Police were working to identify three teenagers, dressed in black, who targeted the Santo Crocifisso in Meda with vandalism and sacrilegious gestures. In this incident, around the 5th of June, they smoked and urinated in the church and then returned days later to knock over some chairs. They were confronted by the volunteers that work there but managed to disappear. The same had happened already in May.
On the 7th of June, the Church of Saint-Menet in Marseille was broken into and looted by unknown individuals. They forced open a locked drawer of the altar and stole a Bible with a golden cover, a large silver cross, and a tablet of the Ten Commandments. The priest of the church, finding it turned upside down, noticed the theft and alerted the authorities. The scientific police went to the crime scene and opened an investigation to find the culprits.
A large church in Eckington, which has not been used for quite some time, was set on fire by unknown arsonists on the 3rd of June. Residents were told to leave their homes and two fire departments had to be called. Although this church may have been unused, its religious value was still present.
The evangelical Sacrower Heilandskirche in Potsdam was vandalized with large amounts of graffiti on the 6th of June by unknown people. The damage to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which the police were investigating, will cost tens of thousands of euros to repair. The slogans written said "No God; No State; No Patriarchy" and portrayed an anarchist symbol.
On the 6th of June it was reported that the Spanish police apprehended a group of 9 men who had been looting over 20 churches in the south of Spain. Some of the cities where they stole trunks, religious objects and jewels from the Saints were Murcia, Alicante and Almería.
An unknown arsonist set fire to the billboard of the Catholic church in St. Margrethen sometime between 12:00 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. on the 5th of June. The fire went out on its own but damage of several hundred francs was caused. The St. Gallen police were looking for witnesses who could provide more information about the incident.
Thieves, who have not been identified, stole a priest's robe and a monstrance from a monastery in Bamberg. The theft was noticed on the 5th of June and the value of the items is around 15,000 euros. The monstrance, which is used to present the holy Eucharist, is around 75 cm tall and close to 32 cm wide. The Police were investigating the crime.
Bishop Santiago Gómez Sierra of Huelva spoke in a Mass on Pentecost Sunday and reminded Catholics of the importance of upholding the values of life and family when they vote in the upcoming election. He said that he was not trying to enforce anything but rather encourage "moral principles" that "should be above the different party strategies because they are issues required by reason, natural law, and true humanism.” For this speech, he was accused by left-leaning media and politicians of being homophobic and attacking "rights won by the left."
An unknown perpetrator committed an act of vandalism against the St. Maximilian Kolbe parish in Warsaw. The vandal scrawled blue paint on the statue of St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Papal Cross (from Pope John Paul's II 1st Pilgrimage to Poland), standing on church grounds. The incident occurred on June 5.
During the weekend of the 4th of June, an altar cross was stolen from a church in Jülich-Bourheim by an anonymous person. The cross is made of gilded brass and stands 45 cm high. The police searched the sight for evidence but need more information.
It was reported on June 3rd, that young people entered the monastery of Sand Basilio in L'Aquila, disturbed the sisters sleeping there and profaned the confessional. First, two boys entered the convent and tried to force open the door of an elderly nun. Later during the night, a young man and woman were seen naked, and running from the confessional after allegedly having sex. The cloistered sisters were scared by the incidents and called the carabinieri who then investigated.
The Maria Santissima Immacolata church in Fragagnano, was broken into on during the night of June the 3rd by a 38-year-old Moroccan. The man tried to steal money from the offering box as well as sacred objects, but was caught by the carabinieri who then retrieved the stolen goods. In trying to access these items, he caused a large amount of property damage that will cost around 1,000 euros to repair.
On June 2nd, the San Giuseppe Church in Grosseto was vandalized by a person who was caught on camera but has not been identified. A man in his 40s entered the sacristy and upset drawers that contained linen for the altar and objects for worship. He didn't steel anything but smashed a wooden door. This was one of several thefts and vandalism that have happened to churches in this area in recent weeks.
The Guardia Civil arrested a man that allegedly stole the Rosary of an image of the Virgin in Calañas. The investigation began on 2 June, when a report of the theft was received from the Sister Major of the Brotherhood concerned. The incident occurred when the relic was being exhibited in the left hand of the image of the Virgin of Amargura, in a chapel of the church of Calañas "Santa María de Gracia".
