Germany rejected the asylum application made in 2018 by Hassan, a 44-year-old Iranian who converted to Christianity in Iran and was prosecuted for the same reason. When he testified before the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in Germany, he disclosed that he learned about Christianity in Iran through his brother-in-law, who had been imprisoned for his activities and was then killed for practicing his faith in jail. During the second week of August, the European Court of Human Rights refused to listen to Hassan's case, meaning now he faces the threat of being deported to his home country, where he will likely face imprisonment or death.
The columns and the flower boxes of the Church of San Benedetto in Livorno have been spray-painted with red tags. Some of the inscriptions that defaced the Church said "No Nazi" and "1312". It is presumed that it is the same vandals that have vandalized a statue of Canapone in the Piazza XX Settembre. A concierge hopes that the security cameras might help identify the perpetrator.
On 11. August the church of Sant'Antonio Abate was vandalised by unknown perpetrators. They sprayed writings on the walls of the church and excrements were also left on the ground. According to an investigation by the Carabinieri of the local station, the mirrors of some nearby parked cars were also damaged. There are currently no video surveillance cameras in the area.
Vandals were on the loose in the district of Neukirchen last week. Unknown perpetrators damaged a round-arched window of the church on Bruchstraße on 15. August.
For the third time on the year, the village church of Saint Gregory the Great in Morville has been the target of theft and vandalism. This time, the thieves stole a plaque commemorating a war hero, Thomas Hoblyn-Robins (from WWI). This happened on the 9. of August. On the same day two brass candlesticks, one brass vase and two brass candleholders were stolen. The police are asking for witness information.
A 45-year-old man injured his hand while attempting to break into a tabernacle in the church of San Lazzaro in Bologna. The man was identified by the carabinieri thanks to surveillance cameras. On the 8 August, the man tried to open one of the tabernacles of the church of San Lazzaro, but in doing so he injured himself and decided to give up. Returning home, he called the 118 emergency services to get medical attention. After finding the damaged tabernacle, the priest checked the images taken by the church's security cameras.
On the 8th of August, the Municipality of Les Borges del Camp posted on Twitter photos and a video of the vandalistic attack on the church during the night. Unknown perpetrators threw pink paint bombs at the church's walls and wooden door.
The historian Dick Harrison recently wrote a review of a book called "The First Right: Freedom of Religion. Freedom from Religion", written by the deputy secretary general of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance, Jacob Rudenstrand. The historian commented that the book was worth reading and pointed out that the current persecution of Christians "hardly gets any media attention."
On Sunday 7. August, tthe police in Murcia arrested two men after they attacked the church of San Bartolomé during the celebration of Mass. The perpetrators, aged 24 and 27, who are originally from Estonia, entered the church shouting and obscene gestures. The parish priest and several parishioners tried to intervene and stop them before they gained access to the tabernacle. The parishioners told the police officers the details of the incident and regretted the lack of respect by these individuals for their faith and the violation of their freedom of worship. The perpetrators have been handed over to the Examining Magistrate's Court on duty.
Between the 6. and 9. August, unknown perpetrators smashed the window panes of an Evangelical church in Beinum, Salzgitter, by using stones. The police issued a press release about the incident and are investigating. The damage is estimated at around 10 000 Euro.
On the night of August 5-6, 2022, an unknown perpetrator profaned the statue of Our Lady of Medjugorie located in the park near St. Joseph Church in Stargard. The vandal damaged the windows and stole the holy rosary held in the hands of the statue of Our Lady.
The town hall of Picauville has taken the decision on the 5th of August that churches will remain closed, due to the high amount of vandalism. Claudine Marie, the second deputy major, commented about recent incidents: "Damage took place on Wednesday 3 or Thursday 4 August. In particular in the church of Amfreville, where the trunk was torn off to take the little money that was inside. This caused some additional damage to the wall where it was hung." Masses and other religious celebrations will still take place.
