All cases

Mallorca: Another Cross Demolished in Spain

October 21, 2021, Spain

On 22 October, the town council of Son Servera (Mallorca), which is governed by Natalia Troya, demolished the Cross of the Fallen in the Plaza de la Tercera Edad. There there was no inscription of any kind and the Cross and it had been peacefully part of the town's monuments for decades. There is serious suspicion of illegality hanging over the decision, given that in June an application was registered with the Consell de Mallorca for the Cross to be cataloged as a listed monument, and this file is pending a report which was mandatory to take any action on the monument. The town council used the "Law of Historical Memory", which was passed by the PSOE in the times of President Zapatero.

A 23-year-old Vandalised a Church in Vienna

October 19, 2021, Austria

On 19. October, A 23-year-old man vandalized the church Nepomuk-Kirche in Vienna by damaging the furniture in the church and throwing things to the ground. The young man from Bangladesh was arrested shortly after witnesses saw him and raised the alarm by calling the police at around 8:30 pm. The man told the police that the church would belong to him.

Man Destroys a Cross with a Saw While Filming

October 18, 2021, Poland

A 31-year-old man was arrested after he filmed himself while sawing a cross in Zastalowski in Zielona Góra. The perpetrator posted the video of this vandalic act on the Internet. The police started the investigations to find the man, who was later successfully found and arrested. The local authorities have expressed their concern and surprise regarding this violent act. "This is the first time I have encountered such desecration in our city and I hope it will be the last time. We do not know the motives for the attack on the cross, but the incident itself is very heinous," said the Coalition Civica councilor. The secretary of the regional People's Party, Arkadiusz Dąbrowski also commented, "this is an unprecedented act of vandalism. We must respect religious symbols in our country.

Activists and Student Union Block Pro-life March With Anti-Christian Slogans and Insults

October 16, 2021, Austria

On the 16. October, around 2.500 people gathered for the "March for Life" in Vienna, a peaceful protest for the rights of the unborn and women. The participants faced opposition and insults from activists who planned to disrupt the march and create blockades, forcing them to change the route. The call against the pro-life march was made with polarizing language by different organizations, including the ÖH (Österreichische Hochschüler_innenschaft), which is the statutory representation of students' interests, Antifa, and other political groups. They organized a "March for Ass" and displayed anti-Christian slogans such as "abort fundamentalists" or "If Mary had aborted, we would have spared you". Jan Ledochowski, spokesperson for Christian Democracy filed a formal complaint.

Christian MP David Amess Stabbed to Death

October 15, 2021, United Kingdom

Christian MP David Amess was attending his regular duties in his local circumscription in a Methodist Church in Essex on 15. October, when a 25 years-old British citizen of Somali origin stabbed him to death. Soon after, the killer Ali Harbi Ali was arrested. An Anti-terrorism unit is investigating the case, given that the perpetrator has been identified as a radicalized Islamist. This murder is a direct attack on the Christian beliefs that David Amess represented. Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the Methodist Church where the incident happened, accompanied by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, and leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer. People have been gathering for candlelit vigils in Leigh-on-Sea and have held church services in his memory.

Around 7.000€ Stolen from a Benedictine Convent in Italy

October 9, 2021, Italy

The community of the Passionist Fathers of San Giovanni was having dinner when thieves broke into the convent and stole approximately 7,000 Euros, as it was reported on the 10th of October. The thieves must have known the monks' habits because the robbery was carried out without inconvenience. The money was the sum of donations, from tourists who regularly visit the monastery and from couples who get married at the abbey. As the theft became known it came as a surprise because some monks had chosen to remain silent. Police and military forces are still investigating.

