On the night of 2 to 3 December, unknown persons defaced the walls of the hermitage of Santa María La Antigua of Carabanchel with graffiti, one of the tags containing the Anarchist Ⓐ and an upside-down cross. This 13th-century Mudéjar temple is the oldest building constructed in Madrid.
In the period from Friday, 2 December, to Saturday, 3 December 2022, the altar cloths were burnt in the parish church in Bauler, according to the Bitburg police department. The perpetrator or perpetrators, who are as to date unknown, lit all the sacrificial candles and then also the altar cloths, some of which burnt down, causing material damage, according to the police.
On 1. December Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that he had signed a decision by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC). The decision instructed the government to submit a bill "on the impossibility of religious organizations affiliated with the centres of influence in the Russian Federation to operate in Ukraine" to the Verkhovna Rada. Although this is a political decision conveyed during a war period, the way it is put into practice could gravely affect religious freedom in the country.
In late November or early December, the Church of 'Santa Maria della Pieve', in Via Borgo Pieve in Castelfranco Veneto, was targeted. Two glass and brass candle holders, various liturgical booklets and votive candles were stolen, while a copper cover and a holy water stoup were partially damaged in an attempt to steal them. Two persons, also linked to other church thefts in the area of Treviso, have been arrested.
"No God, No State, No Patriarchy" was sprayed on the walls of the Breitenfeld Church in Vienna in a vandalic attack that took place in late November. An eyewitness sent the picture to OIDAC Europe.
In November 2022, the Pew Research Center published a new worldwide study on harassment and restrictions against religious groups in 2020. According to the findings, government authorities harassed religious groups in 178 countries in 2020 and social groups or individuals harassed religious groups in 164 countries. Both numbers show a slight decline in comparison to 2019. Christians and Muslims, the largest religions in the world, faced harassment in more countries than any other religious group, same as in previous years. The study documented that Christians were harassed in 155 countries, (2019: 153). Muslims were harassed in 145 countries (2019: 147) and Jews faced harassment in 94 countries (2019: 89).
Derek Timms, a chaplain from Solihull, was told in September at the Marie Curie charity’s Solihull branch, that he must not wear the cross as it might "offend’ and "create barriers" with patients. He was also told that he would face consequences if he did not remove the cross, which was a symbol of his faith but also a memory of his late wife. After receiving legal support, Mr Timms received an "unreserved" apology letter from the Marie Curie charity's regional head office.
Between 22 and 27 November, unknown assailants have stolen a 400-kilogram bell from a church in Gelsenkirchen-Scholven. The bell has a diameter of about 75 centimetres and a height of 1.15 metres, according to the police. The bell itself was not in the tower of St. Joseph's Church at the time of the theft. It was was placed in the interior.
An act of desecration happened in Jerzmanowice on 26 November. Someone turned the cross on the local Calvary upside down and hung an animal skull on it. This is the second time this year that an unknown perpetrator has destroyed, devastated and profaned this Way of the Cross.
In November 2022, policemen confronted a woman praying in a public space, on the edge of a "buffer zone" (a 150m neutral zone surrounding abortion clinics in British law). The case raises polemics about "buffer zones" in general.
Unknown perpetrators traced a big blasphemous writing on a votive crucifix at via Chiesa Rossa in Milan. "Now there is no limit to the vandalistic drift, we are seriously concerned. We ask for a stance from the institutions," said vice-president of the coordination of Milan committees, Fabiola Minoletti, quoted by Milano Today.
On 22. November night, the church of St. Joseph was broken into and desecrated in Cannes. Furniture and drawers were emptied out, donations were stolen, and gasoline was poured all over the walls and floors. The faithful are shocked at the sight of the incident. A mass of reparation is planned for next Friday in the presence of Mgr Nault.
Neighbors of Almería complain that every morning, the area around the church of San Roque, a parish in Almería, is full of garbage and the remains of the previous night's 'botellón' (parties). Recently, the remains of a bonfire appeared on one of the walls of the parish church of San Roque after a barbecue was made at the place, damaging the facade of the church. This form of damage shows a lack of respect for religious groups.
