All cases

OSCE Report shows alarming increase of Anti-Christian Hate Crimes

November 16, 2021, Austria

On the "International Day for Tolerance", the OSCE released a Hate Crimes Report, which documented 980 descriptive incidents against Christians out of 4008 incidents. Descriptive incidents are the ones documented by civil society organizations, such as the Observatory. There is a larger number of cases when police numbers are counted. The Observatory has drawn attention to the rising trend (70%) of Anti-Christian Hate Crimes since last year, considering that only 8 out of the 136 civil society or international organisations consistently reported crimes with Anti-Christian bias.

Man Steals 55 Euros from the Mariahilfe Church in Vienna

November 11, 2021, Austria

The Viennese police caught a 40-year-old man in a Church in Vienna-Mariahilf on the morning of the 11th after a burglary. He was temporarily handcuffed and the stolen offertory money was seized, as the Vienna Police Directorate reported in a press release on Friday. According to spokeswoman Barbara Gass, about 55 euros were found on the man. The perpetrator has been imprisoned.

Man Tries to Burn Down an Entire Chapel due to his Beliefs

November 8, 2021, Poland

A 38-year-old man was arrested while setting fire to the small chapel of St. Anna in Jasienica in the city of Myślenice on the 8. November. The police were alerted and managed to arrive on the scene in time to arrest the man and initiate operations to reduce the fire. The arriving patrol officers noticed that the window glass of the building was broken and the assailant was still inside. "He lit a fire there, expecting the fire to consume this small building." They pulled the man out of the window and handcuffed him. According to the police spokesman, Sebastian Gleń, the perpetrator explained he committed this act due to his beliefs and that his aim was to destroy the chapel completely. He is now awaiting sentencing, which could be up to ten years in prison.

Spanish Politician Compares Catholics with the Taliban

November 2, 2021, Spain

Politician Beatriz Bandera posted on Twitter on the 2. November a short video of the Sevillian Holy Week devotees during their yearly procession with the caption "Our Taliban". With this post, she compares faithful Catholics during a peaceful procession with the terrorist group of radical Islamist fundamentalists. Despite the criticism and offence that her commentary has generated, Mrs Bandera has not apologised, "I criticise what I finance with my taxes. Can I? Or not?", she reiterated.

UPDATE: Ban on "Conversion Therapy" in UK "Could Lead to the Prosecution" of Pastors and Church Leaders

November 1, 2021, United Kingdom

The Welsh government has admitted that the ban on conversion therapy "could lead to the prosecution of religious leaders". The ban on conversion therapy was announced by the Queen in May this year and was welcomed by the Bench of Bishops in the Church in Wales. The document presented by the government leaves aside questions such as the possibility to attack religious freedom and claims that conversion therapies cause harm, although it gives "no evidence to justify the claim". Since then, Christian groups have raised concern that the ban could apply for private prayer and conversations, undermining religious freedom. The consultation by the Government will be open until 10. December 2021.

Increase in Thefts of Consecrated Hosts in the Days Leading Up to Halloween

October 31, 2021, Spain

According to a report by ABC, the theft of consecrated Hosts in Spain has been a yearly phenomenon that occurs with special emphasis in the days leading up to halloween. The fathers recall finding the churches damaged after the hosts were stolen. This has happened in different churches for the last 10 years. Famed Spanish exorcist Fr. José Antonio Fortea reported that desecrations are taking place in many dioceses, but "the media do not usually report it". Many priests also fail to report such thefts, fearing that going public would have a "domino effect". Although these desecrating incidents happen annually, the police has not put up any preventive safety measures.

St Nicholas Church Vandalised on the Halloween Night

October 31, 2021, Germany

On the 31. October at night, the St. Nicholas Church in Immenstadt was damaged by graffiti. The unknown perpetrator(s) sprayed the words "Die Heiligen Geschwister Scholl" (The holy Scholl siblings) in black paint on the wall, causing damage of about 500 euros. The police are running an investigation. On the 31. October, there was increased vandalism in the whole region.

Arson by Unknown Perpetrators in Church Premises

October 30, 2021, Italy

On the evening of 30. October, a fire broke out in the premises next to the church of Sant'Aniceto in Villar Perosa. Thanks to the Fire Brigade and volunteers, the fire was brought under control and no one was hurt. The parish priest, Don Orlando Aguilar Tobon, suspects that the fire was voluntary because the cleaning ladies noticed the smell of cigarettes and found a disordered room, later he was informed that a fire had broken out from a locked cabinet. A bottle of wine and two glasses were also found in the room.

Arson and Vandalism at Church in Germany

October 28, 2021, Germany

On 28. October at around 7.15 pm., witnesses found that there had been several damages to property in the church in Hellenthal. The organ and other objects were smeared with wax, and a burnt hole was found in the pew, among other things. The damage amounts to a few hundred euros. The damage to the property must have taken place between 10 am and 7 pm. The police opened an investigation.

Man Damaged Crucifix and Dismantled Church for "Religious Reasons"

October 28, 2021, Germany

At around 12.30 p.m. on 28. October, the police received a report of damage to property in the evangelical Frauenberg church in Sangerhäuser Straße, Nordhausen. A 25-year-old Afghan man had gone into the church, emptied it for "religious reasons" and broken a Crucifix. The police have filed a complaint of damage to property. The amount of damage is not yet known, but the damaged Crucifix had a high historical value to the community, which will be immediately restored.