All cases

Nativity Scene Figures Beheaded

December 17, 2023, Germany

In the German town Rüsselsheim all figures of a nativity scene, including the depiction of baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary and the three Wise Men, have been beheaded in an act of vandalism. The damage was discovered on December 17. According to a report, the nativity scene, which was part of a Christmas marked, looked like a battlefield and the figure of Jesus in the manger was found beneath the rubble.

Pectoral Cross of Cardinal Wyszynski Stolen From Pilgrimage Church

December 17, 2023, Germany

A pectoral cross donated to the Church in Ortenburg, Germany, by Cardinal Wyszynski was stolen. Unknown perpetrators brok into the case in which it was stored to steal the cross.

Host and sacred objects stolen from the Holy Family Church

December 17, 2023, Poland

On December 17, the tabernacle of the Holy Family Church in Łódź was broken into and the host as well as monstrances, chalices, cans, and other items were stolen.

Cumbrae Church's Nativity Scence Vandalised

December 16, 2023, United Kingdom

A Christmas nativity scene at Cumbrae Parish Church was vandalised in Millport. Among other damages, the figure of Mary had been beheaded. The church community is shocked about the incident.

Former auxiliary bishop assaulted and seriously injured

December 16, 2023, Germany

The former Auxiliary Bishop of Hildesheim, Nikolaus Schwerdtfeger, has been the victim of an attack in his home and is being treated in intensive care.

St Anna church remains closed indefinitely after vandalism and threats

December 15, 2023, Germany

St Anne's Church in Stendal has been closed since December due to vandalism and intimidation. As reported on 28 February the church is still not receiving regular visitors and is only open for worship service.

France refuses Iranian Christian convert asylum

December 15, 2023, France

Ata Fathimaharlooei, an Iranian convert to Christianity, has received a deportation order after his asylum application has been refused in France. A return, however, would be very dangerous as he is threatened with death for apostasy in Iran.

Makovecs Square nativity scene destroyed

December 14, 2023, Hungary

On December 14, a nativity scene displayed on the main square in Markó, Hungary, was destroyed by unknown persons. The nativity scene, which was awarded the most beautiful in the country in 2020, was found with all the human figures decapitated, while the animal figures were untouched. The incident was reported to the police. Some of the figures appear to have been damaged beyond repair.

Stained glass window of St. Martinus Church damaged

December 14, 2023, Germany

On December 14, damage was caused to St. Martinus Church in Böttingen. An unknown perpetrator smashed the stained glass window integrated into the sacristy's concrete glass window, causing damage amounting to around 1,000 euros. The police are investigating.

Three Christians Sentenced to Jail for Conscientious Objection to Military Service

December 13, 2023, Ukraine

In the past months, three Protestant Christians have been sentenced to jail for conscientious objections to military service on religious grounds in Ukraine. One of them, Dmytro Zelensky, is imprisoned after his acquittal was reversed by the Ternopil Appeal Court in August 2023. He has been sentenced to three years in prison and is currently preparing his appeal to the High Court.

Church Door vandalised

December 13, 2023, Germany

On December 13, the door handle of a church in Marburg was ripped off. The incident has been reported to the police. The damage is estimated at several hundreds of euros.

Church in Piacenza vandalised

December 11, 2023, Italy

On December 11, the Santa Rita church in Piacenza, Italy, was vandalised, resulting in damages of several thousand euros. Among other things, a cross was destroyed and money was stolen from the offering box.

Graffiti on Church in Bareggio, Nativity scene vandalised

December 11, 2023, Italy

In Bareggio, the church of the Brughiera has been vandalised by graffiti on the outside walls. The incident came right after a nativity scene on the square of Bareggio was attacked. One figure was destroyed, another broken.

French Minister announces dissolution of Catholic movement 'Accademia Christiana'

December 10, 2023, France

The French Minister of Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced on 10 December that he would present in “the coming weeks” to the Council of Ministers the dissolution of Academia Christiana, a youth-movement of traditional Catholics which since its foundation in 2013 has brought together thousands of young Christians in its training courses and summer schools. According to the minister, the decision was made on the fact that the movement is "inciting hatred and discrimination." Academia Christiana has already announced that they will challenge then ban in court.

Vandalised nativity scene in front of the church of Magenta

December 10, 2023, Italy

On December 10, the nativity scene on the churchyard of San Rocco in Magenta, Italy was vandalised. Unknown perpetrators cut off the head and arms and legs of the statue of the child Jesus and damaged that of Mary.

Bomb Threat against Austrian Heiligenkreuz Abbey

December 9, 2023, Austria

On December 9, the Austrian Heiligenkreuz Abbey in the district Baden received a bomb threat. The threatening call came shorty before 5 pm. The police confirmed that the threat had an Islamist motive. According to media reports, the aggressor said on the phone: "Convert to Islam, or I will bomb you." Special police forces promptly searched the public areas of the monastery, but no suspicious items were found on the premises.