As reported by the newspaper Libertà Sicilia, on November 8, investigators from Sicily received the report of a crime concerning the theft of two antique bells dating back to the early 1900s, stolen from a church. The investigation allowed the tracing of the first perpetrator. As a result of the in-depth investigations, the agents were later able to identify two other individuals, responsible for the laundering of brass scrap, (with a total weight of 55 kilograms) of a bell stolen from another church in the Diocese of Netina.
Fr. Nicolas, the rector of the churches of Santa Maria dell'Olmo and San Rocco in Archi, reported that all the guarded votive gold dedicated to Saint Roch had been stolen. This has been reported on the 20th of November. The police have been notified and are conducting investigations.
A suspect has been caught on CCTV cameras after a wooden chapel in the Prienai district was set on fire on the 20th November. The chapel was in the churchyard of the Skriaudžiai church. Firefighters could not save the wooden building. Fr. Antanas Mickevičius, parish priest of St. Laurynas parish in Skriaudžiai, suspected that the fire was caused by arson: "There was no electricity, fireplace or candles [in the chapel], nothing like that. It could only be arson" quoted Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT). After investigating, the firefighters believed that the building may have been set on fire after being doused with a flammable liquid.
At the end of October, a draft bill was approved by the Council of Ministers to ban so-called "conversion practices" against LGBTQ+ people. The bill was carried out by the Minister of Equality Opportunity Secretary, Sarah Schlitz. The adoption of this specific bill will allow the ban to take effect immediately. While the protection of victims from abuse and manipulative practices is extremely important, the bill could threaten religious freedom, as the Minister affirms she wants to ban "ALL forms of conversion therapies". Given that there is not a clear definition of what counts as "conversion practice", the bill could ban simple prayers and private conversations among Christians.
A chasuble from the 19th century was stolen on Monday 18. from the high altar of the Citykirche in Aachen, where it was exposed in an ongoing art installation. For the parish of St. Francis of Aachen (where the chasuble originally belongs) this theft is a serious loss, emphasized Father Timotheus Eller to Aachener Zeitung.
On 17 November a man tried to set fire to the wooden fence of an Orthodox church on Kavkazskiy Bul'var in Moscow. He was arrested nearby by law enforcement officials. He claims that he went for a walk with a can of petrol, then emptied it on the fence for no reason and set it on fire. Pending his trial for "vandalism", he is under house arrest and released under judicial supervision.
Police officers in Poland have detained a married couple who robbed church donation boxes. The couple, from Białystok, stole from more than 20 churches. Among other things, several hundred zlotys and the keys to one of the churches were found in their car.
On the 16th of November, 2022, two Ukrainian Greek-Catholic priests, Ivan Levytsky and Bohdan Heletta were taken prisoner by Russian troops in Berdjansk, south-east Ukraine, currently under Russian occupation. Since then, nothing has been heard of them. Maksym Rjabucha, auxiliary bishop: "Despite the prayers, protests and efforts of the Catholic Church, there is still no news about them."
On 16. November, the church in the small town of Champagnat was severely damaged by fire. 39 firemen were mobilised to secure the building and extinguish the fire, which seems to have been started on a pile of books that were placed beside a wooden confessional. The alert was raised by people attending a funeral, who saw thick smoke coming out of the church. A local volunteer fireman began containing the fire until the fire brigade arrived. They were able to preserve a painting of Christ, but another painting was destroyed, along with the books, a statue and the confessional.
Plastic objects inside the church have been set on fire and were burned on a candle holder on the 15th of November. The incident was discovered by a parishioner, who had opened the church and left to return a couple of hours later. When she came back, the premises smelled like burning, so she alerted the parish priest. They also notified the police, who realized that plastic objects had been set on fire intentionally by unknown perpetrators.
In November 2022, there was an attack on a Catholic church in Augsburg, in the Oberhausen discritc. Unknown perpetrators threw eggs at the church of St. Peter and Paul and tagged it with graffiti. The graffiti said "F*CK JESUS", it also had a Satanic star and the number "666", which refers to the devil.
The former football player Vasilios Tsiartas was sentenced this November to 10 months in prison for a comment made on Facebook in 2017 where he stated that “God created Adam and Eve” in response to a bill for the redefinition of gender identity. On his Twitter account, he has stated that he will appeal the sentence.
