed the rite of blessing the cemetery as an act of reparation for the desecration and sacrilege committed."
The church of Fraternité Scerdotale Saint-Pie X churches has been vandalized during the night of 9-10 April. More specifically, the gate and the fence have been tagged with sprayed as well as red paint. It has been assumed that the main perpetrators are from the left-wing movement in Nantes since the tags included a sickle and a hammer. In the morning of 10th April, the tags have been removed by the SSPX.
During the night of 8 to 9 April, the Notre-Dame Réconciliatrice chapel in Paris was broken into. The chapel is located 500 metres from the church of Saint-Joseph des Nations which was also a victim of a burglary during the night of 4th to 5th April. The unknown perpetrators stole Easter collections, the large chest containing, two ciboria used at Holy Thursday, and other religious objects. The altar cloth was also stolen.
The Armenian monastery of Saint Magar in the North of Cyprus has been desecrated by an illegal techno party. The party is said to have taken place in March, although a video of the party was only released in April. The Religious Leaders of the Island have now released a statement declaring: “The Religious Leaders of Cyprus condemn this unfortunate act and any misuse, disrespect and desecration of places of worship and cemeteries in Cyprus, irrespective of intention, religion, dogma and denomination". In their statement, they pointed out that all places of worship and cemeteries, in use or not, are protected against vandalism. They stated furthermore that “disrespecting places of worship and cemeteries creates pain, nurtures mistrust and becomes an obstacle to peaceful coexistence”.
On the 7th of April, the French authorities received information from the Moroccan General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DGSI) about a French woman of Moroccan origin who lives in Béziers. This woman was "planning an imminent terrorist operation targeting a church in France." According to the investigations, she lives in Dévèze, a ‘’sensitive’’ district of Béziers, and intended to carry out the act. The investigators found in her flat a sword and mechanism as well as materials to make TATP, which is a powerful explosive. The woman remains in custody.
A fire broke out in the empty church of St. Mary's Assumption in Gelsenkirchen on the evening of Easter Monday, 5 April. The fire brigade was on the scene with 80 emergency personnel. The fire started inside the building and had broken out into the sacristy. From there, the fire spread to the nave and smoke came out of the roof. While the cause of the fire was initially completely unclear, the police announced the following day that "deliberate arson is to be assumed".
During the night of Sunday to Monday, the wall of the old cemetery, just behind the church in the street of Rhome, has been destroyed. Anne-Sophie Peureux-Demangelle, the mayor of Lachapelle-sous-Chaux, claims that the wall did not fall down by itself. It was a clear act of vandalism with a tractor. The perpetrators circulated a video on social media particularly Snapchat. They commented: 'We didn't fake it last night'." The town hall has filed a complaint to the police.
As part of the investigation to determine the causes of the fire that damaged the collegiate church of Saint-Nicolas in Avesnes-sur-Helpe on Monday 5 April, a young man has been taken into custody. According to the Cécile Gressier, the public prosecutor in Avesnes-sur-Helpe, the man of ‘’foreign nationality, known to the judicial services for common crimes,’’ was arrested the next day in a neighbouring town. On the Easter weekend, the religious building, a listed historic monument, was damaged and numerous valuable works of art. The police suspect the fire has been set deliberately and is investigating under arson.
On the night of Easter Sunday, thieves gained entry into the Église Saint-Joseph des Nations church in Paris. They escaped with the proceeds of the collection, two sacred vessels and a consecrated host. According to Aleteia, “the thieves took away the large chest containing the proceeds of Easter collections, three (empty) boxes and two ciboriums that they located by forcing the doors of the tabernacle. The hosts were found on the altar tablecloth, while the large host used for adoration was taken away by the vandals. The police are investigating.
On the night of Easter Sunday, April 4th, unknown perpetrators tagged the facade of the town parish church in Aichach with an insulting and stereotyping slogan. In the morning, the sacristan reported the damage to property to the police. The police are investigating.
