All cases

Scottish Ministers Criticized for Seeking Dialogue Between Pro-life and Pro-Choice Groups

April 27, 2022, United Kingdom

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."

Christian Asylum Seeker Wins on European Court of Human Rights

April 26, 2022, France

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.

Man Urinates on Church Trani

April 26, 2022, Italy

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.

Church Windows in Newtown Smashed

April 25, 2022, United Kingdom

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.

Insults and Vandalism in Magherafelt Church

April 23, 2022, United Kingdom

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.

Spanish Council of the Judiciary: Proposed "Trans Law" Would Violate Human Rights

April 22, 2022, Spain

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.

Vandalism and Theft in Grosseto Cathedral

April 19, 2022, Italy

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.

Statue of Christ Smashed in San Salvo

April 18, 2022, Italy

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.

Man Disrupts Easter Church Service in Athens

April 16, 2022, Greece

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.

Repeated Vandalism to Hartlepool Church

April 15, 2022, United Kingdom

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.

Way of the Cross Devastated in Jerzmanowice

April 15, 2022, Poland

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.

Windows in Shrewsbury Church Smashed During Service

April 15, 2022, United Kingdom

During an evensong service in the Shrewsbury church of St. Chad's, vandals smashed the stained glass widows of the church causing £8,000 in damage, and endangered those inside. The incident happened on the 15th of May at a church which often holds large events. Church warden Joanna Hepper said: "This was extremely upsetting for the congregation and could have caused injury."

Easter Procession Attacked in Granada

April 14, 2022, Spain

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 Grandmother Arrested for Praying Outside during Lockdown

April 13, 2022, United Kingdom

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 Graffiti on Sant Joan Church

April 12, 2022, Spain

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."

Four Figures of Mary Destroyed in Lewniowa

April 11, 2022, Denmark

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."

Pro-Abortion and Disrespectful Tags Found on Sarriá Church

April 11, 2022, Spain

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."

Perpetrators Try to Stop Palm Sunday Procession in El Vendrell

April 11, 2022, Spain

Five young North Africans in El Vendrell were bothering people during a Palm Sunday procession in hopes that they could prevent the religious event from happening. The local police were notified of the attacks and arrested two 24-year-old individuals who were accused of an attack against the law. The police were searching for the other three.

Statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Smashed in Kietrz

April 11, 2022, Poland

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.

Finnish Prosecutors Appealed Päivi Räsänen Case

April 10, 2022, Finland

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.

Priest and Parish People Attacked in Rome

April 9, 2022, Italy

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.

Man Plants Explosive Device during Mass in Toulouse

April 8, 2022, France

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.

Cross Stolen from Church in Mainz

April 8, 2022, Germany

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.

Church in Halstenbek Ransacked

April 8, 2022, Germany

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.

DIY Abortion Pills Violate Parental Rights in England

April 5, 2022, United Kingdom

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.

All Saints Church in Holbeach Vandalised

April 5, 2022, United Kingdom

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 Commit Sacrilege at Chernihiv Cemetery in Ukraine

April 5, 2022, Ukraine

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.

Molotov cocktail Thrown at Church in Muri-Gümligen

April 5, 2022, Switzerland

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.

Arson at Church in Trinità

April 4, 2022, Italy

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."

Church in Zell Vandalised

April 4, 2022, Austria

The Evangelical church in Zell was vandalised by strangers on April 4th. A large window was smashed by an object of considerable size and shingles were torn off the façade. The Church filled a complaint and the police began an investigation with the hope that some DNA would be left on the shingles.

Church of Sant'Eligio Set Alight

April 4, 2022, Italy

The façade of the Church of Sant'Eligio in Napoli was once again scarred by fire on April 4th, less than three months since it happened last. The monumental sight, which youth set fire to, dates back to 1270 and would have experience even worse damage had a fire extinguisher not been nearby. These repeated acts of arson show the youths contempt for the church and its Christian practices.

Serial Church Thief Caught in Pontine

April 3, 2022, Italy

A 51 year old man has been arrested for repeated thefts of churches since February, in the area of Pontine. He was caught red handed by the Carabinieri of the Minturno station as he was trying to open the offering box in the San Biagio church which he had stolen from previously. His wife was also charged for assisting him in their repeated and disrespectful thefts from Christian churches.

Church in Messina Graffitied

April 2, 2022, Italy

The outer wall of the church of Santa Lucia Vergine e Martire in Messina, was covered with graffiti on March 2nd. Most of the inscriptions targeted the police but a religious sight was used to carry out the offence. Father Giovanni Loppolo was happy to tell how the youth of the church had initiated the restoration project.

Window of Church in Weingarten Broken

April 2, 2022, Germany

The windows of the Protestant church in Weingarten were smashed on April 2nd, causing 1,500 Euros worth of damage. The perpetrator was unknown but police investigated the incident and were looking for witnesses. A Facebook user commented on the incident: "People experience in such a place unique moments of life, joy, care, comfort, silence, protection, community, a connection to the Creator since time immemorial. People respect this place regardless of their faith and worldview."

Orthodox Priest Kidnapped in Cherkassya

April 1, 2022, Ukraine

A priest from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate was kidnapped by unknown persons in the Cherkassya region of Ukraine. A video showed that people broke into the service, and violently took the pastor. Those who tried to stop the kidnappers were also violently dealt with. The exact date of this incident and the well-being of the pastor was unknown but it was thought to have happened in Smela. This showed a continued attack on the Ukrainian Orthodox church.