OXFORD UNIVERSITY SPOKE OUT AGAINST VIOLENT REMOVAL OF PRO-LIFE STAND AT STUDENTS FAIR

October 7, 2021, United Kingdom

During the yearly Freshers' Fair at the Oxford University, the stand of the Pro-life group "Oxford Students For Life" (OSFL) was removed by other students and activists, who threw their material into a trash bin and completely removed it from the event. The students also refused to let them reinstall their stand and threatened them with tearing it down again. The group had already been criticized on the internet, as they posted some photos of their stand. The "Oxford Feminist Society" made a statement that the presence of a pro-life organization was a "threat to the safety, health, and autonomy of women", which was backed by the Students Union. The University of Oxford condemned the censorship and harassment of the pro-life group by stating that the university had a long history of protecting free speech.

Desecration of Graves at St.Mary's Church in Wexford

October 5, 2021, Ireland

Three headstones at the graveyard of St.Mary Church have been desecrated after they were vandalised with red graffitis on . The parish prieste, Cllr Michael Sheehan, has expressed his concern and has asked to "anyone who knows any information on this to make it known to the guards and that the full rigors of the law be applied.” He further stated: "I think it’s despicable that anyone would feel so low that they would have to attack a person’s grave. St Mary’s is the site of some really old graves, dating back from centuries gone by."

Nurse Suspended for Wearing a Cross-Necklace Challenges Case of Discrimination

October 5, 2021, United Kingdom

Mrs. Onuoha worked at Croydon University Hospital in London for many years as a nurse and has been wearing a golden cross necklace for 40 years without any problems. During the last two years, she started being pressured to remove her cross. Her necklace was considered "too visible" and posed a ‘risk of injury or infection’, despite the jewelry pieces of other medical staff not being criticized. After her repeated refusal, Mrs. Onuoha faced an investigation, was suspended, and relegated to work as a receptionist, and was told not to mention the reason for her relegation. With help of the Christian Legal Center (CLC), she is confronting the Hospital for harassment and discrimination.

Arson at St. Remy's Church

October 4, 2021, Belgium

In the night of 4 October, the church of Saint-Rémy in the centre of Ottignies fell victim to arson. A carpet, a chair and a panel were set on fire. The incident was quickly brought under control by alerted firefighters. Shortly after the incident, Ottigines police checked a laundromat located in the neighbourhood. There, an intoxicated suspect was identified and arrested. At the time of his arrest, the man born in 1987 and of no known address was in possession of a box of matches. The man, who already had a criminal record, will be brought before the criminal court as part of an accelerated procedure.

Church in Badia Vandalised Multiple Times

October 3, 2021, Italy

Over the course of a month the church in Badia has been vandalised in various ways: glasses were broken with stone, stones were pulled out of the walls and dog excrements smeared on the facade of the church. The last damage was perpetrated by smashing the windows with stones. Stones falling inside the church also caused damage to the wooden pews. Police are investigating.

Cross of Church Cemetery in Tempelberg Smeared and Vandalised

October 2, 2021, Germany

A large cross that stands in front of the small cemetery at the church in Tempelberg was desecrated. Unknown perpetrators smeared and vandalised the cross. The incident occurred on Germany's Unity Day, which is annually celebrated on 2 October. Police are investigating.

Madonna delle Grazie Vandalised in Salza Irpina

October 2, 2021, Italy

The front door of a church in Salza Irpina was vandalised with graffiti on 2 October. The mayor of the city, Luigi Cella, has expressed his indignation on social media and hopes to find the perpetrator/s. "A deplorable gesture of vandalism was made against our church Maria Santissima delle Grazie".

Prayer in General Considered a Harmful Form of “Conversion Therapy” by Cooper Report

October 1, 2021, United Kingdom

The Cooper Report has been recently published by the Ban Conversion Therapy Legal Forum that was founded at the end of June. The Ban Conversion Therapy Legal Forum is a multidisciplinary group of parliamentarians, academics, barristers, legal professionals and survivors, whose aim is to ban any form of what is by them considered as conversion therapy. The Forum also considers any from of prayer as a harmful practice used for conversion therapy. They further state that an individual cannot consent to any form of conversion therapy. This implies that Christians or people in general, who seek help or guidance when they struggle with their gender identity, would not be allowed to get pastoral help that is not confirming their new gender identity, which the persons are maybe not even sure about yet. The Report further states that the human right of religious freedom is to be seen as inferior in this case.

