On 17. March, for the second time in the same week, unknown intruders broke into the community house of St. Aegidius. They robbed nothing but perpetrated significant damages. Police officers are looking for witnesses.
On the 12. March, a person noticed that the side of the church at the Karmelitenplatz in Vienna's second district (Karmelitenchurch) had been vandalised with graffiti in black paint that says "No God" (Kein Gott). It is not sure when the graffiti was made or if it was filed with the police. The vandals also remain unknown.
On 7 March the House of Commons voted to comprehensively introduce buffer zones around abortion clinics to the Public Order Bill for the final time. The clause to the bill was approved by a majority of 299 MPs in favor to 116 against. Now that the Public Order Bill is set to become law, any form of "influence" around abortion clinics will be criminalised, including silent prayer or consensual conversations, de facto making "thought crime" a reality in the UK. Experts have commented that while harassment and intimidation are already illegal, this law would be a serious attack on freedom of speech and freedom of thought.
The anti-Christian incidents have been rising in France, up to the point that 20 personalities from different organisations and careers have issued a letter to the authorities. The newspaper "Le Figaro" has published a collective statement signed by twenty french personalities asking for a better response against this problem in France and Europe. The article mentions recent news about two nuns who will leave the city of Nantes due to insecurity. The authors state: "If the worrying rise in violence against religions affects all believers, Christianity remains the primary target of anti-religious acts in France as in Europe." The statement asks the European Union to "react and recall that all anti-religious acts must be fought with the same force."
The St. Jacob's Church in Köthen, Germany was vandalized on February 24 by an unknown perpetrator who smeared graffiti on the front and around the door of the 19th-century church. The police have been notified and are still investigating the motive behind the graffiti.
In the Czarnkowsko-Trzcianecki district of Drawsko, an unknown perpetrator has destroyed the statue of St. Joseph. The perpetrator did not only destroy the statue but also cut off two fingers from the figure, as reported by asta24 Poland. A resident named Ryszard Jablonowski expressed his feelings towards the situation: "I looked at the statue and, to be honest, I am shocked by what I saw. I'm trying to explain to myself what this is all about. Is it that simply the youth did it for a joke." The Priest thinks that the marks on the statue could have been done by using a knife, as well as by cutting off the fingers of the St. Joseph statue.
The Parish church of St. Heinrich in München was damaged by arson and vandalism on the 22nd of February, causing shock among the parishioners. While visiting the church, a 60-year-old woman found some hymn books set on fire. Before calling the authorities, the lady and an employee were able to extinguish the fire. The German news portal reported that a church room had also been vandalized, candles had been knocked over and hymn books were scattered on the floor. The perpetrators remain unknown.
Between the 18. and 19. of February, it was reported that the display board of the Catholic Church St. Andreas in Elbingerode was set on fire. The fire caused by unknown perpetrators destroyed the display case and the house facade, covering around 2 meters of the wall. The police are investigating and have estimated the costs of the damages at around 5,000 euros.
The St. Lambert's Church in Etten-Leur was attacked with paint bombs by unknown vandals. The paint covered the front doors, pillars, stairs and a statue. The report says that the "paint had even run in under the door." The incident was reported on February 17. and it mentioned that the Church had recently finished renovating and is unfortunately ruined again. Secretary Johan Snijders explained how the paint was covering the entrance and has soaked up from the pillars, the perpetrators used multiple colours of paint. Snijders reported that the unknown person "had also left behind all sorts of items: books, candles, a laptop, a bag of jars of paint and even a broken pot of vegetables".
Unknown perpetrators vandalized the Parish Church of Tarouca on February 14. The authorities have investigated the crime and have mentioned that the main churchyard doors were scratched, and the stained glass window was destroyed. The Parish said "We only know that it was an attack against a Monument, art, humanity, faith, and the Parish of Tarouca. And this is a crime!”
On Friday the 13th, the church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Vinnytsia was vandalized and desecrated. The church belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. It was reported that "unknown persons broke almost all the windows, attacked the cross in front of the church with an axe, and broke the legs of the Saviour on Calvary." It was also said that due to the strong force used by the perpetrator throwing the axe and destroying the statue, it also broke other candlelights and other religious objects.
