Between 2019 and 2022, 53 cases of church vandalism were recorded in Brussels, while only 1 mosque was vandalized in the same region and time frame. Dominiek Lootens, leader of the Vlaams Belang group in the Brussels Parliament, wrote to Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort and asked him to communicate the extent of the damage, reported "Our Central Europe". The report also pointed out that the media and politics failed to mention these numbers as they refuse to recognize this type of biased discrimination against Christians.
On the 21st of May, the Karlskirche in Vienna was graffitied for the fourth time in 2022. It is not known who did it. According to the Witness who reported these incidents, this is the worst year so far with vandalism and there are damages to the church almost every day.
A thief, who was later caught, stole a chalice and a chest of hosts from a church in the Saggen district of Innsbruck. The incident happened on May 18th and the thief was arrested by the police. The stolen goods would be given back to the church after the hearing.
On May 18th, mass was held in the basilica of Wadowice to commemorate the 102nd birthday of Pope John Paul II. During the mass, the anti-clerical initiative "Enough of Silence", organized a protest in which they turned on loudspeaker to disrupt the celebrations. Some in the square tried to stop the protestors and were shocked by their presence saying: "How can you be there? On such a day?"
On the 16th of May, the Karlskirche in Vienna was targeted with graffiti.
On May 14th, a man and woman broke open the door of the Henstedt-Ulzburger Kreuzkirche and vandalized the inside. They tried to set the carpet in front of the alter on fire, which went out, and they damaged knee cushions and hymnals. The property damage was not yet calculated but the police were notified and wrote a complaint to the Norderstedter detectives who investigated it.
The Chaplaincy in Pau was the victim of an arson attack on the 12th of May. The fire was started on the ground floor of the presbytery of the church of Saint-Pierre and it was obvious that the tabernacle was deliberately targeted as it was charred. The consecrated hosts were not burned but the police also noticed thefts of a computer and some money.
On May 10th, a church on Kirchstrasse in Romsthal was the victim of an arson attempt. The criminals set fire to several parish letters under a stool and burned some prayer texts near the altar. In addition, they knocked over an offering box, and some candles, and spread the wax over the floor. The fire was out by the time it was discovered and the property damage was around 150 euros but could have been much more. The police were looking for witnesses.
On May 8th, vandals forced their way into the interior of the Santa Croce church in Lomellina. There, they damaged the the votive candle lighting system and ransacked the priest's office. No valuable appeared to be stolen but extent of the damage had not been properly assessed.
Between February 24th, when Russia first invaded Ukraine, and May 7th, there have been 116 spiritually significant buildings destroyed. 91 of these buildings were Orthodox churches while the rest, were Mosques, Synagogues, Catholic and Protestant churches, and buildings of religious organizations. Most of these ruined sites were in the regions of Donetsk, Kyiv, and Kharkiv. The war in Ukraine has caused a divide, especially in the Christian Orthodox Church which has led Russia to ban the Ukraine Orthodox Church and Ukraine to attempt a similar ban on the Russian Orthodox Church.
The churchyard of the San Rocco church in Ruvo di Puglia, was vandalized on May 6th by unknown perpetrators. Diesel was sprinkled around which caused damage to the sidewalk and floor. Municipal councilor Mariatiziana Rugliani thought the cameras may be able to help identify who did it. He also said of the incident: "An ignoble act, a meaningless disfigurement to a sacred place and to those who lovingly guard it."
The evangelical church in Vöcklabruck, Austria, was vandalized on Friday the 6th of May. Three lights on the pathway outside the church were kicked over, and notices, brochures, leaflets, and prayer books were scattered all over the inside of the church. The microphones were damaged and the offering box was broken open from which money was then stolen. The amount of damage was not entirely clear but the police were investigating.
The outer walls of the parish church in Mautern were sprayed with Nazi symbols on May 6th. Once the police had the relevant details, they were able to identify the perpetrators who were brothers aged 21 and 27 from the Leoben district. The property damage was significant. One graffiti reads "F** Jesus".