Unknown persons set a fire at the St. Bonifatius church on the 13th of November in Freckenhorst. According to police, the fire did not spread much but it damaged part of the stone floor. The perpetrators also smeared a wall in the church with soot. The police are now looking for information to identify the vandals.
Unknown persons entered the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Monterone, on the 16th of November. They enacted numerous acts of vandalism, destroying and stealing sacred furnishings and iconography. In particular, the perpetrators detached and carried away an ancient wooden crucifix later found by police inside a heavily damaged garbage can. According to the sources, the form of desecration and damage indicates that it might have been a satanic motivated attack.
On the 13th November, the door of the Sankt Laurentius church in Langenhorn was set on fire by unknown perpetrators. A video of the crime was uploaded on the internet but it has been removed again. A vandal threw a Molotov Cocktail at the church and posted a video of the flames. The police opened an investigation with the video.
A church in Llanllwchaiarn (near Newtown) is facing a "at least" £30,000 bill after unknown vandals smashed six glass-stained windows. The windows of the St. Llwchaiarn church were protected with a wire mesh, but the vandals were still able to break the glass, apparently with iron rods from an old grave. The incident took place between the 8th and 10th of November.
During a church service in the Catholic Church of Abtsgmünd, a man threw a firework into the building on the 8th of November. The firecracker remained in the entrance area and burned down there. "Fortunately, it did not explode," commented a police spokesman. No one was injured in the incident, but there were slight burn marks on the carpet. The perpetrator was not identified.
Police officers in Cerignola, Foggiano, arrested a 32-year-old immigrant man responsible for damaging the church and setting fire to the door. He also insulted the religious denomination. As he was confronted, he resisted and injured a public official. During a patrol, police officers noticed the flames in front of the main door of the church of San Domenico and the perpetrator running away with a canister probably containing flammable liquid.
CNE News reports that YouTube has banned a Norwegian prayer channel called "Kanal 10 'We pray for you'" for allegedly violating the social media guidelines under the category of "online spam, deceptive practices and fraud." Øyvind Rygg, the general manager of Kanal 10, says there are also no economic interests in the program. "We were told last week Monday that if we continued to broadcast the prayer program, YouTube would block us. That means that they are ending our entire channel on YouTube", told Rygg to Dagen.
On the 7th of November, it was reported that the cross was stolen a few months before from Montesano Cathedral. The cross was taken from the hands of the statue of St. Rita. Now it has been recovered and the thief has been detained.
The Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia "Orskoye" of the Orenburg region completed the investigation of a criminal case on charges of a 31-year-old citizen of the Republic of Tajikistan of stealing money and setting fire to a building of the temple complex of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul of the Orsk diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in the city of Novotroitsk.
On the 7. November in the city of Granada, a 36-year-old man was arrested for insulting and attacking a priest on the public street during the day. The parish priest, José Gabriel Martín, as waking on the Elvira Street wearing his office clothing and collar, as he was approached by the attacker, who insulted him. The priest entered a bar for refuge, where the attacker followed and punched him in the eye.
On Sunday 6th of November, unknown perpetrators caused damage to a window pane of the St. Pancratius Church in Burgdorf. According to witnesses, a group of youths were at the church and then fled. As the police arrived, some remaining youths gave the police some information regarding the ones who fled. The damage was estimated at 1000 euros.
The church of St. Bavo in Oud-Turnhout was vandalized by intruders that ransacked the back of the sacristy and emptied bottles of mass wine. "With a fire extinguisher, they also made a big hole in the wooden connecting door to the church itself," said Jos Huybreghts, treasurer of the Oud-Turnhout church council. The attack happened between the 5th and 6th of November at night. It seems that the vandals broke in through the back of the church. The police were notified and have started an investigation.
The Church of St. George in Bor was ransacked, and thieves took the money that the faithful left in boxes under the benches. They also broke several icons in the church. Furthermore, they broke into the church's souvenir shop and took all the money they found there. The police are looking for the perpetrators.