Unknown perpetrators vandalized the Catholic Church of the Good Hirte, using a marker pen to write words and sayings on the pillars and walls inside the church. They further desecrated a Bible, which was open for reading, and a fresco in a side niche. Pastor Gerd Möller said that "the fresco, in particular, will not be easy to restore". According to the Pastor, the attack took place during the morning on August 4 and the damage caused amounts to 10,000 euros. He further added that "the immaterial damage cannot be estimated. A church is a place of encounter with God and prayer. These places are of inestimable value for people who practice their religion". The parish filed a criminal complaint with the police who launched an investigation to find the perpetrators.
Between the early afternoon of August 4 and the morning of the 5th, unknown people broke into a church located in the west of Leipzig. They entered through a window and searched several rooms inside the building. The door of one of the offices was forced open and the room was looted. There is not yet any available information regarding the stolen items and the damage caused. The case was reported to the police who launched an investigation, deeming this a case of aggravated theft.
For no apparent reason three trees in front of the church in Sümmern have been cut off. The cut off trees were lying on the ground, so the reason for the cutting was clearly not theft. The police are investigating.
On the 3rd of August, it was reported that unknown thieves stole part of the floor tiles from the church of the Holy Spirit in piazza Cirillo in Aversa. The thieves took parts of the floor but left their tools behind. The authorities believe it is unlikely that the criminals wanted to return, as the church is closed to the public and deconsecrated. The carabinieri is investigating with use of security cameras.
It was reported on the 3rd of August that the church of San Giovannello is being constantly vandalised and spray painted by unknown persons. According to the newspaper, they receive daily complaints and pictures of the church being daubed on every corner by vandals, including the surroundings. The newspaper suggests installing a video surveillance system.
German Police are investigating an attempted break-in at the Reconciliation Church in the Bännjerrück district of Kaiserslautern. The event took place on the 3rd of August, as the perpetrators tried to gain access to the church, but did not succeed. Nevertheless, the burglars caused damage estimated to be at least 200 euros.
The Canadian police released the hate crime data for 2021 on the 3rd of August, showing an alarming rise in anti-religious hate crimes: from 530 cases in 2020 to 884 in 2021. Anti-Catholic hate crimes rose 260%: while there were 43 cases in 2020, it rose to 155 in 2021. Catholics were the second most target group after Jews. Main News Broadcasters reported on these worrying numbers, but although Anti-Catholic motives were the second most targeted religious group and showed the highest rise among all categories, the media only used examples from other groups.
In Wörth am Main during the first week of August, unknown persons defaced the entrance area of St. Nicholas Church with graffiti. The police have been notified and are asking for information. It seems that the crime was committed between 3 and 4 August. The perpetrators defaced the stone staircase of the main portal with paint. The damage to the property is estimated at around 500 euros.
On the 2nd of August afternoon, unknown perpetrator(s) vandalised a church in the Zähringerstraße. The individuals damaged flyers and a praise book with fire, they threw over altar candles and stands and damaged a holy figure. Also, an unknown number of candles were stolen. The police has taken over the investigation of the damage to property and asks for information from witnesses.
Steps leading to a secondary exit of the church in Aumetz in Moselle were vandalised - the edge was broken. The vandalic act most probably took place on 2. August. The town hall has filed a complaint.
Thieves looted the church of St. Mary's Assumption in Appelhülsen on the 1st of August. They stole three gold-plated metal candle coasters, a copper bird figurine screwed onto the baptismal font, various votive offerings crosses and a metal rod, which was in the hand of a statue of Our Lady. The police in Dülmen are asking for information.
In the city of Zeitz in front of the church, the memorial plaque for the pastor Oskar Brüsewitz was stolen. The theft was discovered on the 1st of August. The plaque was still attached to the pillar until the 27th of July. According to a witness, a man was seen trying to remove the plaque on the 27th of July in the evening. The witness says the man was disturbed when he was approached. A police investigation is ongoing.
On the 31 of July, the cemetery in Piekary Slaskie was desecrated by unknown perpetrators. 42 gravestones have been destroyed, the tombstones and crosses were knocked over, and flowers and some crosses were set on fire, according to Łukasz Czepkowski, spokesman for the Baker police. The police are investigating and trying to identify the perpetrators
The Saint-Roch de Kergroix chapel, in the commune of Quistinic in Morbihan, was vandalised on the weekend of 31 July. The two doors of the building were broken into, but no theft was reported in the building. The commune filed a complaint. On the following 2 August, several fires of criminal origin destroyed a hedge in the village of Kerquéré - the mayor recalled the vandalism of the chapel in the local press, where he announced that he would file a complaint following the fire.