Figure of Jesus stolen from Nativity Scene and replaced with caricature

December 9, 2023, Spain

On December 12, a figure of the Child Jesus was stolen from a life-sized nativity scene at Benimaclet square, Valencia, just a few hours after the nativity scene was placed there. The unknown perpetrators furthermore replaced the figure with a caricature of Jesus.

Altar Cross stolen from Chapel in Mulfingen

December 8, 2023, Germany

On December 8, the altar cross, worth several hundred Euros, was stolen from the St. Anna Chapel in Mulfingen, Germany. Local Police started an investigation.

Climate activists vandalise Venice's San Marco Basilica

December 7, 2023, Italy

On 7 December, six climate activists defaced St Mark's Basilica of Venice by spraying Nesquik with fire extinguishers on the right side facade and pouring mud on the columns. They then unfurled a banner and a placard with the photos of twelve climate activists who were detained for three days after a roadblock in Fiumicino.

Russian authorities ban Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in occupied Zaporizhzhia region

December 7, 2023, Ukraine

The Russian military-civilian administration in the occupied Zaporizhzhia oblast of Ukraine issued an order banning the activities of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), as well as the Knights of Columbus and Caritas organizations engaged in social service in the occupied territory. All movable and immovable property and land plots of the UGCC will also be seized. The Information Department of the UGCC reports they just become aware of this on December 7, although the document dates December 26, 2022.

Arson destroyed Bethlehem Chruch in Rotterdam

December 6, 2023, Netherlands

On the evening of December 6, a fire broke out in the Bethlehemkerk church building located on Oranjestraat, Rotterdam. The flames quickly spread to the roof, causing it to collapse. The church was almost completely destroyed by the fire. The fire department arrived promptly and was able to prevent the fire from spreading any further. As a precautionary measure, the surrounding houses were temporarily evacuated.

St. Mary's Church Vandalized with anti-Christian Graffiti in Cologne

December 5, 2023, Germany

At the beginning of December, for example, the pilgrimage church of St Mary in Kupfergasse in Cologne was the victim of an attack in which the perpetrators left eclectic messages on the walls of the chapel. The smearing included writings such as "666" and "Allah Akbar", most probably non of these related to genuine Satanism or Islamism. However, the use of these slogans and the fact that the perpetrators defaced the chapel walls point to a strong anti-Christian motive.

Door of Church damaged in Greiz

December 5, 2023, Germany

On December 5, the door of a church in Greiz, Germany was partly destroyed, resulting in damages of at least a thousand euros. Police started an investigation.

Church windows vandalised

December 5, 2023, Italy

Three teenagers, aged between 15 and 17, were caught by the police, after video footage showed them throwing rocks at windows of a church in Arzignano, Italy. The damages amount to more than 2500 euros.

Thirty statues stolen from nativity scene in Tarent, Italy

December 4, 2023, Italy

Thirty statues from a nativity scene, worth several hundred Euros, were stolen from the Madonna delle Grazie church in Tarnet, Italy. The thieves also tried to steal the tabernacle but failed to do so. Police started an investigation.

Climate Activists interrupt Mass in Turin

December 3, 2023, Italy

On Sunday, December 3, a Mass held by Archbishop Roberto Repole was disrupted by climate activists. The protestors from the climate activist group "Extinction Rebellion" disrupted the church service in Turin Cathedral. During the Mass, the activists stood up one at a time, walked to the front, positioned themselves in front of the altar and started to read aloud passages from Pope Francis' "Laudato Si" and "Laudate Deum," both of which discuss climate change. The Archbishop of Turin said: "I am sorry that they decided to take the floor... without first wanting to talk to me and ask if they could intervene... I would have replied that at Mass we often pray for peace... but the Eucharistic celebration is not a suitable time to host public interventions." The Archbishop said that he initially let them speak before asking them to end so they could continue the celebration of the Mass.

Protestant Church in Annweiler Ransacked

December 2, 2023, Germany

Between the morning of December 1 and the morning of December 2, unknown perpetrators broke into a Protestant church in Annweiler. The individuals trashed a room inside the church, but did not steal anything. The damage is estimated to cost about 500 euros. Police are still investigating the incident.

Priest's car set on fire in Carapelle

December 2, 2023, Italy

The car of Don Claudio Barboni, the parish priest of the Church of the Blessed Mary Virgin of the Rosary in Carapelle, was demolished in a fire the night of December 2. The priest said he noticed the fire from his window at 2 in the morning. The car was parked in front of the rectory in Vico Capua.