In the St. Ludwig Church in Munich, six of the sculptures belonging to the 14 stations of the "Way of the Cross" have been damaged or stolen. The sculptures were part of an art installation about the Passion of Jesus. They were set up in the St. Ludwig church in June and on the 16th of September, they were vandalized by unknown perpetrators. Six of the statues were damaged and a couple of days later, on the 28th of September, two of them were ripped off and stolen. The police are investigating
Two places of worship were attacked with graffiti in Leipzig, the St. Thomas Church and at the Russian Church. A grave slab in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig was vandalized with the words "Death King" written by an unknown vandal on the sculpture from the 19th century. The grave shows Dietrich III, also known as Diezmann. Also, unknown persons smeared a "Z" on the Russian Church - which was built in memory of the Russian victims of the Battle of the Nations.
In a Berchtesgaden Franciscan church, on the 2nd of November, a churchgoer noticed a fire on an offering candlestick. He then discovered that between the candles there was a burning Divine Praise hymnal and floral decorations. She quickly alerted the Father, with whom they managed to extinguish the fire. Two other fires were discovered, which were also started by placing hymn books on burning candles. The fire brigade was called and they ventilated the church. The police were looking for information, they are treating the case as arson.
On the walls of the Church of San Giuseppe in Intra, unknown vandals painted Swastikas of various sizes and other phrases. The writings are mostly covering the walls facing the entrance. The municipal police are looking for the perpetrators and the curia will see that the inscriptions are removed.
A Church in the Gütersloh district in Rheda-Wiedenbrück has been smeared with Islamist slogans. The church had been renovated two years ago. The parish dean, Reinhard Edeler, has expressed anger and sadness at the scene. The incident was reported at the beginning of November. The parish dean has notified the State security services.
An employee of the parish had unlocked the 700-year-old house of worship on Wednesday morning (2.11.2022), 8 o'clock. When he returned to the church around 11 a.m., he noticed that several stacks of brochures on a table in the church were on fire. "It was only by chance and the quick and courageous intervention of a church employee that the church in Helmstedt did not go up in flames". The regionalHeute.de news source reported the incident.
The Russian Orthodox Church in Leipzig was covered with graffiti of Russian propaganda war symbols on Tuesday night (1. November), according to the police. On the entrance door, the [Z] military symbol was drawn with red paint by unidentified perpetrators. The police also found a second illegible graffiti in front of the church, it is unclear if both graffiti are connected. The police are investigating.
The parish church of Our Lady of Lourdes on the Slinkerstraat in Heide-Heuvel was targeted by unknown vandals. The perpetrators shattered a large window, presumably by using a slingshot. They also set a fire at the church premises. The police have been notified and are investigating. The incident was communicated on the 1st of November. According to the news source, this is not the first time the church has been vandalised or targeted by arsonists.
The St Martin's Church in 't Veld has filed another report of vandalism at the police station. Ten shots were fired at the windows on the 27. October. And a couple of days later, vandals snapped in half two prunus trees in the garden near the house of worship. "We have asked the police to make an extra round at the church from time to time anyway, because apparently vandals are targeting us," says church board chairman Hans Glas.
On the 1st of November it was reported that over several days, the cemeteries of Carnac have been victims of theft and vandalism. The municipality of Morbihan is raising awareness about this issue. The damages included vandalism to equipment, thefts of watering cans, stolen walkers for people with reduced mobility, padlocks forced open of the cemetery entrance, among others. The graves were also targeted, as flowers were stolen and steles were broken.
In the city of Loseto, the 15th-century Church of the Santissimo Salvatore was vandalised on the 31st of October, at night. The organisation Retake Bari reported that unknown persons vandalised the church with red spray paint. City councillor Antonio Ciaula said: 'Tomorrow I will personally take action at the competent offices and in the council commissions, to restore the proper decorum to the little church, eliminating a disfigurement that, in addition to defacing the park, painfully marks the hearts and faces of all of us.
On the night of October 31. to November 1st, a statue of Mary was smashed in the parish of Corpus Christi and St. Mary of Czestochowa in Wierzbice. There was also damage done to the tombstone of a nun. The newspaper reports the statue of the Mother of God was very meaningful for the parishioners. The parish priest, Leszek Bajorski, suspects that youths who were at Halloween parties were responsible for the damage. The case has been reported to the police.