UNIVERSITY OF EXETER CONDEMNS DEATH THREATS AGAINST STUDENTS OF PRO-LIFE ASSOCIATION

October 1, 2021, United Kingdom

The pro-life student "Life Society" association from the University of Exeter was the target of a hate campaign aimed to dissolve the group and its activity at the university. A petition among students and an open letter addressed to the university's Students Guild was sent to stop the pro-life group. Additionally, the group got harassed on social media. An online hate campaign was coordinated, to send them negative comments and even death threats, which were reported to the police. Fortunately, the University of Exeter defended the Pro-Life Association and supported their right to freedom of speech.

Priest Discovered Armed Man in Parisian Church

September 29, 2021, France

A Priest in the Saint-Luc church in the 19. district of Paris was approached by an agitated armed man on 29. August, asking for the time of mass and saying he wants to attend. After answering him, the priest noticed the man was carrying a revolver gun and alerted the police, who later took the suspect into custody near the church. The 28-year-old suspect was found with a loaded gun and had already been known for other offences. The police are investigating.

Update: Former Finnish MP Faces Trial for Quoting the Bible

September 29, 2021, Finland

Former MP Päivi Räsänen, physician and mother of five is awaiting her hearing for the 22nd of January, 2022. She is being investigated after the Finnish Prosecutor General filed criminal charges against her. One of the reasons is that she published a tweet quoting the Bible. Räsänen could faced a two-year prison sentence or a fine for the tweet.

New Law in Spain Plans to Publicly Publish List of Medical Staff Who Object Abortion

September 29, 2021, Spain

The Spanish Ministry of Equality is planning to create a registry of medical doctors, nurses, and staff who object abortion on the grounds of conscientious objection. The intended registry is part of a reform of the abortion law in Spain, passed in 2010. The argument for the proposal is to be able to guarantee the “right to terminate pregnancies” in public hospitals, as in many hospitals abortions are not performed, given the conscientious objections of the staff. Many bishops and experts are strongly criticizing this registry, as such a list can cause discrimination and harm freedom of expression, as well as freedom of conscience.

Roof of Church in Frodsham Stolen

September 28, 2021, United Kingdom

A "substantial" part of St. Laurence's Church roof has been stolen by a group of thieves. Sergeant Simpson, from the Cheshire Police Rural Crime Team, has written on Facebook: "When someone steals from a listed or protected site, building or monument, its a crime against all of us. They are stealing our shared history", and he added, "the impact on the community can be devastating too, so please keep an eye on our history and report anything suspicious."

Vandals Smash Church Window in Horn-Bad Meinberg

September 27, 2021, Germany

Unknown perpetrators smashed the window of the local church in Horn-Bad Meinberg on 27 September. According to the police, the window is located directly above the church door. The damage amounts to around 2.000 Euros.

Update: University Revoques its Decission Regarding the Catholic Chaplain

September 25, 2021, United Kingdom

Fr Palmer had been declined as a University chaplain was due to posts on his Twitter account expressing personal opinions and views regarding abortion and assisted suicide. After the "Free Speech Union" threatened the University for ignoring the 2010 Equality act, Nottingham University recognized Fr Palmer to become the Catholic priest of the University

Evangelical Foster Agency Accused of "Discriminatory Policy" Against Homosexual Couples Lost Case

September 24, 2021, United Kingdom

The Christian Cornerstone (North East) Adoption and Fostering Agency has lost the case at the Court of Appeal. They were hoping to reverse a ruling that found the agency "discriminatory" for working only with heterosexual couples. Three Court of Appeal judges have found the Foster agency's policy discriminatory, as they find that the basis of the agency's religious beliefs is not enough to justify their policy of only recruiting heterosexual carers.

