After the stone capital on the steps of the Marian Sanctuary of San Francesco all'Immacolata in Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Noto was vandalised, the perpetrator has now been identified and reported. The police were able to gather useful clues with the help of images from the video surveillance in the area, which made it possible to establish the identity of the vandal. It is a 33-year-old man already known to the police, who is facing charges of serious damage to historical objects - a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Pastor John Sherwood, the pastor of a church in North London, preached a sermon on a public street on 23 April, in which he advocated for the biblical image of the family consisting of a father, mother and children and that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. After a while, some police officers appeared on the scene, approached Pastor Sherwood and stated that three complaints had been received about the sermon. After a lengthy conversation between the pastor and the police officers, the police officers asked him to come down from the steps where he was standing and said that he was now under arrest. The police accusation was that Pastor Sherwood had made homophobic remarks. An officer then took the Bible from the pastor's hand, pulled him off the steps and handcuffed him behind his back. The pastor was arrested for causing alarm and distress under section 5 of the Public Order Act, according to police. The preacher was detained by the police for about 21 hours, and he is still under investigation after his release.
In Pleumeur-Bodou in the Côtes d'Armor, a theft act has been committed in the cemeteries. Numerous funerary objects as well as flowers have been stolen. The town hall and the first deputy, Christelle Broudic, condemns these thefts. The police operation will be intensified in order to prevent these criminal acts.
Unknown perpetrators committed an act of vandalism in two churches in Bad Griesbach in the District of Rottal. The incidents happened on the weekend of 17 and 18 April. The damage caused by the perpetrators is estimated to be around 5.000 Euros. The Police are investigating, and asking the public for help.
On 19 April, in front of the Polish Church of the Assumption at 'Concorde' in Paris, the bust of St John Paul II was vandalised . An unknown perpetrator covered the bust with red paint. Father Paweł Witkowski mentioned the great merits and achievements of John Paul II, who "certainly did not deserve such treatment". The case is being investigated by the police.
For the second time in a month, the church of Lazzaretto in Golasecca has been vandalised. This time the perpetrators damaged the door and vandalised the interior. Unknown persons had already broken into the small sacred building on 21 March, at which time the parish priest had filed a complaint with the Carabinieri. The church of Saints Simon and Judas is located in the woods near the village. The police are investigating.
On the afternoon of 15 April, a fire was set at the door of the church of Saints Jacopo and Filippo in Montecatini Alto. The door was partially destroyed. The fire brigade and the Carabinieri intervened right away. So far, there seem to be no direct witnesses to the arson, which can be safely assumed. The police are investigating.
A woman vandalised sacred objects in the sanctuary of the Maxkirche in Düsseldorf between 12 and 16 April. The perpetrator threw candles and altar cloths on the floor. The congregation is shocked at the extent of the devastation. The city Deacon, Frank Heidkamp, said: "An adult woman threw candles, candlesticks, floral arrangements, altar cloths and sacrificial candles on the floor during normal opening hours last week and obviously caused this devastation with wanton intent." The case was recorded on a security camera and has already been handed over to the police, who is now investigating.
Vandals attacked the parish cemetery in Mosina during the night of 11 to 12 April. Broken candles and other damages were found. The case was also investigated by the police, who have already arrested one person. The city police also found a vandalised car in a nearby car park.
Over the Easter weekend, form 3 to 5 April, both churches, the church of Rides, in the commune of Cours, and Marsac, in the commune of Laugnac were vandalized. The perpetrators used old stone cross from the cemetery in order to break down the doors of the churches. Both churches are isolated and emptied of all materials for a long time. Locals and rural elected representatives are often faced with this type of vandalism and delinquency by perpetrators who do not respect places of worships.
On the 12th of April, particularly around 11am, one of the aisles of the the 12th-13th century church of Saint-Hilaire in Bouy has been set on fire. The origin of the fire remains unknown. The firemen were successful to douse the fire with water.
In Höxter, unknown perpetrators vandalised the church of St. Anna on 11 April. Inside the church they destroyed the ornamental organ pipes. The vandals also lit candles, spread matches on the floor and left two notes with inscriptions. The damage to property amounts to 1.000€. The incident was reported to the police.
After red-light parties with prostitutes were held in the Cassino cemetery, the local church officials felt compelled to return sanctity to the desecrated place and rededicate the cemetery. "This rite of reparation", the diocese said, "became necessary as a result of the recent judicial investigation of the management of the municipal cemetery, which revealed serious acts that qualify as desecration of the bodies. In the name of the Church and representing the entire community of Setina, we went to the cemetery, prayed for the deceased buried there and renewed the rite of blessing the cemetery as an act of reparation for the desecration and sacrilege committed."
The church of Fraternité Scerdotale Saint-Pie X churches has been vandalized during the night of 9-10 April. More specifically, the gate and the fence have been tagged with sprayed as well as red paint. It has been assumed that the main perpetrators are from the left-wing movement in Nantes since the tags included a sickle and a hammer. In the morning of 10th April, the tags have been removed by the SSPX.