On the 1st of June, thefts were recorded in the churches of the Madonna delle Grazie and Madonnina, both of which are in Celano. The thief broke the candelabra to access the offerings which were inside. A few days earlier, thefts also occurred in the churches of San Giovanni Battista, and Sant'Angelo. This series of thefts, which was under investigation, targeted sacred places and has angered the congregations of each.
The wooden side door of the Sam Marco church in Enna, was set on fire by unknown vandals on June 1st. The arson greatly upset the people of Enna who hold the church at great value due to its history and religious sacredness. The fire brigade was called to put the fire out and the Carabinieri investigated the crime.
On the 1st of June, two Romanian men, aged 42 and 50, were caught red-handed emptying the offering box of the church in Neumarkt. They have "partially" confessed to trying to steal money from 20 churches in Lower Austria. The total damage caused, was estimated to be around 800 euros.
During the night of June 1st, thieves forced open the door of the abbey church of Sainte-Trinité in Fécamp, and stole a sacred item kept in the sacristy. They took two vials containing "Precious Blood" which is believed to be from Jesus when he was crucified. Bishop of Le Havre, Mgr Jean-Luc Brunin, lamented: "This theft is an unbearable attack on the faith of all people who remember the Salvation obtained by the sacrifice of Christ."
Police were investigating an incident in which unknown intruders forced their way into the Mespelbrunn church. They took several sacred coins and jewelry out of a glass case and then fled. The cost of the property damage was around 500 euros but the precise amount of stolen goods was still being quantified.
It was reported on the 1st of June, that the door of the Evangelical Church in the town of Gischow has been damaged, just a couple of days after graffiti on a church in Plau. The inscription was hard to read, but it was carved with a sharp object on the wooden door of the church, causing great damage.
The latest act of vandalism to the Kreuzkapelle in Olpe, which happened on May 31st, damaged the historic door but was only part of the vandalism the chapel has recently experienced. The surrounding area is often littered and people's rubbish is thrown into the nave, as well as benches and windows are broken. The increase in incidents happened after the church lay dormant for many years and then was restored.
An initial investigation revealed that the church in Neumark was broken into on the 31st of May. Unknown intruders gained access to the church by breaking a side door. It was not yet known if anything had been stolen but cupboards and doors were opened to search for valuables. The property damage was around 3,000 euros.
The group "Pro-Life Europe" has launched a petition to be admitted at the University of Regensburg. Since 2020, they have been refused a place in 6 universities in German speaking countries; a serious challenge to freedom of speech. In 2021, the students tried to be accepted as a group at the University of Regensburg to discuss the topic of abortion with scientific approaches. Despite asking three times and complying with the guidelines, they were rejected without reason; while other groups were given full support. Similar opposition was met at other universities including TU Munich, the University of Wuppertal, the University of Augsburg, the Johannes Kepler University , and the University of Vienna which denied them a stand. The organization is not religious, but many belonging students identify as Christians and are representative of religious groups with similar opinions.
A lawsuit filed in October 2021 by the Spanish Foundation of Christian Lawyers to remove books with anti-Catholic language has been dismissed. In the mentioned books, it is possible to find statements such as "The bishop gets it in the ass", "Hookers in the Vatican" and "Allah is not great and Jesus does not love us". The lawsuit called for the reiteration of 32 LGTBI-themed books distributed to 12 public institutes of Castellón and in the center of minors Pi Gros. The books were distributed by the City Council. The Contentious-Administrative Court 1 of Castellón dismissed the case. The Spanish Foundation of Christian Lawyers said they will appeal the judicial decision before the Superior Court of Justice, on the grounds that, in their perspective, "these books violate fundamental rights and incite hatred against all religions".
In the church of Santa Maria Nascente, in Piazza Della Chiesa, someone entered the nave and threw chairs around the floor, leaving some tipped over. The incident, which expressed hate toward the church, happened on May 30th.
Two similar attacks have been registered in Brianza and Meda. In one, vandals entered the Sanctuary of the Holy Crucifix Church in Meda on the 30th of May. They threw chairs to the ground and emptied the hand sanitiser gel, that was at the entrance to the building, onto the floor. A brass crucifix was also found folded up. A similar attack happened near this time in the Santa Maria Nascente Church in Brianza.