On July 30, a woman at St. Joseph's Church in Maków Mazowiecki noticed that a man, most likely under the influence of alcohol, entered the sanctuary. He headed for the side aisle, where there were paintings used in processions, and deliberately kicked them. Under the impact, the paintings fell over. Two of them have damaged frames. The woman tried to stop him, but to no avail; the man left the scene before police officers arrived.
Relics and a medieval statue probably dating from the 13th century were stolen from the church of Saint-Médard and Saint-Gildard in Crépon in the Manche region in July. On their website, the Friends of the Crépon church give details: "During the month of July 2022, the Crépon church was the target of several thefts perpetrated without breaking and entering and probably in broad daylight. The first targeted relics contained in four reliquaries displayed on secondary altars in the nave and the second a remarkable sculpture, discovered in 2019 during work carried out in the nave of the church, and which was kept in the sacristy, a room which is usually locked." Relics are sacred objects.
On the 29. July, the wall of the Church of our Lady in Zurich was found with inscriptions in red paint saying: "Burn in Hell", "Strike Fundamentalists on the Mouth" and an anarchist symbol, along with paint dripped over the staircase. For the time being, the parish staff is not allowed to clean up the graffiti, while the crime is being investigated by the police. The shocked priest said he had never experienced anything like this.
During a press conference on the 28. July, the "International Gesellschaft für Menschenrechte (IGFM)" reported on the indifference and even bias present in the BAMF (the Migration Office in Germany) in regard to the fate of Iranian Christian converts, who face persecution or even death if deported to Iran. Pastor Dr. Gottfried Martens, an expert on legal practice and deportation procedures recalls how representatives would make fun of the statements of Christian Iranians, he stated that court hearings were "pure gambling". Many Iranian converts shared their hardships and disappointing experiences with the german authorities.
On 28. July, the Norman councillor discovered that the liturgical organ and the sound equipment of the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste were stolen in Omonville la Rogue. A complaint was filed with the Police.
Unknown persons vandalised a church in Heilbad Heiligenstadt on 28 July. "Between 1 and 5.30 p.m., unidentified persons vented their destructive rage in the St. Martin's Church on the church square in the old town. The perpetrators had tagged several pillars, spilled candle wax on the floor and broken a glass vase and a basin of the holy water dispenser. The stone staircase was also damaged by the vandals. The police have launched an investigation and an appeal for witnesses.
Destroyed by arson in 2013 already and then rebuilt, the St. Nicholas Church in Westkapelle, a section of the Flemish municipality of Knokke-Heist on the Dutch border, was set on fire on 28. July. Passers-by noticed smoke coming from the church. They went inside and noticed that the candle stand was burnt out. The fire was quickly extinguished and an investigation was launched - which points to vandalism by teenagers.
In Matera, unknown vandals defaced the 16th Century Church of the Immaculate Conception with anti-Christian phrases. The Pisticci administration announced: "This time it is an even more serious act because it has hit one of the symbolic assets of our historical-artistic heritage, certainly among the most beautiful and important in our country." The municipal administration reported the act to the authorities and asked citizens to help in identify the ones responsible. One of the inscriptions said "F*ck your God" or "Son of a *?"
On the 26. July at night, a US-American tourist ransacked the Basilica of Boulogne-sur-Mer. In the pictures posted by the police on Twitter one can see benches were knocked down, statues broken on the ground, the altar was ransacked and other sacred objects were damaged. The man was arrested by the local police.
The statue of Our Lady of Beauraing in Kanfen, a commune in the Moselle region near the Luxembourg border and Dudelange, has been vandalised on 26. July - unknown persons have burnt it. The previous statue in the same oratory was stolen outright, and was made of bronze.
During the night of July 25-26, a shrine with a statue of the Virgin Mary was profaned in the district of Przemyśl, in Poland.