A report titled "Persecution of minorities on the grounds of belief or religion," was adopted by the European Parliament in Brussels on May 4th. It has since been called “openly hostile towards religion” by human rights experts since it in places points to religion as a threat and a driver of humanitarian crises. It also failed to mention the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Africa, but states that "sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including abortion, are being banned in the name of religion." Although the report had some positive points it did not always refer to religion favorably.
In the last weeks of April, there were several thefts of sacred objects from churches in Tuscany. The carabinieri in Florence identified a Romanian individual who was behind most of the crimes as after his home was searched, a number of these items were found including paintings and statues. The police were investigating the crimes to find a possible accomplice.
On May 1st during a trade union demonstration, a group of leftist activists - also identified as Antifa - attacked parishioners in front of the Notre-Dame des Victoires church in Angers. The group went by the name of "the Angevin Anti-Fascist Network (RAAF)." The parishioners were attending the 11-hour Mass, while others had positioned themselves in front of the church to prevent attacks. The mob still threw paint on the building and squashed eggs on the ground. They shouted "homophobic slogans" and later returned with a banner directed at Catholics that read, "We are here to challenge those who are dedicated to deifying themselves." The police had to intervene to stop further violence.
Between May 1st and 2nd, burglars broke into the St. Mary's Church in Hamm and stole around 100 euros from the donation box. They forcefully entered through a window and once inside, searched the sacristy and then looked through cupboards which they had violently opened. The property damage was around 500 euros and the police, who were investigating the crime, needed more information.
Ignacio “Nacho” Gil Conesa, a well-known Spanish "tikToker", has been attacked by other influencers for being Catholic. He goes by the name Nachter, and a few months before May 1st, he devoted his time solely to making humorous videos about typical things that happen in the house. In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, he said "there are other influencers who have attacked me for being catholic," a situation he described as "ridiculous."
On the night of April 28th, a sentence was written in red paint on the Parish Church of Santo Stefano in Piozzo. It read: "The Nazis create poverty to take away freedom." The perpetrator(s) remain(s) unknown.
The St. Nikolai Church of Glindenberg was devastated on April 28th and had to be closed as a result. The inside of the church was devastated: the altar cross was torn off as well hymn books were left in the streets with their pages torn out. The police were looking for the perpetrators.
Satanic graffiti appeared in the St. Vincent church in Graz on the 28th of April. The word Satan, upside-down crosses, and the Antichrist number 666 were painted with red spray paint on the walls and altar of the church. The vandals also sprayed an angel's face red and burnt a bible. The Priest, Wolfgang Pucher commented, "It's just unbelievable."
Jim Ryan (64), and his wife Ann (59), were both fined €300 for travelling 70km to a Mass on Easter Sunday when there was a 5km limit for non essential travel during lockdown. They have since appealed their sentence but have also said they will go to jail rather then pay. Jim told the Sunday World "I have no intention of paying them a fine for me going to Mass - for doing what I have done my whole life."
On April 27th, it was discovered that three of the windows on the Remigius Church in Albersdorf were damaged by thrown stones. Two had holes in them and one was cracked with the damage amounting to around 3,000 euros. There were no leads to the perpetrators and the police were looking for witnesses.
Scottish ministers said they plan to explore options of mediation with pro-life activists regarding "buffer zones" around abortion clinics. According to minutes from an abortion "buffer zone" meeting in February, the Centre for Good Relations asked for engagement “with all interested parties, not just those who are directly involved with the conflict itself." The ministers were criticized for their plan which aims to understand “the issues and perspective from all sides."
In 2018, a Pakistani national who had converted from Islam to Christianity requested asylum in Switzerland but was rejected by the authorities. Despite them recognizing his conversion, The Federal Administrative Court rejected the request; however, upon taking the case, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled in favor of the applicant. They held that articles 2 and 3 of the ECHR would be violated should he be sent back to Pakistan.
A man was seen on video, on the 26th of April, urinating in the churchyard of Sant'Agostino in Trani. Judging by the stench, others have done the same thing which eventually causes lasting damage to the walls that then have to be repaired. This man obviously had little respect for this sacred sight.