For the 7th time, a vehicle of the Catholic help group "HOME Base" Salzburg, was spray-painted, covering the name, logo, and slogan on the van. This time it happened on the 30th of May. The victims later wrote on Facebook "Thank you, dear 'Antifada' confused neighbors." They also called on the City of Salzburg to do something to prevent such attacks.
A 27-year-old from the Kartuzy district looted the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Przyjaźń on May 30th. He took two bottles of mass wine from the church, an amplifier and a halogen lamp. After the man was caught by the police and fined PLN 500, the stolen property was all recovered. The value was estimated around PLN 300.
Unknown vandals entered the Santo Crocifisso Church in Meda and ransacked the inside on May 30th. They overturned chairs, sprayed disinfectant everywhere, and threw that brass altar cross onto the floor which bent it, causing damage. The local police started an investigation into the crime using video from surveillance cameras.
During a prayer on the 30th of May, a window of the Sankt Bonifatius church in Coddelau was smashed. This was not the first attack the church experience as a year earlier, the tabernacle was stolen. The vandal was not identified.
The Catholic Church of St. Joseph in Schömberg experienced an extensive vandalistic attack on May 29th. Paper towels were strewn all over the floor and one was used to snuff out the eternal light. The altar cloth was left soiled and crumpled, and evidence suggested that the altar was walked on. The unknown intruder had also urinated in the baptismal font. Those who take care of the church were shocked by the incident.
On the 28 of May, an individual tried to set fire to the choir of the church of Sainte Odile in the 17th district of Paris. The mayor of the district, Geoffroy Boulard, posted on Twitter: "I condemn the desecration of the church of St. Odilia with a fire in the choir. The worst avoided thanks to the reaction of the parish staff and the police who quickly arrested the individual. I renew my support to Father Biaggi whom I spoke to on the phone."
In a series of break-ins at the former South and Levern Church, more than £50,000 of damage was caused by unknown vandals. In the latest act of vandalism on the 27th of May, the organ was destroyed and radiators were torn off the walls. Although the church has been closed, it is still a sight that carries religious sentiment for many people.
Ane Breivik, a Young Left leader in Norway, wants to dispose of all Christian holidays and mid-week red days, as they are a "relic from another time." She said that most people don't celebrate them anyway and would prefer to take the time off when they want to. She said this near Ascension holiday, which she used as an example of a holiday that could be removed since this year it landed on a Thursday which is inconvenient for many.
On May 26th, a statue of Madonna was stolen from the Blessed Virgin Mary chapel in Maccarese. The statue is not of great material value, but its spiritual value to the religious community is immense. The Diocese condemned the gesture "In reparation for the offense to the Mother of God and in prayer for the conversion of the hearts of the perpetrators of the crime."
David Moreno, a spokesman for VOX Talavera, requested that the driver of the electric scooter, which entered the Basilica of Our Lady of the Prado in Talavera, be identified and charged. He explained that the "offensive acts like this cannot be allowed," and that the driver should be charged with crimes against religious freedom and disrespect of religious sentiment. He said: "no prank justifies disrespect for a Catholic temple, attacking religious sentiments."
On May 26th, on Ascension Day, a pool of disinfectant was set on fire in the Nonnenweier church, and hymn books were thrown around with their pages torn out. The property damage was around 1000 euros but there were no good clues as to who the perpetrators could be. Pastor Christine Egenlauf, expressed her shock and lamented the incident, also mentioning that someone could have been hurt. The police had started investigating.
The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, posted a picture on his Twitter on the 26. May that showed an oratory that had been vandalized in Marghera. The oratory was in Piazzale Giovannacci on the corner with Via Ulloa in Marghera. He also indicated that the perpetrator had been identified by the local Police.
On the 25. of April a newspaper reported that a church in Murcia, in the district of Espinardo, was tagged with threatening graffiti. The Holy Spirit parish has been taking seven Ukrainian refugees since March, two mothers with their daughters and one more woman. The inscriptions seem to be against the Ucranians. Other neighbours reported seeing foreigners throwing stones at the women.
On May 25th, the information board of the Church of St. Antonius in Hörstel was set on fire by unknown perpetrators. The sheets of paper hanging there were burned, which damaged the board, and disinfectant was poured into the holy water fonts. The police began an investigation and was asking for witnesses.
Between the 21st and 25th of May, unknown intruders broke into the sacristy of the St. Jakobus Church in Sögel. They stole the organ key and hygrometer, but were unsuccessful in an attempt to break open the sacrificial box. The property damage was around 100 euros, and they also soiled a statue. An investigation was started by the police who needed more information.