During the night of 8 to 9 April, the Notre-Dame Réconciliatrice chapel in Paris was broken into. The chapel is located 500 metres from the church of Saint-Joseph des Nations which was also a victim of a burglary during the night of 4th to 5th April. The unknown perpetrators stole Easter collections, the large chest containing, two ciboria used at Holy Thursday, and other religious objects. The altar cloth was also stolen.
The Armenian monastery of Saint Magar in the North of Cyprus has been desecrated by an illegal techno party. The party is said to have taken place in March, although a video of the party was only released in April. The Religious Leaders of the Island have now released a statement declaring: “The Religious Leaders of Cyprus condemn this unfortunate act and any misuse, disrespect and desecration of places of worship and cemeteries in Cyprus, irrespective of intention, religion, dogma and denomination". In their statement, they pointed out that all places of worship and cemeteries, in use or not, are protected against vandalism. They stated furthermore that “disrespecting places of worship and cemeteries creates pain, nurtures mistrust and becomes an obstacle to peaceful coexistence”.
On the 7th of April, the French authorities received information from the Moroccan General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DGSI) about a French woman of Moroccan origin who lives in Béziers. This woman was "planning an imminent terrorist operation targeting a church in France." According to the investigations, she lives in Dévèze, a ‘’sensitive’’ district of Béziers, and intended to carry out the act. The investigators found in her flat a sword and mechanism as well as materials to make TATP, which is a powerful explosive. The woman remains in custody.
A fire broke out in the empty church of St. Mary's Assumption in Gelsenkirchen on the evening of Easter Monday, 5 April. The fire brigade was on the scene with 80 emergency personnel. The fire started inside the building and had broken out into the sacristy. From there, the fire spread to the nave and smoke came out of the roof. While the cause of the fire was initially completely unclear, the police announced the following day that "deliberate arson is to be assumed".
During the night of Sunday to Monday, the wall of the old cemetery, just behind the church in the street of Rhome, has been destroyed. Anne-Sophie Peureux-Demangelle, the mayor of Lachapelle-sous-Chaux, claims that the wall did not fall down by itself. It was a clear act of vandalism with a tractor. The perpetrators circulated a video on social media particularly Snapchat. They commented: 'We didn't fake it last night'." The town hall has filed a complaint to the police.
As part of the investigation to determine the causes of the fire that damaged the collegiate church of Saint-Nicolas in Avesnes-sur-Helpe on Monday 5 April, a young man has been taken into custody. According to the Cécile Gressier, the public prosecutor in Avesnes-sur-Helpe, the man of ‘’foreign nationality, known to the judicial services for common crimes,’’ was arrested the next day in a neighbouring town. On the Easter weekend, the religious building, a listed historic monument, was damaged and numerous valuable works of art. The police suspect the fire has been set deliberately and is investigating under arson.
On the night of Easter Sunday, thieves gained entry into the Église Saint-Joseph des Nations church in Paris. They escaped with the proceeds of the collection, two sacred vessels and a consecrated host. According to Aleteia, “the thieves took away the large chest containing the proceeds of Easter collections, three (empty) boxes and two ciboriums that they located by forcing the doors of the tabernacle. The hosts were found on the altar tablecloth, while the large host used for adoration was taken away by the vandals. The police are investigating.
On the night of Easter Sunday, April 4th, unknown perpetrators tagged the facade of the town parish church in Aichach with an insulting and stereotyping slogan. In the morning, the sacristan reported the damage to property to the police. The police are investigating.
In the days immediately before Easter, the parish of Saints Leo and Nicholas in the town of Scalo in the Gallo D'Oro area was targeted. During the night, unknown persons broke into the church through a smashed window and stole from the church interior only a few coins that were kept in the offertory. They also broke open a door and stole a loudspeaker. The police are investigating.
Three unknown, alcoholised young Muslim men have disturbed the Easter Vigil service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church "Zum Heiligen Geist" in Nidda, Central Hesse. According to the church congregation, they repeatedly attacked worshippers (especially children and teenagers) and shouted "There is only one God, and that is Allah" and "Allah is the greatest". The unknown perpetrators had already insulted some of the worshippers outside the church and even filmed them. The perpetrators were asked to leave numerous times, also because they did not wear masks but refused to do so. The State Security Service has started an investigation for disturbing the exercise of religion.
On the 2nd of April posters explicitly attacking the Catholic Church and mocking the holy cross were hung on the door of the Polish House in Bydgoszcz. The Catholic House in Bydgoszcz, also called the Polish House, is a historic public building used as a place of activity by Catholic organisations and associations in Bydgoszcz. The unknown perpetrators also left the blasphemous inscription: "The secret of faith - cars and dollars". The holy cross, The incident was reported by the church authorities to the city police.