On the 24. July, unknown perpetrators set fire to a church in Monheim am Rhein. The incident was discovered by a church employee, who noticed in the evening that all candles were on the altar and behind the altar had been lit. They also found lit pieces of paper and matches on the floor that left burn marks. Police are investigating.
The Church of St. Bartholomew in Zeiskam was damaged by unknown perpetrators on the 24. July with anti-Christian and obscene tags. One can see photos of the exterior façade defaced with red paint spray. Some of the symbols are an inverted cross, a star inside a circle (a witchery symbol) and a penis. The St. Bartholomew's Church Foundation has filed a complaint with the police.
On the days around the 23. July, several cases of attempted arson took place in the Liebfrauenkirche in Mengen. Easily combustible objects were set on fire several times inside the church by unidentified perpetrators. According to the police, there was a danger that the fire would spread to the furnishings, but fortunately, the fires went out by themselves. The criminal investigation department in Sigmaringen is looking for witnesses.
The church of Saint-François-d'Assise in Perpignan was desecrated on the 23. July in the afternoon by a group of vandals. The perpetrators ransacked the church and the sacristry, they threw the consecrated hosts to the ground and attempted to set fire to a statue of the Virgin Mary and dried flowers. They also broke the safe and looted the little money that was in the church from offerings and donations. The police is investigating the case.
A "gang of young people" desecrated the church of Saint Francis of Assisi in Perpignan on 23 July, stealing the ciborium, throwing the consecrated hosts to the ground and attempting to set fire to a statue of the Virgin Mary. A "gang of young people" desecrated the church of Saint Francis of Assisi in Perpignan on 23 July, stealing the ciborium, throwing the consecrated hosts to the ground and attempting to set fire to a statue of the Virgin Mary. On the day of the crime, the church had remained open as usual, but now it is closed outside of services," says Marc Olivier, the parishioner who discovered the scene of desolation.
A burning pew with a strong smoke development in the new parish church of St. Margaret in Landshut caused much damage to the church. Since this is not the first incident of this kind in the recent past in the parish church of St. Margaret, and an accident or spontaneous combustion can be ruled out at this point, it must be assumed to all appearances that the fire was caused by arson. The police have started an investigation on the spot.
The Ravensburg Criminal Investigation Department is investigating attempted arson after an unknown person apparently tried to set fire to a wooden door of the church of St. Peter and Paul in Weißenau on 22. July.
During an interview with the Christian Institute, Dr. James Holt, Chair of the Freedom Declared Foundation, said that there is a lack of religious literacy among some elected officials in the UK. He noted that at the recent International Conference on Freedom of Religion and Belief in London, the issue seemed to be addressed mainly as a foreign policy issue and not a domestic concern. He considers that "much more needs to be done" to counter anti-religious hatred in the UK and secure religious freedom.
On the 22nd of July, the church of San Michele in Lucca was attacked by vandals. Someone destroyed a piece made of stone which framed the door on the right side of the church and scattered the pieces on the steps of the church. The parish priest, Don Lucio Malanca lodged a complaint with the police. He also found shattered glass on the floor from a bottle he believes was used to scratch the marble.
Between the 21st and 22nd of July, unknown perpetrators tried to break in into the St. Alexander Church in Wallenhorst but were not successful. The perpetrators tampered with the door lock, an antique stained glass at the side entrance of the church and at the back of the devotional chapel, and left all places damaged. The police are looking for witnesses for more information.
A Moroccan man was arrested in Zaragoza, after breaking into the Basilica del Pilar in Zaragoza shouting: "Allah is great, he is the only true God, yours is false and you are infidels".The young man also threw a copy of the Qurʾan into the church and left then left. He was later arrested by the police.
The church in Pleumeur-Gautier (Côtes-d'Armor) has been the target of acts of vandalism and theft on the 21st of July. Candles were lit on the altar, which could have caused a fire and other objects were stolen. The mayor, Pierrick Gouronnec, visited the church to see the damages. The Gendarmerie Brigade is currently doing an investigation and the church has been put under increased surveillance.