On Sunday, October 30, the rector of the Church of St. Andrew the First-Called on Vuoksa (Vasilevo village, Priozersky district of Leningrad region) contacted the police. He reported that unknown perpetrators tried to set fire to the structure of a wooden church. The fire burned part of the outer wall of the church. The vandals also broke down the gate to the bridge leading to the temple. The rector of the temple said that he had not had conflicts with anyone.
On the morning of October 30, the police were contacted by of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the village of Churachiki, who discovered the loss of silver jewelry from a casket in a church shop and an opened donation box. The attacker entered the temple by breaking a window.
On the 29th of October, the San Lorenzo Church in Chiavenna was defaced with graffiti. Unknown vandals left inscriptions and markings in red paint in the portico, the oratory and the neighbouring buildings of the religious site. According to the graffiti, it looks like it was perpetrated by the same person or group of persons.
In Chiavenna, a man defaced the perimeter walls of the Collegiate Church of San Lorenzo and some streets in the town centre. He was tracked down and identified by the Carabinieri of the Operative and Radiomobile Nucleus of the Chiavenna Company. The perpetrator was arrested on the 29th of October by the Carabinieri after he had defaced the walls in Via Bossi and Via Cereria. He was found in possession of several cans of spray paint and various indelible pens of different colours. The man, a Northern European national, admitted to the Carabinieri that on the evening of 29 October he had also defaced the perimeter walls of the Collegiate Church, part of the façade of the San Luigi Oratory and a wall along Via Bottonera using red and black spray paint. He has been reported for the offences of defacing things of historical and artistic interest.
The Russian Embassy in Switzerland reported that: “In the early hours of October 28, 2022, unidentified offenders committed an act of vandalism by splattering paint on the entrance to the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in Geneva, which is a parish of the Russian Orthodox Church.”
Between the 22. and 28. of October, the windows of the Protestant church in Urspringen were damaged by unknown perpetrators. An employee of the church filed a complaint for damage to property. She had found four small holes in the windows of the church. According to the police, the affected panes are at a height of three metres. The damage amounts to about 500 euros.
In the morning of October 27. a man vandalised the church of San Carlo in Lugano. First, holding a vase of flowers, he hit the protective glass of the statue of the Virgin above the altar. Then he used a candleholder to destroy other statues and objects in the church, including decapitating a plaster statue of Padre Pio. The sacristan's wife, assisted by another person, locked the intruder in the church and called the police. The sacristan, who arrived at the church shortly after, tried to stop the intruder, who then attempted to assault him.
On October 27 a 61-year-old man set seven buildings on fire, included the local church, in Dyula, a Ukrainian village near the border with Romania with about 1,500 inhabitants. He was later arrested and faces up to 10 years in prison.
In Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Territory, the Military Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation intends to open a criminal case against two members of the Evangelical Church of the Holy Trinity for refusing to go to the war for religious reasons. If convicted, they could face prison sentences of up to three years. The two Christians, Sergey Tarasov and Maxim Drozdov were called under the mobilization decree on 24 September. As they objected for religious reasons, the commander refused their appeal.
On the night of the 25. Oktober, unknown burglars entered the Evangelical Lutheran Emmaus Church in Leipzig by smashing a window. They damaged parts of the furnishings and the organ room, causing considerable damage mostly to the sanctuary. Among other items, the altar cross was stolen, leaving toilet paper instead. The perpetrators also set fire to the church. The amount of damage could not yet be quantified.
In the period from October 25 to October 26, unknown persons broke into the parish office in Neuendorf in the district of Harz by forcibly opening the office door. They subsequently stole a safe containing cash, several chalices and monstrances, with a total value of about 11,000 euros were stolen from the storehouse of the parish office.
On October 25, unknown vandals broke the crucifix at the entrance to the village of Pryvitiv in the Zhytomyr region and damaged the crucifix, according to the press service of the Zhytomyr diocese. The rector of the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (UOC-MP), Fr. Alexander Litvinyuk, said that the cross had been installed by the care and guardianship of the community of this temple, located inside the village.