The windows of the St. David's Church in Newtown were smashed by vandals on April 25th. It was not known who did the act and someone who was closely affiliated with the church said it was "absolutely disgusting to see yet again," which implies that vandalism similar to this has already occurred.
Three teenagers entered the Magherafelt Catholic church on the 23rd of April and, after verbally insulting the priest, damaged several objects. Officers then arrested three suspects aged 11, 13, and 15, for a number of charges including criminal damage, as they smashed a vase, threw the Bible and other holy books around, and damaged a microphone. They appeared in court, for what the police called a hate crime, and two of them were banned from entering the Magherafelt area while the third still awaits trial.
The Spanish General Council of the Judiciary's (CGPJ), warned that the LGBTQ+ draft law proposed by the government would violate the rights of women, parents, and religious persons. The law seeks to allow minors to change their sex after the age of 12 without submitting a medical or psychological report and after the age of 16, parental consent would not be needed. Christian parents would not be able to raise their children in line with their beliefs and women's spaces and women's sports could be jeopardized.
The Grosseto Cathedral was raided by a masked man with a hat and gloves who fled with several items. On April 19th, he entered the Cathedral and took a brass candlestick from the altar, and then smashed the glass of the shrine that holds the ex-votos that people offer to Madonna with an awl. Some policemen, who were nearby, ran after him so he dropped the candlestick but held on to the votive offerings of devotional value.
A Statue of Christ in the church of Addolorata in San Salvo, was thrown to the ground and smashed on April 18th. The author of this act of vandalism appeared to use an object to break the statue into tiny pieces. The parish lodged a complaint.
On Saturday the 16th of April, a man entered an Easter church service in the Church of St Panteleimon and shouted Arabic phrases into a microphone. Video footage showed the priest trying to calm the congregation and the offender was later arrested by the police in Athens.
Over four consecutive nights, ending on April 15th, vandals have visited the St Patrick’s Church in Hartlepool and caused thousand of pounds of damage. They broke around a dozen stained glass windows and left the inside fo the church covered with masonry ruble.
The Way of the Cross on Mount Kalwaria in Jerzmanowice was completely destroyed by unknown persons on April 16th. The larger crosses were cut down with a saw. Their supporting ropes were cut while the smaller ones were smashed with an ax. The head and feet of the Mother of God figure were broken and statues of saints were destroyed. This was only part of the damage which the mayor, Tomasz Gwizdała, described as a profanation.
An Easter procession on Holy Thursday had been going for about an hour and a half when objects began to fall on those attending. This occurred while the procession was going through Cuesta del Chapiz but luckily the police were quick to take action and a disaster was prevented. This was the second attack on Easter processions in Spain during the Easter week, both of which showed targeted discrimination of Christians.
76-year-old Rosa Lalor was arrested on February 24th, 2021 as she did not have a "reasonable excuse" to be outside at the time. This was despite her explaining to the police officer that she was "walking and praying," and daily exercise was allowed. The officer accused her of not praying in a house of worship and fined her £200 after detaining her in a police car. She challenged this fine and has taken it to court with the help of ADF UK.
Anti-Catholic tags appeared on a church in Gràcia, Barcelona on the 12th of April. This time, the Sant Joan Church received the abuse which was, among other things, the words "Church and patriarchy, criminal alliance 8M" scrawled on the wall in black. Councilor of Valents in Gràcia, Jordi Daura, wrote on Twitter: "It is an absolute disgrace the constant lack of respect for the Church by bigots. We will demand that the insults are cleaned up."
To the shock of all, four statues of Mary were destroyed on the 11th of April, three in Lewniowa and one in the neighboring Gnojnik. The statues were quite near the Church of Our Lady and made of concrete so it definitely took considerable force to break them. Artur Seniuk, the mayor of Lewniowa, said: "It is sad, especially that it happened before Easter."