The priest of the municipality of Camas in Sevilla, Pedro José Rodriguez Molina, received a note with death threats on the 21. July. The note said "Ardereis como en el 36" (You will burn like in 36) and "Cloro al clero" (Chlorine to the clergy). The priest posted the note on his social media profile.
A tag with a LGBT slogan was drawn on a pillar of the Saint Clément church in Nantes during the night of 21-22 July.
At the Holy Conception parish in Civitavecchia, a 51-year-old man stole the liturgical tablecloths from the church's altar. The cloths disappeared around the 20th of July, but the thief was tracked down by the police with help of security cameras.
The doors and windows of the churches in the area of Portomaggiore have been smashed by teenage vandals in the time of April and May. This has been reported on the 19th of July, as the carabinieri identified four minors. The crimes include breaking doors, glass windows, walls and air conditioners. The carabinieri opened an investigation.
Between July 10 and 19, unknown vandals smashed two windows in the parish of St. Paul in Klein. The perpetrators threw stones at the windows, creating a total of five holes distributed over the panes' surface. The total amount of the property damage has not been assessed yet but, according to the police, it is estimated to be around several thousand euros, since "these are very old and colorful stained glass panes".
In the Church of San Rocco in Santa Croce sull'Arno, the silver crowns that rested on the heads of the image of Our Lady of Grace and the Baby Jesus were stolen by unknown perpetrators. The incident took place on the 19. July and the police are investigating. The vandals also damaged the altar and stained the tablecloth with their footprints.
The facade of St. Agostino's Church, located in via Principi D'Acaja, was smeared with writings by perpetrators who were unaware of the security cameras in the vicinity. Thanks to the surveillance system the police were able to identify those responsible for damaging the church. Federico Battel, the commander of the Municipal Police of Pinerolo, disclosed that "we are talking about some girls, probably adults, from the shooting we recognize the faces well, now we are working to trace the names and surnames. Subsequently, we will proceed to report for damage and the costs of the restoration will also be charged".
Rosa Lalor, who on the 24th of February of 2021 was fined for praying silently on the public street, and later decided to challenge the sanction, won her appeal. At the time, the police considered that she did not have a "reasonable excuse" to be outside, even though she explained that she was simply "walking and praying" and that daily exercise was allowed. She received a fine of £200 and was then detained in the police car. Rosa Lalor decided to challenge the fine, with the help of ADF UK and won the case in court.
On the early evening of July 18, two people attending the church in Leezen noticed smoke building up in the rear area of the church and alerted the authorities. According to the police's preliminary investigations, a box with candles was lit on fire inside the church, deeming this case an "attempted serious arson". However, the extent of the damage caused could not be assessed yet. The police are looking for witnesses who might have seen people acting suspiciously on the church grounds. The arson motive was confirmed later on.
A Christian mayoral candidate for Lewisham, Maureen Martin, has launched legal action after being sacked for her statement on Christian beliefs about marriage in her election manifesto. She was dismissed by her housing association employer L&Q for "gross misconduct" following three complaints of "hate speech" against her, as she expressed her belief that a marriage between a man and a woman was a "fundamental building block in society" and the "safest environment to raise a child".
Unknown perpetrators have destroyed the missionary crucifix located at the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Sorrows in Płoty. The investigation found that the act of devastation was carried out between July 18 and 20.
On 18 July posters in support of Ukraine and against conspiracy theories,in the vicinity of the Gethsemane Church in Prenzlauer Berg, in Berlin, but also inside the church, were vandalised. According to the local press, this is not the first time. A show case of the church has also been vandalised in the past.
Unknown persons broke a window of the rectory of St. Andrew's parish on the night of 17 and 18 July. The sexton of the parish noticed the damage early Sunday morning and the stone that was used was found in the room behind it. The damaged window faces the Andreasplatz, but there was no intrusion into the premises. The police started an investigation and are looking for witnesses.
A citizen reported to the police that four benches had been thrown into the pond at St. Martini cemetery in Stadthagen. It is not yet known if the benches were damaged by this act, nor who threw them into the water. The police are investigating the case.
