On the "International Day for Tolerance", the OSCE released a Hate Crimes Report, which documented 980 descriptive incidents against Christians out of 4008 incidents. Descriptive incidents are the ones documented by civil society organizations, such as the Observatory. There is a larger number of cases when police numbers are counted. The Observatory has drawn attention to the rising trend (70%) of Anti-Christian Hate Crimes since last year, considering that only 8 out of the 136 civil society or international organisations consistently reported crimes with Anti-Christian bias.
The Viennese police caught a 40-year-old man in a Church in Vienna-Mariahilf on the morning of the 11th after a burglary. He was temporarily handcuffed and the stolen offertory money was seized, as the Vienna Police Directorate reported in a press release on Friday. According to spokeswoman Barbara Gass, about 55 euros were found on the man. The perpetrator has been imprisoned.
A 38-year-old man was arrested while setting fire to the small chapel of St. Anna in Jasienica in the city of Myślenice on the 8. November. The police were alerted and managed to arrive on the scene in time to arrest the man and initiate operations to reduce the fire. The arriving patrol officers noticed that the window glass of the building was broken and the assailant was still inside. "He lit a fire there, expecting the fire to consume this small building." They pulled the man out of the window and handcuffed him. According to the police spokesman, Sebastian Gleń, the perpetrator explained he committed this act due to his beliefs and that his aim was to destroy the chapel completely. He is now awaiting sentencing, which could be up to ten years in prison.
Politician Beatriz Bandera posted on Twitter on the 2. November a short video of the Sevillian Holy Week devotees during their yearly procession with the caption "Our Taliban". With this post, she compares faithful Catholics during a peaceful procession with the terrorist group of radical Islamist fundamentalists. Despite the criticism and offence that her commentary has generated, Mrs Bandera has not apologised, "I criticise what I finance with my taxes. Can I? Or not?", she reiterated.
The Welsh government has admitted that the ban on conversion therapy "could lead to the prosecution of religious leaders". The ban on conversion therapy was announced by the Queen in May this year and was welcomed by the Bench of Bishops in the Church in Wales. The document presented by the government leaves aside questions such as the possibility to attack religious freedom and claims that conversion therapies cause harm, although it gives "no evidence to justify the claim". Since then, Christian groups have raised concern that the ban could apply for private prayer and conversations, undermining religious freedom. The consultation by the Government will be open until 10. December 2021.
According to a report by ABC, the theft of consecrated Hosts in Spain has been a yearly phenomenon that occurs with special emphasis in the days leading up to halloween. The fathers recall finding the churches damaged after the hosts were stolen. This has happened in different churches for the last 10 years. Famed Spanish exorcist Fr. José Antonio Fortea reported that desecrations are taking place in many dioceses, but "the media do not usually report it". Many priests also fail to report such thefts, fearing that going public would have a "domino effect". Although these desecrating incidents happen annually, the police has not put up any preventive safety measures.
On the 31. October at night, the St. Nicholas Church in Immenstadt was damaged by graffiti. The unknown perpetrator(s) sprayed the words "Die Heiligen Geschwister Scholl" (The holy Scholl siblings) in black paint on the wall, causing damage of about 500 euros. The police are running an investigation. On the 31. October, there was increased vandalism in the whole region.
On the evening of 30. October, a fire broke out in the premises next to the church of Sant'Aniceto in Villar Perosa. Thanks to the Fire Brigade and volunteers, the fire was brought under control and no one was hurt. The parish priest, Don Orlando Aguilar Tobon, suspects that the fire was voluntary because the cleaning ladies noticed the smell of cigarettes and found a disordered room, later he was informed that a fire had broken out from a locked cabinet. A bottle of wine and two glasses were also found in the room.
On 28. October at around 7.15 pm., witnesses found that there had been several damages to property in the church in Hellenthal. The organ and other objects were smeared with wax, and a burnt hole was found in the pew, among other things. The damage amounts to a few hundred euros. The damage to the property must have taken place between 10 am and 7 pm. The police opened an investigation.
