On June 3rd, the sacristan of the Chuch of Mailhac discovered that the place of worship had been vandalized. Many candles lay broken on the floor, and there are clear signs that someone had tried to open the trunk. The sacristan had already filed a complaint for the destruction of candles in the past. As a consequence of this act, the church has been closed for an indefinite time. The Ginestas gendarmerie was informed on the same day, and a complaint had been filed.
On June 1st, the provincial prosecutor's office of La Coruña opened a case over the burning of a cross in La Toleira of Neda, following a complaint by the Spanish Foundation of Christian Lawyers. The lawyers' organization indicates that BNG (Galician nationalist party) members were responsible for the incident. They are charged with possible hate crimes, offending religious feelings, offending historical heritage and illegal demonstrations. The Prosecutor's Office is asking the police to identify those involved in the reported act and the person(s) responsible for the fire. Ana Antón, a lawyer with the Spanish Christian Lawyers Foundation, welcomed the Prosecutor's Office's decision. She commented: "This act demonstrates the hatred that some far-left parties have against Catholics. Such acts cannot go unpunished. And faced with the passivity of the institutions, Christian lawyers will go all the way to defend Christian symbols."
On April 27, the Moscow City Court ruled the liquidation of the Sova Information and Analytical Center, the leading organization monitoring religious liberty violations in the country. This represents a significant blow to the protection of freedom of religion in Russia.
On April 26, the lower house of the Irish Parliament passed what could be the most extreme hate speech law in Europe, with critics saying that it is in fact a 'thought crime' bill. The text of the bill makes the possession of material considered 'hateful' against certain groups a crime punishable with jail, and the burden of proof is shifted to the accused, who is expected to prove they didn't intend to use the material to "spread hate".
On May 23rd, a ruling by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) in the UK banned Christian Joshua Sutcliffe from teaching altogether, after he failed to treat his pupils "with dignity and respect" by misgendering a transgender boy. This case is the first of its kind in the UK and has become international news. It goes back to 2017, when the former maths teacher at the Cherwell School in Oxford, said "well done girls" to a group of girls, where one was a transgender boy - and he later apologized. Sutcliffe was later also accused of inappropriately sharing his Christian beliefs.
In Malnia, near Gogolin on May 23rd, unknown perpetrators blocked the door to the rectory to prevent the parish priest from intervening and committed the destruction of a statue of the Virgin Mary, a statue of St. Anthony, and the devastation of the church interior. The losses made by the perpetrators were estimated at several thousand zlotys.
A 21-year-old British man, Edward Little, has pleaded guilty to preparing to commit acts of terrorism in an attack against the evangelist Hatun Tash in 2022. Little was found carrying £5,000, with which he planned to buy a firearm to kill Hatun Tash at the Speaker's Corner, a place for public debates where she frequently debates and preaches. He refused the allegations at first, but on the 19. May 2023 he admitted to planning the murder back on 23. September 2022.
On May 17, a citizen who was silently praying in front of the Dator abortion clinic in Madrid was arrested by the Spanish national police. The arrest comes as a result of the entry into force of the reform of the Spanish Criminal Code last year, which punishes praying in front of abortion clinics as it considers it 'harassment to women.'
Churches in Bavaria are targeted by vandals with increased frequency. The Bavarian State Criminal Police Office (LKA) registered 294 cases of damage to property in churches, chapels, or monasteries last year - 23 more than in 2021 (271). According to the information, the trend has been increasing in recent years. In 2019, the LKA still counted 219 cases, and the following year it was 242. According to a spokesman of the Catholic diocese of Regensburg there are: "For example, figures of saints were destroyed or damaged, people smoked and urinated in church rooms, church walls were smeared or fires were set inside the church."
A teacher in Wales, Ben Dybowski, was encouraged to express his Christian beliefs at a seminar and was subsequently fired for "hate speech." The teacher was prompted to share his opinions during a mandatory training session organised by the charity Diverse Cymru to instruct teachers on "workforce diversity practice, unconscious bias and gender awareness." He later commented that: "We were told it was a safe space and encouraged to speak freely."
A Christian primary school teacher who questioned Stonewall and Mermaids' recommendations to support a "gender transition" of an 8-year-old student without providing any supporting medical data has lost her job and is the subject of numerous regulatory body inquiries. She is being supported by the organisation Christian Concern to contest against her dismissal. due to discrimination based on her religion.
Some people have tried to cause a fire in the church of Santa María de los Ángeles. This criminal act occurred on Tuesday, May 9 around 4:00 pm in Vitoria, while the church was closed. Perpetrators sprayed gasoline at the main entrance of the church. The fire burned a billboard and the church entrance, which they left darkened and dirty. The criminals fled, but thanks to the images from the church's security cameras, the police were able to identify them.
On the 9. May, the Police of Salzburg have arrested a man who hurled a bottle of red wine he had brought with full force against the high altar on Monday morning in the parish church of Schwarzach im Pongau. Thus, two altar lights were knocked over and the offering table and brickwork were contaminated by the wine. The man had entered the church loudly ranting and gesticulating aggressively and spat at a statue of Christ. The man - a Czech citizen who is banned from staying in Austria - was filmed in the church by two video cameras.
In the context of the current blockade by Azerbaijan on the Republic of Artsakh, the ethnic Armenian breakaway state in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the Armenian Christians are suffering increasing threats and fear for their future. In one of the latest threats against the Christians living in the region, Azerbaijan has demanded the expulsion of the Armenian clergy from the Dadivank monastery, built in the 9th century and one of the symbols of medieval Armenia.
An exhibition in the European Parliament showing Jesus surrounded by men dressed in leather as sadomasochistic slaves, apparently homosexuals, has provoked complaints from several MEPs and Christians in Europe. The author, lesbian Swedish photographer Elisabeth Ohlson, argues the photographs depict Christ supporting homosexual rights.
