Mikhail Simonov, a 63-year-old Russian Orthodox Christian, has become the first person to be imprisoned for expressing opposition to Russia's war in Ukraine on religious grounds. Simonov has been accused of disseminating false information about the Russian armed forces "based on political hatred" due to two social media posts in which he criticized Russian attacks on Kiev and Mariupol. One of the posts read "We, Russia, have become godless. Forgive us, Lord!"
In the Norwegian city of Klepp, nine council members are conducting investigations into a suspected case of religious discrimination over the funding of Christian organisations. It is suspected that organisations that adhere to the traditional view of marriage appear to be left out of the community grants.
On the 04. April, intruders broke into the church Santa Caterina da Siena in Coverciano (a suburb of Florence). Sacred objects, including four chalices, and two pyxins (host holders) were stolen. Also, loudspeakers and microphones have been stolen. A parish priest's helper raised the alarm when he noticed that the window of the entrance door had been smashed on Monday morning. Also, a copper gutter was partly torn off the wall. The value of the damage is yet to be estimated. The police are investigating.
On the 02. April, a Statue of Pope John-Paul II was vandalized: the hands were painted red, the face yellow. The sentence "Maxima Culpa" has been written on the pedestal, which is most probably an allusion to Ekke Overbeek's book accusing the late Pope of having closed the eyes on children-abuse cases.
On the 1. April, two German men were arrested after a random police control for having stolen 14 skulls in a Church Ossuary in Mölbling, Austria. The men said they had taken the skulls because they were interested in mourning and funeral cultures. The 43-year-old driver and his 35-year-old passenger from the Regensburg area said they had never stolen skulls before. The police seized the objects and stated that the two death cult fans would be charged with disturbing the peace of the dead after the investigation was completed.
On the 31. March 2023, pupils and teachers from the Catholic School "Saint-Pierre", in the southern city of Montrond-les-Bains, received a threatening message in the school's intern e-mail box. An unknown person, probably an outsider, threatened pupils of with death with the words "I'm going to cut your throat". An investigation has been opened by the police.
The Swiss TV sender SRF has prohibited the moderator Wasiliki Goutziomitros to wear a cross necklace during the program. Ms. Goutziomitros is a presenter on the news program "10 vor 10", and was seen wearing a small cross pendant. Now, the SRF has decided that it violates journalistic guidelines. This has caused a great discussion in Switzerland regarding religious freedom. These news were reported around the 24. March.
On the 21. March, the City Council of Aléria (Corsica), stated that a painting representing Jesus Christ and exposed in the Village Church had been stolen. The town hall of Aleria posted on its Facebook page about the theft. The municipality of Plaine orientale wrote: "It is a shock in the parish of Aleria, (...) a sacred object has been stolen." A complaint has been filled.
On the 21. March, intruders broke in the church of Sadaba for the second time in the week. The mayor pointed out that the stolen money only had a total amount of under 10 euros. However, the perpetrators made several degradations, including destroying the sacristy's door and throwing several items to the floor, including the clothes from the priests. The mayor expressed his support to the local priest.
"If you abort now, what are we going to f**k in 5 or 6 years?" This is what was depicted in the posters that appeared in March in several bus shelters in San Sebastián, Spain. Apart from the hateful sentence that attacks religious feelings and discriminates Catholics, the posters included the image of an unborn child and the logo of the Spanish Episcopal Conference. The Organisation "Abogados Cristianos" filed a complaint regarding the events and now the courts have asked the Ertaintza (Basque Police) to investigate the authorship of the posters.
On the 19. March, unknown vandals wrote the anarchist motto "Ni Dieu ni maître" (No God nor master) on the pedestal of Cardinal Saliège's statue in Toulouse. The Cardinal served as archbishop of the city during World War 2 and used all his power to rescue Jews from persecution and later received the title of Righteous Among the Nations. The current archbishop, Guy de Kerimel strongly condemned this degradation which "hurts both Christians and Jews". The degradation occurred precisely eleven years after Mohammed Merah's mass shooting at a Jewish school.
On the 19. March at night, burglars stole valuable silver items in a church from a rural parish in East Devon in Sidmouth. The police are looking for witnesses. On Twitter, pictures show that the objects were chalices, host holders and other tools for the celebration of Mass.
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 17. March, a man loudly disturbed the Mass at the Saint-Hippolyte Church in Paris. He is also suspected to have stolen a Crucifix from a Parisian Church the day before. The crucifix, which was probably taken down during the theft, was found "broken into several pieces" on a nearby street corner, according to the police. The man is already flagged with a "fiche S", which means, the French State regards him as a danger to public safety. He has also been classified as a potential Islamist. He has also been sent to a psychiatric investigation.
On the 14. March, perpetrators vandalized the Sacred Heart church in Sieradz during the night, targeting stained glass portraits and posters of Pope John-Paul II. The stained glass and a glass door were broken too. The authorities were able to identify and arrest two perpetrators, which were two men in their 20s.
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.
The Church of the Sacred Heart in Bordeaux has recently been vandalized and defaced with offensive graffiti, causing shock among the local community. According to reports from French news outlets, the perpetrators attempted to set fire to the church's door and left hateful messages on the walls, including phrases such as "Thank you Satan" and "devil take me with you," expressing their opposition to God and allegiance to Lucifer. Witnesses have stated that the offenders may have been a group of intoxicated individuals who were present before firefighters arrived at the scene.
On Saturday evening, a group of young individuals caused a disturbance at a church in Munich. They rioted and used offensive language directed against the attendants of the mass. It was reported that the parishioners inside the church also heard a loud noise, and then they noticed the window pane had been broken. The priests and churchgoers were targeted with derogatory comments. The group of young people then left. The police were notified, they had not yet identified the perpetrators and are estimating the costs of the damage to property.
The Basilica of La Mercé located in Barcelona was vandalized once again. A spokesperson told the news that this had happened before. An unknown suspect has sprayed offensive remarks against the church and God. The newspaper el Debate also reported that they contacted the city council to help wash the words from the affected walls and are hoping to get an answer, since they got ignored the last time something similar happened.
As reported by The Telegraph and the Christian Institute, Girlguiding, the UK's national guiding organisation for girls, has come under pressure and criticism after it published a blog post in which the organization argued that in order to make some of its traditional songs "inclusive for everyone," they need be changed to remove "references that have been hurtful to people." Using as an example a song in which references to God were removed.