Theft and Vandalism at Church in Casale

December 2, 2023, Italy

Within one week a church in Casale, Itlay, became both the target of theft and vandalism.

Woman Arrested after Rosary Prayer banned in Madrid

December 1, 2023, Spain

On November 27, a woman was arrested in Madrid for praying the rosary on the streets. This comes after the Government Delegation banned the public prayer of the rosary that has been taking place in front of the headquarters of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) during the ongoing anti-government protests.

Nativity scene destroyed by two British tourists in Spain

December 1, 2023, Spain

December 1, two British tourists were caught in the act of vandalising the Jerez nativity scene in Spain. The Christ Child was the most damaged figure and had to be replaced by another. The two men were also mocking Christian prayer after they were caught. The authorities have opened an investigation against the two British tourists for vandalism.

Cross Vandalized in Church in Toulouse

November 30, 2023, France

On November 30 around 10 AM it was discovered that the Aucamville town church in Toulouse was vandalized. A cross was severely damaged, a vase was broken and the pieces were left on the ground. Two vandals were identified and it was discovered they were intoxicated while performing the acts of vandalism.

Sacred Objects stolen from Church in Guttaring

November 30, 2023, Austria

On the night of November 20, unknown perpetrators broke into the pilgrimage church in Guttaring. They stole gold crowns, gold and silver chains that were connected to a picture of Mary. Furthermore, the locked altar area was broken into and religious objects were stolen from the altar. The cost of the damage is unknown and the police are investigating the situation further.

UPDATE: ECHR Dismisses Case of Host Desecration in Spain

November 30, 2023, Spain

Back in 2018, the Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with the help of the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), following the theft and host desecration by the “artist” Abel Azcona. Now, the ECHR has declared the application inadmissible.

ECJ rules Public Administrations can ban Religious Symbols at work

November 28, 2023, European Institutions (EU, ECHR, et.al.)

A judgment by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) from November 28 ruled that a public administration's imposition of strict neutrality to establish a 'neutral administrative environment' by forbidding the use of visible religious symbols can be justified. The Court states that Member States have discretion in designing neutrality policies but must pursue these objectives consistently and reasonably. This concept of 'strict neutrality', which is seen as opposed to visible religious symbols, raises religious freedom concerns.

Statue of Infant Jesus Beheaded in St. Johann Church in Saarbrücken

November 27, 2023, Germany

On November 27, unknown perpetrators vandalized the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in Saarbrücken. A statue of Infant Jesus has been beheaded and the statute of Mary, holding the infant, was also damaged. Later on, a 44-year-old woman was identified as the perpetrator.

Threats and Disturbance inside Vienna's Cathedral

November 26, 2023, Austria

On November 26, a 29-year-old man from Syria disrupted the Sunday Mass in Vienna's St. Stephan Cathedral. According to media reports, he repeatedly disturbed the liturgy, jumped over the fence around the main alter and screamed loudly. 

Church in Odenhausen vandalised

November 25, 2023, Germany

On November 25, vandals damaged the downspouts and power cables of the parish church of Odenhausen, Germany. They also tore out headlights so that power cables hung open.

Altar Cross and money stolen from Church in Jülich

November 25, 2023, Germany

Between November 25 and December 2, an altar cross and money from an offering box were stolen from the St. Martinus church in Jülich, Germany. The police started an investigation.

Statue of Mary Damaged and Cross Stolen from Church in Vienna

November 24, 2023, Austria

On November 23, Keplerkirche St. Johann in Vienna was vandalized. Witnesses had seen a man who had allegedly tore a statue of the Madonna from an anchorage in the church and stole a wooden cross. Based on the witness statements and video surveillance footage, the police were able to identify the perpetrator. The 29-year-old Syrian man was found near the church and arrested. He will be charged with aggravated damage to property and theft. The stolen cross was returned to the church. The same perpetrator attacked the Viennese St. Stephan cathedral a few days later (see case from November 26, 2023).

Sacred Objects Stolen from Church in Nürnberg

November 24, 2023, Germany

Sacred objects worth over 1800 euros have disappeared from the St Jakob's Protestant Church in Nürnberg. The theft was noticed in autumn by a group of visitors, who realised that the angel statues, which were normally holding religious symbols in their hands, were now standing there empty-handed. The religious symbols which have been stolen are a Christ monogram, a cross and symbols of scourge, crown of thorns, hammer and nails.

Vandalism and theft in Syrian Orthodox church

November 23, 2023, Sweden

In the night of November 23, the Syrian Orthodox church in Tensta was burgled and vandalised. The police found break marks on a door and broken windows and that some objects had been stolen. On December 8, a suspect was arrested.

Bronze Crucifix Stolen from Church Altar

November 23, 2023, Italy

During a church service in the church of San Giorgio in Atzara a small bronze crucifix was stolen from the central altar. The object is small but is said to be of great affective value to the community.