On charges of violating COVID-19 rules, police in the UK have interrupted up a Good Friday service celebrated at the Roman Catholic Christ the King Church in London. Police also threatened to fine each person sitting in the pews $280. According to the British Independent newspaper, churches are allowed to hold services during the lockdown in England with no limit on the number of parishioners as long as the congregation adheres to social distancing and wears masks. The church rejected the police claims, saying in a statement, "We believe, however, that the police brutally exceeded their powers by issuing their warrant for no good reason, as all government requirements were met."
A statue of the Virgin Mary of historical value has been destroyed at the Holy Spirit Church in Koszalin in Poland on 1 April. The statue was of exceptional value since it was given to the Parish by a survivor of the Dachau concentration camp and was seen as a shrine of memorial for the ones who did not survive the camp. The chapel in which the statue was standing was also vandalised. Police are investigating.
Far-left groups in Poland are proud to show themselves profaning the Church of the Holy Saviour in the centre of Warsaw on social media. Local anarchists lit flares in front of the entrance to the temple and hung a banner with vulgar inscription on the scaffolding. The assault took place on the afternoon of March 31st. The far-left in Poland seems to enjoys an impunity. This is evidenced by the minimal reaction of the judiciary to the series of provocations, desecrations and attacks carried out against Catholic churches since October 2020. According to the TVP Info portal, the recent attack did not cause any material losses, and no one was physically harmed. Nevertheless, the series of incidents strongly accentuated the symbolic dimension of these acts.
On 31 March, unknown persons caused damage amounting to several thousand Euros at the Servite Church in Innsbruck. According to the police, the perpetrators destroyed several objects between 11.25 a.m. and 11.55 a.m. that day. They also contaminated the premises. The police are investigating.
Unknown perpetrators vandalized the Servite Church in Tirols capital Innsbruck. The damage caused has been estimated to be several thousand Euros. According to police reports, the perpetrators destroyed several statues and sacred objects. Furthermore, they also contaminated the premisses. It is thought to have occurred sometime between 11.25 and 11.55 on 31 March. Police are investigating, witnesses are asked to come forward.
On March 28th, the church of St. Peter in Linz was severely damaged by a fire. According to the church's parish priest, the fire was set inside a chapel near the wooden altar. Despite early attempts to extinguish the fire, the wooden altar was destroyed and a statue of the Virgin Mary was damaged. The next day the police reported that a book commemorating the dead, which was lying on a side table, had been purposefully set on fire. Since the fire did not pose a serious threat to any person, the police stated they would only investigating for damage to property. The damage amounts to around €80,000.
After a fire broke out at a church in Wokingham on 26 March, the police arrested a 28-year-old man suspected of arson. The police was called at around 3pm after the fire was reported.
One of the five chapels of the Church of the Crosses in Foggia was smeared with blue paint. One pillar was defaced with a phallic symbol, now covered by a white cloth. The other pillars were sprayed with conspicuous and incomprehensible signs. Other writings were found on the ground of the chapel and on the pavement. The police is investigating.
During the night of March 25th, several young people threw stones at Father Ioan's car. The car was parked in Via Melzi in Magenta, near the church of San Rocco, where the Orthodox community is based. There are yet no clear indicators for the motivation of this crime. The police is investigating.
Unknown perpetrators threw a flammable object through a smashed window of a side door into the St. Bernhard Church in Baden-Baden during the night of 25 March. According to the police, heavy smoke developed and spread into the church interior. In addition, the perpetrators smeared a two-by-two-metre sign on the side wall of the church, which, according to the parish priest's interpretation, could represent a Jewish Star of David. The police are investigating.
During the night of 24-25 March, three churches in the region of Eure, particularly in Val-Doré, Nogent-le-Sec and Jumelles, have been targeted by thieves. Several religious objects such as statues, vases, candleholders, 16th century statue of Saint Christine were stolen. The churches were broken into probably with a crowbar. Police are investigating.
On March 23rd, the municipal police received a report that gravestones had been damaged at the cemetery in Olsztyn. A total of 201 graves were vandalised. A few hours after the report, the police arrested a 38-year-old man. The man confessed the crime of insulting a gravesite in connection with damage to property.
On 23 March, the caretaker of the Catholic church in Clarens discovered broken glass and noticed that the piece of cartilage of the parish's patron saint, Saint Theresa of Lisieux, had been stolen from a statue. The chairman of the parish council says: "Materially, there's a bit of a market for relics, but I'm more inclined to think it was sacrilege." The police is investigating.
On the 23rd of March, a message on a fire extinguisher was found in order to warn the two teenager perpetrators who set fire to the church of Notre Dame du Cierge in Épinal and emptied the fire extinguishers. One of them has been recognized on the 31st of March and the other on 18th April. The first perpetrator was seen in the church, while the other has been seen while entering the church. The police are investigating.
On March 22, the chapel of the Saint-Louis Hospital in La Rochelle got severely vandalised and desecrated. "When I knelt down at the altar to begin my prayer, I noticed that something was wrong," explained the chaplain. He noticed that the altar cloths were stained with a yellow liquid and that in front of one of the side chapels an imposing plaster statue of Christ was "pulverised". Matches and a cigarette butts that were found at the scene indicate that the perpetrators tried to set fire to the chapel. The police is investigating.