A judicial inquiry was opened into an incident on the 25th of May in which four Statues in the Saint-Henri church in Marseille were damaged, two of the statues were decapitated. Father Gabriel Priou, said, “There was no Eucharistic profanation, but the statues have been defaced." He continued, “A fact like this impacts the Christian community because the church is its home.”
Vandals graffitied the wall of the Church of the Madonna dei Cenciarelli, in Perugia, on May 24th. The inscription read: "Enough with NATO: free and sovereign Italy." The vandals damaged an 18th-century old church to write a political message showing a lack of respect for the religious sight. Apart from that, the stairs of the church were stained with beer and rests of food.
The Castilla-La Mancha Football Federation refused to change the date of a match, forcing the young players from Membrilla's football team to choose between celebrating their first communion or playing the league final. The Federation further threatened them with sanctions, since the parents choose the church instead of submitting to the sports institution.
A few days before the 23rd of May, the façade of the Santa Catalina church in Tacoronte was splashed with red paint by an unknown person. The primary target of the graffiti was a plaque that has been in place since 1938 and bears the name of the founder José Antonio Primo de Rivera on it. Although he was a political figure which could be the motive for the attack, a church has also suffered the consequences and it will take around 3,000 euros to restore.
Unknown people attempted to break into the church in Melsung on May 23rd and caused significant damage. The tried to open the doors and windows to gain access to the inside of the church but were unsuccessful. The property damage was around 3,000 euros.
The stained glass windows of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Ringmer were broken by youth with catapults and ball bearings on May 23rd. The police identified the culprits and confiscated their catapults. A police spokesperson said: “The youths will subsequently be coming into Lewes Police Station to account for their actions.”
The façade of the Church of S.Onofrio, connected to the Convent of the Zoccolanti of Raiano, was kicked and stoned by unknown people on May 23rd. The church dates back to the 17th century and is in Abruzzo. A complaint was filed and the carabinieri started an investigation but people were left dismayed and angry.
The façade of the Church of the Madonna del Carmine in Andria was tagged with red paint on May 23rd. This was not the first of such incidents and the State police immediately began an investigation to find out who painted the graffiti.
Shortly after the statue of the Pope was vandalized in Legionowo, the Chapel of Our Lady at the roundabout near Krasińskiego Street was devastated. The unknown perpetrator broke the glass in front of a figure and bent the cross. The police were investigating the incident to find the criminal who would be charged with offending religious feelings and damage to property.
Between the 22 to 23 May, 18 graves were vandalized or damaged in the cemetery of Rocquemont, a commune located between Rouen and Saint-Saëns. The perpetrators damaged ornamental plaques, decorations and flower pots. A person who lives near the cemetery heard the noise that night and reported it.
After the windows of the St. David's Church in Newtown were broken the month before, someone returned to break them again on the 22nd of May. The church has not been used for many years but is a historic building and a religious symbol. Paul Williams, a local, said: "This is really sickening yet again. Whoever you are, stop it."
Between 2019 and 2022, 53 cases of church vandalism were recorded in Brussels, while only 1 mosque was vandalized in the same region and time frame. Dominiek Lootens, leader of the Vlaams Belang group in the Brussels Parliament, wrote to Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort and asked him to communicate the extent of the damage, reported "Our Central Europe". The report also pointed out that the media and politics failed to mention these numbers as they refuse to recognize this type of biased discrimination against Christians.
St Catherine’s Dominican Chapel, a Catholic chapel in Newry, was targeted by arsonists who set religious books and pamphlets on fire. Nobody was hurt, in the incident which happened on the 22nd of May, but the head priest had to put the fire out. A witness said they saw youths running from the scene and it was guessed that they were the arsonists.
During the afternoon on the 21st of May, a fire was noticed in a church in Spalt, that caused 5,000 euros worth of damage. An altar cloth, that was lying on the side altar, caught fire along with a wooden frame that spread the fire to the entrance door. After a police investigation, the fire was thought to be arson and eventually a suspect was arrested. Proceedings were started against the potential teenage arsonist for property damage and disruption of religious practice. The police later confirmed that the fire had been caused by arson.
On the afternoon of May the 21st, a small marble statue of Madonna was stolen from the parish church in Lodi. No sign of a break in was found, so it was concluded that the thief must have waited till soon after mass, and then broken the statue off from near the side of the altar. The carabinieri were notified and carried out an inspection.
