The local authorities in Munich (Kreisverwaltungsreferat, KVR) have prohibited all pro life activity in front of Germany’s biggest abortion clinic (Dr. Friedrich Stapf, 4000 abortions per year) and called the so-called side-walk counselling a serious impropriety („grobe Ungehörigkeit“) to be punished by a fine of 500 €.
Cayo Lara, General Coordinator of the United Left party has blamed the Catholic Church for 400,000 Spanish citizens currently unemployed. According to Lara the Catholic Church received public funds amounted in 10.000 millions of euros per year, money that could be used to create job positions for those without a jobs.
With the approval of the Council of Ministers of Spain, the State Department of Education, submitted a motion to the Congress to deny public funds to schools that teach their students in gender-separated classrooms. This method of education has been applied mostly by Christian school in Spain. The same was previously attempted in the regions of Asturias, Cantabria, and Andalucía.
Evangelical Premier Media conducted a survey called "Freedom of the Cross Consultations" in May 2010. 12 % of the respondants answered that they had experienced discrimination personally, another 10% that they knew someone who had. Read here some quotes in the area of government funding.
Sandra Yagüe, member of the PSOE and second in command to the City Hall of Azuqueca de Henares, one of the largest cities in the district of Guadalajara, has created a Facebook page to called "public sinners wishing excommunication". On this page she displays profane and pornographic materials using the images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary in disturbing contexts.
The 200-year-old Greek Orthodox Chapel of Saint Thekla in the village of Vokolida, Cyprus was demolished, allegedly by accident. The demolition was condemned publicly by the Turkish Cypriot authorities and two individuals were arrested for destroying the church and a promise was made to rebuild it. Nevertheless, due to several reasons, this has not yet been performed.
Unknown perpetrators knocked over gravestones and pulled out plants in a cemetery located in Velen.
Burglars broke into the church of Lukavac and stole various objects.
“Holy smoke” is the expression the Scottish media has used in reference to David Mach´s claim to set on fire the head of Jesus in the name of art. The artist plans to burn a head of Jesus made with matchsticks outside the City Art Centre of Edinburgh, which is hosting this religious-themed exhibit with taxpayers money in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. The exhibit will run from 30 July to 16 October. Mach, who described himself as a non believer, says he wants to use religious themes to "expose the hypocrisies of the contemporary world".
14-year-old UK students enrolled in GCSE (general certificate of secondary education) philosophy courses are being taught about euthanasia by viewing a video featuring Dr Philip Nitschke, a notorious assisted suicide campaigner and euthanasia fanatic. Nitschke, the Australian founder and director of the euthanasia group “Exit International”, known internationally as “Dr Death”, presents in a video a machine which delivers lethal injections.
The campaign “Calling the Pope to Account” sued Pope Benedict XVI at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity. The charges are: “the preservation and leadership of a worldwide totalitarian regime of coercion, which subjugates its members with terrifying and health-endangering threats; the adherence to a fatal forbiddance of the use of condoms, even when the danger of HIV-AIDS infection exists; and the establishment and maintenance of a worldwide system of cover-up of the sexual crimes committed by Catholic priests and their preferential treatment, which aids and abets ever new crimes”. The campaign is supported by posters and a book publication.
One of the routes to the main Austrian Catholic Shrine, MariaZell, located in the Austrian mountains, leads through the forest of Mr. Josef Rothwangl. In May 2011, Mr. Rothwangl put up a sign prohibiting priests to enter his property when accompanying children or youth. He says that he was a victim of abuse by Catholic priests himself, when he was a student at a Catholic high school. It is not clear, whether such a prohibition is legally permitted or not. The social effects are in any case problematic: The measure defames and stereotypes priests by implying that all Catholic priests are child abusers.
On 13th of May 2011 in Madrid, a group of atheist demonstrated „against religion“ mocking religious symbols of Christians. While such a manifestation is everyone’s freedom of expression, it is important to pay attention to the feelings of believers as well as to offer a contribution to the public debate instead of spreading hatred and intolerance.
