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.

Church Walls Vandalized with Graffiti in Leipzig

October 28, 2021, Germany

On the 28. October at night, vandals sprayed messages in black paint on the walls of a church in Stötteritz. Some of the tags were also against the police and the damage to property is estimated at around 1,000 euros. The police filed a report are investigating the incident.

Church in Neuburg Vandalised with Graffiti

October 25, 2021, Germany

In Neuburg, the Holy Spirit Church on Spitalplatz was smeared with graffiti on the 25. October, as was reported by the police. Between the 25th and 26th, an unknown perpetrator sprayed grey graffiti on a wall in the area of the parish garden. This caused damage amounting to 1000 euros, the police are running an investigation.

Attempted Arson and Vandalism at the Protestant Church in Holzkirchen

October 22, 2021, Germany

According to the police of Holzkirchen, between the 22. and 24. October, the Protestant Blessing Church in the Haidstraße was targeted for vandalism. Unknown perpetrators entered the church without any problem, as the place of worship is open every day. They destroyed the disinfectant provided and spread it on the floor of the entrance, it seems that they intended to light a fire because burn matches were found in the church, they also threw the pillows of the chairs around the church. Outside, police found a fireplace consisting of a vehicle tire and small wooden branches, although no fire was lit there.

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.

St. Marien Church in Bochum-Langendreer Looted for the Third Time

October 21, 2021, Germany

In Bochum-Langendreer, criminals have been targeting churches for looting, the last time being on the night of 23. to 24. October. The Catholic community of St. Mary's in the former Langendreer station has been the target of three burglaries this year. In February, the parish office behind the church in Marien was devastated. This time the burglars had their sight set on the church. On the night of Wednesday to Thursday (20./21. October), they broke in through the side door and stole a projector, according to the congregation. And on the night of Saturday to Sunday (23./24. October) the main entrance was broken into and the offerings were stolen.

Statue of the Virgin Mary Vandalised and Replace by a Garden Gnomo

October 20, 2021, France

At the end of September, a statue of the Virgin Mary of the parish church, placed in a public road in the village of Gironde, was vandalized and destroyed. A garden gnome was placed in its place. A complaint was lodged by the church's maintenance lady. A man had found pieces of the bust in a vineyard, and two days later, the head of the Virgin was placed in front of a school gate. Although the events took place at the end of September, the story first got coverage a month later. The Mayor of Le Pian-sur-Garonne was also very upset by the action, the police are investigating.

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.

Arson to Shrine Dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes in Scotland

October 18, 2021, United Kingdom

On October 17, the Carfin Grotto, Scotland's National Shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes, appeared partially burnt and destroyed as unknown perpetrators deliberately made a pile and set it on fire. As Police reported, "Enquiries are ongoing and at an early stage". Meanwhile, the community has launched a micro-funding campaign to help pay the damages due to the lack of economical means. However they are even more concerned about the rise of attacks against religious places, "we hope it is addressed at a national level", said the spokesman, John Mallon.

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.