The historical Baroque "Church of the Cross" in Wissen has been destroyed and desecrated on the 10th of February. The police have identified a 39-year-old perpetrator, who has caused damages worth millions of euros. According to the reports, the man broke open the back door of the church by smashing it with stones, vandalized the religious symbols and set fire to the high altar, which has been completely destroyed. Two firefighter squats were able to stop the fire, they were alarmed as people noticed smoke coming out of the church.
The Marienkirche in Treuchtlingen has once again been vandalised by unknown perpetrators. On February 10. it was reported that perpetrators broke the windows of the Church, left used socks on an open Bible, as well as a box of cigarettes, and urinated on the corner of the room. Pastor Matthias Fischer was sadly not surprised after witnessing the scene. He expressed his emotions and frustration since there have been several cases of vandalism in the Marienkirche. However, Pastor decided not to report this case this time, as he says he has had much worse.
On 7. February, a man was arrested by police in Paris for making death threats against multiple priests. According to a French news site, a staff member from the Saint-Sulpice church alerted the authorities about the suspect. It was also reported that the man had threatened a priest in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés parish. The Paris judicial police are investigating the case, and it was revealed that the man is on an S file for state security related to terrorism and a search file for a temporary ban from French territory. These developments are concerning and raise questions about the motives behind the threats and whether the man acted alone or as part of a larger group.
A church in Catanzaro suffered a vandalic attack in early February (reported on the 5th February), causing damages worth 3000 euros. According to the sources, this church has been targeted before. "Dismay and anger. The umpteenth act of vandalism to which the Pistoia neighbourhood church of St. Mary of Hope [in Catanzaro], has been subjected provokes a reaction of indignation" reports Catanzaro Informa quoting Fr. Giorgio Pilò, parish priest of the vandalised church.
Matthew Grech, a 33-year-old charity worker from Malta had a first trial on February 3, after being charged with allegedly promoting 'conversion practices.' The allegations came after Matthew held an online interview with PMnews Malta in which he shared his testimony of becoming a Christian. He talked about his past, saying that he identified as gay in the past and used to be confused regarding his sexuality. Although he never promoted "conversion therapies", the police have pressed criminal charges against him.
Isabel Vaughan-Spruce had been arrested and charged with violating protest policy near an abortion center, as she was standing on the street and praying in her thoughts. UK authorities have now dropped the charges against her, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) warned that charges could start again in a near future. Vaughan-Spruce has said she wants to seek a clear verdict in court.
On January 31, it was reported that the Russian invaders have fired on a Church belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate in the town of Oleshky. The attack happened while a funeral was taking place, in which collaborate Zhuravko was being buried. The number of casualties after the incident is still under investigation.
One year after a group of MPs proposed a Bill in the Netherlands to ban "conversion therapies" (February 2022), the Dutch Council of State declared that the proposed bill would be a violation of religious freedom. The proposed bill aimed to impose a fine of up to 22,500€ and a year of prison for anyone found guilty of offering conversion therapies. But in a recent opinion, the Council announced that there was no clear way to differentiate between actual victims of coercion and participants who chose such a practice voluntarily, emphasizing that intrusive forms of "conversion therapy" and coercion are already prohibited by the existing laws.
On the afternoon of January 28., a perpetrator sprayed a red swastika symbol on the entrance door of the St. Wendelin Church in Neuses. It was reported that the act of vandalism was discovered right after the mass around 6:15 p.m.. The number 187 was also found next to it. An employee who takes care of the church, Klaus Schmitt, has removed the spray paint off from the wall.
On 25 January in the evening, a jihadist terror attack targeting two Catholic churches took place in Algeciras, Spain. Y. K., a 25-year-old Moroccan, has been arrested as the sole perpetrator of the attack, which he executed with a machete. An altar server was killed, and at least four persons are injured, including a priest in serious condition. Several witnesses indicate that he conducted the attack while shouting "Allah is great" and "death to Christians".
On the 25th of January, unknown perpetrators damaged the confessional chairs of a church with cigarette buds. The police have described the damages located in Saalfelden, Austria as willful damage to numerous pews. The investigation is still ongoing to find out the perpetrator(s).