Flags of Evangelical Church in Nagold Repeatedly Vandalised

September 24, 2021, Germany

For the fourth time in a row this year, the flags decorating the evangelical church in Nagold have been torn or cut. Among the upset parishioners, an active woman in the community stated that the flags are not cheap and they are paid with everyone's donations.

Right-Wing Extremists Storm Pastoral Office in Linz

September 23, 2021, Austria

Around 15 hooded men have stormed the office of the Diocese of Linz with leaflets, banners, and a megaphone. The pursuit was to protest against a memorial that will be placed in Linz's city cemetery for the refugees who died in the Mediterranean Sea. The group apparently belongs to the right-wing extremist "Identitäre" (Identitarians).

Oxford College Regrets Hosting a Christian Event

September 22, 2021, United Kingdom

The Wilberforce Academy (Christian seminar) has been holding its courses in different Oxford colleges for many years. But this year, the Worcester College, where the seminar was taking place, apologized for having hosted this event "that caused significant distress" as it was published in the student newspaper "The Tab".

Germany increasingly Denies Asylum to Christian Converts from Islam and Deports them To Muslim Countries where they Face Death

September 20, 2021, Germany

Open Doors, an international Christian organisation, which supports persecuted Christians worldwide, has published a report on the current situation of 5.207 Christian converts in Germany. The vast majority of them are denied asylum and many of them are threatened with deportation to conservative Muslim countries where conversion to another religion is considered a crime worthy of death.

Church in Sandhausen Vandalised

September 20, 2021, Germany

Unknown perpetrators have vandalized the church of the Holy Trinity and caused several damages: burning a sign, removing the Pascual Candle and damaging it, chairs and cushioins have burn holes, etc. Despite this event, the parish priest still wants to leave the church open for the people so that they can "recharge their batteries and strengthen their faith during this time". He also urged the people to protect the church "by visiting it and thus protect it from further damage". According to the police it seems that the perpetrators were not looking for money, "it was vandalism".

Surveillance Camera Caught Two Burglars inside St.Liborio's Church

September 19, 2021, Italy

Images from CCTV showed that a car was driving away from the church of San Liborio where religious objects and 5.000 Euros in cash, which was contained in a metal cupboard, were stolen. The two perpetrators, 37 and 46 years-old and with previous convictions, were identified after a quick investigation by the local police station

Three Evangelical Pro-life Organisations Heavily Vandalised by Radical LGBTQ+ Groups

September 18, 2021, Switzerland

In the run-up to the March for Life, three different pro-life Evangelical centres have been vandalized in two different cities, Zurich and Emmenbrücke (Lucerne). The attacks were claimed on an anarcho-autonomous pro-LGBTQ information platform. According to the three organisations, “all the incidents in the run-up to the March for Life”, as well as “the fact that the event could only be held under police protection again this year” show that “freedom of expression is not uncontested in Switzerland”. The event started one hour later due to the barricades that left-extremist set-up. "We condemn this way of acting and reacting but we are trying to continue the dialogue in the public debate, without being intimidated," reacted Daniela Baumann, spokesperson for SEA, accompanied by Evangeliques.info. The event, which took place on 18 September, was attended by around 1,400 people according to organisers. It was a success after the events cancellation on 2020 due Corona.

Art Festival Against "Religious Censorship" celebrates "Blasphemy Day"

September 17, 2021, Italy

"Ceci n'est pas un blasphème" is the title of the festival which claims to celebrate freedom of expression and attack "religious censorship". The festival took place between the 17th and 30th of September, the day on which "Blasphemy Day" is celebrated. The non-profit festival included exhibitions, talks, comedians, to promote anti-clerical art and raise funds to be donated to organizations that provide protection and legal assistance to people persecuted for having said or created blasphemous content. Interestingly, many artists have targeted Christian symbols to create blasphemous images, whereas the countries and cases with severe Blasphemy laws and punishments are Muslim.