Graves Vandalized and Crosses Destroyed in German Cemetery

November 23, 2023, Germany

On November 23, the cemetery of Phillipsburg was found devastated. Unknown perpetrators vandalised grave decorations during the night. They tore out crosses, flower vases and figures. A wooden cross was found smashed on the ground.

Man Desecrates Altar by Having Intercourse and Filming Act

November 22, 2023, Germany

On November 22, a legal procedure was started against a man from Rosenheim who had sexual intercourse with his wife near the altar of a church in Schechen and filmed the act. "In order to respect the religious feelings of the faithful, such a desecration must be remedied by a penitential ceremony in accordance with the liturgical rules," explained a spokesperson for the responsible archdiocese of Munich and Freising.

Keyboard Stolen from Church in Gögginen

November 21, 2023, Germany

An electric piano has dissapeared from the Protestant Johannis Church in Gǒggingen. The police concluded that the piano must have been stolen between November 10 and November 21. The estimated value of the electric piano is around 5,000 euros. The police are still investigating the situation.

Church in Ichtershausen Vandalized and Robebed

November 20, 2023, Germany

A church in Klostergasse in Ichtershausen, Germany, was forcibly broken into and damaged. Several doors were broken open, rooms were searched and approximately 10,000 euros worth of property damage was caused. Multiple instruments were stolen as well. The crime occurred between November 17 at 3 PM and November 20 at 10:20 AM. The police are still investigating the incident.

Spain: Catholics and Christians Are the most targeted Religion, According to Latest Report

November 20, 2023, Spain

The Observatory for Religious Freedom and Freedom of Conscience (OLRC) in Spain collects, verifies and publishes attacks on religious freedom in the country. The 2023 report shows that attacks have increased in 2022 compared to 2021 by 6.67%, from a total of 195 to 208 cases. Their Annual Report shows that attacks on places of worship have increased by 40% and that 3 out of every 4 attacks have been against Catholics. The OLRC also documented 4 specific cases of violence against believers, all of them being against Catholics.

Ballymoney Church Subject of Arson Attack

November 19, 2023, Ireland

The door to Our Lady and St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Ballymoney was set on fire on the night of November 19. Police were notified shortly after 9:45 pm that the side door of the church was on fire. Officers attended to the fire and were able to extinguish it before significant damage was caused. The police are investigating the incident as a deliberate arson attack.

Basilica in Rouen Vandalised and Robbed

November 15, 2023, France

The Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur in Rouen was broken into on November 15. The parish priest, Father Geoffroy de la Tousche, said that a statue was broken, sacred vases were stolen, and the altar was severely damaged. This is not the first case of vandalism in Rouen, as gargoyles had been damaged last year. The priest said that the damage will cost tens of thousands of euros. The police are investigating but the perpetrator has not been found.

UPDATE: Dáil Éireann Passes Abortion 'Buffer Zone' Bill

November 15, 2023, Ireland

The lower house of the Irish Parliament has passed a bill in support of so-called 'buffer zones' around abortion clinics, which will now move to the upper house (Seanad) for consideration. The proposed Health (Termination of Pregnancy Services) / Safe Access Zones Bill criminalizes individuals attempting to offer advice or influence pregnant women within 100 meters of an abortion clinic. Repeat offenders could face a fine of €2,500 or up to six months in prison. Churches loced within these zones fear restrictions on church grounds under the propsed bill.

Man threatens priest to burn church

November 15, 2023, Spain

November 15, a 45-year-old man threatened a parish priest and two other persons with assaulting them and burning down the church in Burgos. In addition, the individual made use of a wooden rod in a threatening way.

Sacred Objects Damaged and Stolen at Cathedral in Königslutter

November 14, 2023, Germany

Unknown perpetrators damaged an altar crucifix and stole a Jesus figure from the Imperial Cathedral in Königslutter on November 14. The individuals entered the cathedral via the main entrance, which was open, and went to the altar area. They removed the crucifix, moved it to a less visible area in the church, and severely damaged it. They also stole a figure of Jesus that was attached to it. The police are investigating the situation, and the perpetrators have not been caught.

Good News: Päivi Räsänen Found Not Guilty of 'Hate Speech' for Quoting the Bible

November 14, 2023, Finland

The Finnish appeal court has unanimously upheld the 2022 acquittal and dismissed all charges against Finnish MP Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola who had been on trial for having publicly expressed their Christian beliefs. The ruling is considered to be a victory for freedom of religion and expression.