The "la Seo" Cathedral in Zaragoza has been vandalized again, as reported on the 24th of January. The facade of the church was graffitied in several parts of the outer walls with random words, pro-Moroccan slogans, anti-police slogans and anarchist symbols with red and black spray paint. The Church has said they filed a complaint, and the investigations are still going on.
Between the 17. and the 25. of January, three Parisian churches have been attacked with arson by unknown perpetrators. Several fires have caused shock and sadness among parishioners in Paris. The last attack was on the Church of Saint-Laurent in the 10th district on the 24th. According to the findings, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the left side of the door.
During the weekend of the 23. January in the village of Krzrpielow, a Crucifix was desecrated. An unknown perpetrator shot the statue of Jesus on the cross that belongs to the Church of the Holy Trinity. The incident was reported to the police, who are treating the case as desecration, due to the lack of respect for religious feelings. The investigation is still ongoing, and the police are asking for help to find the perpetrator.
On January 23., a witness reported to the police that several young people had destroyed the windows at the Church of St. Paul in Velbert. In a German news website, it said "small stones were used to damage the exterior glazing of the windows of the Bohemian Church." It was also reported that larger stones were found larger surrounding the Church. Fortunately, no persons were harmed. The police are looking for the vandals.
The NGO ADF UK posted a video of two community safety accredited officers in Bournemouth interrogating a veteran who was standing on the street alone, praying in his thoughts. The officers told Adam Smith-Connor that he was praying inside a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) space, for which he was fined. According to the PSPO, certain activities such as acts of "disapproval" towards the abortion facility in the area are prohibited. Adam is at least the second person who was fined for praying silently on the street. He told the officers he was praying for his deceased son, which they considered an "act of disapproval."
There have been multiple cases in France, where churches have been targeted for hate crimes, theft or vandalism. The newest incident happened on January 18. near Paris, where the church of Saint-Martin-des-Champs and its front door and facade were partially burned. An unknown perpetrator has thrown an incendiary device, which was reported to be a molotov cocktail, against the front door at around five o'clock in the morning.
On the 17th and the 22nd of January, the church of Notre-Dame-de-Fatima, the 19th district of Paris, was hit twice by unknown arsonists. The Newspaper "Le Parisien" reported that the door of the church was sprayed with a flammable liquid. Then, the perpetrators used newspapers to start a fire, which fortunately did not spread inside the building.
On the 16. January, 46-year-old Vitaly Alekseenko was given a one-year jail term for refusing the call to the military on conscientious grounds. The Ivano-Frankivsk Appeal Court rejected his appeal against his conviction and has sentenced him to jail starting on the 19th of January. Alekseenko is the fifth known case of court conviction due to conscientious objection, but he is the first one to receive a jail sentence. Alekseenko told Forum 18 that he is "not guilty under the law of God".
An unexpected shooting occurred in North London on January 14. at the St Aloysius Roman Catholic Church. The 22-year-old suspect drove and shot 6 people who were coming out of a memorial service inside the church. The victims were a 48-year-old who has severe life-threatening injuries; a 12, 21, 41, and 54-year-old. A 7-year-old girl was also injured and was in serious condition. The police department detained the suspect for questioning after his car was found parked on Sunday. It was also mentioned that the bullets came from a black Toyota C-HR.
Near the city of Newry, vandalism occurred at a church on January 13. during the night. The perpetrator broke six windows and four bathrooms that were outside the Church of the Sacred Heart. Father Richard Naughton commented that he was "shocked to the core" and vandalism like this had never happened before. The cost for the reparation of the windows was estimated at thousand pounds. The perpetrator is still on the run. The police department has asked for witnesses to contact them as soon as possible.
on the 10th of January, the online news source MK-Online reported a rise in anti-Christian hate speech and vandalism in Bavaria. The most recent incident was red graffiti on the Cathedral of Augsburg that said "F*ck Jesus! He would have wanted it this way". The historical church dates back to Roman times. The reasons behind the perpetrator's actions are still under investigation and the cost of the damaged property lies around a couple of hundred euros. Other cases have been reported in Munich, where the Jesus figure was stolen. In an Augsburg Catholic Church perpetrators threw eggs and left insulting graffiti on the wall against the Word of God.