At around 12.30 p.m. on 28. October, the police received a report of damage to property in the evangelical Frauenberg church in Sangerhäuser Straße, Nordhausen. A 25-year-old Afghan man had gone into the church, emptied it for "religious reasons" and broken a Crucifix. The police have filed a complaint of damage to property. The amount of damage is not yet known, but the damaged Crucifix had a high historical value to the community, which will be immediately restored.
On the 28. October at night, vandals sprayed messages in black paint on the walls of a church in Stötteritz. Some of the tags were also against the police and the damage to property is estimated at around 1,000 euros. The police filed a report are investigating the incident.
In Neuburg, the Holy Spirit Church on Spitalplatz was smeared with graffiti on the 25. October, as was reported by the police. Between the 25th and 26th, an unknown perpetrator sprayed grey graffiti on a wall in the area of the parish garden. This caused damage amounting to 1000 euros, the police are running an investigation.
According to the police of Holzkirchen, between the 22. and 24. October, the Protestant Blessing Church in the Haidstraße was targeted for vandalism. Unknown perpetrators entered the church without any problem, as the place of worship is open every day. They destroyed the disinfectant provided and spread it on the floor of the entrance, it seems that they intended to light a fire because burn matches were found in the church, they also threw the pillows of the chairs around the church. Outside, police found a fireplace consisting of a vehicle tire and small wooden branches, although no fire was lit there.
On 22 October, the town council of Son Servera (Mallorca), which is governed by Natalia Troya, demolished the Cross of the Fallen in the Plaza de la Tercera Edad. There there was no inscription of any kind and the Cross and it had been peacefully part of the town's monuments for decades. There is serious suspicion of illegality hanging over the decision, given that in June an application was registered with the Consell de Mallorca for the Cross to be cataloged as a listed monument, and this file is pending a report which was mandatory to take any action on the monument. The town council used the "Law of Historical Memory", which was passed by the PSOE in the times of President Zapatero.
In Bochum-Langendreer, criminals have been targeting churches for looting, the last time being on the night of 23. to 24. October. The Catholic community of St. Mary's in the former Langendreer station has been the target of three burglaries this year. In February, the parish office behind the church in Marien was devastated. This time the burglars had their sight set on the church. On the night of Wednesday to Thursday (20./21. October), they broke in through the side door and stole a projector, according to the congregation. And on the night of Saturday to Sunday (23./24. October) the main entrance was broken into and the offerings were stolen.
At the end of September, a statue of the Virgin Mary of the parish church, placed in a public road in the village of Gironde, was vandalized and destroyed. A garden gnome was placed in its place. A complaint was lodged by the church's maintenance lady. A man had found pieces of the bust in a vineyard, and two days later, the head of the Virgin was placed in front of a school gate. Although the events took place at the end of September, the story first got coverage a month later. The Mayor of Le Pian-sur-Garonne was also very upset by the action, the police are investigating.
On 19. October, A 23-year-old man vandalized the church Nepomuk-Kirche in Vienna by damaging the furniture in the church and throwing things to the ground. The young man from Bangladesh was arrested shortly after witnesses saw him and raised the alarm by calling the police at around 8:30 pm. The man told the police that the church would belong to him.
A 31-year-old man was arrested after he filmed himself while sawing a cross in Zastalowski in Zielona Góra. The perpetrator posted the video of this vandalic act on the Internet. The police started the investigations to find the man, who was later successfully found and arrested. The local authorities have expressed their concern and surprise regarding this violent act. "This is the first time I have encountered such desecration in our city and I hope it will be the last time. We do not know the motives for the attack on the cross, but the incident itself is very heinous," said the Coalition Civica councilor. The secretary of the regional People's Party, Arkadiusz Dąbrowski also commented, "this is an unprecedented act of vandalism. We must respect religious symbols in our country.
On October 17, the Carfin Grotto, Scotland's National Shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes, appeared partially burnt and destroyed as unknown perpetrators deliberately made a pile and set it on fire. As Police reported, "Enquiries are ongoing and at an early stage". Meanwhile, the community has launched a micro-funding campaign to help pay the damages due to the lack of economical means. However they are even more concerned about the rise of attacks against religious places, "we hope it is addressed at a national level", said the spokesman, John Mallon.