Scandiano Church Vandalized and Statue of Mary Beheaded

November 13, 2023, Italy

A man devastated the church of Santa Maria Assunta in Scandiano, causing thousands of euros worth of damage. He vandalized the walls, furniture, and statues, including breaking off the head of a statue of Mary. The individual destroyed sacred objects and broke open the tabernacle to throw the host on the ground. The police were able to identify the perpetrator. The 53-year-old from Modena was consequently reported for aggravated damage.

Convert beaten up for 'frequenting the church of Christians'

November 12, 2023, Italy

A 28-year-old Tunisian Christian convert was beaten and robbed for 'attending Christian church'. According to media reports, the man was attacked on the evening of November 12, 2023, in the Ponte San Giovanni district of Perugia by some fellow countrymen, while he was walking with a friend. Now the police have issued three pre-trial detention orders for crimes committed with the aggravating circumstance of religious discrimination.

Priest receives online death threats

November 12, 2023, France

A priest from the Church of Saint-Joseph in Valence, Drôme region, was threatened with death by an Internet user on the social network "Discord" on November 12.

Church in Leinach Defaced Again

November 11, 2023, Germany

St. Laurentius Church in Leinach was defaced for the second time over the weekend of November 11. The side of the church was smeared with silver paint, the slogan written on the wall is illegible. The material damage is estimated to cost 500 euros. About a year ago, unknown perpetrators defaced the steps of the church with black paint. The individuals responsible for either of these crimes have not been caught.

Man Threatens to Explode Church During Mass in Valmontone

November 10, 2023, Italy

At the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Piazza Pilozzi in Valmontone, a man entered with a gas cylinder and lighter, threatening to explode the church. The 35-year-old man from Romania insulted and threatened the parish priest, attempting to extort money from him. The police arrived and were able to detain the man. He was taken to a prison in Valletri.

Man Starts a Fire in Confessional of Church in Oropesa del Mar

November 10, 2023, Spain

An individual deliberately started a fire in a confessional at the parish of San Jaime in Oropesa del Mar. The fire was able to be put out and did not injure anyone. The Local Police of Oropesa del Mar were able to identify the man who started the fire and arrest him.

Offensive Graffiti vandalises Church Wall in Munich

November 8, 2023, Germany

On November 8, a picture was posted on social media of an offensive writing in graffiti on the outside wall of St. Lukas Church in Munich. The writing read: "F*ck your God". Pastor Steve Kennedy Henkel said, "as a church in the city, we are used to vandalism; recently a stone was thrown through the church window after a funeral service." The pastor has replaced the first word of the graffiti, so that it now reads: "I love you! Your God." Pastor Henkel explained: "What would be more natural for us as Christians to respond to hatred with love?" It has not been reported if any police investigation has been launched following this incident.

Man Disrupts Mass shouting “Allah Akbar”

November 8, 2023, France

On Sunday, November 5, the mass celebrated at Saint-Éloi Church in Dunkirk was disrupted by an individual who shouted “ Allah Akbar ”. The man was shouting during the “Our Father” prayer and at the end of the mass.

Ethical Review of Euthanasia in Jersey Disregards 'Indirect Conscientious Objection'

November 7, 2023, United Kingdom

An ethical review by medical law experts has been conducted in Jersey to assess the implications that the approval of euthanasia, "Assisted Dying" (AD), would have on the island. While noting the necessity of several limitations to euthanasia based on ethical issues, the experts stated that conscientious objection should not be granted to everyone, excluding people not directly involved in the death, such as receptionists or drivers.

£10,000 worth of damage through church vandalism

November 7, 2023, United Kingdom

At around 4.30pm on Tuesday, November 7, the St Mary’s and All Saints Church in Beaconsfield was heavily vandalised. The damage is estimated at around £10,000.

Christian worker fired after refusing to work during church's Sunday service

November 5, 2023, United Kingdom

Former employee of Sainsbury's Jacqueline Rendell is suing the supermarket chain for "unfair dismissal" alleging she was fired for refusing to work on Sunday mornings so she could attend Sunday services at church. She claims the supermarket chain fired her because she refused demands to work every Sunday morning.

Spanish Government Denies Religious Asylum to Chinese Christians

November 5, 2023, Spain

Several Chinese Christians have been arriving in Spain since the end of October seeking religious asylum after being denied it in other countries. The lack of response from the Spanish government puts their physical integrity at risk if they are deported to China. Among them is a famous Chinese Catholic actress, Li Yan Li, who has said she would rather die than return to China.

Arson Attack on Church in Vado

November 4, 2023, Italy

A fire was started at the church of Santa Maria in Vado on November 4 at around 8:45 AM. It was reported that the perpetrator set fire to a tent set up in the churchyard. From there, the fire then spread to the front door of the church. People in the church noticed and notified the fire department, then used water to start putting out the fire. The firefighters arrived and finished putting out the fire. Smoke filled the interior of the church and an old notice board was destroyed. Police investigated the scene, and the vandal was reportedly caught on surveillance cameras and already identified.