A Catholic priest in Ireland has been fined 500 Euros because he did not close the doors to his church while we was celebrating mass, so people would not be able join the church service. Due to government health measures, public religious services in the country have been suspended since 7 October 2020. In a parish newsletter, Father P.J. Hughes wrote: “Next Sunday marks the journey of Holy Week. It is hard to believe that for a second year people cannot come to take part in the ceremonies of Holy Week. Despite the size of the church and the holy place that it is because of the presence of Jesus in the Holy Tabernacle, the church has been deemed a hot spot for the spread of the virus by the gardaí.”
During the night of March 20th, unknown perpetrators smashed a window of the Church of Santa Maria della Speranza in Catanzaro by throwing stones against it. According to Mayor Sergio Abraham, the vandalism "strikes directly at the heart of the neighbourhood church, which is a landmark for all residents". The police is investigating.
Unknown persons destroyed windows at the Sacred Heart Church in Singen probably on the weekend of 19-21 March. Since the windows are leaded glass windows, the destruction causes much more financial damage than normal windows. According to the church's pastor, the vandalism is not an isolated case, as the church has been the victim of repeated attacks recently. The police is investigating.
On march 20th, two perpetrators vandalised the interior of a small church in the Saint Isidore district, they also stole several consecrated objects. A few hours later the police arrested the perpetrators with the help of public video recordings. Another incident occurred in parallel at the Basilica of Notre Dame, the church where three Christians were killed by an Islamic Terrorist in October 2020. During this incident a perpetrator, who was later identified and arrested by the police, had praised the terrorist massacre during holy mass.
On 20 March, a rave party took place in the Armenian monastery of Sourp Magar in northern Cyprus, which was founded in the 11th century and has been empty since 1974. Although the rave party took place several weeks ago, it only became known this week through a video. The US Ambassador to Cyprus, Judith Garber, condemned the rave party: "The US Embassy strongly condemns the abuse of the Armenian Monastery of Saint Magar. Freedom of worship is a fundamental value and we join religious leaders in calling for all places of worship, whether in use or not, to be protected from abuse, vandalism and desecration."
An act of vandalism and property damage amounting to several thousand Euros, occurred at a church in Rheinstraße on 22 March. Unknown perpetrators broke into the unlocked place of worship and threw hymn books and brochures around. The church organ was also damaged. The police is investigating.
Unknown perpetrators rioted in St George's Church in Freistett and damaged the valuable organ. On 20 March, unknown persons entered the open church unnoticed and caused damage amounting to several thousand Euros. Individual church brochures, hymn books and pens were scattered on the floor, the lid from the baptismal font was placed on the altar, the permanent candles extinguished, electricity plugs pulled and the confirmation and baptism fish for good wishes torn. "The perpetrators have (also) wilfully damaged the organ," regretted the church's pastor. CCTV was now installed. The police are investigating.
Numerous religious objects such as statues, altar crosses, Stations of the Cross, reliquaries have been stolen between June and November. The police of Seine et Marne found around 40 objects linked to 26 thefts. The statues of St Joseph were found by an elected representative of the commune on an advertisement website. He contacted the seller and informed the police who went to his home in Montreuil and traced the other stolen religious objects.
During the night of March 19th, unknown persons attempted to set fire to the vestibule of the Protestant church in Glonn. According to the police, flyers and other informational leaflets were set on fire. The entrance door, a side table and a carpet were burnt, but the fire did not spread to the whole church. The caused property damage is estimated at about 2.500 Euros.
On the 19th of March, a forty-three-year-old man, known for fifty previous convictions, vandalized the church of Saint Denis in Croix-Rousse in the district of Lyon. The perpetrator climbed on the altar and knocked down the cross. Three days later, he returned to the church and stole the candlestick. The perpetrator was arrested in Place Tobie-Robatel and brought before the public prosecutor’s office.
On 19 March, the Saint-Louis Church in La Roche-sur-Yon has been tagged by Anarchists. The sentence of ‘’Vive la commune de 1971’’ (long live the 1871 commune) has been tagged in red and signed with an A circled, which is the symbol of the Anarchists. This is not the first time that the church has been targeted. Last March, Saint-Louis Church and the visitation monastery have also been a victim of vandalism with the same anarchist symbol on their wall. An investigation has been opened.
The wooden church in Titan, Bucharest was vandalised by a radical Left group during the night of March 18th. Volunteers from the congregation discovered the damage when they opened the church the next morning. The outside walls of the wooden church were tagged with inscriptions such as "BLM" and "Be Gay do crime", which also covered the icons. BLM is short for Black Lives Matter, the movement in the United States. According to spokesperson of the Romanian Patriarchate, Vasile Bănescus, the act is just the latest example in a long line of violent acts dictated and perpetuated by neo-Marxism.