In the days immediately before Easter, the parish of Saints Leo and Nicholas in the town of Scalo in the Gallo D'Oro area was targeted. During the night, unknown persons broke into the church through a smashed window and stole from the church interior only a few coins that were kept in the offertory. They also broke open a door and stole a loudspeaker. The police are investigating.
Three unknown, alcoholised young Muslim men have disturbed the Easter Vigil service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church "Zum Heiligen Geist" in Nidda, Central Hesse. According to the church congregation, they repeatedly attacked worshippers (especially children and teenagers) and shouted "There is only one God, and that is Allah" and "Allah is the greatest". The unknown perpetrators had already insulted some of the worshippers outside the church and even filmed them. The perpetrators were asked to leave numerous times, also because they did not wear masks but refused to do so. The State Security Service has started an investigation for disturbing the exercise of religion.
On the 2nd of April posters explicitly attacking the Catholic Church and mocking the holy cross were hung on the door of the Polish House in Bydgoszcz. The Catholic House in Bydgoszcz, also called the Polish House, is a historic public building used as a place of activity by Catholic organisations and associations in Bydgoszcz. The unknown perpetrators also left the blasphemous inscription: "The secret of faith - cars and dollars". The holy cross, The incident was reported by the church authorities to the city police.
On charges of violating COVID-19 rules, police in the UK have interrupted up a Good Friday service celebrated at the Roman Catholic Christ the King Church in London. Police also threatened to fine each person sitting in the pews $280. According to the British Independent newspaper, churches are allowed to hold services during the lockdown in England with no limit on the number of parishioners as long as the congregation adheres to social distancing and wears masks. The church rejected the police claims, saying in a statement, "We believe, however, that the police brutally exceeded their powers by issuing their warrant for no good reason, as all government requirements were met."
A statue of the Virgin Mary of historical value has been destroyed at the Holy Spirit Church in Koszalin in Poland on 1 April. The statue was of exceptional value since it was given to the Parish by a survivor of the Dachau concentration camp and was seen as a shrine of memorial for the ones who did not survive the camp. The chapel in which the statue was standing was also vandalised. Police are investigating.
Far-left groups in Poland are proud to show themselves profaning the Church of the Holy Saviour in the centre of Warsaw on social media. Local anarchists lit flares in front of the entrance to the temple and hung a banner with vulgar inscription on the scaffolding. The assault took place on the afternoon of March 31st. The far-left in Poland seems to enjoys an impunity. This is evidenced by the minimal reaction of the judiciary to the series of provocations, desecrations and attacks carried out against Catholic churches since October 2020. According to the TVP Info portal, the recent attack did not cause any material losses, and no one was physically harmed. Nevertheless, the series of incidents strongly accentuated the symbolic dimension of these acts.
On 31 March, unknown persons caused damage amounting to several thousand Euros at the Servite Church in Innsbruck. According to the police, the perpetrators destroyed several objects between 11.25 a.m. and 11.55 a.m. that day. They also contaminated the premises. The police are investigating.
Unknown perpetrators vandalized the Servite Church in Tirols capital Innsbruck. The damage caused has been estimated to be several thousand Euros. According to police reports, the perpetrators destroyed several statues and sacred objects. Furthermore, they also contaminated the premisses. It is thought to have occurred sometime between 11.25 and 11.55 on 31 March. Police are investigating, witnesses are asked to come forward.
On March 28th, the church of St. Peter in Linz was severely damaged by a fire. According to the church's parish priest, the fire was set inside a chapel near the wooden altar. Despite early attempts to extinguish the fire, the wooden altar was destroyed and a statue of the Virgin Mary was damaged. The next day the police reported that a book commemorating the dead, which was lying on a side table, had been purposefully set on fire. Since the fire did not pose a serious threat to any person, the police stated they would only investigating for damage to property. The damage amounts to around €80,000.
After a fire broke out at a church in Wokingham on 26 March, the police arrested a 28-year-old man suspected of arson. The police was called at around 3pm after the fire was reported.
One of the five chapels of the Church of the Crosses in Foggia was smeared with blue paint. One pillar was defaced with a phallic symbol, now covered by a white cloth. The other pillars were sprayed with conspicuous and incomprehensible signs. Other writings were found on the ground of the chapel and on the pavement. The police is investigating.