On the 16. October, around 2.500 people gathered for the "March for Life" in Vienna, a peaceful protest for the rights of the unborn and women. The participants faced opposition and insults from activists who planned to disrupt the march and create blockades, forcing them to change the route. The call against the pro-life march was made with polarizing language by different organizations, including the ÖH (Österreichische Hochschüler_innenschaft), which is the statutory representation of students' interests, Antifa, and other political groups. They organized a "March for Ass" and displayed anti-Christian slogans such as "abort fundamentalists" or "If Mary had aborted, we would have spared you". Jan Ledochowski, spokesperson for Christian Democracy filed a formal complaint.
Christian MP David Amess was attending his regular duties in his local circumscription in a Methodist Church in Essex on 15. October, when a 25 years-old British citizen of Somali origin stabbed him to death. Soon after, the killer Ali Harbi Ali was arrested. An Anti-terrorism unit is investigating the case, given that the perpetrator has been identified as a radicalized Islamist. This murder is a direct attack on the Christian beliefs that David Amess represented. Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the Methodist Church where the incident happened, accompanied by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, and leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer. People have been gathering for candlelit vigils in Leigh-on-Sea and have held church services in his memory.
The community of the Passionist Fathers of San Giovanni was having dinner when thieves broke into the convent and stole approximately 7,000 Euros, as it was reported on the 10th of October. The thieves must have known the monks' habits because the robbery was carried out without inconvenience. The money was the sum of donations, from tourists who regularly visit the monastery and from couples who get married at the abbey. As the theft became known it came as a surprise because some monks had chosen to remain silent. Police and military forces are still investigating.
During the yearly Freshers' Fair at the Oxford University, the stand of the Pro-life group "Oxford Students For Life" (OSFL) was removed by other students and activists, who threw their material into a trash bin and completely removed it from the event. The students also refused to let them reinstall their stand and threatened them with tearing it down again. The group had already been criticized on the internet, as they posted some photos of their stand. The "Oxford Feminist Society" made a statement that the presence of a pro-life organization was a "threat to the safety, health, and autonomy of women", which was backed by the Students Union. The University of Oxford condemned the censorship and harassment of the pro-life group by stating that the university had a long history of protecting free speech.
Three headstones at the graveyard of St.Mary Church have been desecrated after they were vandalised with red graffitis on . The parish prieste, Cllr Michael Sheehan, has expressed his concern and has asked to "anyone who knows any information on this to make it known to the guards and that the full rigors of the law be applied.” He further stated: "I think it’s despicable that anyone would feel so low that they would have to attack a person’s grave. St Mary’s is the site of some really old graves, dating back from centuries gone by."
Mrs. Onuoha worked at Croydon University Hospital in London for many years as a nurse and has been wearing a golden cross necklace for 40 years without any problems. During the last two years, she started being pressured to remove her cross. Her necklace was considered "too visible" and posed a ‘risk of injury or infection’, despite the jewelry pieces of other medical staff not being criticized. After her repeated refusal, Mrs. Onuoha faced an investigation, was suspended, and relegated to work as a receptionist, and was told not to mention the reason for her relegation. With help of the Christian Legal Center (CLC), she is confronting the Hospital for harassment and discrimination.
In the night of 4 October, the church of Saint-Rémy in the centre of Ottignies fell victim to arson. A carpet, a chair and a panel were set on fire. The incident was quickly brought under control by alerted firefighters. Shortly after the incident, Ottigines police checked a laundromat located in the neighbourhood. There, an intoxicated suspect was identified and arrested. At the time of his arrest, the man born in 1987 and of no known address was in possession of a box of matches. The man, who already had a criminal record, will be brought before the criminal court as part of an accelerated procedure.
Over the course of a month the church in Badia has been vandalised in various ways: glasses were broken with stone, stones were pulled out of the walls and dog excrements smeared on the facade of the church. The last damage was perpetrated by smashing the windows with stones. Stones falling inside the church also caused damage to the wooden pews. Police are investigating.
