Unknown vandals entered the Santo Crocifisso Church in Meda and ransacked the inside on May 30th. They overturned chairs, sprayed disinfectant everywhere, and threw that brass altar cross onto the floor which bent it, causing damage. The local police started an investigation into the crime using video from surveillance cameras.
During a prayer on the 30th of May, a window of the Sankt Bonifatius church in Coddelau was smashed. This was not the first attack the church experience as a year earlier, the tabernacle was stolen. The vandal was not identified.
The Catholic Church of St. Joseph in Schömberg experienced an extensive vandalistic attack on May 29th. Paper towels were strewn all over the floor and one was used to snuff out the eternal light. The altar cloth was left soiled and crumpled, and evidence suggested that the altar was walked on. The unknown intruder had also urinated in the baptismal font. Those who take care of the church were shocked by the incident.
In a series of break-ins at the former South and Levern Church, more than £50,000 of damage was caused by unknown vandals. In the latest act of vandalism on the 27th of May, the organ was destroyed and radiators were torn off the walls. Although the church has been closed, it is still a sight that carries religious sentiment for many people.
Ane Breivik, a Young Left leader in Norway, wants to dispose of all Christian holidays and mid-week red days, as they are a "relic from another time." She said that most people don't celebrate them anyway and would prefer to take the time off when they want to. She said this near Ascension holiday, which she used as an example of a holiday that could be removed since this year it landed on a Thursday which is inconvenient for many.
On May 26th, a statue of Madonna was stolen from the Blessed Virgin Mary chapel in Maccarese. The statue is not of great material value, but its spiritual value to the religious community is immense. The Diocese condemned the gesture "In reparation for the offense to the Mother of God and in prayer for the conversion of the hearts of the perpetrators of the crime."
David Moreno, a spokesman for VOX Talavera, requested that the driver of the electric scooter, which entered the Basilica of Our Lady of the Prado in Talavera, be identified and charged. He explained that the "offensive acts like this cannot be allowed," and that the driver should be charged with crimes against religious freedom and disrespect of religious sentiment. He said: "no prank justifies disrespect for a Catholic temple, attacking religious sentiments."
On May 26th, on Ascension Day, a pool of disinfectant was set on fire in the Nonnenweier church, and hymn books were thrown around with their pages torn out. The property damage was around 1000 euros but there were no good clues as to who the perpetrators could be. Pastor Christine Egenlauf, expressed her shock and lamented the incident, also mentioning that someone could have been hurt. The police had started investigating.
On May 25th, the information board of the Church of St. Antonius in Hörstel was set on fire by unknown perpetrators. The sheets of paper hanging there were burned, which damaged the board, and disinfectant was poured into the holy water fonts. The police began an investigation and was asking for witnesses.
Between the 21st and 25th of May, unknown intruders broke into the sacristy of the St. Jakobus Church in Sögel. They stole the organ key and hygrometer, but were unsuccessful in an attempt to break open the sacrificial box. The property damage was around 100 euros, and they also soiled a statue. An investigation was started by the police who needed more information.
A judicial inquiry was opened into an incident on the 25th of May in which four Statues in the Saint-Henri church in Marseille were damaged, two of the statues were decapitated. Father Gabriel Priou, said, “There was no Eucharistic profanation, but the statues have been defaced." He continued, “A fact like this impacts the Christian community because the church is its home.”
Vandals graffitied the wall of the Church of the Madonna dei Cenciarelli, in Perugia, on May 24th. The inscription read: "Enough with NATO: free and sovereign Italy." The vandals damaged an 18th-century old church to write a political message showing a lack of respect for the religious sight. Apart from that, the stairs of the church were stained with beer and rests of food.
The Castilla-La Mancha Football Federation refused to change the date of a match, forcing the young players from Membrilla's football team to choose between celebrating their first communion or playing the league final. The Federation further threatened them with sanctions, since the parents choose the church instead of submitting to the sports institution.
A few days before the 23rd of May, the façade of the Santa Catalina church in Tacoronte was splashed with red paint by an unknown person. The primary target of the graffiti was a plaque that has been in place since 1938 and bears the name of the founder José Antonio Primo de Rivera on it. Although he was a political figure which could be the motive for the attack, a church has also suffered the consequences and it will take around 3,000 euros to restore.
Unknown people attempted to break into the church in Melsung on May 23rd and caused significant damage. The tried to open the doors and windows to gain access to the inside of the church but were unsuccessful. The property damage was around 3,000 euros.
The stained glass windows of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Ringmer were broken by youth with catapults and ball bearings on May 23rd. The police identified the culprits and confiscated their catapults. A police spokesperson said: “The youths will subsequently be coming into Lewes Police Station to account for their actions.”
The façade of the Church of S.Onofrio, connected to the Convent of the Zoccolanti of Raiano, was kicked and stoned by unknown people on May 23rd. The church dates back to the 17th century and is in Abruzzo. A complaint was filed and the carabinieri started an investigation but people were left dismayed and angry.