Two Arson Attempts in a Church in Waldmünchen

September 17, 2021, Germany

An unknown perpetrator seems to have tried twice to set the church in Waldmünchen on fire. The first time by placing a candle on the floor of the closed-off side altar with an advertising leaflet from church on it, shortly after the leaflet caught fire. On the next Saturday he tried it again by throwing a burning paper into the area of the fenced side altar. Fortunately the rest of the church was not damaged and the fire was contained. The police are investigating.

Under Investigation: 24-year-old Man Stabbed to Death While Handing Out Church Leaflets

September 17, 2021, United Kingdom

Mohamed Issa Koroma has been stabbed to death, while he was handling out church leaflets. The attacker will be charge with murder and possession of a bladed weapon in public and will appear at Sheffield Crown Court on 22 September. When the police arrived, Mr. Koroma was seriously injured and still alive but shortly died after the attack. “Our investigation into this incident continues at pace and our officers remain at the scene as they conduct their enquiries" said the Detective Chief Inspector Paul Murphy, 31, of South Yorkshire Police. The motive is still unclear.

Fire Extinguisher Used to Damage Church in Louvie-Juzon

September 17, 2021, France

On the 17th of September, anonymous perpetrators vandalized the church of Louvie-Juzon in France by damaging the furniture and emptying the fire extinguisher over the furniture and floor of the Church. The major, who said being very disappointed, has lodged a formal complaint.

Church Window Broken by a Group of Young People

September 16, 2021, Italy

The parish of Mortizzuolo in Mirandola was vandalized by a group of young people that was gathering next to the church. The group ended up breaking a window of the church. Police are investigating and tracking videocameras.

Statue of the Virgin Mary Toppled in Warsaw

September 16, 2021, Poland

Unknown perpetrators have toppled a statue of the Virgin Mary, which was placed in the garden of the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary convent in Anin, Warsaw. The statue was tied with a telephone cable, which indicates that the vandalism was intentional. According to Father Marek Doszko, pastor of the parish of Our Lady Queen of Poland, where the house is located, the statue fell on soft ground and leaves, so no extensive damage was caused. The profanation took place on the day of the commemoration of the founder of the congregation, St. Zygmunt Szczęsny-Feliński

Monstrance Stolen from Church in Fourmies

September 16, 2021, France

On 16 September, the glass door of the chapel of the church of Saint-Pierre was forced open with a crowbar. The perpetrators stole a tin monstrance. "The object was not of great material value, but it had spiritual value. This monstrance was used for Adoration every Friday, reports Abbé Potier. The thieves did not take the lunula, i.e. the glass vessel containing the consecrated host. The object is incomplete and therefore cannot be sold as it is. "I am very hopeful that it will be abandoned somewhere and we will eventually get our hands on it again sooner or later". The police are investigating.

Several Thousand Euros Damage: Stained Glass Window of Church in St. Godard Smashed

September 16, 2021, France

On the night of 15. to 16. September, a stained glass window dating back to the XVI century was smashed with a stone by unknown perpetrators. The Church St. Godard in Rouen is "very much visited for the Heritage Days" and "had been completely cleaned", regretted Élizabeth Labaye, a municipal councilor in charge of tourism, heritage, and marriage. A complaint was filed and the police assisted in the investigation. The damage is estimated at several thousand Euros.

About Fifty Graves Vandalised in Poitiers Hospital Cemetery

September 16, 2021, France

A family that was visiting the Hopital des Champs cemetery alerted the police on 16 September, after they found around fifty graves, which were tagged with the symbol of Sidaction. Police are investigating.

Church in Szczecin Severely Vandalised

September 15, 2021, Poland

A 33-year-old man destroyed a historic 1.5 metre wooden cross, an electric censer and a font in the church vestibule, and assaulted the priest who tried to calm down the attacker. Father Dariusz Olszak was beaten and will undergo surgery for a broken jaw. The man, who already had a criminal record, is awaiting his sentence. Police are investigating.

