On 7 December, six climate activists defaced St Mark's Basilica of Venice by spraying Nesquik with fire extinguishers on the right side facade and pouring mud on the columns. They then unfurled a banner and a placard with the photos of twelve climate activists who were detained for three days after a roadblock in Fiumicino.
On November 27, a woman was arrested in Madrid for praying the rosary on the streets. This comes after the Government Delegation banned the public prayer of the rosary that has been taking place in front of the headquarters of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) during the ongoing anti-government protests. On December 1st the Provincial Court of Madrid dismissed the appeal on the infringement of the right of assembly and the police have been intervening to stop people from praying the rosary.
A judgment by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) from November 28 ruled that a public administration's imposition of strict neutrality to establish a 'neutral administrative environment' by forbidding the use of visible religious symbols can be justified. The Court states that Member States have discretion in designing neutrality policies but must pursue these objectives consistently and reasonably. This concept of 'strict neutrality', which is seen as opposed to visible religious symbols, raises religious freedom concerns.
On November 27, unknown perpetrators vandalized the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in Saarbrücken. A statute of Infant Jesus has been beheaded and the statute of Mary, holding the infant, was also damaged. Furthermore, the altar room has been vandalised and a cigarette extinguished on the main altar. In order to reach the statutes of Mary and Jesus, the perpetrator must have climbed on one of the altars.
On November 26, a 29-year-old man from Syria disrupted the Sunday Mass in Vienna's St. Stephan Cathedral. According to media reports, he repeatedly disturbed the liturgy, jumped over the fence around the main alter and screamed loudly. On November 27, the same man returned to the Cathedral and threatened the security guards inside the church with a screwdriver, making signs that he wanted to cut their throats. The police arrested the perpetrator close to the church venue.
On November 23, Keplerkirche St. Johann in Vienna was vandalized. Witnesses had seen a man who had allegedly tore a statue of the Madonna from an anchorage in the church and stole a wooden cross. Based on the witness statements and video surveillance footage, the police were able to identify the perpetrator. The 29-year-old Syrian man was found near the church and arrested. He will be charged with aggravated damage to property and theft. The stolen cross was returned to the church. The same perpetrator attacked the Viennese St. Stephan cathedral a few days later (see case from November 26, 2023).
On 23 November 2023, an Algerian man armed with a knife attacked a group of children outside Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, a private Catholic primary school. As a result of the attack three young children and a care assistant who tried to protect the kids were stabbed. A five-year-old girl was critically injured and remains hospitalised in critical condition. The assistant, who received multiple stabs, is also in a serious condition.
A church in Klostergasse in Ichtershausen, Germany, was forcibly broken into and damaged. Several doors were broken open, rooms were searched and approximately 10,000 euros worth of property damage was caused. Multiple instruments were stolen as well. The crime occurred between November 17 at 3 PM and November 20 at 10:20 AM. The police are still investigating the incident.
The door to Our Lady and St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Ballymoney was set on fire on the night of November 19. Police were notified shortly after 9:45 pm that the side door of the church was on fire. Officers attended to the fire and were able to extinguish it before significant damage was caused. The police are investigating the incident as a deliberate arson attack.
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.
St. Laurentius Church in Leinach was defaced for the second time over the weekend of November 11. The side of the church was smeared with silver paint, the slogan written on the wall is illegible. The material damage is estimated to cost 500 euros. About a year ago, unknown perpetrators defaced the steps of the church with black paint. The individuals responsible for either of these crimes have not been caught.
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.
On November 8, a picture was posted on social media of an offensive writing in graffiti on the outside wall of St. Lukas Church in Munich. The writing read: "F*ck your God". Pastor Steve Kennedy Henkel said, "as a church in the city, we are used to vandalism; recently a stone was thrown through the church window after a funeral service." The pastor has replaced the first word of the graffiti, so that it now reads: "I love you! Your God." Pastor Henkel explained: "What would be more natural for us as Christians to respond to hatred with love?" It has not been reported if any police investigation has been launched following this incident.
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 historic crucifix located in the Santa Marta square in Seville was destroyed on the night of October 22nd by unknown perpetrators. It dated to the 16th century and had a carving of a crucifix on one side and a pietà on the other.
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.
The Eucharist kept in the tabernacle of the chapel of Di Maria Hospital in Avola in the province of Syracuse was stolen on October 11. The Bishop of Noto, Monsignor Salvatore Rumeo, stated, "I learn with deep sorrow and infinite bitterness that a sacrilegious theft was perpetrated today." On October 15 a Mass of Reparation was held, with the consecration of the new particles to be placed in the tabernacle.
Four teenage boys heavily vandalized the Church of Carmine in Noci on the morning of October 11. The pupils left their middle school early due to a union meeting of their teachers. They roamed the streets before entering and vandalizing the Church of Carmine. The children were in the church for 30 minutes when they broke off the doors of the tabernacle, tampered with the organ, threw hand sanitizer on the floor, threw waste inside the church, and set fire in the skylight. Luckily the fire did not spread to other parts of the church. The teenagers also damaged the security cameras, but by then the footage of their actions had already been archived. Gregorio Gabriele, custodian and manager of the Church of Carmine, notified the police as soon as he discovered the destruction. The police viewed video footage and caught the boys who committed the acts of vandalism.
On October 11 the House of Representatives of Belarus approved the new law on the activities of religious organisations in its first reading. The content of this bill has only recently been made public and although it is still awaiting its second reading before coming into force, the UN and various human rights organisations are warning of the further repression of churches considered "undesirable" that this law will allow. "Mass liquidation of various religious organizations" is expected, reports opposition media.
Vandals targeted a burial ground at Peterborough Cathedral on October 9 between 6 PM and 7 PM. A metal obelisk was kicked over, grave markers were turned upside down and labels identifying various types of flowers were ripped off. The Cathedral gardening team is attempting to repair the damage, and police have launched an investigation.