The façade of the Church of the Madonna del Carmine in Andria was tagged with red paint on May 23rd. This was not the first of such incidents and the State police immediately began an investigation to find out who painted the graffiti.
Shortly after the statue of the Pope was vandalized in Legionowo, the Chapel of Our Lady at the roundabout near Krasińskiego Street was devastated. The unknown perpetrator broke the glass in front of a figure and bent the cross. The police were investigating the incident to find the criminal who would be charged with offending religious feelings and damage to property.
After the windows of the St. David's Church in Newtown were broken the month before, someone returned to break them again on the 22nd of May. The church has not been used for many years but is a historic building and a religious symbol. Paul Williams, a local, said: "This is really sickening yet again. Whoever you are, stop it."
Between 2019 and 2022, 53 cases of church vandalism were recorded in Brussels, while only 1 mosque was vandalized in the same region and time frame. Dominiek Lootens, leader of the Vlaams Belang group in the Brussels Parliament, wrote to Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort and asked him to communicate the extent of the damage, reported "Our Central Europe". The report also pointed out that the media and politics failed to mention these numbers as they refuse to recognize this type of biased discrimination against Christians.
St Catherine’s Dominican Chapel, a Catholic chapel in Newry, was targeted by arsonists who set religious books and pamphlets on fire. Nobody was hurt, in the incident which happened on the 22nd of May, but the head priest had to put the fire out. A witness said they saw youths running from the scene and it was guessed that they were the arsonists.
During the afternoon on the 21st of May, a fire was noticed in a church in Spalt, that caused 5,000 euros worth of damage. An altar cloth, that was lying on the side altar, caught fire along with a wooden frame that spread the fire to the entrance door. After a police investigation, the fire was thought to be arson and eventually a suspect was arrested. Proceedings were started against the potential teenage arsonist for property damage and disruption of religious practice. The police later confirmed that the fire had been caused by arson.
On the afternoon of May the 21st, a small marble statue of Madonna was stolen from the parish church in Lodi. No sign of a break in was found, so it was concluded that the thief must have waited till soon after mass, and then broken the statue off from near the side of the altar. The carabinieri were notified and carried out an inspection.
On the 21st of May, the Karlskirche in Vienna was graffitied for the fourth time in 2022. It is not known who did it. According to the Witness who reported these incidents, this is the worst year so far with vandalism and there are damages to the church almost every day.
On May 21st, the statue of the Pope in a park in Legionowo was vandalized. Flags of the church, papal, and Ukraine, were stolen from the statue's hands, and the Polish flag, was torn and pressed into the crucifix. This was not the first time the statue has been attacked and the police began an investigation to find out who committed the act.
Mobile phones that had been collected in the Ralingen church donation box, were stolen on May 21st. Beer was also spilt near the altar which did not cause damage to the altar but tainted the sacred space. Earlier, the pastor noticed several young people who were drinking in the area of the church. The police started an investigation and requested that places of worship be respected.
Inscriptions painted in black were discovered on the façade of the Santa Maria di Valverde church in Palermo. The incident was reported on May 20th and residents thought it happened during the night but were not sure who did it. The writing was made with spray paint and detracts from the beauty of the church.
The Kilmarnock South Parish Church in Ayrshire, was repeatedly targeted by vandals during May. Over several weeks, doors were smashed and glass was broken by a group of youth who were seen on CCTV. A spokesperson for The Well, an outreach group that organizes events at the church, said: "We are slowly trying to get the place up and running to serve the community but this is just soul destroying."
A bas-relief of the Madonna with Child was stolen from the altar of the parish church in Capergnanica. The priest, don Andrea Rusconi, thought the sacrilegious theft happened on the 20th of May despite it being reported the next day. The church is typically left open even when there is no mass for the faithful to come and pray.
During the night on the 20th of May, the Peter and Paul Church in Schneverdingen was broken into by anonymous intruders. They smashed the window to enter the church and then forced open the door from the inside. They didn't steal anything of great value but did take two electronic devices from the parish.
Between the 15th and 20th of May, a church in Kropp was broken into by unknown intruders who stole various sacred objects as well as an electronic piano. The items taken were a baptismal font, a silver-coloured baptismal font, and two antique candlesticks. The police began a criminal investigation and asked for information from witnesses.
On May 20th, there was a motion in the European Parliament to debate the topic of Christian Persecution, and in particular, the case of Deborah Samuel Yabuku, who was murdered in Nigeria after her peers falsely accused her of blasphemy. She had thanked Jesus in a class WhatsApp group for helping her in an exam and was accused of insulting the prophet Mohammad. The motion to discuss this was rejected with 231 votes for, and 244 against, to which some MEPs shouted “shame on you” across the plenary floor.
