A medieval stone cross was taken from St. John The Baptist Church in Great Carlton between 1:45 and 7:30 PM on August 19. The cross had been described as "priceless to the church in historical terms". The police are still searching for information and for the perpetrator.
On August 17 a foreign man attacked the historic church of Santa Cristina in Turin's Plazza San Carlo in broad daylight. The attack can be seen in a video that is circulating on the Internet. In the video, the man can be heard cursing at the worshippers inside the church, and shouting: 'F****ng Christians'. The perpetrator was arrested by the police and was taken to a hospital, as he injured himself while throwing stones against the church.
On August 17, a video surfaced on the Internet showing a man in the Apostolos Andreas Monastery in the Karpasia peninsula of Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, harassing a priest by reciting the Shahāda (Islamic profession of faith). Legal proceedings have been initiated against the provokator.
Pastor Viachaslau Hancharenka of the New Life Full Gospel Church in Minsk, was detained together with his son-in-law Illia Budai on the 15th of August. According to the news, 20 armed policemen broke into his house, searched and detained them. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail and his son-in-law to 5 days in jail for resisting the detention.
On the night of August 12, the windows were smashed at the church of St. Adrian's in Gullane. The Rev Simon Metzner stated that there had been reports of youths drinking and smashing bottles in the area. He was unsure of the cost of the damage but stressed that police were looking into the issue.
On the night of 7-8 August, a group of unidentified vandals entered and destroyed the parish facilities of the Santa Maria Liberatrice parish in Vigentino, Milan. "The area with all the objects was ransacked, plus two fire extinguishers were emptied. There was white powder everywhere," told one of the founders of the association that is helping to clean and repair the destruction. The carabinieri investigating the case are also voluntarily helping with the clearing clear out of service hours.
On August 8, Wellingborough Town Councillor Anthony Stevens, 50, was searched in his house in front of his wife and children, taken to the Kettering police station, and heavily questioned, for posting tweets from his personal account supporting the case of Christian Councillor King Lawal. King Lawal faced suspension as a Councillor, investigations and other forms of cancelling and discriminatory treatment for tweeting that "Pride" is a sin in June 2023. Mr Lawal launched a petition, which has been signed by over 26,000 people, calling on the Chairman of the Conservative Party, Greg Hands, to intervene in his behalf. Cllr Stevens shared the petition and tweeted in support of Cllr Lawal saying: ‘If you value free speech please sign and share’. Officers showed Cllr Stevens his tweets and asked him why he supported the petition. Cllr Stevens stated that he is a free speech absolutist and that even if he does not agree with someone, he believes in their right to express their beliefs. Cllr Stevens was released on bail, his mobile phone was seized to be searched for further evidence. He is required to surrender himself at Kettering police station on November 1. He has made a complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct regarding his treatment.
Unknown perpetrators targeted the side entrance of the Basilica of San Paolino in Lucca with red paint. The parish priest Don Lucio Malanca told the newspaper "La Nazione" that they have experienced of repeated acts of vandalism. He said: "Unfortunately, this is not even the most serious act of vandalism suffered by our Lucchese churches and monuments in the historic centre".
The Office for Kosovo and Metohija of the Government of the Republic of Serbia reported and shared pictures of a vandalic attack that the church of Saint Petka suffered on 7 August. The church is located in the settlement of Suvi Do, close to Mitrovica, and belongs to the Serbian Orthodox Church. The church was attacked the night before its dedication day (temple's glory day).
On the night of August 6-7, the monument with the letters "Leiria" in the city of the same name in Portugal was vandalized with an anti-Church slogan. The letters were put in commemoration of World Youth Day 2023 in Portugal painted with the colors and the logo of WYD.
The statue of St Anthony recently inaugurated in Torres Novas was vandalised on August 5. It was found the next morning with the head cut off, baby Jesus destroyed and a carton banner written "God is dead" and "You paedophiles." The damage was valued at €13,000.
On August 5, a tile panel depicting the Ecce Homo (an image of Jesus Christ), the 5th station of the ancient procession of "Nosso Senhor dos Passos," was vandalized with the graffiti "God is trans" in the city of Torres Novas. This panel had recently been restored and blessed.