Desecration and theft at Quirón hospital chapel

November 4, 2023, Spain

The chapel of the Quirón hospital in Torrevieja was desecrated and the tabernacle and chalice were stolen.

Monstrance Stolen from Church in Schophoven

November 3, 2023, Germany

A valuable monstrance, among other religious objects, was stolen from St. Barbara Church in Schophoven during the night of November 3. The mayor of Schophoven, Matthias Hahn, entered the church in the morning to find the tabernacle opened. Liturgical objects, including the monstrance, were stolen. Some of the items taken were a goblet spoon, a ciborium, and a drinking cup. A St. Barbara relic fell to the floor and was bent, but not taken. The sacristy door was also broken open, and the wall safe had been removed from the wall and broken into.

Bible Stolen from the Altar of the Church of Ķekava

November 2, 2023, Latvia

On November 4, the congregation of the Church of Ķekava announced on Facebook that an old Bible had been stolen from the church's altar. The Facebook post said that it could have been taken as early as November 2. The church community is trying to retrieve the Bible, and the thief has not been found.

Church tagged with graffiti: "Traitor Christian"

November 1, 2023, France

On November 1, 2023, the Saint-Fiacre church in Villers-lès-Nancy was sprayed with graffiti, reading "Traitor Christian". The tags are considered to have a connection with the Israel-Hamas war.

Repeated vandalism of the "White Virgin of Madrid"

October 31, 2023, Spain

According to news reports from March 2024, a statue of Mary in Madrid has been repeatedly vandalised. After Halloween, the statue was found with satanic signs on its face.

Man Attacks People Praying outside Abortion Clinic

October 28, 2023, Austria

During the prayer initative "40 Days for Life" a man and a woman holding signs and praying outside an abortion clinic in Vienna were attacked by a man. The man snatched the signs, which displayed the picture of a baby, from them and violently broke the signs into pieces. He also took one of the signs and ran away with it. 

Churches in Alessandria Desecrated

October 28, 2023, Italy

In the afternoon of October 28, the Church of San Giovannino was desecrated. A young man entered the presbytery, climbed onto the alter to reach for the crucifix and threw it on the floor, breaking it into several pieces. After that, he removed a crucifix from the wall at the front of the church and broke it. The incident was filmed by security cameras, though the man had put out the candles in the church as to not be recognized.

Scottish MP says she left her party after being 'unwelcome as a Christian'

October 25, 2023, United Kingdom

Scottish MP Dr Lisa Cameron shared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour how she had felt marginalised in the Scottish National Party (SNP) because of her Christian faith and pressured to vote against her convictions. Now defected to the Conservative Party, Dr Cameron voted against the 2020 new abortion regime for Northern Ireland and disagreed with bills which sought to legalise assisted suicide in England and Wales.

Tablecloth on the altar of Saint-Symphorien Church

October 24, 2023, France

On October 24, the tablecloth on the altar of the Saint-Symphorien Church of Loué, Sarthe, was set on fire. As the alert was given very quickly the local priests were able to extinguish the fire and prevent further damages. Local authorities, however, expressed concern about the symbolism of this incident.

Historical 16th century crucifix destroyed in Seville

October 22, 2023, Spain

The historic crucifix located in the Santa Marta square in Seville was destroyed on the night of October 22nd by unknown perpetrators. It dated to the 16th century and had a carving of a crucifix on one side and a pietà on the other.

Sacred Objects Stolen from Church in Brenna

October 22, 2023, Poland

Unknown perpetrators broke into the church of St. John the Baptist in Brenna on October 22 between 9:00 PM and midnight and stole sacred objects. According to Cieszyn police spokesman Krzysztof Pawlik, the thieves stole a gold-plated chalice and a reliquary.

Christian Hybrid School Forcibly Closed by German Authorities

October 19, 2023, Germany

The Dietrich Bonhoeffer International School in Germany was forced to close for the year by German education authorities. The school has been open for 9 years with an award-winning pedagogical model. Germany has banned homeschooling, hybrid schools, and has tightened restrictions on private schools. German authorities wrote to the school that "the immediate enforcement of prohibitions is ordered", preventing students from continuing their schooling there for the rest of the year. The government has also fined the school 600 euros in administrative fees. Authorities stated that the school website was an "advertisement for the impermissible school", and was ordered to be shut down. The school is arguing that Germany is violating national and international human rights law - including parents' rights to educate their children in accordance with their philosophical and religious convictions - with its ban on homeschooling, along with other restrictions on education. An urgency lawsuit to reopen the school is currently pending.

