Today, on the International Day of Tolerance, OIDAC Europe presents its new Annual Report 2022/23. The report finds an increase of anti-Christian hate crimes by 44% over the last year. Arson attacks on churches increased even by 75% between 2021 and 2022. OIDAC Europe’s annual report also found legal discrimination against Christians who expressed traditional Christian worldviews.
The Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur in Rouen was broken into on November 15. The parish priest, Father Geoffroy de la Tousche, said that a statue was broken, sacred vases were stolen, and the altar was severely damaged. This is not the first case of vandalism in Rouen, as gargoyles had been damaged last year. The priest said that the damage will cost tens of thousands of euros. The police are investigating but the perpetrator has not been found.
Unknown perpetrators damaged an altar crucifix and stole a Jesus figure from the Imperial Cathedral in Königslutter on November 14. The individuals entered the cathedral via the main entrance, which was open, and went to the altar area. They removed the crucifix, moved it to a less visible area in the church, and severely damaged it. They also stole a figure of Jesus that was attached to it. The police are investigating the situation, and the perpetrators have not been caught.
The Finnish appeal court has unanimously upheld the 2022 acquittal and dismissed all charges against Finnish MP Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola who had been on trial for having publicly expressed their Christian beliefs. The ruling, which is now final, is considered to be a victory for freedom of religion and expression.
A man devastated the church of Santa Maria Assunta in Scandiano, causing thousands of euros worth of damage. He vandalized the walls, furniture, and statues, including breaking off the head of a statue of Mary. The individual destroyed sacred objects and broke open the tabernacle to throw the host on the ground. The police were able to identify the perpetrator. The 53-year-old from Modena was consequently reported for aggravated damage.
At the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Piazza Pilozzi in Valmontone, a man entered with a gas cylinder and lighter, threatening to explode the church. The 35-year-old man from Romania insulted and threatened the parish priest, attempting to extort money from him. The police arrived and were able to detain the man. He was taken to a prison in Valletri.
An individual deliberately started a fire in a confessional at the parish of San Jaime in Oropesa del Mar. The fire was able to be put out and did not injure anyone. The Local Police of Oropesa del Mar were able to identify the man who started the fire and arrest him.
An ethical review by medical law experts has been conducted in Jersey to assess the implications that the approval of euthanasia, "Assisted Dying" (AD), would have on the island. While noting the necessity of several limitations to euthanasia based on ethical issues, the experts stated that conscientious objection should not be granted to everyone, excluding people not directly involved in the death, such as receptionists or drivers.
Former employee of Sainsbury's Jacqueline Rendell is suing the supermarket chain for "unfair dismissal" alleging she was fired for refusing to work on Sunday mornings so she could attend Sunday services at church. She claims the supermarket chain fired her because she refused demands to work every Sunday morning.
Several Chinese Christians have been arriving in Spain since the end of October seeking religious asylum after being denied it in other countries. The lack of response from the Spanish government puts their physical integrity at risk if they are deported to China. Among them is a famous Chinese Catholic actress, Li Yan Li, who has said she would rather die than return to China.
A fire was started at the church of Santa Maria in Vado on November 4 at around 8:45 AM. It was reported that the perpetrator set fire to a tent set up in the churchyard. From there, the fire then spread to the front door of the church. People in the church noticed and notified the fire department, then used water to start putting out the fire. The firefighters arrived and finished putting out the fire. Smoke filled the interior of the church and an old notice board was destroyed. Police investigated the scene, and the vandal was reportedly caught on surveillance cameras and already identified.
In the afternoon of October 28, the Church of San Giovannino was desecrated. A young man entered the presbytery, climbed onto the alter to reach for the crucifix and threw it on the floor, breaking it into several pieces. After that, he removed a crucifix from the wall at the front of the church and broke it. The incident was filmed by security cameras, though the man had put out the candles in the church as to not be recognized.
Scottish MP Dr Lisa Cameron shared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour how she had felt marginalised in the Scottish National Party (SNP) because of her Christian faith and pressured to vote against her convictions. Now defected to the Conservative Party, Dr Cameron voted against the 2020 new abortion regime for Northern Ireland and disagreed with bills which sought to legalise assisted suicide in England and Wales.
The Dietrich Bonhoeffer International School in Germany was forced to close for the year by German education authorities. The school has been open for 9 years with an award-winning pedagogical model. Germany has banned homeschooling, hybrid schools, and has tightened restrictions on private schools. German authorities wrote to the school that "the immediate enforcement of prohibitions is ordered", preventing students from continuing their schooling there for the rest of the year. The government has also fined the school 600 euros in administrative fees. Authorities stated that the school website was an "advertisement for the impermissible school", and was ordered to be shut down. The school is arguing that Germany is violating national and international human rights law - including parents' rights to educate their children in accordance with their philosophical and religious convictions - with its ban on homeschooling, along with other restrictions on education. An urgency lawsuit to reopen the school is currently pending.
Christian preacher, Stephen Green, 72, was tried in court on October 17, for allegedly having protested against abortion within a 'buffer zone' surrounding MSI Reproductive Choices clinic in Mattock Lane, West London on February 6, 2023. Green was quietly holding a sign with a Bible verse from Psalm 139:13 written on it, which reads: "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb". Appearing at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court, Green pleaded not guilty to breaking the public spaces protection order (PSPO). According to the Mail Online, Mr. Green's charge sheet accuses him of "[protesting] by engaging in an act of disapproval or attempted act of disapproval with respect to issues related to abortion services, by written means in that you were holding a large sign displaying the text ‘Psalm 139:13 (...) relating directly or indirectly to the termination of pregnancy."
On October 15, a group vandalized St. Francis Xavier Church in Hereford. A group of youths meddled with the microphone, threw lit candles around the room and spit on the altar. The church priest, Father Thomas, said that security must be tightened because of this incident. Before, the church had been open at any time of the day so churchgoers could come to pray or light a candle. The police are still investigating the situation.
A 56-year old man from Pescara asked the parish priest for money, but when the priest refused he started a fire near the altar. The incident occurred around 3:30 PM on October 15. The police was notified and found that a wooden bench, placed to the side of the altar, showed clear signs of combustion. The fabric covering the bench and the carpet underneath it were damaged by the flames, but the fire had already been put out by some parishioners.
On October 14 the Police Station in Krzeszowice was notified about damage to a chapel located in the Krzeszowice commune. A vandal used an axe to damage a historic painting depicting Elijah the Prophet of Carmel. The vandal then left the area on bike. The police caught the 35-year-old on his bike with the axe that he used to destroy the religious painting. He was arrested and taken into custody.
Several meters of lightning conductors and copper downpipe were dismantled and stolen from a church in Taura, near Torgau. The police department in Leipzig announced that unknown perpetrators had forcibly gained access to the church between 4 pm on October 12 and 11 am on October 13. The exact extent of the property damage and theft damage is currently unknown. The police have started an investigation into this case and are treating the incident as a particularly serious theft.
A statue of St. Anthony holding Baby Jesus was stolen from a monastic house in the Nowy Sącz region by a 34-year-old resident. The man was detained by the police two hours after receiving the report. The plaster statue has already returned to the house from which it was taken.