A large cross that stands in front of the small cemetery at the church in Tempelberg was desecrated. Unknown perpetrators smeared and vandalised the cross. The incident occurred on Germany's Unity Day, which is annually celebrated on 2 October. Police are investigating.
The front door of a church in Salza Irpina was vandalised with graffiti on 2 October. The mayor of the city, Luigi Cella, has expressed his indignation on social media and hopes to find the perpetrator/s. "A deplorable gesture of vandalism was made against our church Maria Santissima delle Grazie".
The Cooper Report has been recently published by the Ban Conversion Therapy Legal Forum that was founded at the end of June. The Ban Conversion Therapy Legal Forum is a multidisciplinary group of parliamentarians, academics, barristers, legal professionals and survivors, whose aim is to ban any form of what is by them considered as conversion therapy. The Forum also considers any from of prayer as a harmful practice used for conversion therapy. They further state that an individual cannot consent to any form of conversion therapy. This implies that Christians or people in general, who seek help or guidance when they struggle with their gender identity, would not be allowed to get pastoral help that is not confirming their new gender identity, which the persons are maybe not even sure about yet. The Report further states that the human right of religious freedom is to be seen as inferior in this case.
The pro-life student "Life Society" association from the University of Exeter was the target of a hate campaign aimed to dissolve the group and its activity at the university. A petition among students and an open letter addressed to the university's Students Guild was sent to stop the pro-life group. Additionally, the group got harassed on social media. An online hate campaign was coordinated, to send them negative comments and even death threats, which were reported to the police. Fortunately, the University of Exeter defended the Pro-Life Association and supported their right to freedom of speech.
A Priest in the Saint-Luc church in the 19. district of Paris was approached by an agitated armed man on 29. August, asking for the time of mass and saying he wants to attend. After answering him, the priest noticed the man was carrying a revolver gun and alerted the police, who later took the suspect into custody near the church. The 28-year-old suspect was found with a loaded gun and had already been known for other offences. The police are investigating.
Former MP Päivi Räsänen, physician and mother of five is awaiting her hearing for the 22nd of January, 2022. She is being investigated after the Finnish Prosecutor General filed criminal charges against her. One of the reasons is that she published a tweet quoting the Bible. Räsänen could faced a two-year prison sentence or a fine for the tweet.
The Spanish Ministry of Equality is planning to create a registry of medical doctors, nurses, and staff who object abortion on the grounds of conscientious objection. The intended registry is part of a reform of the abortion law in Spain, passed in 2010. The argument for the proposal is to be able to guarantee the “right to terminate pregnancies” in public hospitals, as in many hospitals abortions are not performed, given the conscientious objections of the staff. Many bishops and experts are strongly criticizing this registry, as such a list can cause discrimination and harm freedom of expression, as well as freedom of conscience.
A "substantial" part of St. Laurence's Church roof has been stolen by a group of thieves. Sergeant Simpson, from the Cheshire Police Rural Crime Team, has written on Facebook: "When someone steals from a listed or protected site, building or monument, its a crime against all of us. They are stealing our shared history", and he added, "the impact on the community can be devastating too, so please keep an eye on our history and report anything suspicious."
Unknown perpetrators smashed the window of the local church in Horn-Bad Meinberg on 27 September. According to the police, the window is located directly above the church door. The damage amounts to around 2.000 Euros.
Fr Palmer had been declined as a University chaplain was due to posts on his Twitter account expressing personal opinions and views regarding abortion and assisted suicide. After the "Free Speech Union" threatened the University for ignoring the 2010 Equality act, Nottingham University recognized Fr Palmer to become the Catholic priest of the University
The Christian Cornerstone (North East) Adoption and Fostering Agency has lost the case at the Court of Appeal. They were hoping to reverse a ruling that found the agency "discriminatory" for working only with heterosexual couples. Three Court of Appeal judges have found the Foster agency's policy discriminatory, as they find that the basis of the agency's religious beliefs is not enough to justify their policy of only recruiting heterosexual carers.
For the fourth time in a row this year, the flags decorating the evangelical church in Nagold have been torn or cut. Among the upset parishioners, an active woman in the community stated that the flags are not cheap and they are paid with everyone's donations.