Draft law would ban Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine

October 19, 2023, Ukraine

On October 19, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) voted in favour of a draft law banning all activities of "organisations based in a country waging war against Ukraine". The text targets the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the Moscow Patriarchate and has raised concerns about the safeguarding of religious freedom in Ukraine. The UOC said the draft law would be unconstitutional. The text, which has been presented in a first reading, is currently under revision.

Christian Preacher Faces up to Six Months in Prison for Holding Sign with Bible Verse

October 17, 2023, United Kingdom

Christian preacher, Stephen Green, 72, was tried in court on October 17, for allegedly having protested against abortion within a 'buffer zone' surrounding MSI Reproductive Choices clinic in Mattock Lane, West London on February 6, 2023. Green was quietly holding a sign with a Bible verse from Psalm 139:13 written on it, which reads: "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb". Appearing at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court, Green pleaded not guilty to breaking the public spaces protection order (PSPO). According to the Mail Online, Mr. Green's charge sheet accuses him of "[protesting] by engaging in an act of disapproval or attempted act of disapproval with respect to issues related to abortion services, by written means in that you were holding a large sign displaying the text ‘Psalm 139:13 (...) relating directly or indirectly to the termination of pregnancy."

Theft: Man Steals Monstrance from Church in Woźniki

October 17, 2023, Poland

On October 17, a man stole a golden monstrace from a church in Woźniki. A church employee reported the incident to the Lubliniec police after 6 AM. The employee reported that the religious object had been stolen and the scene was investigated.

Church of Ladornac desecrated

October 17, 2023, France

On October 17, the Notre-Dame Church of Ladornac in Dordogne was desecrated. The altar stone and statues were broken.

Two churches tagged with Nazi and satanic symbols

October 16, 2023, France

On October 16, 2023, symbols with Nazi and satanic connotations were found on the churches of Saint-Thomas and Saint-Houardon in Landerneau. According to the parish priest, the churches have already become targets of vandalism before.

Criminal Damage Caused to Church in Hereford

October 15, 2023, United Kingdom

On October 15, a group vandalized St. Francis Xavier Church in Hereford. A group of youths meddled with the microphone, threw lit candles around the room and spit on the altar. The church priest, Father Thomas, said that security must be tightened because of this incident. Before, the church had been open at any time of the day so churchgoers could come to pray or light a candle. The police are still investigating the situation.

Man Sets Fire in a Church in Pescara after being Denied Money from the Priest

October 15, 2023, Italy

A 56-year old man from Pescara asked the parish priest for money, but when the priest refused he started a fire near the altar. The incident occurred around 3:30 PM on October 15. The police was notified and found that a wooden bench, placed to the side of the altar, showed clear signs of combustion. The fabric covering the bench and the carpet underneath it were damaged by the flames, but the fire had already been put out by some parishioners.

Islamist tried to murder Christian convert he considered an 'apostate' who 'deserves to die'

October 15, 2023, United Kingdom

On April 11, Ahmed Alid, an Islamist extremist, stood trial at Teesside Crown Court, Middlesbrough, for murder of a pensioner and attempted murder of his housemate Javed Nouri, a convert to Christianity. According to the prosecutor, Alid considered Nouri an apostate and “therefore somebody who deserved to die”. The incident happened last October.

Painting of Elijah heavily Damaged with Axe in Krzeszowice

October 14, 2023, Poland

On October 14 the Police Station in Krzeszowice was notified about damage to a chapel located in the Krzeszowice commune. A vandal used an axe to damage a historic painting depicting Elijah the Prophet of Carmel. The vandal then left the area on bike. The police caught the 35-year-old on his bike with the axe that he used to destroy the religious painting. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Pipes Stolen from Taura Church

October 13, 2023, Germany

Several meters of lightning conductors and copper downpipe were dismantled and stolen from a church in Taura, near Torgau. The police department in Leipzig announced that unknown perpetrators had forcibly gained access to the church between 4 pm on October 12 and 11 am on October 13. The exact extent of the property damage and theft damage is currently unknown. The police have started an investigation into this case and are treating the incident as a particularly serious theft.

Statue of St. Anthony Stolen from Nowy Sacz Monastery

October 11, 2023, Poland

A statue of St. Anthony holding Baby Jesus was stolen from a monastic house in the Nowy Sącz region by a 34-year-old resident. The man was detained by the police two hours after receiving the report. The plaster statue has already returned to the house from which it was taken.

Eucharist Stolen from Hospital Chapel in Avola

October 11, 2023, Italy

The Eucharist kept in the tabernacle of the chapel of Di Maria Hospital in Avola in the province of Syracuse was stolen on October 11. The Bishop of Noto, Monsignor Salvatore Rumeo, stated, "I learn with deep sorrow and infinite bitterness that a sacrilegious theft was perpetrated today." On October 15 a Mass of Reparation was held, with the consecration of the new particles to be placed in the tabernacle.