The façade of the Sant Vicenç de Sarriá church in Barcelona was graffitied with pro-abortion phrases on April 11th. In specific, the words, "out rosaries of our ovaries" were written by the unknown author. Eva Parera, mayor of the Catalan capital said, referring to the perpetrator, "They do not respect anything. Neither life, nor faith, nor public space." and, "These attacks not only do not scare us but reaffirm us in our defense of freedom and truth."
A statue of the Virgin Mary, and another of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, were destroyed around the the 11th of April. They were from a chapel in Kietrz and Marek Czechowicz, who found them, said it appeared that the Statue of Mary was entirely smashed and that the other one had a brick thrown at it. The police began an investigation and the perpetrator could face up to 2 years in prison.
After the Helsinki District Court disregarded all charges against the Finnish politician Päivi Räsänen on March 30th, the prosecutor has filed an appeal. Räsänen said “I had hoped that the prosecutors would have settled for this ruling … [But] I am ready to defend freedom of speech and religion in all necessary courts, also in the European Court of Human Rights.” Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland was also prosecuted for distributing a pamphlet that Räsänen wrote regarding the Bible's views on gender and marriage.
Don Guido Panella, the priest at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Marsala, was physically and verbally attacked by a homeless woman on April 9th. Before this, a homeless man had entered the church and was yelling at everyone until the priest gave him a euro and he left. He then returned with two others, including the woman, and they began shouting at people and the woman even slapped the priest. Two police officers then arrived on the scene at which point the men left but the woman remained and was taken by the carabinieri.
A man was arrested on April 8th for planting an explosive device at the Saint-Etienne cathedral in Toulouse during Mass. The man, who has a criminal record, dropped a package in front of the altar then pushed the sacristan, said something, and left. The explosive was never fired but the congregation was evacuated to make sure no one got injured.
On Friday the 8th of April, a cross made of bronze was stolen from an Augustinian church in Mainz. A nun noticed that the cross was missing from the altar and, upon reviewing video, the police were able to recognize a 51 year old man who had previously stolen goods. They were then able to locate the cross, along with three alter candles, and return them to the church. The man was convicted of the theft.
The Redeemer church of Halstenbek was the victim of a targeted attack on April 8th that left the church a mess. The rioters destroyed alter candles, scattered sand in the worship place, burned pages of the Bible, and took metal letters from the "song display." Due to the severity of the act, police were investigating and wanted witnesses who might be able to give them information about who committed the crime.
New DIY abortion laws in the UK, allow for women to have an abortion without seeing a medical professional; but, by simple talking, and then ordering pills over the phone. This raised serious concern for the health of women and the possibility for minors to abort without properly consulting a professional or their parents before starting something that could traumatize their lives. Parental rights are violated in this case, which is especially problematic for Christian parents who would not agree with their child taking such actions.
Youth have been asked to show more respect to the All Saints Church in Holbeach, after they tore lead off its roof and threw marrows at its doors on April 5th. This was the second time this has happened in a month and the acts forced Mick Boylan, the church warden, to consider reducing the hours the church is open to hopefully prevent the crime. He said "They don’t have respect for anything. What do the parents think they are doing?”
Russian troops vandalised a large cemetery near Mariupol on March 4th by repeatedly driving over crosses and tombstones with tanks. The necropolis is one of the largest in Europe and those who witnessed the event called it sacrilege. The cemetery was entirely destroyed in this unnecessary, sacrilegious, and inhumane destruction.
The Reformed Church in Muri-Gümligen was attacked with a Molotov cocktail on the night of April 6th. No one was injured but the property damage was high. The intent of the attack is somewhat unclear but since the church was lit up with blue and yellow lights, an anti-Ukraine motive was suggested. Whatever the case, a religious sight that is sacred to many was subjected to a hateful act.
On April 4th, the Madonnina Church in Trinità was once again vandalised. This time, unknown perpetrators entered the church and set the prayer sheets and offering box alight. In the past, the church has been tagged with graffiti and a nearby bench was defaced. The mayor Ernesta Zucco said: “I wonder what they can have against this modest church. I have no more words but these facts cry out for justice. We really can't take it anymore."