Statue of the Virgin Mary Attacked with Arson

September 14, 2021, France

A processional statue of the Virgin Mary in the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Bon Secours in Guingamp was set on fire on 14 September. The fire was extinguished with an extinguisher by the owner of a nearby crêperie. According to a source close to the case: "The initial findings totally rule it out. It is clearly an arson attack. For the moment we have no information on the perpetrator or perpetrators. The investigations will continue. The statue was not completely destroyed, but its clothes were destroyed. The bishop of Saint-Brieuc and Tréguier, Mgr Moutel, reacted in a press release: "I would like to thank the Catholic community and all the inhabitants of Guingamp for the closeness of their hearts and prayers. It seems that the fire was started deliberately. The gendarmerie investigation will determine the circumstances. The attachment to Our Lady of Good Help goes far beyond the churchgoers. Let us not allow ourselves to be divided by such acts, let us seek to create the conditions for peace and fraternity". The fact that the fire began at the Virgins face, where no candles or lights were placed, suggest with almost no doubt that the fire was arson.

Church Vandalised with Anti-Semitic Tags in Perugia

September 13, 2021, Italy

Blasmephic tags in red paint were found on the memorial plaque of the great Perugian Bishop Luigi Piastrelli, who was parish priest in St. Agatha's church for almost 70 years, from 1908 to 1975. The plaque is found on the facade of the Church. The residents have expressed shame and indignation, according to the report, and they have also called on the police to launch an investigation with help of security cameras on the area.

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.

Statue of the Virgin Mary at the L'Immacule Conception Church Destroyed

September 11, 2021, France

The statue of the Virgin Mary at the Immaculate Conception Church in Bonnencontre was broken into thousand pieces. The major and the parish priest believe it happened on 11th September. In the pictures posted by "Le Bien Pubic" one can also recognize scattered bibles on the floor. A formal complaint has been filed.

Repeated Theft in Madonna delle Lacrime Sanctuary

September 10, 2021, Italy

For the third time in a row, the Madonna delle Lacrime Sanctuary located in Siracusa has been robbed.

Offering Box Keeps Being Robbed

September 9, 2021, Italy

The rector of St Anthony's exposed a warning on the church's news table: 'He steals our money, but I want to avoid him trouble'. Repeatedly, the priest had found the box containing the offerings of the faithful robbed for several times.

Afghan Faith Minorities, Specially Christians Face Crisis while the "EU Religious Special Envoy" Position Is Vacant

September 8, 2021, Belgium

Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU seems to be a difficult position. After being two years vacant, Christos Stylianides took up the vacant post and left it after less than five months for another one. Human Rights experts express their concern about how poorly this position is supported and resourced.

Church Premises Vandalised with Insulting Graffitis Against the Church

September 6, 2021, Spain

The famous romanic chapel known as Monsacro has been vandalised with graffitis and messages against the Church. The chapel building was not vansalised but the Way of Sorrows and the boundary markers were tagged with hostile messages.

Two Churches in Siracusa Vandalised

September 5, 2021, Italy

The Church of the Mazzarrona and now also the basilica sanctuary of the Madonna delle Lacrime have been the target of thieves and vandals. Police are investigating.

Enormous Damage Caused to Vandalised Church in Burgerland

September 5, 2021, Austria

The Evangelical Church of Markt Allhau has been vandalised by unknown perpetrators during the night of the 5th to 6th of September. The whole façade of the church was smeared with ketchup, eggs, and bananas while a window was broken with a stone. The incident has been reported to the police and they are investigating. The damage amounts to several thousand euros.

Arson Caused Damage of Several Thousand Francs to St.Andrea's Church in Gossau

September 3, 2021, Switzerland

Unknown persons set fire to several objects between 4.45 pm and 6 pm on the 3rd of September. Fortunately, the fire went out by itself. The arson was discovered by the sexton, who smelled smoke when entering the church. He found a singed wooden table with charred objects. According to the St. Gallen cantonal police, property damage amounting to several thousand francs was caused. The Priest of the Church, Andy Givel, expressed surprise and concern regarding the incident.