Between July 16 and 17, a glazed door of a Catholic Church was destroyed by unknown people. During the previous week, another attack took place in the same church, in which unknown perpetrators destroyed a stained glass window. Both cases were reported to the police who opened an investigation.
During the night between the 16th and 17th of July, three young people, aged 20, 21, and 25, broke into a church in the Świebodzin Commune, while under the influence of alcohol. They entered the church by breaking the padlock and, inside, stole the chalice, cyborium, and message boxes, worth a little over 400 euros. However, according to the police, after leaving the church building, they left the stolen objects in the bushes and entered the bell tower, rang the bells and hence woke up the town residents. The perpetrators were identified and detained by the police. They were charged with "theft with burglary" and can face up to 10 years in prison.
Bishop Halko in the city of Pohoda was attacked by a group of drunken young men, who broke bottles, banged on his cabin, and soaked him with water before other people who laughed at the scene. The incident took place during the night and was reported on 17.07.2022. The priest also recalls that the people shouted at him with insults and hung an LGBT Flag on his cottage. It seems that the group attacked the priest after he had expressed his opinion regarding the LGBT movement on TV.
Unknown vandals sprayed blue paint graffiti on the outer facade of the nearly 1900-year-old Roman Pantheon, where it could be read "aliens exist". As the area outside the Pantheon is not under complete surveillance, the security cameras were not useful to help find the culprits. However, the case was reported to the police who immediately launched an investigation. The Pantheon is one of the best-preserved buildings from Roman antiquity and experts are working on removing the paint from its walls.
Dymytrij Rudyuk, the Lviv Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OKU), accused the Russian army and the Moscow Patriarch Cyril of being responsible for torturing Ukrainian Orthodox priests. In an interview, he claimed that "the majority of OKU priests had to flee the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine. Those who stayed are often tortured. Five Orthodox priests were shot and a priest-monk was cruelly tortured to death".
The Protestant Gethsemane Church in Berlin-Prenzlauer-Berg was vandalised (again) by unknown perpetrators. The police announced on Thursday that unknown persons graffitied the display case at the church in Stargarder Straße in the night from 15 to 16 July and damaged several posters on various political topics. The police is looking for witnesses for the investigation. In the past, the church has repeatedly been the target of attacks in which, among other things, posters with political content were destroyed.
On July 15, two men, aged 28 and 29, suspected of having broken into a chapel in the Brody commune were detained by the police. In addition to the break-in, they stole liturgical objects worth nearly 500 euros, which the police were able to recover.
During the night between July 15 and 16, unknown perpetrators vandalized Rydboholm's church in Borås with swastikas, penises, and the word 'Hitler'. The security company was the first to notice the graffiti on the church's facade. When Pastor Sven-Erik Olsson arrived at the church, he noticed how much worse the case actually was: "There is graffiti on windows, on doors, flower pots and even on the stone stairs in front of the gate. It's outrageous, it's the whole community's church". The police were alerted and are looking into the case.
On the 15. July during the night, a 60-year-old restaurant chef witnessed how 3 men were vandalizing the St. Augustine Church in the centre of Cagliari and reprimanded the perpetrators to stop throwing bottles at the church. The three men then attacked him, beating him up and spraying pepper spray on him. The victim was taken to the hospital, he had three broken ribs and a chest injury. The police identified one of the perpetrators through the victim`s testimony and surveillance cameras.
On the 14th of July, unknown perpetrators broke into the parish of Seguro. Apparently, the burglars did not steal anything but they damaged the entrance door structures by breaking in.
Since the end of June, there have been three similar burglaries targeting valuables from churches and chapels, in the Main-Rhön region. In the three cases, the perpetrators broke into the buildings and, according to the police, stole "whatever was possible". They took valuables such as gold-plated candlesticks, host bowls, and cash from the offering boxes. Additionally, and overall, the thieves caused property damage amounting to 2100 euros. Due to the similarities between the cases, the police believe the crimes are related.
The priest of the church of San Giorgio, Don William Maggioni, discovered on the morning of the 11. July that two pyxes, containing hosts inside, were missing from the tabernacle behind the altar. The burglars also forced the tabernacle of the altar of the Madonna open, which was found empty. In addition, the golden crown of St. Valentine was robbed as well. Don William alerted the police who started an investigation to find the perpetrators.