Unknown perpetrators have vandalised the facade of the parish church in Kożuchów. A threatening slogan in Spanish was tagged on the wall "The only church that lights up is the one that burns". The perpetrators face a sentence of up to five years in prison for destroying property. The police is investigating.
On the evening of March 15th, unknown perpetrators broke into the Greek Orthodox Church of Gödöllő. The perpetrators then set fire to the pews and sprayed an icon with flammable material. Neighbours noticed the fire and immediately alerted the fire brigade. The parish priest described the vandalism as a clearly anti-Christian act and said that damage the vandals caused is estimated to be around 2.5 million HUF. The police is investigating.
On March 14th, unknown persons smashed a church window and knocked over a barrel of gravel in Bielefeld. Police officers were informed and found a broken window and an overturned barrel with gravel. According to current information, the window was broken with two beer bottles. The police is now looking for witnesses.
In the early hours of March 13th, vandals smeared gravestones at a cemetery in Cork. The perpetrators sprayed headstones at St Mary and St John Church in Ballincollig with grafitti. In addition, stones were moved and knocked over. Fianna Fáil councillor Colm Kelleher described the scenes at the cemetery as: "This is someone's family member and for their final resting place to be desecrated in a way like this, it is absolutely disgusting," he said. The police is investigating and confirmed to the Irish Examiner that no arrests have yet been made.
In the early hours of 13 March, gravestones at the Cork cemetery have been viciously vandalised and graffitied with spray paint at the Church of Saint Mary and Saint John in Ballincollig. Several gravestones were moved, knocked over and partially destroyed. Local Councillor Colm Kelleher described the scenes as “absolutely sickening to see”. He continued: “This is someone’s family member and for their final resting place to be desecrated in a manner like this, it’s absolutely disgusting. If the perpetrators are found and caught, they should be persecuted to the full rigours of the law." The local Police are investigating the incident.
Police are investigating a startling case concerning the 1000-year-old Clonattin graveyard on the outskirts of Gorey. Various headstones were damaged and graffitied with spray paint by currently unknown perpetrators. The spray paint used is a blue paint commonly used to mark roads. Some of the vandalized headstones are important for the Town's history. The damage may be irreversible.
A group of LGBT activists is said to have graffitied a Churchwall insulting the Virgin Mary. The occurrence happened on 12 March, at the Franciscan Church at the Prešeren square in Ljubljana. The vandals accused God of raping the Virgin Mary. The Spokesperson of the Slovanian Episcopal Conference Dr Tadej Jakopič said in a statement that they do not tolerate any form of intolerance and defamation of churches and requested the authorities to investigate in that case and to take appropriate action.
On March 11th, the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood resolved the new Hate Crime Bill with the consent of 82 to 32 votes. The bill intends to "make provision about an offense of racially aggravated harassment, to make provision about offenses relating to stir up hatred against a group of persons, to abolish the common law offense of blasphemy and for connected purposes." Critics now fear that due to the new legislation many who do not intend hate speech could be reported to the police because of it. Moreover, it contradicts the freedom of expression which fundamentally belongs to a free democracy.
On March 10th, a group of anti-capitalist feminists sprayed the church of St. Leu-Saint-Gilles in Paris with the following inscriptions: "Nik tout", "Macron in the middle", "Prisons in flames", "anti-capitalist feminists" or "eat my period on your bolo noodle". The anarchist symbol (a circled A) has also been spray-painted on the walls. The Federation of Young Catholics FIDE commented on their Twitter account: "We will never be silent in the face of the attack, the desecration." This case is one in a series of increased vandalistic attacks against churches and Christian buildings in France.
On 10 March, unknown perpetrators vandalised the cemetery of a church in Barnet, knocking over gravestones and breaking them apart. Now additional surveillance cameras are to be installed to deter future perpetrators. The police is investigating.
On the 10th of March, the church of Notre-Dame in Larmot-Plage in Morbihan has been a victim of theft and vandalism. A 46-old-man broke into the door of the sacristy, moved the crucifix, stole the collection money and the keys of the building, emptied the mass wine as well as the holy water, and urinated at the foot of the altar. The town hall filled a complain to the police and the perpetrator has been identified through his DNA and will appear before the court.
On the evening of March 9th, a masked vandal scrawled the words "won" and three sixes on the walls of the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Opole-Gosławice. The parish is asking for help in identifying the perpetrators and informs that it will hand the case over to the police.
MPs in Westminster Hall debated a petition calling for the criminalisation of "conversion therapy" in England and Wales on March 8th. The government has indicated that it considers "conversion therapy" to be extremism. Christians in the UK fear that the criminalisation could restrict religious freedom, which is why the Evangelical Alliance now wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, saying that the ban could "place church leaders at risk of prosecution" but also limit the freedom of people seeking pastoral advise in this matter. It is possible that the LGBT activists deliberately chose a small format in Westminster Hall to avoid opposition in parliament.