On the afternoon of January 10., it was reported that the Saint-Louis Roi church of Champagne-au-Mont-d'Or in Lyon was heavily vandalized by a perpetrator. The vandal broke windows and tossed to the ground two crucifixes, candles, books, and cases. District Councillor Tiffany Joncour posted a picture on twitter of a broken crucifix laying on the ground after the attack. The Minister of the Interior Gérald Dramamine later shared on Twitter that the suspect had been arrested.
The chapel of St. Julien in Morbihan has been desecrated and vandalised by unknown perpetrators on the 8th of January. The newspaper Le Télégramme revealed that all crosses were turned upside down, a statue of the Virgin Mary was wrapped with red electric lights, an ex-voto was damaged and a fire extinguisher was poured out on the church. According to the mayor of Morbihan, Patrick Le Roux, such acts had not been seen in the past in this city, "It is for me the expression of absolute evil and stupidity," he added. The destruction was found by a parishioner on Sunday afternoon.
Between the 19th of December and the 8th of January, the wayside shrine in Icking was vandalised. An unknown perpetrator unscrewed the Jesus figure from its cross and took it away. Now, the police have been notified and they are investigating the case.
In the city of Halberstadt, a form of pyrotechnics were used to destroy church property at the Lüttgenfeldstraße, amounting to 5,000 euros in damage. Around 3:45 a.m. unknown persons threw crafted explosives over the fence of the church and caused damage to a nativity play which was handcrafted with plastic and wood. The explosion also caused damage to the façade of the church and a window. The police are seeking witnesses to find the perpetrators.
Between the 7th and 9th of January, unknown perpetrators damaged the cupboards of the St. Martinus Church in Ottersheim. The police is running an investigation and looking for the perpetrators. The damaged cupboards amount to about 1000 euros worth.
During the night of 6. January, the statue of Baby Jesus from the Nativity Scene in the St. James Church was vandalized in Brzesko. According to the report, the right hands were cut off, and the statue was destroyed and left at the Jordan park. The pastor of the church commented: "This kind of profanation is not only an expression of stupidity, vandalism or thuggery on the part of some people, but it is first and foremost an attack on our religious feelings."
It was reported that two young people vandalised St. John's Church on the 4th of January. They left traces of foam from the fire extinguisher all over the church and special items. The sacristan came to the church right after the incident happened and reported the crime. A cleaning crew tried to remove the foam, textiles and other valuable Paramentes also had to be cleaned. It seems that the Altar Bible has suffered permanent damage. The police are investigating.
On the morning of January 2. in the Holy Virgin Church in Vinnytsia, an unknown man attacked the priest Anthony Kovtonyuk and cut him on the throat. The unidentified man had entered the church and started turning everything over, so the priest reprimanded him. Then, the perpetrator attacked the priest with his knife, as it was reported by the diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The police came to the scene and apprehended the attacker, who has been arrested. Father Anthony was taken to the emergency services later transferred to the intensive care unit in a Vinnitsia hospital.
The Romanesque Church of Saints Peter and Paul located in Chianocco, Turin, has been spray painted by unknown vandals. The perpetrators painted inappropriate or obscene drawings and words on the stone wall of the old church. This was reported on the 2nd of January. In the next days, volunteers will come and help clean up the mess that was left behind. The police are investigating.
In the town of Marigliano, the facade of thee church The Lady Most Holy of Mount Carmel was vandalized with paper bombs by young vandals. The perpetrators ruined the facade and caused shock among the residents, who expressed their emotions and anger. The incident was filmed with smartphones and the images were shared on social networks.
The police in North Kerry are investigating an act of vandalism against a church in Ballyduff. Three young women entered the St. Peter and St. Paul church and set fire to the altar cloth. The incident happened on the 30th of December, during the opening hours of the church. Detectives are investigating the motive behind the incident. The altar cloth did not go up in flames, so the damage was not extensive.