A German man who was doing a bicycle tour around the Tollensee Sea in Germany, near Neubrandenburg, came across a wall displaying several hateful or disrespectful messages and insults almost entirely against Christians or Catholic Christians. He posted a picture of the display on his facebook page and informed the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians. Some of the posters on the wall say "F**k off Vatican", "Good that theologians are disappearing on their own", "Catholics are sh*t", among other things.
On the 22. April. unknown people destroyed two statues and one vase in the Saint-Rémi Church, in the village of Profondeville. The day after, a small chapel nearby was burnt. A few days before, a Statue of the Virgin had been destroyed too. The police assume, that the same persons committed the three acts.
On April 15, seven young men were fined for talking about Easter in a public street in the city centre of Minsk. The individuals, who were all Protestant, were approached by police and told that they were violating the law by "conducting missionary activities without a permit." The police fined each one about 2 months' average wages, reports Forum 18.
On April 14, in the Russian city of Bryansk, the Volodarskiy Magistrates' District Court penalized the pastor of the "First Church of Evangelical Christians Baptists of Bryansk" for engaging in "illegal" missionary work. He was charged with "introducing 'modern' ways of communicating in line with 'Western standards'."
On 14. April, in Menden, near Dortmund, unknown persons have tampered with the missionary cross on the church square of the Holy Cross Church. They broke off the Jesus figure and stole it. The police is looking for witnesses.
On the 12. April 2023, the rector of the Sainte-Madeleine Church in Angers found his church devastated: seven statues had been beheaded or amputated, the altar was vandalized, and many crosses were too. Mr. Verchère, Mayor of the city, and Mr. Darmanin, Minister of the Interior condemned the degradation. On the 18. April, a 40-year-old with criminal records named Brahim was arrested by the police, he was also taken to a hospital for psychiatric examination.
Over three nights on April 12, 13, and 14, in Croydon, thirty gravestones have been destroyed with a sledgehammer - some graves were dating back 500 years, at a Grade I listed church. «The church is appealing for witnesses along with police who are trying to find out who took a sledgehammer to the graves. »
On 9th of April, at night, unknown people wrote with white paint "Pa Pedophil" (paedophile pastor) on the evangelical Church of Jemelle. Pastor Grégory Zieleniec received a hateful letter in his mailbox "pedophil en liberté. Il s'agit du pasteur grégory zieleniec" (Free paedophile. This is Pastor Gregory Zieleniec). The Pastor has filed a complaint for insult, vandalism and defamation.
Marisa Francescangeli, a primary school teacher in San Vero Milis (Oristano, Sardinia), has been suspended for 20 days with a pay reduction (from 25 March to 15 April) for having made her students construct a rosary for Christmas and praying an Ave Maria and Our Father with them. The Oristano school office's decision of suspension was taken after two mothers protested. While other parents defend her, she said she will appeal the decision.
Two men were arrested on the 05. April after having urinated inside of the St. Georg's church of Nördlingen. One of the perpetrators is 39 and the other is 41 years old. The day before, faeces had been found in the same church. In addition, the two men attempted to break the offertory box. As the police searched the suspects' apartments, stolen goods from the previous day were found and seized.
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.
Limited details are available regarding a recent incident where an individual allegedly vandalized the Notre Dame-de-Lorette Catholic Church in Paris. According to reports of the 9. March, the perpetrator caused damage to a statue, chairs, and other items within the church and may have targeted other churches as well. An investigation into the matter is currently underway, and additional information is expected to emerge in due course.
According to ifamnews, the Spanish Christian Lawyers Foundation has started legal proceedings against Senator Carles Mulet for engaging in acts of harassment against Christians and the affiliated organizations that publicly express their religious beliefs. The lawsuit also claims that Mulet has advocated for the removal of crosses by city councils, particularly in the Valley of the Fallen.
According to Italian news reports, vandals have destroyed a church of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice in the city of La Spezia. The destruction involved removing and stealing 15 painted ceramic tiles, vandalizing the baptistery, and stealing the offertory boxes, among other things. It was also reported that pages of sacred texts were scattered on the floor of the sacristy. The perpetrators also left behind satanic books. The police are investigating, but the perpetrators 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.
On the 5th of March, three teenagers broke into a church, severely damaged the organ, vandalized the church, and robbed the money in the offertory box. They are to be judged in April. According to the report, the perpetrators climbed through the balcony, stealing the key to the organ and bending several pipes, they also sprayed the church with a fire extinguisher and unsealed a railing.
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."
Rev Dr. Bernard Randall, the former Trent College chaplain in Derbyshire, has lost his unfair dismissal appeal. He was dismissed and reported to a terrorist watchdog after holding a sermon in which he encouraged students to feel free to make up their own opinions regarding the school's initiative to promote LGBT workshops. Even though Rev. Bernard expressed himself respectfully and calmly, he was also blacklisted as a safeguarding risk to children by the Church of England (CofE).
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 church of Saint-Martin located in Choisy-le-Roi was vandalized on the 12th of February. The French news portal has reported the statue of the Virgin Mary was decapitated and desecrated. Quoted "the church of Saint-Martin was vandalized by one or more individuals, according to information from Le Parisien confirmed by the Créteil prosecutor's office."
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 27 January the church of Our Lady of Fatima in Koziegłowy near Poznań was desecrated. The perpetrator was a 41-year-old man who has been arrested. He knocked over a statue of the Virgin Mary, vandalized the manger, left the figure of Jesus in the baptismal font and damaged the church's sound system. The Metropolitan Curia of Poznań has called the faithful for acts of reparation.
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.