Between July 9 and 10, unknown vandals broke and damaged several windows at the Karthaus monastery. It is suspected that minors threw balls and gravel at the windows, breaking them as a result. The case was reported to the police who are looking for witnesses to identify the perpetrators. The police stated that this kind of damage caused to church buildings is "no trivial offence", and called on parents from the area to talk to their children about it. Since this is not the first vandalistic attack against a church in the vicinity, the police added that they will be more present and vigilant in the area.
On July 11, unknown burglars broke into a church on Meislahnstrasse. After entering the building they broke a room's door and searched it, however it is not yet clear if they stole anything. The police were alerted and are investigating the case.
Two free evangelical churches have appealed to the Geneva Court due to the denial of their requests to perform baptisms on public beaches. On July 8, the Swiss canton of Geneva banned baptisms organized by evangelical churches in Lake Geneva, but the same baptisms are allowed in Vaud, an area that covers the northern shore of the Lake. The Swiss Evangelical Alliance wrote in a media release that they were shocked that Geneva, the human rights capital, would take such a "restrictive and exclusionary approach to religious freedom".
Between the 9. and 10. July, unknown vandals broke into the pilgrimage church "Maria Hilf", in the city of Batzhausen, and stole 30 organ pipes and 16 gold-plated candlesticks. According to the police, the damage caused by the burglary amounts to 24,000 euros. Unfortunately, they did not stop here and caused even greater property damages: they broke the church doors open and ripped out the organ pipes, causing damage that adds up to 40,000 euros. It seems like the organ was in fact destroyed, it is unclear if it is possible to repair it or not.
On July 10, unknown people smashed the window pane of St. Stephen's Church. Traces of blood were found at the scene meaning the perpetrators injured themselves by breaking the window. The motive is not clear since nothing was missing from the church. The case was reported to the police who launched an investigation.
Between the morning of July 9 and the morning of the 10th, unknown people broke the ground-level window of St. Michael's Church, causing material damage that amounts to 300 euros. It appears that the frame was kicked with a foot which caused the pane to break. The police was alerted and are now looking for witnesses who might have information on the case.
On the 10th of July, unknown vandals sprayed the entrance door and a wooden shed of a church with two white paint graffiti inscriptions. The property damage caused has not been assessed yet but the police have been alerted and are looking into the case.
During the night of July 10, unknown vandals damaged the facade of the evangelical church in Moers with hateful red tags. The sexton could not make sense of the writings left by the vandals. He believes this act was meant to target the church, although he was "not sure if the perpetrators even knew that this is a Protestant church". The writings included the words "Pontifex" and "F*ck Masonry", among others. The case was reported to the police who handed the investigation over to State Security, due to the possibility of the attack having a political background.
During the night of July 10, an Orthodox cemetery was desecrated in the Bosnian city of Mostar. Writings on the walls of the cemetery contained threats against Serbs, leading them to report fearing for their safety. This attack was reported to the police and to the Ministry of Internal Affairs by Archpriest Nebojša Radić.
During the night of 9-10 August, unknown perpetrators vandalised the walls of the Serbian cemetery in Vikhovitchi, Mostar, and wrote on them Ustasha symbols and threats in Croatian against Serbs.
Between the 9th and 10th of July an individual kicked out a window of the church in Vöhringen, causing €300 of damage. An appeal for witnesses has been launched.
On the 8th of July, two young girls, aged between 12 and 15, vandalized a church located on Innsbruck's Spingeser Strasse. According to the police report, the two "destroyed bibles, candles, and sacrificial box candle jars". They further shattered flower pots, ripped seat cushions from the benches, and threw a statue from a pedestal. The total amount of the damages caused has not been accessed yet, but the case was reported to the police who started an investigation.
On July 8, an unknown burglar tried to break into the Grafenau parish church. A sacristan found this out when he attempted to lock the church door and was not able to because the lock had been damaged. According to the investigations, the burglar tried to pry open the door, eventually succeeding, but he left the scene without taking anything. The police are investigating to find the perpetrator.