Four Pupils Vandalize Church in Noci

October 11, 2023, Italy

Four teenage boys heavily vandalized the Church of Carmine in Noci on the morning of October 11. The pupils left their middle school early due to a union meeting of their teachers. They roamed the streets before entering and vandalizing the Church of Carmine. The children were in the church for 30 minutes when they broke off the doors of the tabernacle, tampered with the organ, threw hand sanitizer on the floor, threw waste inside the church, and set fire in the skylight. Luckily the fire did not spread to other parts of the church. The teenagers also damaged the security cameras, but by then the footage of their actions had already been archived. Gregorio Gabriele, custodian and manager of the Church of Carmine, notified the police as soon as he discovered the destruction. The police viewed video footage and caught the boys who committed the acts of vandalism.

New Religion Law in Belarus will allow more arbitrariness against Christian churches

October 11, 2023, Belarus

On October 11 the House of Representatives of Belarus approved the new law on the activities of religious organisations in its first reading. The content of this bill has only recently been made public and although it is still awaiting its second reading before coming into force, the UN and various human rights organisations are warning of the further repression of churches considered "undesirable" that this law will allow. "Mass liquidation of various religious organizations" is expected, reports opposition media.

Graveyard Vandalized at Peterborough Cathedral

October 9, 2023, United Kingdom

Vandals targeted a burial ground at Peterborough Cathedral on October 9 between 6 PM and 7 PM. A metal obelisk was kicked over, grave markers were turned upside down and labels identifying various types of flowers were ripped off. The Cathedral gardening team is attempting to repair the damage, and police have launched an investigation.

Christian Secondary School Teacher Fired after Refusing to Teach 8-Year-Old Pupils Gender and Sexual Identities

October 9, 2023, United Kingdom

Glawdys Leger, 43, taught modern foreign languages at Bishop Justus Church of England School until May, 2022 when she was fired for refusing to teach her 7 and 8-year-old pupils about gender and sexual identities. The teacher was reported by a student and subsequently fired for "gross misconduct" after an investigation and disciplinary hearing. Shortly after, she received a letter from the Teaching Regulation Agency that allegedly her teaching conduct had been "contrary to fundamental British values in that it lacked tolerance to those with different beliefs." Leger, on the other hand, says that she "cannot, in good conscience, teach or say things I believe are contrary to my faith." Leger's hearing is due to commence in Coventry on October 9, 2023.

Attempted Break-In to Church in Schnaitsee

October 9, 2023, Germany

Between October 6 and October 9, an unknown perpetrator tried to pry open the entrance door to the church of St. Magdalena in Schnaitsee. The perpetrator was unable to gain entry to the church. Based on the evidence on site, it can be assumed that a lever tool was used. This damaged both the entrance door and the masonry of the church. The police reported the incident on October 10.

Man from Sopron Tried to Rob Five Churches in One Night

October 9, 2023, Hungary

The Sopron District Prosecutor's office requested the arrest of a 43-year-old man who tried to break into five churches in one night. One night in September, the unemployed homeless man attempted to break into two small churches in one town, but was unsuccessful. After that, he continued to another village where he was able to pry open the door of the church. He searched through the church but did not steal anything, but damaged two motion detectors and caused approximately HUF 50,000 worth of damage. Following this incident, the man went to the church of another settlement, where he cracked open the window to enter the church and opened the display cases containing cash. He took less than HUF 50,000, but including the vandalism of the church, approximately HUF 100,000 worth of damage was caused. Lastly, the man visited a different church where he broke the window and pried open a cupboard containing donations. He stole HUF 20,000 from this church, but approximately HUF 100,000 in damage was caused. The prosecutor proposed the arrest of the perpetrator.

Confessional in Kreuzlingen Church put on Fire

October 8, 2023, Switzerland

In St. Ulrich church in Kreuzlingen a confessional was found on fire on October 8. The fire department was able to put out the fire and ventilate the church. The material damage amounts to several thousand francs. The police have ruled out a technical defect and suspect arson.

Swastika Painted on Front Step of Spangenberg Church

October 8, 2023, Germany

A swastika sign was painted on the entrance steps of a Protestant church in Spangenberg. The Homberg criminal police are now investigating the unknown perpetrators.

Arabic Graffiti on Church Bell Tower in Sacile

October 6, 2023, Italy

On the morning of October 6, Don Boris Bandiera, the priest at the Parish of San Odorico in Sacile, found graffiti on the front wall of the church bell tower. He immediately notified the police, who helped him translate the Arabic graffiti writing: "There is no God but Allah." Don Boris stated that this is not the first attack on his church that he has witnessed, but the message of this vandalism left him stunned.