An attempt of arson was noticed by a neighbour at Immaculate Heart of Mary church in Elmar on May 13th. Stranger(s) tried to set fire to several items in the church, including curtains, carpets and cushions. Locals extinguished the fire with water. The damaged amounts to about 2000 €.
The Swedish Parliament voted to campaign against a European resolution, which reiterates the right to conscientious objection for health professionals who do not want to perform abortions.
The parish church of “Nuestra Señora de la Asunción” suffered great damage on Sunday May 8, as several religious images made of plaster were destroyed. Local police arrested the assailant, a 35-year-old male local resident, who had made previous threats toward the church. As stated by Pastor Marcos Fermin, this is not only a financial problem for him - but bears also great emotional pain.
The Diálogo library in Madrid suffered serious damage as an unidentified pertpetrators smashed the window in which books related to the beatification of Pope Juan Pablo II were displayed. The library is well-known for specializing in religious subjects.
Vandals broke into the church of Anschar on May 7th, damaged several objects in the main church, threw down a crucifix and paintings in the sacristy, and tore everything out of the closets. Nothing was stolen, but fixing will be expensive. A new alarm system will be installed shortly to prevent any further attack. The incident was reported to the police.
The Spanish play “Me Cago en Dios” was shown in Madrid in 2004. It caused public uproar due to its radical anti-religious contents. It was subsequently shown in Lisbon and in 2011 in New York City.
The image of the Virgen del Pilar, patron of the Spanish Civil Guard, has been removed from its original location in Aranjuez. The image was placed years ago at the students´cafeteria inside the Spanish Civil Guard Academy. The removal was due to the visit of the Ministry of Interior and vice president of the socialist political party (PSOE), Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. The order came from one of Rubalcaba´s close collaborators because "it was not appropriate to see the image while the officer was having a wine of honor" there.
The sculptures of St. Peter and St. Laurent located outside the gate of San Esteban Church in Burgos were beheaded. The Church was built during the XIII century in a Gothic style; the sculpture of St. Peter had been restore six years ago while St. Laurent's image had been under renovation 12 years ago. The decapitation took place on the night of Good Friday.
A gang of about 20 youth has been rampaging repeatedly around the Nathan-Söderblom church in Reinbeck in the spring of 2011, including the urination into a work of art that represents the grave of Christ. Police and social service have not been able to calm down those involved, and are considering hiring a social worker to find a remedy.
A group of 40 youths, dressed in black, with their faces hidden, and holding signs against the Catholic Church, marched in support of the violent attack that took place at the Somosaguas Chapel in Barcelona.
Socialist Youth of Spain (Juventudes Socialistas de España - JSE), part of the PSOE political wing, has started an electoral platform that supports the removal of every religious symbol from public schools, and the progressive reduction of funds including the elimination of schools that receive taxpayers' money but are run privately (which are mostly confessional schools). Among other proposals the JSE supports free distribution of condoms, the day-after pill, indoctrination on abortion, and free sex change surgery.
The church of Bonneval has been vandalised on Holy Thursday. According to Father François Muchery, the damage was quite substantial: on the prayer book one can see obscene drawings and words, statues have been damaged and urinated on and candles were smashed.
On the night of Sunday, April 24th, around 3:00 am, the statue of the Virgin Mary located behind the church of the Sacred Heart of La Roche-sur-Yon has been beheaded and then thrown on the ground. It’s head was transported to the other side of the park.
The church of Saint-Jean-Bosco of Echirolles has been victim of desecration. The main Crucifix was found broken on the floor. Missals had been flung to the ground and benches damaged and turned over. Apparently, the perpetrators had entered the church by forcing a side door. No theft has been reported.
A flash mob intended to protest against a law prohibiting dancing events on certain holidays interfered with the Good Friday procession of the Croatian Catholic community in Frankfurt/Main.
Two men armed with swords and knives broke into a Catholic Church in Adana last Thursday. After learning that the priest was not in the church, the 26 year old aggressors proceeded to vandalise the property.
Vandals broke into the mission church of Aladinici and cause substantial damage.
On 21 April 2011 two men broke into a Catholic church and completely destroyed three statues. They also left marks on the altar, smashed window panes and threw flowerpots around.