In reference to International Women's Day on 8 March, unknown perpetrators spray painted the main portal of the Catholic Church of St. Mary's Conception in Wuppertal, criticising the "patriarchal system" and the "unequal treatment of women". Some of the symbols used in the left-wing extremist scene are also found on house fronts and garages in the surroundings. Chaplain Tobias Menke of the Catholic parish community Wuppertaler Westen commented: "Since the wooden parts and fittings of our portal were also sprayed, the removal will be very costly." "This is quite massive damage to property." The police is investigating.
Last Friday, March 5th, unknown perpetrators vandalised a cemetery in Dryżykowa, Zawiercie. Decorative crosses from about 30 gravestones and images of Jesus Christ were stolen. According to the spokeswoman of the Zawiercie district police, they have received three reports of vandalism and theft so far. The police is investigating.
On 5 May, the 19th century bronze statue of the virgin has been stollen from the cemetery of Allériot. Last April, two angels and other statues in the same area have also been stolen.
While supermarkets and hardware stores remained open under security measures during Easter, Christians in Ireland were unable to attend religious services for their biggest celebration, as churches, unlike public transport, were deemed dangerous. The restrictions on religious freedom adopted by the Irish government are those of the greatest magnitude compared to other European states. For violating the ban on worship or visiting churches, believers can be fined or imprisoned for up to six months. ADF International has now challenged the worship ban in court, following a successful challenge to a similar ban in Scotland.
On the evening of March 2nd, a group of youths attempted to break into the church and desecrate the shrine of Our Lady of Myślenice. After failing to do so, they began vandalising the area around the shrine and damaging the epitaph on the façade with a bottle, which was recorded by CCTV cameras. The spokesman for the Krakow Curia, Father Łukasz Michalczewski, explained that the attack was not random, as the perpetrators recorded the incident with a mobile phone. The case is being investigated by the police.
On the night of March 3rd, St Elisabeth's Church in Berlin-Schöneberg was attacked with paint for the third time by pro-choice activists. The perpetrators sprayed slogans with "My body, My choice" on the church walls to the right and left of the main portal. Although the perpetrators are not yet known, the attack is in line with two very similar attacks last year, after which there were letters of confession from a left-wing extremist pro-choice group. For this reason it is assumed that the same group is responsible for the crime occurring this year. The damage amounts to about 4000€, which the parish has to pay for itself. The police is investigating.
On the morning of March 1st, the Church of Sant'Agostino in Corleone was attacked by unknown vandals. The perpetrators set fire to the entrance door of the church. The fire brigade immediately intervened and extinguished the fire to prevent greater damage to the 15th century church. The police is investigating.
The statue of Notre-Dame-des-Marais in the church of Saint-Sulpice in Fougères was a victim of an act of vandalism. The 62-Kilogram statue, which stands more than three meters high, was thrown to the ground by a man, aged around 50 and believed to be a local resident. He filmed his act in a fifteen-minute video entitled "Divine Justice." He made remarks before the act of vandalism. He said: "No nudity and no idols, we are in the church of Jesus Christ here, so this is all a joke, this statue does not belong in my church." The police in Fougères have opened an investigation.
Unknown perpetrators stole two monstrances and a paten from the parish church of St. Konrad and Elisabeth in Freiburg during the night of February 26th. According to the police, the perpetrators broke open the outer door and got inside the church, where three religious objects, two valuable monstrances and a gold-plated paten, were stolen. The damage caused by the theft amounts to about 7,000 euros. According to Father Frank Prestel, the theft of the monstrances and the paten had damaged "the heart of the Eucharist" and the crime was part of a series of recent burglaries in churches in the area. The police is investigating.
Recent figures show that Catholics are the most common victims of religious prejudice and hate crime in Scotland. 42% of religiously motivated hate crimes are perpetrated against Catholics, compared to 26% against Muslims and 10% against Protestants. In contrast, Scottish Government figures show that racially-motivated hate crimes have fallen by 20% between 2014-15 and 2019-20. At the same time, the hate crime rate against transgender persons doubled in number. Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie expressed that hate crime is an "under-reported offence", which means that victims "can be targeted on numerous occasions before they report to our officers".
On February 26th, three youths vandalised the Church of Our Lady of Fatima in Aranova. The three perpetrators entered the church, set fire to the canopy and damaged the lectern. Local politicians described this as a very serious act that desecrated a sacred place of great value for all people who profess the Catholic faith and all those who believe in freedom of worship.
The Spanish authorities still maintain severe restrictions on public meetings and also religious services. In late February it was officially announced that public marches with up to 500 participants will be allowed on the International Women's Day, March 8th, which was demanded by feminist groups. At the same time, restrictions have already been announced for Holy Week celebrations and other church-related festivals, on the grounds that Holy Week processions are riskier than Women's Day marches. Fr Francisco José Delgado criticised the official decisions, saying that they were not primarily a matter of health policy: "The Ministry of Health advises against these marches, showing this is more about the political confrontation between the political parties in the government than from a real concern for the health of the people, which has been missing in the decisions that have been made since the pandemic started".