Unknown vandals entered San Lorenzo's medieval church in Varigotti on the night of 5-6 August and destroyed several things during the raid. Apart from ransacking the premises, they also stole offerings and other equipment from the church.
On August 4, the baroque Evangelical church of Großröhrsdorf, a small town in Saxony, burned down to the ground. After a week of investigation, the criminal investigation department determined that the cause of the fire was arson and a suspect has already been arrested.
On August 4, the church of Saint Peter of Désaignes, in France, was vandalized on its interior. A crucifix was damaged, leaving the arms of Christ broken, when it was taken down and left near the altar. There were also tags painted with silver paint on two pillars on either side of the altar, representing the male and female symbols. The gendarmerie is conducting an investigation.
German luxury car brand Porsche digitally removed the statue of Christ the King in Lisbon from an advertisement celebrating 60 years of the Porsche 911 filmed in Portugal and published on 2 August. After the unreasonable removal of the monument caused outrage among Christians, the brand apologised for the "error" and re-published the video with the Christ unedited.
In the night of 1st to 2nd of August, a church in Graz was vandalised with graffiti. Perpetrators painted inverted crosses on the outside walls of the church. Inverted crosses are known to be anti-Christian, satanic and occultist symbols. The police were notified and have started an investigation.
A Christian governor and mother who was dismissed for raising concerns with the trans-affirming sex-education policy at her children's primary school has been reinstated by the High Court. The mother, who was granted anonymity by the Court in order to protect her children, reached a legal settlement with the school after being kicked off its Governing Body for pointing to legal errors in its Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) policy. She first raised her concerns with fellow governors in March 2021. She pointed out that the Gateshead School's RSE policy could be unlawful, and shortly later, she was accused by the school managers of opposing their "collective decision." She was removed as governor in June 2022. The High Court recognized that the decision to remove her was unlawful and she was reinstated in August 2023.
At the end of July, it was communicated that a Swedish bakery has been reported to the Discrimination Ombudsman after they declined to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. The Christian bakers believe that the person who ordered the cake already knew their religious beliefs and intentionally generated this case.
On the 16th of July, two youths stood trial in Leoben on charges of terrorist association and criminal organization. A 16-year-old and a 15-year-old planned a terrorist attack on MS Bruck school, since early 2022. The police found out through their chats that the plans were far advanced. When questioned, the perpetrators confirmed that they "wanted to shoot all the Christians in the class". The boys have now been convicted by law.
Felix Ngole, a Christian social worker, had a job offer by Touchstone Support withdrawn after the company found out that he won a free speech case over his Christian views. He says: “The reasons they gave for withdrawing the job offer were an attack on me and my faith." Ngole is now taking Touchstone to an employment tribunal.
On the 14th of July, the Saint Lucia church in Fondo, Italy, was found vandalised. The altar was damaged and a statue destroyed, with the vandals leaving a bottle of beer in the hands of the statue as a last act of destruction. The provincial councillor in Trento, Denis Paoli, condemns the attack: “What happened constitutes an intolerable outrage not only for the religious community but for the entire civil society."
On the 13th of July, 2023, an unknown vandal set fire to a cloth laying on a stand in the Roman Catholic church in Steinfeld, Germany. The cloth was completely burned and a Bible damaged, amounting to 300 euros in damage. This is the second case of arson in this church in the last three months.
Paving slabs, including a distinctive large blue piece of slate, have been stolen from St. Mary's Church in Llanfair-ar-y-Brun. The church warden discovered the theft on July 13. The vicar, Paul Pritchard, said that replacing the slabs would be difficult, given they already did not have sufficient funds to repair a collapsed wall at the church.
On the night of Wednesday the 12th of July, the Lourdes-Grotto in the Italian town of Fescoggia was vandalised, with the flowerpots overturned. Giorgio Bazurri, of the parish Fescoggia: "Popular faith is being attacked here, the cultural tradition of those who built these chapels." This is not the only case of vandalisation in the area: the face of the Madonna figure of the Greina-Ebene was also found smeared with black paint recently.
On Tuesday afternoon, the 11th of July, an altar cloth on a side altar in the St. Laurentius church was found in flames, with a damage amounting to around 5000 euros. The police have started an investigation. According to their findings, arson cannot be ruled out.