On the 21st of May, the Karlskirche in Vienna was graffitied for the fourth time in 2022. It is not known who did it. According to the Witness who reported these incidents, this is the worst year so far with vandalism and there are damages to the church almost every day.
Hosts were stolen from the Ancient Church of San Gregorio in Valdobbiadene on May 21st. The side door of the church was forced open and then the intruder opened the tabernacle and took the consecrated hosts. Fr Romeo Penon, parish priest of Valdobbiadene, said: "It is a sacrilege, we fear that they are destined for black masses or séances"
On May 21st, the statue of the Pope in a park in Legionowo was vandalized. Flags of the church, papal, and Ukraine, were stolen from the statue's hands, and the Polish flag, was torn and pressed into the crucifix. This was not the first time the statue has been attacked and the police began an investigation to find out who committed the act.
Mobile phones that had been collected in the Ralingen church donation box, were stolen on May 21st. Beer was also spilt near the altar which did not cause damage to the altar but tainted the sacred space. Earlier, the pastor noticed several young people who were drinking in the area of the church. The police started an investigation and requested that places of worship be respected.
A Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ivankov (Kyiv region) was raided by unidentified armed persons. The perpetrators cut down the lock of the church and raided the interior, expelling the parishioners and the priest. When the clergy of the church tried to file a crime report, the police refused to take it seriously. It was the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Inscriptions painted in black were discovered on the façade of the Santa Maria di Valverde church in Palermo. The incident was reported on May 20th and residents thought it happened during the night but were not sure who did it. The writing was made with spray paint and detracts from the beauty of the church.
The Kilmarnock South Parish Church in Ayrshire, was repeatedly targeted by vandals during May. Over several weeks, doors were smashed and glass was broken by a group of youth who were seen on CCTV. A spokesperson for The Well, an outreach group that organizes events at the church, said: "We are slowly trying to get the place up and running to serve the community but this is just soul destroying."
A bas-relief of the Madonna with Child was stolen from the altar of the parish church in Capergnanica. The priest, don Andrea Rusconi, thought the sacrilegious theft happened on the 20th of May despite it being reported the next day. The church is typically left open even when there is no mass for the faithful to come and pray.
During the night on the 20th of May, the Peter and Paul Church in Schneverdingen was broken into by anonymous intruders. They smashed the window to enter the church and then forced open the door from the inside. They didn't steal anything of great value but did take two electronic devices from the parish.
Between the 15th and 20th of May, a church in Kropp was broken into by unknown intruders who stole various sacred objects as well as an electronic piano. The items taken were a baptismal font, a silver-coloured baptismal font, and two antique candlesticks. The police began a criminal investigation and asked for information from witnesses.
On May 20th, there was a motion in the European Parliament to debate the topic of Christian Persecution, and in particular, the case of Deborah Samuel Yabuku, who was murdered in Nigeria after her peers falsely accused her of blasphemy. She had thanked Jesus in a class WhatsApp group for helping her in an exam and was accused of insulting the prophet Mohammad. The motion to discuss this was rejected with 231 votes for, and 244 against, to which some MEPs shouted “shame on you” across the plenary floor.
Gillian Mackay, an MSP for the Green Party, "initiated a public consultation on the Bill" that would allow a 2-year sentence to be assigned to someone who "attempts to influence or persuade someone seeking an abortion inside censorship zones," reported "RighttoLife" News. Some claim, there has been a rise in incidents outside abortion clinics involving pro-life activists, but Robert Colquhoun, the campaign director for "40 Days for Life", disagreed saying that it was actually just increased media attention that made it seem so. The introduction of such zones would negatively impact Christians who often attend such vigils due to their biblically based pro-life belief.
Between the 16th and 20th May the memorial statue from the All Saints Graveyard was stolen in Glazebury. The police reported that the family that owned the memorial statue was deeply affected and were looking for witnesses.
A thief, who was later caught, stole a chalice and a chest of hosts from a church in the Saggen district of Innsbruck. The incident happened on May 18th and the thief was arrested by the police. The stolen goods would be given back to the church after the hearing.