Around 15 hooded men have stormed the office of the Diocese of Linz with leaflets, banners, and a megaphone. The pursuit was to protest against a memorial that will be placed in Linz's city cemetery for the refugees who died in the Mediterranean Sea. The group apparently belongs to the right-wing extremist "Identitäre" (Identitarians).
The Wilberforce Academy (Christian seminar) has been holding its courses in different Oxford colleges for many years. But this year, the Worcester College, where the seminar was taking place, apologized for having hosted this event "that caused significant distress" as it was published in the student newspaper "The Tab".
Open Doors, an international Christian organisation, which supports persecuted Christians worldwide, has published a report on the current situation of 5.207 Christian converts in Germany. The vast majority of them are denied asylum and many of them are threatened with deportation to conservative Muslim countries where conversion to another religion is considered a crime worthy of death.
Unknown perpetrators have vandalized the church of the Holy Trinity and caused several damages: burning a sign, removing the Pascual Candle and damaging it, chairs and cushioins have burn holes, etc. Despite this event, the parish priest still wants to leave the church open for the people so that they can "recharge their batteries and strengthen their faith during this time". He also urged the people to protect the church "by visiting it and thus protect it from further damage". According to the police it seems that the perpetrators were not looking for money, "it was vandalism".
Images from CCTV showed that a car was driving away from the church of San Liborio where religious objects and 5.000 Euros in cash, which was contained in a metal cupboard, were stolen. The two perpetrators, 37 and 46 years-old and with previous convictions, were identified after a quick investigation by the local police station
In the run-up to the March for Life, three different pro-life Evangelical centres have been vandalized in two different cities, Zurich and Emmenbrücke (Lucerne). The attacks were claimed on an anarcho-autonomous pro-LGBTQ information platform. According to the three organisations, “all the incidents in the run-up to the March for Life”, as well as “the fact that the event could only be held under police protection again this year” show that “freedom of expression is not uncontested in Switzerland”. The event started one hour later due to the barricades that left-extremist set-up. "We condemn this way of acting and reacting but we are trying to continue the dialogue in the public debate, without being intimidated," reacted Daniela Baumann, spokesperson for SEA, accompanied by Evangeliques.info. The event, which took place on 18 September, was attended by around 1,400 people according to organisers. It was a success after the events cancellation on 2020 due Corona.
"Ceci n'est pas un blasphème" is the title of the festival which claims to celebrate freedom of expression and attack "religious censorship". The festival took place between the 17th and 30th of September, the day on which "Blasphemy Day" is celebrated. The non-profit festival included exhibitions, talks, comedians, to promote anti-clerical art and raise funds to be donated to organizations that provide protection and legal assistance to people persecuted for having said or created blasphemous content. Interestingly, many artists have targeted Christian symbols to create blasphemous images, whereas the countries and cases with severe Blasphemy laws and punishments are Muslim.
An unknown perpetrator seems to have tried twice to set the church in Waldmünchen on fire. The first time by placing a candle on the floor of the closed-off side altar with an advertising leaflet from church on it, shortly after the leaflet caught fire. On the next Saturday he tried it again by throwing a burning paper into the area of the fenced side altar. Fortunately the rest of the church was not damaged and the fire was contained. The police are investigating.
Mohamed Issa Koroma has been stabbed to death, while he was handling out church leaflets. The attacker will be charge with murder and possession of a bladed weapon in public and will appear at Sheffield Crown Court on 22 September. When the police arrived, Mr. Koroma was seriously injured and still alive but shortly died after the attack. “Our investigation into this incident continues at pace and our officers remain at the scene as they conduct their enquiries" said the Detective Chief Inspector Paul Murphy, 31, of South Yorkshire Police. The motive is still unclear.
On the 17th of September, anonymous perpetrators vandalized the church of Louvie-Juzon in France by damaging the furniture and emptying the fire extinguisher over the furniture and floor of the Church. The major, who said being very disappointed, has lodged a formal complaint.
The parish of Mortizzuolo in Mirandola was vandalized by a group of young people that was gathering next to the church. The group ended up breaking a window of the church. Police are investigating and tracking videocameras.