Richard Page, NHS director and judge, has lost his appeal after being dismissed and now wants to take his case to the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal had ruled last Friday that his dismissals were lawful after Page said in a television interview in 2016 that children grow up best with a mother and a father. At the time, Page, who is now 74 and from Kent, was presiding over an adoption case and said he was discriminated against because of his Christian beliefs on parenthood. Since then, he has been fighting decisions to remove him from his positions and is supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC).
"Buffer zones" around abortion clinics are to be introduced in Edinburgh to prohibit pro-life activists from standing and praying around the clinics. The buffer zones are initiated by a campaign of university students called "Back off Scotland", who got supported by the city council's policy committee. The campaign group repeatedly called for 150-meter "no protest zones" outside the entrance to Chalmers Street Sexual Health Centre after a survey showed that pro-life protests outside the clinic made the majority of women feel uncomfortable. The pro-life activists say their aim is to support women to make a different choice and the wrong allegations towards them are neither supported by Police Scotland, NHS Lothian nor the council itself.
The chapel of the former Jesuit college Saint-Joseph in Lille, which dates back to the 19th century but was not classified as a historical monument, was demolished on 24 February. Previously, the association 'Urgences Patrimoine' had appealed against the decision before the Lille Administrative Court, but was not successful. The chapel is part of a complex that is to be completely redesigned as part of a campus project led by Junia, a major engineering school and member of the university. It envisages 40,000 m2 of teaching space, including 22,000 new rooms and an investment of almost 128 million euros. As part of this, the chapel, which is desanctified, had to be demolished.
On 24th February, a fire broke out in the Sainte-Croix church and burnt around 20 square meters. Stained glass windows were also blown out. There were damage to the side entrance and the chapel. The parish suspected arson since neither electricity was installed nor the stored candles were used.
After criticising the Irish government's plans to legalise euthanasia, Twitter has banned the Irish bishop Kevin Doran on February 20th. In his tweet, he spoke out about the Christian dignity in dying, paradoxically Twitter argues "he violated their rules by promoting (..) suicide or self-harm" because the tweet mentioned the term "Assisted Suicide" in it, which he opposes. According to writer David Quinn, Twitter has turned the bishop down on appeal.
Three years after the publication of the bestselling book "When Harry became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment" by Dr Ryan T. Anderson, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) in Washington, Amazon removed the book on gender ideology from its online store on February 20th. The book gives an accurate and accessible account of the scientific, medical, philosophical and legal debates surrounding the transgender phenomenon. Amazon has not notified the author or the publisher that the book has been removed, nor have Amazon representatives responded to any of their enquiries.
During the night of February 19th, unknown perpetrators sprayed red paint on the doors and walls of the historic St Augustine's Church in Wola, Warsaw. After the police started an investigation in which they also released a video showing the suspect, the police arrested two men in connection with the case.
In March 2019, Christian West End actress, Seyi Omooba, was removed from a leading role in a musical and dropped from her agency for a Facebook post about homosexuality citing the Bible over four years earlier. With representation by the Christian Legal Centre, she launched a legal challenge on September 30th against Leicester Curve Theatre and her agency, Global Artists, for breach of contract and anti-Christian discrimination.On November 25th, the judge rejected arguments from Seyi Omoobas lawyers that the theatre critic, Lloyd Evans should be allowed to give evidence in her claim. The trail of Omooba's religious discrimination and breach of contract claim is scheduled to run for 11 days next February. After the last ruling of the court she was offered a compensation which she reclined arguing that it was disproportional. In its latest decision the court ruled against the actress.
In February, Facebook permanently deleted the page of Core Issues Trust (CIT) on the grounds that the charity is in breach of its community standards. Since June 2020, LGBT activists have viciously attacked the site and refused to recognise people who previously identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. During this time, Facebook did not respond to the attacks against CIT and its employees, even though their personal safety was at risk. Now Dr. Mike Davidson, CEO of CIT, wrote a statement on the case in which he makes clear to continue to platform "the voices of those who with free conscience express the transformation they experience and the Christian convictions that are important to them and protected by Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights".
Frontman of the extreme metal band 'Behemoth' Nergal is accused of having offended religious sentiment in Poland. He posted a picture in 2019 on his Facebook account where he is stepping on a picture of the Virgin Mary. The case came to court after the conservative groups 'Ordo Iuris' and 'The Patriotic Society' claimed that some people including a Polish politician felt offended by the published photo. In a first hearing earlier this year an unnamed religious expert testified that "treading with a shoe on the image of the Mother of God is an offence against religious feelings". Adam Darski, Nergals formal name, has been found guilty and has to pay a fine of €2.900 plus an additionally €678 as court costs. "The Satanist of Warsaw" as he is named on YouTube, is challenging the guilty verdict and the fine. The case is now expected to proceed to a full trial. According to article 196 of Poland's penal code, Darski is now facing a prison sentence of up to two years, if found guilty in the trial.