A €3,000 reward was offered on May 19th for whoever could provide information that would lead to the retrieval of a gilded altar cross, dating from 1925, that was stolen in January 2022. The cross is around 60 centimetres high and was stolen from the Catholic church of Sankt Bonifatius in Frankfurt. It was there when the church was consecrated so it is of high emotional value to the church.
St. Mary's Church in Plau was graffitied with black paint on May 19th by unknown people. Chairman of the association, Harald Kleinert, was shocked to find a black symbol painted on the south entrance door. A complaint was lodged but the parish fears more attacks.
The 100-year-old windows of the St. Johannis Church were damaged on May 21st in Bad Rodach. The church has been vandalized in the past but this time was especially severe. Also, the gold-plated light cover and light, of the ambo or "reading chair," was smashed. In addition, the stained glass windows with devotional pictures were broken.
A 54-year-old man was taken into custody on the morning of Monday 23 May 2022 as part of the investigation into the fire at the church in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie (Vendée). The fire brigade had intervened on the night of Wednesday 18 to Thursday 19 May to extinguish a fire in the church, which destroyed 2 m² of floor in the oratory. Investigators quickly identified other fires and favoured the idea of arson.
On 19 June in the Sykhiv district of Lviv, the church of St. Prince Vladimir caught fire. According to the sources, a bucket of liquid, a cloth stick, a lighter, a jacket and a cap were found at the scene of the fire. The evidence was seized by the police.
On May 18th, political symbols were found graffitied on the façade of the Altötting chapel in Landsberg, which is a baroque structure from the mid-19th century. A local resident was out on a morning walk when he saw the defacement which was a large anarchist symbol as well as a hammer and sickle (communist symbol) painted in red. The vandalism was reported to the police.
Acts of vandalism and disrespect repeatedly took place in the St. Brictius Church in Schöppingen. It was reported on May 18th that vandals had lit prayer notes and placed them under benches, put lighted candles under holy water fonts, and used sacrificial candles to "play football" in the church square. These were only some of the things that were happening and Sexton Andreas Kortüm pleaded with the parishioners to help stop it.
On May 18th, mass was held in the basilica of Wadowice to commemorate the 102nd birthday of Pope John Paul II. During the mass, the anti-clerical initiative "Enough of Silence", organized a protest in which they turned on loudspeaker to disrupt the celebrations. Some in the square tried to stop the protestors and were shocked by their presence saying: "How can you be there? On such a day?"
The tabernacle was stolen from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Amiens on May 18th. The perpetrators entered the church when it was empty and did not only steal the tabernacle but also scattered the consecrated hosts on the floor. The priest only saw the desecration after he was alerted.
On May 18th, the statue of Madonna that is usually in front of the Santi Filippo e Giacomo church in Palidoro was stolen. The parish priest Don Roberto Leoni reported the incident but it remained unknown who committed the theft. The priest said: "Such a silly, bad gesture, offensive towards the Mother of the Lord and towards all her children, who are not few."
Perpetrators forced their way through the front door of the Collégiale Saint-Martin Church in Clamecy on May 18th and then entered the sacristy. When they left, they took with them chalices, a monstrance, and a censor. It was not known who the burglars were.
During the night of May 17th, unknown perpetrators broke into the St. Michaelis Church in Luneburg and stole two silver wine jugs, a host's tin box and two patrons. While in the church, they broke several doors and the property damage and stolen items amounted to a cost of several thousand euros. They left the church unnoticed and the police were asking the public for information.
A video went viral, where a group of agents from the Guardia Civil is seen carrying another officer who pretends to be the Christ of Good Death in Malaga, while they sing El Novio de la Muerte, the traditional anthem of the Spanish Legion. The agents carried the other officer like they were legionnaires on Holy Thursday, in the streets around the Sanctuary of Lourdes, while laughing, joking, and drinking, which has caused some outrage due to the disrespect to religious feelings.
The government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, formed by the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and Unidas Podemos, presented a draft bill to allow 16 and 17-year-old girls to get an abortion without parental consent, also removing the mandatory 3-day period of reflection. The Council of Ministers approved it on the 17th of May. The Equality Minister, Irene Montero, stated that "the state guarantees them that the decision about their bodies, their life projects, and their maternity will be theirs". She further added that with this reform "rights will now be guaranteed and extended, and existing obstacles to exercising the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy will be removed". This Bill would be in conflict with parental rights.