On July 8, unknown thieves broke into the Catholic Church of St. Joseph and searched the rooms inside the building. They stole several sacred objects, "including a crucifix, monstrance, and chalice", causing a still unknown amount of property damage. The case was reported to the police who opened an investigation to find the perpetrators.
On July 7, during the procession of San Fermín in Pamplona, a group linked to the nationalist radical left, carrying slogans such as "hypocrites out" and "you will go to hell", attacked the procession that was already returning to church. They mainly targeted the politicians, spitting, booing, and using physical violence against the mayor and his entourage. Moreover, the attack also exhibited a Christianophobic character.
It was a passer-by who saw the smoke coming out of the church. An attempted arson attack on the church in Montchanin, was foiled on 7 July. An investigation has been opened. "The Creusot fire brigade was called to the church in Montchanin late on Thursday morning. The fire had been set in a bookcase. The fire was quickly stopped and fortunately did not spread. The first investigations of the gendarmes assumes that another fire had been set, namely in a flowerpot".
Between July 3 and 6, a church located on Landauer Strasse was broken into by unknown thieves. They entered a meeting room and stole electronic devices, causing damages estimated at 1000 euros. The police were alerted and are looking for clues and witnesses to find the perpetrators.
On the 6th of July, the parishioners of the Consolation church noticed the damage caused to some plants in the churchyard and Don Santo Salamone reported the case to a newspaper. Unknown people damaged a small green area that has been under the care of citizens, members of the brotherhood, and the Lycopean parish.
On the 6th of July, when an employee from the church was on his way to lock the building, he noticed that a candle cylinder and its contents from a brass stand were missing from the Basilica of St. Martin. Using the surveillance system he determined that a theft had taken place, but the identity of the perpetrators is still unknown. The case was reported to the police.
Between the evening of July 4 and the morning of July 5, unknown vandals poured a kilo of sugar into the Holy Water font of the Church of St. Joseph. The sugar was taken from the pantry with food donations in Lindlar - the baskets had been put up in the Church for a while so donators can place the food there. This has not been the first distasteful prank taking place in the Church of St. Joseph in recent months. Heinz Otto Höher says, even though nothing was stolen "we want to know who is behind it", now considering installing a surveillance system in the church, to avoid the recurrence of similar cases. Nonetheless, a good thing came out of this bad situation: "After it became known in Kirchdorf, we received numerous food donations that more than compensate for the loss of sugar".
The headquarters of the Home Army Polish soldiers who died in 1944 was destroyed by Belarusian authorities. None of the 22 crosses that stood on the memorial remain standing. Nasz Dziennik, the government plenipotentiary for Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad, considered this vandalistic act a provocation to escalate the relations between Poland and Belarus, fearing that this might only be a "prelude to further disgusting acts of provocation". He added that the Belarusian regime means to distance itself from the family of European Christian States, but that the desecration of the graves and destruction of the memorial site will be received with equal indignation both by Poles in Belarus and by Belarusians.
On the night of July 5-6, unknown perpetrators destroyed a roadside shrine located in the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sowina. In the roadside chapel of Przymiarki, the glass of the enclosure in which the statue of the Virgin Mary is placed was broken. Flower pots were also knocked over.
During the night of 4-5 July, a kilo of sugar "taken" from the donations of the faithful to the solidarity grocery shop of St. Joseph's in Wipperfürth, was emptied into one of the church's holy water fonts. Parish members report that this is (at least) the third case of vandalism in a few months, the Easter candle and the church's sound system having been damaged in the past.
The Italian Mario Mauro was appointed the new EU Commissioner for Religious Freedom after the position was vacant for 9 months, ever since the previous Commissioner, Stylianides, resigned. Before Stylianide's appointment, the post was vacant for 10 months, which indicates that it is not a priority for the European Commission. It only attempted to fill the vacancy after some politicians, and other figures pressed the issue.
Pitsmore Christ Church in Burngreave, a district of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, is no longer able to hold services after being damaged in a fire on the night of 3 to 4 July. The authorities and the parish consider the fire to be arson. An investigation has been launched.