During the night of February 17th, unknown perpetrators destroyed the statue of the Virgin Mary in the parish of the first Martyrs of Poland, Czestochowa. The statue which represents the Virgin Mary had its hands cut off and the surrounding area vandalised, flowers and candles were scattered. According to the parish priest, Father Jasionek, the incident was not reported to the police: "I did not report it to the police because I think it is not a material loss but a moral loss and the police will not help us in this matter."
On February 17th, three unknown young men tried so set fire to the Madonna delle Grazie church in Piedimonte Matese. The young men were supposedly noticed by a resident who immediately alerted the police. However, the vandals managed to escape. The case is being investigated by the police.
On February 16th unknown perpetrators attacked a catholic church in Sligo with red graffiti. The incident occurred after politician Tánaiste Leo Varadkar appeared on the Irish RTE programme "Prime Time" in which he claimed that dead babies were buried in a tank in Tuam. Varadkar referred to the mother and child home in Tuam that was run by the church and were it was recently discovered that mothers and babies have been severely abused and even a mass grave for babies were found. Sligo is about a 50-minute drive from Tuam. According to the Irish government, there is no evidence that babies are buried in a tank in Tuam. So far it is not known whether the two cases are related.
On February 17th, the police invaded the New Life Full Gospel Church in the Belarusian capital Minsk. The operation was recorded on video by members of the parish, and there is also footage from the security cameras. Pastor Vyacheslav Goncharenko had not allowed the police and court officials to enter, so the police broke the locks forcefully. The city administration of Minsk, after the church's territory was annexed by the city of Minsk, had already issued an eviction order for 31th December, which the parish apparently did not comply with. The leaders of the Full Gospel Union, the Union of Baptists and the Pentecostal Association of Churches in Belarus defended the New Life Church in a joint statement on the 19th of February.
On the 2nd of February, the police in Poznan was called to a case of vandalism. The front doors to the Church of the Resurrection in the Wilda district was spray painted with anarchic symbols and threats. An unknown perpetrator wrote the vulgar slogan "Kler to hell" in white paint on the church door. The police is investigating.
On 16th February, three vaults were desecrated, and two coffins were opened in Dordogne . It has been argued that the main perpetrator is the Satanists group since this act is part of their rites of passage or entry requirement to the group. The families have filed a complaint with the gendarmerie. The public prosecutor opened an investigation for ‘’ violation of the grave and damage.’’ Georges Elizabeth, the mayor of the commune, believes that the perpetrators should be severely punished.
During night of February 14th, unknown perpetrators wreaked devastation on the parish cemetry complex of St. Barbara's Church in Warsaw. Ten inverted crosses were painted on the church doors, pillars and memorial plaques on the church walls. Among other things, memorial plaques of Warsaw insurgents and former parish priests were vandalised. The police is investigating.
Vandals desecrated a Church in Rožnik with the picture of the Minister of defence Matej Tonin. The incident was reported to local authorities on 13 February 2021. Tonin describes the incident as a hate crime against Christians. The police are still investigating.
For being pro-life, almost one of four students have been "threatened, abused, alarmed or distressed" at their university. According to a survey by the national student pro-life group, the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS), nearly three quarters of pro-life students have been confronted with situations in seminars where they experienced a restriction in freedom of expression. APS Executive Director Madeline Page said: “These statistics are alarming, yet confirm what we already know – pro-life students are being marginalised and silenced at universities. Institutional policies which refuse to allow certain topics to be discussed don’t just damage free speech – they destroy a culture of tolerance and respect on campus, ruining the chance for all students to engage with people of diverse opinions and understandings."
In late January and early February, more than 10 residents of Rybna, Poland complained about the vandalization of crosses and grave monuments of their relatives. Several people found gravestones with broken and stolen crosses and figures of Christ that were torn off crosses and thrown away nearby. People started intervening and reported the matter to the municipality. It was later discovered that the damage was not reported to the police, because according to the municipality, they did not have a report on the matter.
In the beginning of February, police officers from Zgorzelec arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of destroying windows and a stained glass window in one of the churches in the district. Another act of vandalism of a church took place in the Wołów district. The perpetrator painted symbols on the walls of the church and on the front of the cross at the main gate, offensive to religious feelings . As a result of the investigation, police officers arrested a 22-year-old resident of the district.
On the night of February 10th, unknown perpetrators attacked the St. Joseph church on Karmeliterplatz in Vienna with paint and plaster. The doors of the church were splashed with white paint and the staircase below splashed with liquid plaster. This was not the first attack of this kind against the church, as the church has repeatedly been the victim of vandalism since November 2020.
On February 8th, radical feminist groups disrupted a solidarity rally, in front of the Polish embassy in Vienna, of the Platform for Christian Democracy. The Platform demands an end to the discrimination against people with disabilities and therefore wanted to demonstrate its support for the new amendment of the Polish abortion law, which denies abortion on the ground of eugenics. After interrupting the march, the perpetrators smeared the Platforms' office walls with radical feminists and insulting slogans, reading "fundamentalists abort them". The Platform filed a complaint at the police who is investigating.