Rampage in Dreis-Brück Church

April 1, 2022, Germany

Perpetrators, whose identity is not known, vandalized the parish church in Dreis-Brück on April 1st. They distributed, what was thought to be alcohol, in the gallery, and the tablecloth on the altar was burnt. The police were looking for clues as to who could have done it.

Stones Thrown at Image of Christ in Via Merlo

March 31, 2022, Italy

Stones were thrown at a picture of Christ in Via Merlo in what could only be described as a hateful act. The incident happened on March 31st and resulted in the glass that was covering the picture getting broken. The vandals also stole candles and flowers and left inscriptions around the sight.

Religious Paintings Stolen in Marian San Nicola Church

March 31, 2022, Italy

Two religious paintings and tens of euros were stolen from the Santissima Annunziata church in Marian San Nicola on March 31st. The money was from the offertory which got damaged during the theft. Don Saji, the parish priest, reported the incident to the carabinieri who were investigating it.

Update: Conversion Therapy Ban in UK No Longer Covers Transgender People

March 31, 2022, United Kingdom

Boris Johnson announced on March 31st that the so-called conversion therapy ban in the UK would no longer cover transgender people but only gay or bisexual people. This was a change from what had been announced a few hours earlier which was that the ban would be dropped entirely and non-legislative methods would be explored. Despite the entire ban not being dropped, this was still good news for the Christian community as this potential legislation would make it difficult if not impossible, for parents and teachers to encourage their children to adopt the Bibles views on gender and marriage.

Sacred Objects Stolen from Gleschendorf Church

March 30, 2022, Germany

During the night on March 30th, the Gleschendorf Church was robbed by unknown persons. The perpetrators stole valuable communion objects including a 300 year old baptismal bowl. This unfortunate event demonstrated a disrespect for the church and its proceedings.

Church in Satrup Graffitied

March 30, 2022, Germany

The Laurentius Church in Satrup was vandalized with paint on March 30th. The façade was covered with phrases written in black paint which expressed contempt for the church and now have to be taken off by a specialist company.

Russian Occupied Crimea Orders Law to ban Ukrainian Orthodox Church

March 30, 2022, Russian occupied Crimea

Law makers were ordered, by Sergei Aksyonov head of Russian-controlled Crimea, to draft a law banning the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Black Sea Peninsula. The working list was planned to be finished by the end of the week, at which point, it would be adopted by parliament. This reflected the tension which existed for a number of years in the Orthodox Church, but saw a resent rise as the war developed.

Update: Finnish Court Upholds Free Speech in Major Trial

March 30, 2022, Finland

On March 30th, the Helsinki District Court unanimously dismissed all charges against MP Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola in a major freedom of speech victory. Päivi Räsänen was prosecuted for sharing her faith based beliefs on marriage in a tweet, and Juhana Pohjola had published a pamphlet, by Räsänen containing these beliefs, 17 years earlier. The ruling of this high-profile case stated that “it is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts," ordered the prosecution to pay the legal costs of 60,000 EUR, and gave the prosecution seven days to appeal.

Sacred Relic Stolen from Church in Brianza

March 30, 2022, Italy

On the 30th of April, an antique silver cross was stolen from a church in Barlassina. The cross, which was kept in a small box that was forced open, was of little monetary value which makes the theft particularly sacrilegious. Investigations were underway to find out who committed the theft.

Orthodox Priest Kidnapped in Kherson, Ukraine

March 30, 2022, Ukraine

Sergey Chudinovich, an Orthodox priest from the church of Serhiy Chudynovych in Kherson, was kidnapped on March 30th. Three men, who claimed they were police officers, searched the documents of those present and then drove off with Sergey Chudinovich, who was said to be a well know public figure. He is one of the many religious leaders who has been abducted in Russian occupied areas of Ukraine.

59 Religious Buildings, Mostly Orthodox, have been Damaged by Russian Military

March 28, 2022, Ukraine

Since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 21st, 59 religious buildings have been badly damaged by Russian attacks in 8 different regions. The Ministry of Information Policy and Culture of Ukraine reported that most of these building had been Orthodox Churches while others were synagogues, mosques, and religious education institutions. The Kremlin claims to "protect Orthodoxy" but these statistics tell a different story.

Sacred Objects Stolen from Couhé

March 28, 2022, France

A ciboria and chalices, both of which were in the sacristy or tabernacle, were stolen from the Couhé church on March 28th. Consecrated hosts were also taken, which implies the perpetrator was targeting the celebration of the Eucharist as hosts can be sold for high prices in some satanic circles. The theft of these objects of worship was a hateful attack on the religious traditions of the church.

Cross Stolen from St. Michael's Church

March 27, 2022, Germany

On March 27th, a cross made of cast bronze was stolen from the crypt of St. Michael's church in Fulda. It was not known who did it but the police were investigating.

Würzburg Church Vandalized with Letter Z

March 27, 2022, Germany

The letter Z, a pro-Russian symbol of war, was painted on the Gethsemane Church in Würzburg on March 27th. The congregation responded with a prayer for peace and the parish priest, Anna Bamberger, condemned the act. The perpetrator, who used this place of worship to advocate a war, was not found.

WHO called for Doctors to Act Against Conscience

March 26, 2022, Switzerland

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a ban on all limits on abortion as they may violate the rights of "women, girls or other pregnant persons." Among these proposed policies, was one that would limit medical professionals' rights to refuse to take part in abortion for conscientious reasons. These targeted Christian doctors who, for religiously based moral reasons, are unable to assist in an abortion and would face consequences if countries were to act on this guidance.