On the 29th of December around midday, unknown persons broke into a church and removed the fence. They entered by breaking the kitchen window, but they did not cause other damage to the interior. The police has estimated the damages to be of 2,000 euros.
On the 29th of December, unknown vandals stole the Baby Jesus of the nativity scene in Waren and beheaded one of the three wisemen figures. The display belongs to a Baptist Church and it has been vandalized many times in the last few years. This last incident included two consecutive nights of vandalism. The municipality is trying to help with the investigation. Apart from the main figures, a sheep and another figure were scattered on the meadow and other figures were knocked over.
In the city of Zamora, the locals and neighbours showed shock and sadness towards an attack on a nativity scene, which was reported on the 29th of December. Unknown vandals, suspected to be a young group of people, burned the figures of the Christmas display. Some people commented that the fire looked like a bonfire as vandals were burning religious figures.
Around the Christmas time, there were several cases of vandalism to oratories in Melegnano. Vandals broke into oratories and destroyed rooms, religious objects, as well as the façade of the Church building. There is an ongoing investigation to find the perpetrators.
At around 3.45 p.m. on the 29th of December, the St Peter’s Church door was busted open by teenagers. Once inside, they damaged a cross, a statue and candles. The suspects are four boys and four girls who were seen by residents running away from the church with dark clothes on and heading toward Claydon High School. The faces are yet to be identified but the police are asking for any cam footage from cars that were there parked near the scene.
In the town of Barbera del Valles, thieves "kidnapped" the figure of the baby Jesus from the open-air nativity scene on the 28. December at night. They then posted a video on social media with covered faces and distorted voices demanding a ransom of 10,000 euros for the precious figure. According to Spanish media, the city council of the town expressed the hope that it could be a sort of prank. But this is not the first theft of the small figure from the Nativity scene in the church square.
In the city of Corticelle, vandals targeted the building adjacent to the Pieve church on the 28th of January. The building is a Catholic-owned centre that belongs to the Amici della Pieve association. The news reported that unknown perpetrators caused major damage by breaking the windows and doors and committing burglary. The police are said to investigate under surveillance cameras since vandals have caused two events within two weeks.
On December 28, the surveillance camera showed how unknown suspects stole the statue of the Baby Jesus from the nativity scene. The reports have also mentioned that several young people were hiding the statue of Baby Jesus under their clothes and walking around the city with it. The figure was later found at a restaurant terrace and other acts of vandalism have been investigated previously by the police.
Unidentified person(s) have caused several damages inside the Catholic Provost Church of St Trinitatis in Leipzig. On the 27. December in the afternoon, he rioted in the church, threw various books around and damaged the nativity figures. The damage was estimated at a three-digit amount by the police.
In the Jesuit Church of St. Michael in Munich, the nativity scene has been ruined and an unknown suspect has stolen the statue of the infant baby Jesus. It was reported that the statue about 25 centimetres tall, was stolen on the second day of Christmas. Father Martin Stark has therefore left a note on the empty crib saying "Here lay our baby Jesus, who is part of our historical nativity scene. Unfortunately it got lost on the 2nd day of Christmas. I ask the one, who probably took it, imploringly to return the figure to us!".
On the 25. December, while 30 people were celebrating mass in a small wooden church in Rautjärvi, a fire broke out and the faithful had to be quickly evacuated. The historic Evangelical church was completely destroyed by the fire that started at 8.30 am. The criminal commissioner, Mika Salminen said in a press conference that the side doors of the church had been attacked with ropes. There is no doubt for the police, that this was a willful attack.
While celebrating mass and Christmas Eve in the village of Alsace, burglars entered the Priests' home and stole money. It was said the burglars might have known the time the masses were since it was posted online. Therefore, the theft was already planned beforehand. The amount of the stolen money is unclear, but it was from donations and collections from the church. The 59-year-old has said it was "traumatic" for him and that the investigation is still ongoing.
On the 25th of December, the police reported that unknown perpetrators broke into the Christuskirche and burgled the interior. Laptops and bread rolls packages were stolen. The vandals entered the church through a window and by breaking the connected doors.