After an emergency call on Sunday night (23. October), multiple police officers from the Leipzig police department went out on a large-scale operation including explosives experts and sniffer dogs. Someone had made a threat of a bombing a church. A 36-year-old man has been identified and arrested as the main suspect.
Unknown persons set a container on fire in front of a church parish hall and pushed the container into the building, burning the entrance and part of the façade. This incident happened in the city of Bielefeld on the 23. October and has shocked the members of the church of St. Nikolas. According to the news, the parish hall of the St. Nikolai Church and the entry of the church would have to remain closed until the end of the year or longer, due to the reparation work. The police are investigating.
On the 22. October, vandals entered a church in Nidda (Germany) and threw down hymn books, damaged candles and spilt candle wax on the altar and on a Bible. The damage of the church took place during the opening hours in the afternoon and the damage amounts to about 150 Euros. The police in Büdingen are asking for information from witnesses.
According to the police, unknown perpetrators tried to break open the two doors and three windows of an annexe to a Catholic church in Sontra (Germany) between the 16. and 22. October. They did not get inside the building, but in the process, the perpetrators caused damage of about 3,000 euros.
The consternation over the theft of a baptismal font from the Apostles' Church in Münster has spread far and wide, reports Westfälische Nachrichten. The baptismal font was stolen on the 22nd of October. Pastor Dr Christoph Nooke has been contacted not only by shocked parishioners and people from Münster, but also by a couple from Lüdinghausen who learned of the crime from Westfälische Nachrichten and now offered to replace the stolen baptismal font.
It was reported on the 20. October that the walls of the Sint-Elisabeth Church in Kortrijk were vandalized with crossed-out crosses and the word "F*CK" written with black spray paint. This is not the first time the church has faced vandalism. The pastor of the church, Guido Cooman, said that he is going to file a complaint with the police.
On October 20., a 49-year-old man was arrested by the military, after he had stolen the entrance door of the Church of San Felice Martire in the centre of the town. The military found the stolen door in the garage of the subject and proceeded to arrest him, which prompted the man to react aggressively and throw objects at them. The man will have to answer for the criminal offence of stealing ecclesiastical cultural property, a specific conduct recently provided for in the Criminal Code.
Airsoft bullets damaged the stained glass windows of a church in France, as Actu France reported on the 19. October. The windows of the church Saint-Ténénan, in Guerlesquin, show notably significant damages following airsoft shootings.
The Russian Embassy in Portugal denounced that Fr Sergiy Borsky, of the All Saints Parish of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Lisbon, "has received several threats to his life and physical integrity" and had been criminally attacked.
On October 18, 2022, local Polish media reported the destruction of a cross in the Rudki forest. An unknown perpetrator cut down a century-old wooden cross located in a forest complex on the edge of Lublin and Krężnica Jareja.
On the 17. October, the police in Lubasz were notified that an unknown vandal had severely damaged the statue of John Paul II, which was estimated at a loss of PLN 1,500. The 20-year-old perpetrator has been caught by the police and now faces up to 5 years imprisonment for the crime he committed. However, the final punishment will be decided by the court.
On the night of October 16-17, 2022, an organized group hung posters targeting the Catholic Church on the parish grounds of the Church of Our Lady Queen of the Polish Crown in Gdansk. That night, the posters were hung on sixteen buildings and gates of establishments belonging to the Catholic Church. Posters with the same content and graphics were hung on all the facilities: "They all knew and did nothing! The entire clergy is guilty of covering up paedophilia in the Church! Disgrace! We remember! We will hold them accountable!".
The Christian Institute has reported that parents of children at Hatcham College were denied access to see the Sex-Education lesson slides used by an external NGO. The parents requested access to the slides by the School of Sexuality Education (SoSE), but the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) denied their request, stating it would compromise the sex education provider’s “intellectual property”. This, nevertheless, undermines parental rights, as the parents are not able to raise concern over material being taught to their children that might go against their beliefs.
Police are investigating attempted arson in Ihringen am Kaiserstuhl. Unknown persons have attempted to set fire at the parish church "Assumption of the Virgin Mary" in Wasenweiler in several places.
A buffer zone was implemented outside the BPAS clinic in Bournemouth in a bid to deter people from praying or standing with pro-life signs outside the clinic. Anyone that fails to accept the decision could incur a fixed penalty notice of £100 or face court action. Buffer zones have been widely discussed, due to their limitation of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.