During the night of March 25th, several young people threw stones at Father Ioan's car. The car was parked in Via Melzi in Magenta, near the church of San Rocco, where the Orthodox community is based. There are yet no clear indicators for the motivation of this crime. The police is investigating.
Unknown perpetrators threw a flammable object through a smashed window of a side door into the St. Bernhard Church in Baden-Baden during the night of 25 March. According to the police, heavy smoke developed and spread into the church interior. In addition, the perpetrators smeared a two-by-two-metre sign on the side wall of the church, which, according to the parish priest's interpretation, could represent a Jewish Star of David. The police are investigating.
During the night of 24-25 March, three churches in the region of Eure, particularly in Val-Doré, Nogent-le-Sec and Jumelles, have been targeted by thieves. Several religious objects such as statues, vases, candleholders, 16th century statue of Saint Christine were stolen. The churches were broken into probably with a crowbar. Police are investigating.
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 the 23rd of March, a message on a fire extinguisher was found in order to warn the two teenager perpetrators who set fire to the church of Notre Dame du Cierge in Épinal and emptied the fire extinguishers. One of them has been recognized on the 31st of March and the other on 18th April. The first perpetrator was seen in the church, while the other has been seen while entering the church. The police are 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.
Numerous religious objects such as statues, altar crosses, Stations of the Cross, reliquaries have been stolen between June and November. The police of Seine et Marne found around 40 objects linked to 26 thefts. The statues of St Joseph were found by an elected representative of the commune on an advertisement website. He contacted the seller and informed the police who went to his home in Montreuil and traced the other stolen religious objects.
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.
On the 19th of March, a forty-three-year-old man, known for fifty previous convictions, vandalized the church of Saint Denis in Croix-Rousse in the district of Lyon. The perpetrator climbed on the altar and knocked down the cross. Three days later, he returned to the church and stole the candlestick. The perpetrator was arrested in Place Tobie-Robatel and brought before the public prosecutor’s office.
On 19 March, the Saint-Louis Church in La Roche-sur-Yon has been tagged by Anarchists. The sentence of ‘’Vive la commune de 1971’’ (long live the 1871 commune) has been tagged in red and signed with an A circled, which is the symbol of the Anarchists. This is not the first time that the church has been targeted. Last March, Saint-Louis Church and the visitation monastery have also been a victim of vandalism with the same anarchist symbol on their wall. An investigation has been opened.
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.
In the early hours of 13 March, gravestones at the Cork cemetery have been viciously vandalised and graffitied with spray paint at the Church of Saint Mary and Saint John in Ballincollig. Several gravestones were moved, knocked over and partially destroyed. Local Councillor Colm Kelleher described the scenes as “absolutely sickening to see”. He continued: “This is someone’s family member and for their final resting place to be desecrated in a manner like this, it’s absolutely disgusting. If the perpetrators are found and caught, they should be persecuted to the full rigours of the law." The local Police are investigating the incident.
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 10th of March, the church of Notre-Dame in Larmot-Plage in Morbihan has been a victim of theft and vandalism. A 46-old-man broke into the door of the sacristy, moved the crucifix, stole the collection money and the keys of the building, emptied the mass wine as well as the holy water, and urinated at the foot of the altar. The town hall filled a complain to the police and the perpetrator has been identified through his DNA and will appear before the court.
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.
On 5 May, the 19th century bronze statue of the virgin has been stollen from the cemetery of Allériot. Last April, two angels and other statues in the same area have also been stolen.
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.
The statue of Notre-Dame-des-Marais in the church of Saint-Sulpice in Fougères was a victim of an act of vandalism. The 62-Kilogram statue, which stands more than three meters high, was thrown to the ground by a man, aged around 50 and believed to be a local resident. He filmed his act in a fifteen-minute video entitled "Divine Justice." He made remarks before the act of vandalism. He said: "No nudity and no idols, we are in the church of Jesus Christ here, so this is all a joke, this statue does not belong in my church." The police in Fougères have opened an investigation.
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.