All cases

Extreme Vandalism to Church caused over 10 thousand Euro Damage

December 4, 2021, Germany

On Sunday morning (5. December), the churchgoers found the Johanneskirche in Feuersee completely vandalised. The perpetrator(s) devastated the Protestant church by destroying over 20 windows, breaking open the cupboards, taking the bibles from the shelves and throwing them around, among other things during the night of the 4. December. The damage is estimated at over 10 thousand Euros and the Church has to remain closed for the time being. The police are investigating to find the perpetrator(s).

Proposal to replace the word "Christmas" with "Holidays" or "Winter Break" raised Concern

December 1, 2021, International

In the first week of December, an internal document outlining communication guidelines for European Union staff was leaked, which raised concern among the Christian population. In this document, the EU Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli of Malta, proposed replacing the term "Happy Christmas" for "Happy Holidays" or calling Christmas a "winter break" in the name of inclusivity. Among the Christian voices that raised concern, Pope Francis called this action "a fashion of a watered-down secularism" and called it an "anachronism". The document has since been withdrawn.

Arson at Church in Boulonnais follows series of attacks

November 27, 2021, France

On the night of 26th to 27th November around midnight, a fire struck a church in Boulonnais in the town of Le Portel. The church Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul had already been vandalised a couple of days before. The fire started at the back of the religious building in the sacristy where the equipment of the parish priest and volunteers is kept. Nineteen firemen intervened to control the fire, which threatened the whole church. The police arrested a 36-year-old suspect during the night as he was trying to flee, as the police commissioner of Boulogne, Arnaud Jublin, explained. A hearing of the suspect will take place soon. 

Arson by Under-Age-Boy at a Church in Toulouse

November 26, 2021, France

A parishioner of the church of Fronton in Toulouse witnessed on the 26. November how a fire broke out on the altar of the church. Thanks to his quick reaction, the fire was rapidly brought under control. The investigation launched by the police showed that the fire had been set by a minor. The young man has been taken into police custody and will be tried in February 2022.

Church of Santa Maria Magdalena Vandalised Twice in November

November 25, 2021, Poland

The parish of St. Mary Magdalene reported an attack that took place on the 23. November in the morning. Police were notified by the parish priest that someone had smashed the windows with a stone in the sacristy and the utility room. The damage was estimated at 1.5 thousand PLN according to the police. This is not the first case in recent days, as on the 14. November, three lanterns and lamps illuminating the facade were destroyed at the same church. The investigation of that case is still running.

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.