On the 11th of July 2023, Dmitry Dashkevich, a Christian political activist in Belarus who was imprisoned last year, was supposed to be released. However, the authorities unexpectedly arrested him again. Dmitry Dashkevich is a Belarusian activist, he was the leader of the Belarusian democratic movement "Young Front" in 2004-2015. He has been repeatedly detained by the authorities since the early 2000's, already serving two years in prison from 2011-2013.
In the past year, the door of the Saint Joseph church in Stadthagen was smeared with faeces, the holy water font was filled with urine, and now the sanctuary was found urinated as well. Due to these attacks, the church has decided to close its doors to the public during the day, says Father Markus Grabowski: "For months our church has been urinated in, multiple times. We're tired and don't know what else to do but to close."
The New Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in England and Wales has published a new Trans Equality Statement that defines forms of abuse towards trans victims, including "withholding money for transitioning", "refusing to use their preferred name or pronoun" or "Body shaming or criticising the victim for not being 'a real man/woman' if they have not undergone reassignment surgery." It also states that these actions can be considered as domestic abuse by family members and partners. Therefore, the CPS guidance makes parents vulnerable to prosecution, if they do not agree with transgender children.
On the 7th of July, seed oil, which was supposed to be distributed to assisted families by Caritas was found smeared on the entrance of the Purgatoria al Castello church and convent in Carini, near Palermo. The vandals have not been identified.
On Friday,July 7 2023, in Nürnberg, Bavaria, a crucifix worth 200 euros placed on the altar of the Herz-Jesu church was stolen. The robbery happened around 1.30 PM in the afternoon. The police have started an investigation.
In the afternoon of the 7th of July, 2023, the Liebfrauenkirche in Waldshut-Tiengen was found vandalised: the Bible was torn and the Easter candle was damaged. It was used to hit the piano, which damaged the paintwork. The police have started an investigation.
The Saint-Martin Church in Avallon was found vandalised on the 5th of July, 2023. The tabernacle which contains the consecrated hosts was damaged and a monstrance and two ciboria (chalices which contain the hosts) were stolen. This is not the first incident of its kind in Avallon: on June 28th, the St-Lazare church was targeted and a pyx containing hosts was stolen. Two complaints have been filed.
Unknown vandals smeared the walls of a church in Kirchberg, Böbingen an der Rems, with unreadable graffiti and two Nazi swastikas. The damage was found on the 7th of July, the police are still searching for witnesses.
In the early morning of July 4th 2023, a man set fire to the altar of the church Notre Dame de Kerdro in Locmariaquer, France. The fire was quickly brought under control by firefighters and only damaged the altar and some religious furniture. A complaint was filed to the police who arrested a 35-year-old man in connection to the fire. The man is set to be brought before the court in November.
Images of Jesus and Mary were beheaded and vandalized in a prayer garden in a district of Vienna, Austria. The prayer garden is considered a spiritual oasis for visitors. The alarm was raised by two bypassers who discovered the devastated prayer garden. The police have been notified and they are conducting investigations to identify the motives and the perpetrators. A video by "Project Telos" shows the devastation of several objects in the garden, and the direct targeting of the statues of Mary and Jesus.
In the evening of the 3rd of July, the firemen of the town of Schramberg, Germany, were called out to the church of Saint Maria - Heilig Geist where a stranger had set a table on fire in the back of the church. Dean Rüdiger Kocholl is deeply shocked and worries that the attack may have been planned. On top of setting the table on fire, new signs had been placed on the donation boxes, stating a new purpose for the donated money: for example, for drugs, alcohol and satanism.
A canvas painting that served as an altarpiece in the Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche in Ansbach was torn by a knife on Monday morning, the 3rd of July, 2023. The picture was made by the Ansbacher artist Georg Friedrich Bischoff (1819-1873). The restoration of the image is estimated to cost 2000-2500 euros.
In the night of July 1st to 2nd the St. Jakobus church in Rheinfeld am Rhein was severely vandalised. The intruders left without stealing anything but caused damages to the amount of 38 500€. Among other things, the intruders damaged an historical window and the church's organ. Police were notified and have started an investigation.