Piss Christ is a photograph by Andres Serrano which shows a crucifix submerged in yellow liquid. Serrano, an American artist, has declared that the amber liquid is his own urine. Piss Christ has been displayed since the beginning of April at the art gallery “Collection Lambert” in Avignon.
Father-Claret Parish, located in Altavista (Lanzarote), was vandalised by burglars. According to the media, the criminals broke into the church searching for money. Once they realised no money was there, they vandalised the property, causing significant damage. Before they left, they threw away the vase containing the holy communion.
The Spanish Constitutional Tribunal ruled that Catechism teacher Resurrección Galera Navarro whose working contract was not renewed after marrying a divorced man and not informing her employer, she was dismissed unlawfully. Employer Ferrer Guardia Catholic School in Almeria was sentenced to pay compensation. Acknowledging the human dimension of this incident, it is in any case necessary that religious institutions are able to establish their own rules and ethos.
A Spanish general practitioner from Antequera who opposes abortion was denied the right to claim conscientious objection in cases of abortion. The MD argues that his beliefs conflict with abortion advice or referral to women seeking pregnancy termination.
On April 19, 2011 hundred of tourists were evacuated from one of the most popular places of worship in the world, the Sagrada Familia Basilica, in Barcelona. A fire was intentionally started at the sacristy, and a 65 year old man was arrested in possession of a lighter and pieces of fabrics that could have been used to set the fire. No major damage was reported to Gaudi´s masterpiece. The fire burnt for about 45 minutes according to El Pais newspaper. While the fire was set up intentionally, the reasons for the attack remain unknown. Media reported the man to be “gravely disturbed”. It is clear whether the fire setting was an intentional attack against Christianit or not.
The church of Saint-Jean of Aulnay-Sous-Bois has been twice vandalised in April. The parish priest and the numerous catholic community are chocked before such acts.
Christian graves and tombstones were vandalized in Zavidovici on April 17th, 2011.
As part of the Casus Belli art exhibition, the painting "Cristo das Rías Baixas" attributed to Manuel Moldes, has been displayed on one of the walls in Santiago de Compostela. The mural size artwork shows a crucified body, up side down, and totally naked. The exhibition is supported by the City Mayor of Compostela, while the city celebrates the 800th anniversary of the Cathedral and the beginning of the Holy Week. The Archdioceses of Santiago expressed its disappointment because the painting offends the religious sentiments.
A media campaign to raise awareness on HIV uses the Holy Eucharist, a priest, and excerpt from mass to promote the use of condoms. Displaying an image of a priest giving communion, the add employs phrases like “Holy condom you take away the AIDS of the world.” Another phrase used in this add is: “Do not be given communion (Hostia), use a condom”. The word Hostia means communion in Spanish, but hostia can also be used with a pejorative meaning in Spanish.
On a Thursday morning a group of vandals broke into the Church of Santa Maria Magdalena, destroying the altar shrine and the crown of the Virgin. The church suffered great damage, and the content of the collection box was stolen.
A gang of about 20 youth has been rampaging repeatedly around the Nathan-Söderblom church in Reinbek in the spring of 2011, including the urination into a work of art that represents the grave of Christ. Police and social service have not been able to calm down those involved, and are considering to hire a social worker to find a remedy.
“The Pink Wall”, a film by Enrique del Pozo and Julian Lara, depicts the situation of gays during Franco´s era in Spain and presents Christ crucified to a pink wall, made up with eye shadow and lipstick, wrapped in a gay flag around his hips. At the top of the cross the letters “INRI” have been replaced with “LGTB” (lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual). The film was presented on April 13th, 2011 in Madrid.
The head of Belgium's Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, was hit four times by custard pies at the Catholic University of Louvain while people were cheering.
In a broadcasting interview by ELA radio, in Madrid, a group of people who identified themselves as “representatives of different atheist groups”, expressed openly that their goals are to “punish” the Catholic belief, and to “damage” the views of Catholics. They praised the burning of churches in 1936, and they expressed their intention to “welcome” the Pope “as he deserves”, during the announced visit to Madrid in the summer of 2011.