The Holy figures of saints were destroyed, a candelabrum and the baptismal font were moved in the Catholic church in Klingenmünster were destroyed by unknown vandals. The statues had broken arms or feet, or were completely destroyed. This happened on the 14th of October, according to the police. The material damage done is estimated by the police at around 2000 euros.
The European Court of Human Rights has recently concluded that Eloïse Bouton, a "Femen" member who performed a topless act simulating an abortion of Christ by the Virgin Mary in front of the altar and tabernacle of La Madeleine Church in Paris in 2013, has to be compensated. She had been sentenced by the French court to a one-month suspended prison and 2,000 euro fine for "sexual exhibition". She had also desecrated the altar of the church with urination and anti-Christian slogans and symbolism. With this ruling, a dangerous record of precedents is being created that will only encourage more blasphemous attacks on Christians.
On the 13. October in the evening, a small fire broke out in St. Mary's Church in Plau. Around 30 candles were lit by unknown perpetrators, as the police was notified on Sunday. The candle fire caused a small fire that damaged several benches. Fortunately, the fire extinguished itself when the candle wax burnt out and no one was injured. The police are now investigating on suspicion of attempted arson.
In a Press Release on the 13. October, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) stated: “The internal rule of an undertaking prohibiting the visible wearing of religious, philosophical or spiritual signs does not constitute direct discrimination if it is applied to all workers in a general and undifferentiated way.” This means, now companies can prohibit workers to use religious symbols at work, including cross necklaces or headscarves. This will not be considered discrimination against religious groups, as long as it applies to all religions.
On the 13. October in Raismes, an arson attack destroyed the presbytery of the Polish church of St. Cecile. The presbytery was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. According to the news, there have been several arson attacks in the city of Raismes since March 2022. The perpetrators have not yet been identified. The mayor of Raismes, America Robin, talks about this frequent vandalism usually perpetrated by young people between 12 and 20 years old.
In October 2022, Russian news announced that vandals had smashed down and damaged the vases placed outside of the Orthodox Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God, in Fokino, Bryansk. They reported that a picture of the vandalism was sent to social media groups, where many residents voiced their concerns and feelings of anger towards the act. The police are still searching for the suspects.
Two Russian Orthodox hieromonks (monks who are also priests in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholicism) had criminal cases opened against them for opposing the Russian invasion of Ukraine on religious grounds. Forum 18 is following the cases and reports that Fr Nikandr Pinchuk's first full trial hearing in Sverdlovsk Oblast is due on 17 October, while Fr Ioann Kurmoyarov, who is in pre-trial detention since early June, has his trial on 14 November in St Petersburg.
The mayor of the municipality of Ponte Caldelas, Andrés Díaz, has denounced through his social networks several acts of vandalism committed in a Chapel of the town. In the photos he posted it can be noticed that the saints of the church have been painted black as well as signatures that the vandals left all over the building.
In May 2019, Dr. Richard Scott faced an investigation by the NHS England (National Health Service) after several complaints were made about him offering prayer to patients, as he discussed this practice during a BBC Radio 4 interview. Dr. Scott faced an investigation to see if he was fit for practice, but the case has now been settled between Dr. Scott and the NHS, as reported on the news at the beginning of October. He has agreed to attend a course about professional boundaries and at the same time, with no admittance of wrongdoing.
Monsignor Massimo D'Angelo of the diocese of Chieti, denounced on his Facebook account that a sacrilegious theft had taken place at the chapel of San Rocco in Sambuceto. "This night they stole from the parish by uprooting the security door and removing from the wall the safe with the gold votive gifts of St. Roch and some Chalices" he wrote.
On October 9, 2022, a thirty-nine-year-old man disrupted the celebration of evening Mass at St. Francis Church in Zabrze. During the Eucharist in progress there, two men entered the church, with one of them immediately heading toward the altar. Then, in front of the priest celebrating Mass and the gathered faithful, he set off a firecracker. Panic broke out. As a result of the situation, the faithful began to leave the church building in panic. It was determined that no one was hurt as a result of the incident.