A thief, who was later caught, stole a chalice and a chest of hosts from a church in the Saggen district of Innsbruck. The incident happened on May 18th and the thief was arrested by the police. The stolen goods would be given back to the church after the hearing.
A €3,000 reward was offered on May 19th for whoever could provide information that would lead to the retrieval of a gilded altar cross, dating from 1925, that was stolen in January 2022. The cross is around 60 centimetres high and was stolen from the Catholic church of Sankt Bonifatius in Frankfurt. It was there when the church was consecrated so it is of high emotional value to the church.
St. Mary's Church in Plau was graffitied with black paint on May 19th by unknown people. Chairman of the association, Harald Kleinert, was shocked to find a black symbol painted on the south entrance door. A complaint was lodged but the parish fears more attacks.
The 100-year-old windows of the St. Johannis Church were damaged on May 21st in Bad Rodach. The church has been vandalized in the past but this time was especially severe. Also, the gold-plated light cover and light, of the ambo or "reading chair," was smashed. In addition, the stained glass windows with devotional pictures were broken.
Acts of vandalism and disrespect repeatedly took place in the St. Brictius Church in Schöppingen. It was reported on May 18th that vandals had lit prayer notes and placed them under benches, put lighted candles under holy water fonts, and used sacrificial candles to "play football" in the church square. These were only some of the things that were happening and Sexton Andreas Kortüm pleaded with the parishioners to help stop it.
On May 18th, mass was held in the basilica of Wadowice to commemorate the 102nd birthday of Pope John Paul II. During the mass, the anti-clerical initiative "Enough of Silence", organized a protest in which they turned on loudspeaker to disrupt the celebrations. Some in the square tried to stop the protestors and were shocked by their presence saying: "How can you be there? On such a day?"
The tabernacle was stolen from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Amiens on May 18th. The perpetrators entered the church when it was empty and did not only steal the tabernacle but also scattered the consecrated hosts on the floor. The priest only saw the desecration after he was alerted.
On May 18th, the statue of Madonna that is usually in front of the Santi Filippo e Giacomo church in Palidoro was stolen. The parish priest Don Roberto Leoni reported the incident but it remained unknown who committed the theft. The priest said: "Such a silly, bad gesture, offensive towards the Mother of the Lord and towards all her children, who are not few."
Perpetrators forced their way through the front door of the Collégiale Saint-Martin Church in Clamecy on May 18th and then entered the sacristy. When they left, they took with them chalices, a monstrance, and a censor. It was not known who the burglars were.
During the night of May 17th, unknown perpetrators broke into the St. Michaelis Church in Luneburg and stole two silver wine jugs, a host's tin box and two patrons. While in the church, they broke several doors and the property damage and stolen items amounted to a cost of several thousand euros. They left the church unnoticed and the police were asking the public for information.
A video went viral, where a group of agents from the Guardia Civil is seen carrying another officer who pretends to be the Christ of Good Death in Malaga, while they sing El Novio de la Muerte, the traditional anthem of the Spanish Legion. The agents carried the other officer like they were legionnaires on Holy Thursday, in the streets around the Sanctuary of Lourdes, while laughing, joking, and drinking, which has caused some outrage due to the disrespect to religious feelings.
The government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, formed by the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and Unidas Podemos, presented a draft bill to allow 16 and 17-year-old girls to get an abortion without parental consent, also removing the mandatory 3-day period of reflection. The Council of Ministers approved it on the 17th of May. The Equality Minister, Irene Montero, stated that "the state guarantees them that the decision about their bodies, their life projects, and their maternity will be theirs". She further added that with this reform "rights will now be guaranteed and extended, and existing obstacles to exercising the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy will be removed". This Bill would be in conflict with parental rights.
On May 16th, thieves broke into the S. Maria Goretti church in Grosseto, and stole the offerings. To get in, they broke down the door and then they broke the glass to enter the sacristy. The investigations were ongoing as the damage was significant.
The wooden statue of Madonna and Child in Dortmund's Propstei Church, once again had wax poured over it from the sacrificial candles on May 16th. The statue is from the 15th century so will now have to be restored in a special workshop. The church was considering using lights without wax to prevent this crime from happening again but they still wanted to keep the church open for all.
On the 16th of May, the Karlskirche in Vienna was targeted with graffiti.
During the night of 15 to 16 May, unknown perpetrators destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary, located in the garden of the house of the Heralds of the Gospel in Sevilla la Nueva, also causing other considerable damages to the property. They insulted and threatened the Heralds, cut off the electricity, and damaged other infrastructures on the property.
The police in Spain had to stop a protest that was taking place at the door of the church "Virgen de la Luz" in Cuenca, in which several half-naked women were wearing religious symbols. This was reported on the 16th of May by the online news "El Debate". Later on, "Abogados Cristianos" opened proceedings against the group for hurting religious feelings, after the same incident took place in other churches.