A neighbour organization of Madrid's ambassadors’ district (Barrio de los Embajadores) and surrounding areas called for an “atheist procession”. The procession is scheduled to take place on the night of Holy Thursday departing from Plaza de Lavapies (wash feet square), and it will run parallel to the Way of the Cross, the Christian procession. According to the organizers’ web site – Atheists from Madrid (Ateos de Madrid) - the procession goal is to raise awareness against the "social and moral hypocrisy that conveys the Catholic Holy Week”.
Four young men attacked the church Saint-Pie-X in Vannes, insulting believers and claiming to denounce «fundamentalism». They underlined the «political» nature of their behavior and claimed to defend «anti-clerical values».
A secondary grammar school teacher in Innsbruck regularly mocks and denounces Christian faith in class. The supervisory school authority has now reprimanded him.
A French history teacher was permanently dismissed for showing his students a video on abortion and talking about French abortion law.
Irene Wiens, mother of twelve, served a 43-day jail sentence in Germany for refusing to enroll her children in sex-ed classes, deemed by her husband and herself to teach a permissive view of human sexuality. An appeal to the European Court of Human Rights has been filed.
Apple suppresses diversity of belief by shutting down two Christian iPhone applications claiming that the were “offensive to large groups of people”, and the support of traditional marriage, family, and life “expose[d] a group to harm” and delivered “hate speech”.
Professors and authorities of several Spanish public universities have signed a document supporting the anti-chapel students´ movement. After a violent incident took place at Somosaguas Chapel located on Computense University campus, in Madrid, the professors affirmed in the document that "the presence of chapels and other symbols of religion power has no relation with the freedom of religion but with a Catholic Church privilege; and the time to end such [privileges] has arrived".
Vandals broke into the mission church of Ovcarevo and caused serious damage.
The Commission which intervened in Johns v. Derby City Council argued that Christians who object to homosexual behavior or same-sex relationships should not be allowed to foster children by warning that the court that children placed with Christian parents could become “infected” with Christian beliefs.
Missionaries and evangelists in Turkey are perceived as a real threat to both the integrity of the country and to the Muslim religion. Therefore, evangelism is regarded with suspicion and evangelists are sometimes arrested. Non-Muslim religious communities reported that they are personally being attacked. Attacks against churches and cemeteries take place as well.
Three young men entered the church of Saint-Martin of Conas at approximately 8:00 p.m. They broke a stained window, set fire in the sacristy, broke crosses, statues, benches and chairs and damaged the main altar. The damage which was discovered the next morning, are estimated to a cost of 50 to 100.000 euros.
Individual religious communities in Turkey are restricted in their training of clergy. The Turkish legislation does not provide for private higher religious education for minorities and such opportunities are inexistent in the public education system.
The traditional school break during Easter was renamed: the Education Council of Castilla-La Mancha decided to call the Easter holidays "break between trimesters". A similar proposal was suggested in Barcelona but it did not succeed as the original name was considered to be not only linked to Christianity, but also to the traditions and the history of the region.
The Cataluña National Theatre (TNC) in Barcelona is showing “Gang Band” from March 24th to April 17th 2011, during Lenten time. The plot describes the environment of a gay bar during the Pope’s visit to Barcelona. The play uses quotations from the Bible and the characters mock Christian traditional roles and beliefs. The TNC receives public funds to support culture and arts.
After anti-chapel demonstrations had taken place at Computense University in Madrid and Barcelona University, students of the University of Valencia called to march against chapel service at the Valencia School of Medicine. At the end, the rally did not take place.
The representative of the "Left United", MP Antonio Juan Romero Losana, supported the request made by secularist campaigner Manuel Navarro to remove the crucifix located in the sessions room at the Almeria Parliament. Romero Losana affirmed: "the presence of the cross bothers me". The painting referred to was done by Romero Losada and displays a cross. It is displayed in the local parliament because it constitutes a part of the historic heritage of Almería and has high artistic value.