A barrage of eggs was thrown against the façade of the church of the Madonna di Loreto in Borgetto, in the Palermo area. The main façade of the building, which overlooks Via Monastero, was vandalised in several places. This was reported on the 8. October.
Between the 7. and 8. October, unknnown perpetrators threw apples at the hexagonal baroque windows of a collegiate church in Klagenfurt. The police has to quantify the amount of the damage to property.
The UK's already controversial Public Order Bill has received an amendment proposal that would criminalize supporting women seeking an abortion within a 150-meter "buffer zone" from an abortion clinic. Apart from the fact that this would open the way for authorities to repress Christian street preachers, this amendment means that prayer or any kind of help inside the "buffer zones" could lead to an up to two-year jail sentence. Laws like this already exist in Northern Ireland since March, and will also be a reality in Scotland in the near future.
In less than twelve hours the town of A Coruña suffered two robberies in the local cemetery, affecting practically all the inhabitants. María Cambón, a neighbour who visits the cemetery every day, raised the alarm on the 10th of October, after discovering that someone had taken a number of bronze and copper virgins from the niches. Most of them were behind the glass doors of each tomb, in small chapels. In the afternoon of the same day, a similar robbery happened again. An image of the Virgen del Carmen was found lying on the floor of the cemetery, which the thieves probably left behind. In total, around 40 statues have been stolen.
The church of St. Mary of Jesus in Ritiro was vandalised and the organ was damaged on the 7. October. This incident occurred only 9 months after the last case of vandalism, according to the source. The CCTV cameras show that young persons broke into the building and gravely damaged the electronic organ. They also mimicked the Crucifix and played with some of the furnishings of the altar before running away.
The Observatory for Religious Freedom and Freedom of Conscience (Observatorio para la Libertad Religiosa y de Conciencia) has reported on its social media that it has denounced the hacking of which they were victims last October 6 during the presentation of the "Report of attacks on religious freedom in Spain 2021".
After a fire on September 25, where arson has not been ruled out, media sources reported on October 6 that Belarusian authorities are terminating the Red Church's use agreement with the Roman Catholic parish community of St. Simon and St. Helen. Notice of this has already been received by the church authorities and the parish has been ordered to take all belongings from the temple within a few days.
It was reported on the 6th of October that Minsk authorities closed a religious school at the Catholic Christian Social Center of the city. Police were sent to the centre to check "whether there were any classes there", Radio Svaboda reports. According to Fr. Yuri Sanko, Minsk authorities ordered the social and educational parts to be closed on August the 30th.
The parish priest Vincenzo Del Mastro, of the "Madonna della Grazia" Church in Andria has spoken up about recurrent and serious vandalism to his church on the 5th of October. He says that in the afternoons and evenings around 20 to 30 teenagers come with electric bikes and invade the area near the main entrance of the church. The priest says that they smoke cigarettes and drugs, are found and damage the flowerbeds. Also, if he tries to reprimand them, they insult him or throw stones at him. They have also defaced the back wall of the church and broke a door. The priest is asking for support from his community.
A new report on "Hate Crimes Based on Religion, Belief or Nonbelief in Turkey" by the Freedom of Belief Initiative of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee describes the increasing problem of hate incidents against religious minorities in the country. These attacks target Christians, Jews, Alevis (a branch of Shīʿa Islam with some pre-Islamic influences, which is practiced mainly in Turkey), and atheists. The nature of the hate attacks varies between damage to property, threats, violent attacks against individuals, damage to places of worship and cemeteries, harassment, and insults. Some places belonging to religious communities have been repeatedly targeted.
A statue of Padre Pio that belonged to the church of Santa Marta in Carpignano was stolen by unknown persons. This was reported on the 4th of October, the statue of fibreglass and two vases were stolen from the church. There was no vandalism inside the religious site. The theft was discovered by the woman who cleans the church. The church filed a complaint with the authorities.
A TikTok video shows how a large group of young people vandalize the Cathedral of Lugo – declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2015 – by climbing up and down its facade in a kind of competition. Earlier this year, in March there was another incident of vandalism at the cathedral, as three young men urinated on its facade. The damage done was estimated around 900 Euro by the police.