In Valperga, vandals broke a glass pane of the Belmonte sanctuary, as reported on the 22nd of December. Mayor Sandretto commented that a volunteer who takes care of the place has repaired the damage, as he was the one that noticed it. The attack must have been on the days before.
ADF UK reported that a charity volunteer has been arrested and charged with four counts after telling the police that she “might” be praying silently in her mind, after being questioned by them over why she was standing inside an abortion facility’s censorship zone. The arrest and charges took place as authorities consider criminalising prayer near abortion facilities nationwide in the new Public Order Bill.
In December 2022, the Church of Norway was asked by the local branch of the Human-Ethical Association (HEF) to remove the crosses on chapels and cemeteries as it finds them to be "threatening". The HEF advocates for more "neutrality" in public space.
Between the 18th and 18th of December, unknown vandals tagged the walls of the church of San Giorgio in Golino, Canton of Ticino, with satanic and anarchist symbology in black paint. A complaint has already been made by the parish. The damage was noticed by the sacristan the next morning.
On 19 December several tags with insults, anarchist and nazi symbols appeared on several doors of Saint Roch's church in the centre of Paris. "A few days before Christmas, scandalous inscriptions were left on the church of Saint-Roch", wrote the mayor of Paris, Ariel Weil. He commented that a complaint had been lodged at the police and that the cleaning of the building had started.
Between the 18th and 19th of December, an unknown perpetrator destroyed several windows of the St. John of Rochester Catholic church in Egham Hythe. The perpetrator smashed the windows by throwing flower pots through them. The shattered glass spread over the floor and the incident was discovered by a church volunteer, Anne-do Bauchot. She and other church members said they were "heartbroken" by seeing this attack. Also, because of this, the church was not able to hold their traditional Christmas Eve service.
A video was uploaded on Youtube on the 17. December of a man that destroys a Nativity Scene with a hammer in the Spanish city of Calahorra. He has already been arrested by the police.
Amid the new tensions of December 2022 between Serbians and Albanians in Kosovo, it was reported on Serbian news that ethnic Albanians looted several Serbian houses and one church: "Residents of the village of Bogoševac near Prizren said that Albanians had looted several Serbian houses. The local population lost everything - from equipment to personal belongings. The church of St. Nicholas, built in the 16th century, was also looted. In 2022, the highest number of attacks on the Serbian population of Kosovo and Metohija was recorded".
A German court in Minden has declared that the "decision to ban worship services was illegal" as "the measure was 'disproportional', not founded in the law for infection prevention and violated the freedom of religion severely." The case referred to the total ban on public worship passed by the municipal council of Lage, a small town in the state of Lower Saxony, during Easter 2021.
Tremithousa Village is located in Cyprus, where there has been a grand theft at the Chapel of the Prophet Elias. It was reported on the 16th of December that the police have started the investigation. Unknown perpetrators have broken into the chapel and have stolen four altarpieces that are worth 1,000 euros.
After some months of debate, the Congress of Deputies (the national parliament lower house in Madrid) recently passed the new abortion law. This law breaches human rights for parents and medical staff alike, as it allows minor girls 16 and 17 years old to undergo an abortion without parental consent. Also, the freedom of conscience for medical staff is under pressure, as doctors who opt-out from this procedure for conscience reasons will be placed on a list of "conscientious objectors" and removed from the medical committees that decide over a woman's claims of malformation or illness of the foetus that want to abort beyond the limit of the first 14 weeks.
According to the police, on 14. December, unknown perpetrators have probably thrown fireworks at the rooftop of the Luther Church of Chemnitz. This has caused damage to the entrance, the estimated amount is around 7500 euros
The statues of Joseph and Mary were found beheaded at the Nativity scene in Schaffen (Diest), on 14 December. It happened in broad daylight, in the afternoon. According to local residents, it is not the first time vandals have struck at the nativity scene.
The European Court of Human Rights has condemned Bulgaria for a 2008 governmental campaign to warn children and families away from Protestant churches. This came after in 2021, Pastor Tonchev and Pastor Kiryakov in Burgas, challenged the government's campaign that labelled Protestant Christians as "sects"and told children at schools that they should not attend such churches.