During the night of March 22th, early morning of March 23th, 2011, a group of radical feminists started a fire at the doors of San Vicenç Church, in the Sarriá neighbourhood, in Barcelona. According to the priest Manuel Valls this was the fifth attack against the church in the last three years.
Non-Muslim religious communities living in Turkey report difficulties opening, maintaining, and operating houses of worship. These groups may not build new churches because of the often arbitrary refusals to issue construction permits for places of worship. The reason behind this discriminatory behaviour is the fact that all unofficial meetings for religious minorities are considered potentially subversive.
More than fifty graves have been vandalized: funeral ornaments, flower pots and crucifix have been broken. Windows were damaged and tagged with the satanic number «666».
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had ruled on November 3rd, 2009, that the display of crucifixes in public schools restricted religious freedom. "The compulsory display of a symbol of a given confession in premises used by the public authorities ... restricted the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions." The judgment was overturned on March 18th, 2011.
An Italian school from Genova, Pertini-Diaz, rejected Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco’s visit. The spokesperson for Pertini-Diaz expressed concerns about the pastoral purpose of the visit, and the security staff that the cardinal would bring along with him. The Pertini-Diaz school would however welcome a non-pastoral visit.
The Ascensión del Señor Church, located in the Madrid suburb of Carabanchel, a working class neighborhood, has suffered the loss of their most precious sacred items, the chalice with the Eucharist and the Holy Oils. The Church, build 60 years ago in a poor vicinity, has no item of value, and "the burglars knew about it", affirms Francisco Pérez, the church Pastor. Fr. Perez adds: "They only took the most precious treasure for our community, the body of Christ".
On March 11, 2011, Paula Nieto, the President of the Students Union at the Complutense University in Madrid, reported incidents at the Moncloa campus law school chapel in a radio interview. According to Nieto, several students locked themselves in the chapel, smoked weed and drank beer, while making statements against the Catholic Church. Nieto argues the attacks come from an ultra-left student group named Contrapoder.
At Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) a group of 50 young people stormed the chapel of the Somosaguas university campus to protest against the Catholic Church.
The way of the Cross of the calvary of Bercianos de Aliste in the diocese of Zamora (Spain) was vandalised. Three ancient granite crosses were highly damaged. Father Lorenzo Martin, parish priest of San Mamed was shocked and filed a complaint.
The windows of a pharmacy in Berlin’s Neukölln district were shattered because the owner does not sell the so called “morning-after-pill” due to his catholic convictions.
Catholic catechism teacher of a Zagreb primary school was accused of homophobia for staying in line with the Catholic Church teachings during catechism classes.
Experienced foster parents lose rights to foster due to religious beliefs on homosexuality. Appeal to High Court lost.
On February 28th, 2011, an unknown number of people broke in the parish house of Tarcin and stole various objects.
A marble grave stone was destroyed and the tomb opened.
Report on Religious Freedom Issues in Serbia: Read here a list of incidents of intolerance against Christians from November 2008 to February 2011.
Media reports that the tabernacle containing the Holy Communion was stolen from San Cristóbal Parish in Moral de Hornuez (Segovia).
Under the headline: “Get bishops out of our law-making”, journalist Mr. Hari hit out at the bishops for voting against measures within the highly controversial Equality Bill and for their stance on end-of-life issues.
Homosexual Polish soccer fans are demanding that a separate seating section be created at the 2012 European Soccer Championship in Poland; they claim that gays and lesbians might otherwise be subjected to harassment and violence. Associated Press Sports Editor, Ms. Terry Taylor, reported about this plea with the following comment: "Homophobia also remains deeply embedded in Poland because of the legacy of communism which treated homosexuality as a taboo and the teachings of the church in the predominantly Roman Catholic country."
On February 23rd, 2011 it was reported that someone had broken into a Christian parish house of Sarajevo and stolen property. A few days later, on February 28th, the same facts occurred in a Christian monastery of Sarajevo.
An unknown number of people broke in the Cathedral of Sarajevo, stole various objects and damaged the interior of the Christian place of worship.