Between October 6 and October 9, an unknown perpetrator tried to pry open the entrance door to the church of St. Magdalena in Schnaitsee. The perpetrator was unable to gain entry to the church. Based on the evidence on site, it can be assumed that a lever tool was used. This damaged both the entrance door and the masonry of the church. The police reported the incident on October 10.
A swastika sign was painted on the entrance steps of a Protestant church in Spangenberg. The Homberg criminal police are now investigating the unknown perpetrators.
On the morning of October 6, Don Boris Bandiera, the priest at the Parish of San Odorico in Sacile, found graffiti on the front wall of the church bell tower. He immediately notified the police, who helped him translate the Arabic graffiti writing: "There is no God but Allah." Don Boris stated that this is not the first attack on his church that he has witnessed, but the message of this vandalism left him stunned.
In the evening of October 6, the pastor of the Evangelical Church of Mesoraca, Giovanni Aiello, was having dinner at a restaurant in Mesoraca when an unknown individual set fire to his car. While Aiello and other guests were inside, someone noticed the flames and alerted everyone. The car was completely destroyed by the flames along with the car parked next to it. Aiello immediately filed a complaint at the Mesoraca police station. Military personnel promptly started investigations to trace the perpetrator of the serious act, examining the video surveillance cameras located in the area. Last December the pastor's mountain home in the Fratta area was also destroyed. "I thought it would end there", he said, but added that after the new attack he is feeling unsafe.
On October 5, Beaconthorpe Methodist church was set on fire. Firefighters were immediately called to the scene. No one was injured in the fire. Three men have been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire and have been released on bail while the investigation continues.
A church on Pothmannstraße in Feldmark, Gelsenkirchen was damaged between September 29 and October 4. The unknown perpetrators damaged a lighting rod and sprayed the church facade with various graffiti of swear words. The building's caretaker noticed the damage on October 4 and notified the police.
Two churches were vandalized in Andalusia: the Virgen de las Flores Convent Church in Malaga and the Puerto Real Hospital Chapel in Cadiz. The attacks happened in September of 2023 and were reported on October 3, 2023. In the Puerto Real Hospital the perpetrators took a consecrated host, while in the Virgen de las Flores Convent they scattered the consecrated hosts on the floor, took the mantle of Mary and the image of Baby Jesus. The Spanish Foundation of Christian Laywers filed complaints against those responsible for the attacks in October of 2023.
The first arrests in Northern Ireland in relation to the new buffer zones regulation around abortion clinics occurred on the morning of October 3. The individuals arrested were a Catholic man and woman. They were praying outside Causeway Hospital. The woman was praying on her knees with a rosary and they were holding pro-life signs. Officers told them to leave and when they refused they were arrested. They were later released on bail pending further enquiries. The issue was highlighted when a pro-choice activist posted a photo of the pair talking to a police officer on social media. A fellow activist who knew the pair said they had been coming to pray outside the hospital weekly after regulations permitting abortion were introduced in Northern Ireland in March 2020.
The church of St. Johannes in Neustadt an der Aisch was vandalized on October 3. Presumably three young teenagers left a trail of destruction. Pastor Daniel Bittel of the parish of St. Johannes said he encountered the three vandals, but only later realized that they were probably responsible for the destruction. Bottles of wine and beer and flour from the thanksgiving altar had been scattered, nearly all the offering candles had been thrown to the ground, and praise books had been torn to pieces in the front of the church.
On 3 October special police units raided the premises of the Holy Intercession Tikhonite Church, a non-Moscow Patriarchate Russian Orthodox Church in Krasnodar Krai, southern Russia. Electronic devices and documents were seized, and the agents, armed with machine guns, arrested and threatened to criminally prosecute Archbishop Viktor Pivovarov and Hieromonk Iona Sigida with "discrediting the Russian Armed Forces" for their anti-war stance.
Emergency services were called to St. Peter's Church on Portland on the evening of October 2, 2023 due to a fire in the church. Police have said a local youth is assisting them with enquiries about how the fire began. The fire at the historic site, which is more than 150 years old, is believed to be deliberate. According to the police, security measures will be needed to prevent this kind of anti-social behaviour.
On October 1, the camera used for live broadcasts in St. Ann's Church in Dublin was stolen. The camera has not been found, but a hat with a name written on the inside was left at the scene. The vicar of the church, Father Arbuthnot, said "Of course, we completely forgive the man who took the camera - we just want it back." The church uses the camera to stream their services so that the elderly and infirm parishioners can stay connected with the parish life and not become too isolated.
In the early hours of September 29th somebody sprayed swastikas and other slogans on the outside walls and the door of the Church of Sechshelden. The Police has started an investigation.
The Spanish Christian Lawyers Foundation has filed a complaint against a pro-abortion organization whose members allegedly harassed people attending Mass and spray-painted offensive slogans on the walls of the church. According to the lawyers, the organization responsible for the harassment and vandalism was the Association of Sexual and Reproductive Rights. On September 28, during a march through the streets of Barcelona, protestors "attacked the parish of Santa María del Remei in the Las Corts neighborhood," according to a statement posted on October 17 on the lawyers' website. The complaint to the judge specifies that "the attackers reproached the parishioners who attended Mass in addition to painting graffiti with statements such as "(piece of) trash church you are a dictatorship" or "abuser priests prohibit abortion."
A Christian family is asking the Biden administration to intervene in their deportation after they lived in the USA for 15 years seeking asylum from prosecution in Germany. The Romeikes had fled Bissingen, Germany in 2008 after being threatened with prosecution for homeschooling their five children. Homeschooling in Germany is tightly regulated and only allowed under certain circumstances.