The nativity scene at the heart of the Christmas market in Illkirch-Graffenstaden, a town near Strasbourg, was destroyed by arson, reports the news site "20 Minutes". The incident was reported on the 13th of December. The police is searching for the perpetrator.
The vicinity of the Parish Church of São Francisco, in the parish of Real, in Braga, has been the target of vandalism and graffiti. Also a signboard in São Bento da Porta Aberta was found destroyed on 12 December.
The Ngo Forum 18 reports that on 12. December, "armed Russian soldiers broke into the home of Serhiy Karpenko, Pastor of the Vefil (Bethel) Protestant Church in Berdyansk." The Russian forces took him away in an unknown direction. The Berdyansk News Online also reported this on its Telegram channel the same day. According to the news channel, local residents said "soldiers had also searched the Church and allegedly found Ukrainian symbols."
Unknown perpetrators stole the cross from the church of St. Michael in Blumenfeld, as reported on 11. December. It seems that this happened soon after the Advent singing, leaving the dean and the mayor stunned with the theft. The cross, which is more than 110 years old, is estimated to be worth up to 12,000 euros. The police have started an investigation and are looking for witnesses and information.
An armed robbery took place on 11. December night in an evangelical church in Orta di Atella, in the province of Caserta. The six robbers, according to the witnesses, entered the church during the Sunday service with covered faces and, at least two of them, armed with pistols, robbing some of the worshippers present. The whole incident lasted only a few minutes, after which the bandits fled in a car, with the Carabinieri only appearing at the scene later.
The Door of St. Peter's Church in Versmold has been tagged with right-wing extremist slogans by unknown perpetrators. The graffiti shows inciting symbols and slogans, as it was reported on the 11. December. The police of Bielefeld are investigating and trying to identify the perpetrators.
The bells of the Church of Santa Marta, in the parish of Benfica do Ribatejo, were stolen and the facilities of the scouts were robbed. The alert for the theft was given this Saturday morning, December 10, but the robbery would have occurred on Thursday or Friday. The bells were stolen from the Church Tower and the robbers caused even more damage. They entered the Scouts' premises and destroyed various Scout materials and even stole several tents.
On 10. December, rooms, doors, and objects at the Notre Dame des Armées Church in Calais were burned during an arson attack. One of the parish members commented that they perceived a"strong burning smell" when they entered the building on that day. Unknown perpetrators had burned the door leading to the sacristy, the room where the priest prepares the celebrations and the floor tile. The police have opened an investigation, they are treating the case as an intensional fire caused by the perpetrator. Fortunately, no injuries were reported and the fire did not affect "valuable objects".
Between December 9 and the 13th, the buildings of the St. Nikolaus church and an elementary school were smeared with graffiti and anti-Christian slogans in Konz. One writing said, "God is dead, we killed him", while other symbols were tagged such as pentagrams and inverted crosses. The police have proof from the CCTV cameras of two unidentified perpetrators who entered the elementary school grounds and graffitied the walls. However, the persons are yet to be identified.
A tag with the words "Gora ET(A)" appeared at the door of San Marcos' parish in Sevilla on 6 December. The meaning of the painted slogan in Basque language is "long live ETA", in reference to the Basque separatist organization ETA, classified as a terrorist group by Spain, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and the European Union.
Signs and writing appeared on the façade of the Church of Santa Maria dei Centurelli, in the municipality of Caporciano. The report was made by the Celestinian Movement, which posted photos showing the vandalism. A graffiti on the wall of the church seems to say "thieves", and the information sign outside the church was also defaced with graffiti. The perpetrators remain unknown. The photos were shared on social media by Massimo Alesii and caused indignation. "A serious, very serious fact happened in Centurelli. The appeal is to the local communities... to raise their eyes to the mountains,' wrote Massimo Alesii.
Urine and excrement were found in the two stoups at the entrance to the Church of Sant'Adiutore in Cervinara. This was revealed on Sunday mass, by the parish priest of Cervinara, Don Renato Trapani. All the churches in Cervinara are also open at night so that those who want to gather in prayer freely at all hours can do so without restrictions. The priest showed his sorrow, inviting those in the know to come forward to shed light on this episode.
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 the decision by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC). This 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.