Multiple religious items were stolen on the night of the 30th of June to the 1st of July, 2023, at the Heilig Kreuz church in Mönchengladbach, Germany. The thieves came in by forcing the door to the church and from the main room there they came into the sacristy by breaking the window. Two individual patens were stolen and one chalice with paten was stolen. The police have started an investigation.
On the 29th of June, the Irish Government approved legislation to introduce 100-metre buffer zones around abortion clinics similar to those already in place in Northern Ireland and with the PSPO's and the Public Order bill in England and Wales. In the same way as in the UK, the legislation does not distinguish between harassment and peaceful activism such as silent prayer or mere physical presence inside the buffer zone.
Between the 29th of June and the 6th of July the organ in the Herz Jesu church in Völklingen was damaged: tea lights were thrown against the pipes causing dents. The estimated damage is around 4000 euros. The police have started an investigation.
The evangelical church Philadelphia in Marseille was found ransacked on Wednesday, June 28th. The prayer room was destroyed with doors and windows fractured as well. On top of material damage, the tags speak of the anti-Christian nature of the attack: "Jesus is not God" and "Mohammed was the last prophet" were found written on the walls. The pastor has filed a complaint. It is unclear whether the attack is connected to the recent civil unrest in France.
On the 28th of June, 2023, the UK government voted to introduce a new mandatory curriculum on sex and abortion in Northern Ireland, which includes education on the prevention of early pregnancy and how to access an abortion. This legislation has met with worry about the freedom of conscience and religion in Northern Ireland. Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said: "This legislation will likely put teachers and parents who oppose abortion in a very difficult situation.”
The so-called SOGI report from the UN, made public on the 15th of June, proposes to limit freedom of conscience and religious freedom, to avoid discrimination against the LGBT community. The National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF) expressed worry about the implications of this report in a statement, which has also been supported by the World Evangelical Alliance and the European Evangelical Alliance.
On the 20th of June, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled that blanket bans against peaceful prayer gatherings near abortion organisations were impermissible. With this ruling, the legal issues end for a local prayer group in Pforzheim, which are challenging the bans since 2019. Germany’s highest administrative court has protected freedom of assembly, but Federal minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus is planning to introduce censorship zones around abortion organisations.
The glass of a candlestick was broken as were numerous candles, the contents of a first-aid kit were scattered on the floor, a holy water font was emptied and self-painted pictures of the first communion soaked with water in a large-scale act of vandalism in the St-Cyriak-Kirche in Dielheim, discovered on the 22nd of June. The damage is estimated to be around 3000 euros. This current case of vandalisation has moved the parish council to go to the police and limit the opening hours of the church. The church has seen smaller acts of vandalism before, including broken windows or candles, but something of this scale hasn't occurred since 2017.
Thieves caused damage to St. Mary's church on the night of June 20 while trying to steal lead. Unknown individuals went onto the roof and stole lead. It was not specified how much the damage will cost in repairs. Similar incidents have been occurring in Richmondshire over the past weeks. It has not been reported if an investigation was launched, but the people of the church are urged to be cautious.
Christian Councillor King Lawal, who has been a councillor at North Northamptonshire Unitary Council for two years, was cancelled by seven organizations and suspended by the Conservative party pending an investigation over his tweets. His tweets commented on an LGBT pride parade that included naked men illegally parading through the streets in front of children. On June 19, he tweeted: "When did Pride become a thing to celebrate? Because of Pride Satan fell as an archangel. Pride is not a virtue but a sin." On the same day he posted the tweet, he was contacted by the leader of North Northamptonshire Unitary Council who told him that he was suspended for 21 days pending an investigation. On July 3, a local authority that held a substantial council contract with Cllr Lawal's family business ordered an urgent meeting. The family business was told that unless Cllr Lawal was removed immediately as director, their contract would be withdrawn. Under potentially illegal pressure, Cllr Lawal resigned from his own company. Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Cllr Lawal has instructed lawyers to prepare legal action alleging multiple violations of his rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
On June 12th 2023, a "group of young people" attacked Joseph Eid, the rector of the Notre-Dame-du-Liban parish. Shortly after 8 pm a dozen young people allegedly entered the presbytery to retrieve a soccer ball, and were scolded by the priest. The situation seems to have escalated and the priest was violently thrown to the ground, then grabbed by the back of the neck before being helped by witnesses. The assailants then fled, hurling anti-Christian insults.