Due to “security reasons”, a glass panel has been set up in order to prevent any worshippers from entering the chapel of the University of Valladolid. The Christian student union “AJIO” met with the president of the university in order to express frustration over such a barrier. Their complaints were not heard, however, as the only answer received from the faculty remains, “God is everywhere. Go away to pray in the field.”
The small church of Briosne-les-Sables was vandalized; the door was broken opened and the altar was damaged. Claude Trouillet, mayor of Briosne-les-Sables and the parish priest Father Jean-Marc have filed a complaint.
Unknown perpetrators have destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary by pulling it from the altar in a church in Schaan / Liechtenstein.
The Chapel of Caubin, a XIIth century Historical Monument was the target of vandalism on Saturday, February 19th. Three windows were broken open with stones, lanterns and projector destroyed and crosses of the cemetery broken into pieces.
After a fire was set at the doors of Santa Catalina Mártir Church in Majadahonda on December 25th, 2010, the tabernacle containing two communion vessels was stolen in February 2011. The perpetrators used a lever to commit the crime, and took advantage of the fact that the Chuch doors remain open for prayers and meetings.
A Conservative MP has said the House of Commons should stop saying prayers at the start of its proceedings. The contentious proposal could, Jo Johnson MP said, “save three or four minutes every day” and would better reflect the UK.
The Christian General Practitioner (GP) was sacked as a Government drugs adviser because he co-wrote a study linking homosexuality to paedophilia. In June 2011 he announced to take legal action to answer “increasing attempts” to marginalise Christians in public life.
Ten to twelve graves were desecrated in the cimetery of Silhol in Alès. Stone crosses were broken and thrown to the floor. Funeral ornaments were destroyed and the door of a tomb was damaged.
A Christian family of Kakanj suffered repeated verbal attacks and threats. They finally decided to leave their home as the pressure was becoming unbearable.
The lands surrounding the Syrian-orthodox monastery of Mor Gabriel, near Midyat in South-Eastern Turkey, have been expropriated by Turkey’s supreme court. According to the verdict, the treasury of Turkey has a right to claim the lands.
At the University of Barcelona protests by a group of secular students against the Catholic liturgical service on campus, including the interruption of the service, led to a cancelation of the weekly Wednesday Mass - until the University would be able to guarantee the safety of attending students.
EU Foreign Ministers rejected a draft resolution condemning the atrocities against Christian minorities in Egypt and Iraq, as they could not agree on the word ‘Christian’ in their draft statement in an effort to remain "politically correct."
A Catholic religion teacher was forced to remove a cross and an icon from a wall of a shared office in a secondary school in Zújar, Spain because two teachers said they were "offended" by them.
Mr. Günther Annen demonstrated in front of the abortion clinic of Dr. Karl-Heinz Jordan twice in August 2010, displaying a sign which said: „Why does Dr. Karl-Heinz Jordan kill unborn children?“ He was sentenced for insult to a penalty of 1500 € by the Darnstadt public prosecutor's office on Jan. 25, 2011.
The European Parliament has issued a condemnation of a Lithuanian bill that seeks to prohibit the “public promotion of homosexual relations.” The bill proposes fines of between €580 and €2,900; it has not yet been passed by the Plenary of the Lithuanian Parliament and is still under review.
On January 17th, 2011, the church of Blagan-Buna (Mostar) was attacked with stones and its windows crashed.
A Christian Church building in Hérouville-Saint-Clair, the outskirts of Caen, was vandalized at about 6 am on a Sunday morning. The Church of St. Francis, partially burned, cannot not accommodate the faithful until rebuild.
A group of teenagers was causing great damage in the parish church of St. Barbara in Peißenberg over a longer period of time. They tossed down lamps, lit numerous candles and burnt death cards, rumpled altar cloths and stuffed them into the holy water vessel; they threw altar candles around in the church, and wrote with chalk on the church’s door. The sacristan had to dump 40 liters of holy water twice, and clean the distribution vessel, in which the youth had urinated.
A satirical cartoon depicting Pope Benedict XVI was shown in Italy’s public television RAI2. In the cartoon, the Pope says about Silvio Berlusconi since he “likes minors, he can always become a priest”. This caused quite an uproar as it was considered as defamatory.