On May 16th, thieves broke into the S. Maria Goretti church in Grosseto, and stole the offerings. To get in, they broke down the door and then they broke the glass to enter the sacristy. The investigations were ongoing as the damage was significant.
The church of Sant'Antonin a Castello and the basilica of the Santissimo Redentore alla Giudecca, were smeared with graffiti on May 16th. The façade of the Redentore church had red and black paint on it that looked like a mathematical formula. The Patriarchate of Venice said in a press release: "It was learned, with regret, that the facade of the Basilica del Redentore in Giudecca and the church of Sant'Antonin a Castello were targeted by acts of vandalism that damaged buildings that have significant religious, as well as historical and cultural significance, both for Venetians and for visitors."
The wooden statue of Madonna and Child in Dortmund's Propstei Church, once again had wax poured over it from the sacrificial candles on May 16th. The statue is from the 15th century so will now have to be restored in a special workshop. The church was considering using lights without wax to prevent this crime from happening again but they still wanted to keep the church open for all.
A report from 2021 that examined the situation of Protestants in Turkey, revealed the severe levels of discrimination they face. It showed how decades of expulsions, social pressure, and government intolerance have led to a decline in Christian Protestants. It also exposes the challenges they are currently facing.
On the 16th of May, the Karlskirche in Vienna was targeted with graffiti.
During the night of 15 to 16 May, unknown perpetrators destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary, located in the garden of the house of the Heralds of the Gospel in Sevilla la Nueva, also causing other considerable damages to the property. They insulted and threatened the Heralds, cut off the electricity, and damaged other infrastructures on the property.
The police in Spain had to stop a protest that was taking place at the door of the church "Virgen de la Luz" in Cuenca, in which several half-naked women were wearing religious symbols. This was reported on the 16th of May by the online news "El Debate". Later on, "Abogados Cristianos" opened proceedings against the group for hurting religious feelings, after the same incident took place in other churches.
The churchyard of Madonna di Campagna in Verbania was vandalized by unknown perpetrators around the 15. of May. The glass of the board where parish news and notices are posted was broken and all the shattered pieces fell on the base.
On May 15th, offerings were stolen from the Chiesa di Maria SS. Aiuto dei Cristiani church in the city of Ursini. The unknown vandals broke the glass of the rectory to get access to the offerings which they stole, along with a candlestick which is used to put coins into the offering box. They also tore up the curtain of the confessional. The police have investigated the crime.
A 38-year-old man, thought to be Croatian, was observed throwing stones at an evangelical Church in Leipzig on May 14th. The police arrested him but not before he had damaged a total of five window panes. An investigation was underway.
On May 14th, a man and woman broke open the door of the Henstedt-Ulzburger Kreuzkirche and vandalized the inside. They tried to set the carpet in front of the alter on fire, which went out, and they damaged knee cushions and hymnals. The property damage was not yet calculated but the police were notified and wrote a complaint to the Norderstedter detectives who investigated it.
A weather blessing cross, that is almost 200 years old and very important to the community, was stolen from the St. Gallen Catholic Church in St. George. It stands 45cm tall and was taken on the 14th of May by unknown thieves. Magnus Hächler, administrator of the church said: "It's a painful loss and very annoying."
The Catholic provost church Sankt Trinitatis in Leipzig was once again targeted by vandalism after the theft of the tabernacle in April. This time, on May 13th, the 20-meter long by 3 three-meter high church window which has the entire Bible printed on it, was destroyed. The property damage was at least 50,000 to 100,000 euros said provost Gregor Giele of the Catholic New Agency (KNA). Police started an investigation.
Six panes of glass were broken in on May 13th at the Catholic Church Sankt Laurentius in Reudnitz-Thonberg, Leipzig. It was not known who completed the vandalism but an investigation was underway. The property damage was in the four-digit range.
The Chaplaincy in Pau was the victim of an arson attack on the 12th of May. The fire was started on the ground floor of the presbytery of the church of Saint-Pierre and it was obvious that the tabernacle was deliberately targeted as it was charred. The consecrated hosts were not burned but the police also noticed thefts of a computer and some money.
A suitcase that was thought to contain a bomb, was left in the Church of San Michele Arcangelo in the historic city of Potenza. It was placed there during the afternoon on May 11th and due to the ticking sound that the suitcase emitted, a bomb was suspected to be inside. A police squad was immediately notified but as the investigations were made, no bomb was found as it was supposed to be a bad joke.