According to the police, unknown perpetrators tried to break open the two doors and three windows of an annexe to a Catholic church in Sontra (Germany) between the 16. and 22. October. They did not get inside the building, but in the process, the perpetrators caused damage of about 3,000 euros.
The consternation over the theft of a baptismal font from the Apostles' Church in Münster has spread far and wide, reports Westfälische Nachrichten. The baptismal font was stolen on the 22nd of October. Pastor Dr Christoph Nooke has been contacted not only by shocked parishioners and people from Münster, but also by a couple from Lüdinghausen who learned of the crime from Westfälische Nachrichten and now offered to replace the stolen baptismal font.
It was reported on the 20. October that the walls of the Sint-Elisabeth Church in Kortrijk were vandalized with crossed-out crosses and the word "F*CK" written with black spray paint. This is not the first time the church has faced vandalism. The pastor of the church, Guido Cooman, said that he is going to file a complaint with the police.
On October 20., a 49-year-old man was arrested by the military, after he had stolen the entrance door of the Church of San Felice Martire in the centre of the town. The military found the stolen door in the garage of the subject and proceeded to arrest him, which prompted the man to react aggressively and throw objects at them. The man will have to answer for the criminal offence of stealing ecclesiastical cultural property, a specific conduct recently provided for in the Criminal Code.
Airsoft bullets damaged the stained glass windows of a church in France, as Actu France reported on the 19. October. The windows of the church Saint-Ténénan, in Guerlesquin, show notably significant damages following airsoft shootings.
The Russian Embassy in Portugal denounced that Fr Sergiy Borsky, of the All Saints Parish of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Lisbon, "has received several threats to his life and physical integrity" and had been criminally attacked.
On October 18, 2022, local Polish media reported the destruction of a cross in the Rudki forest. An unknown perpetrator cut down a century-old wooden cross located in a forest complex on the edge of Lublin and Krężnica Jareja.
On the 17. October, the police in Lubasz were notified that an unknown vandal had severely damaged the statue of John Paul II, which was estimated at a loss of PLN 1,500. The 20-year-old perpetrator has been caught by the police and now faces up to 5 years imprisonment for the crime he committed. However, the final punishment will be decided by the court.
On the night of October 16-17, 2022, an organized group hung posters targeting the Catholic Church on the parish grounds of the Church of Our Lady Queen of the Polish Crown in Gdansk. That night, the posters were hung on sixteen buildings and gates of establishments belonging to the Catholic Church. Posters with the same content and graphics were hung on all the facilities: "They all knew and did nothing! The entire clergy is guilty of covering up paedophilia in the Church! Disgrace! We remember! We will hold them accountable!".
The Christian Institute has reported that parents of children at Hatcham College were denied access to see the Sex-Education lesson slides used by an external NGO. The parents requested access to the slides by the School of Sexuality Education (SoSE), but the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) denied their request, stating it would compromise the sex education provider’s “intellectual property”. This, nevertheless, undermines parental rights, as the parents are not able to raise concern over material being taught to their children that might go against their beliefs.
Police are investigating attempted arson in Ihringen am Kaiserstuhl. Unknown persons have attempted to set fire at the parish church "Assumption of the Virgin Mary" in Wasenweiler in several places.
A buffer zone was implemented outside the BPAS clinic in Bournemouth in a bid to deter people from praying or standing with pro-life signs outside the clinic. Anyone that fails to accept the decision could incur a fixed penalty notice of £100 or face court action. Buffer zones have been widely discussed, due to their limitation of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.
The Holy figures of saints were destroyed, a candelabrum and the baptismal font were moved in the Catholic church in Klingenmünster were destroyed by unknown vandals. The statues had broken arms or feet, or were completely destroyed. This happened on the 14th of October, according to the police. The material damage done is estimated by the police at around 2000 euros.
The European Court of Human Rights has recently concluded that Eloïse Bouton, a "Femen" member who performed a topless act simulating an abortion of Christ by the Virgin Mary in front of the altar and tabernacle of La Madeleine Church in Paris in 2013, has to be compensated. She had been sentenced by the French court to a one-month suspended prison and 2,000 euro fine for "sexual exhibition". She had also desecrated the altar of the church with urination and anti-Christian slogans and symbolism. With this ruling, a dangerous record of precedents is being created that will only encourage more blasphemous attacks on Christians.
On the 13. October in the evening, a small fire broke out in St. Mary's Church in Plau. Around 30 candles were lit by unknown perpetrators, as the police was notified on Sunday. The candle fire caused a small fire that damaged several benches. Fortunately, the fire extinguished itself when the candle wax burnt out and no one was injured. The police are now investigating on suspicion of attempted arson.
In a Press Release on the 13. October, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) stated: “The internal rule of an undertaking prohibiting the visible wearing of religious, philosophical or spiritual signs does not constitute direct discrimination if it is applied to all workers in a general and undifferentiated way.” This means, now companies can prohibit workers to use religious symbols at work, including cross necklaces or headscarves. This will not be considered discrimination against religious groups, as long as it applies to all religions.
On the 13. October in Raismes, an arson attack destroyed the presbytery of the Polish church of St. Cecile. The presbytery was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. According to the news, there have been several arson attacks in the city of Raismes since March 2022. The perpetrators have not yet been identified. The mayor of Raismes, America Robin, talks about this frequent vandalism usually perpetrated by young people between 12 and 20 years old.
In October 2022, Russian news announced that vandals had smashed down and damaged the vases placed outside of the Orthodox Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God, in Fokino, Bryansk. They reported that a picture of the vandalism was sent to social media groups, where many residents voiced their concerns and feelings of anger towards the act. The police are still searching for the suspects.
Two Russian Orthodox hieromonks (monks who are also priests in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholicism) had criminal cases opened against them for opposing the Russian invasion of Ukraine on religious grounds. Forum 18 is following the cases and reports that Fr Nikandr Pinchuk's first full trial hearing in Sverdlovsk Oblast is due on 17 October, while Fr Ioann Kurmoyarov, who is in pre-trial detention since early June, has his trial on 14 November in St Petersburg.
The mayor of the municipality of Ponte Caldelas, Andrés Díaz, has denounced through his social networks several acts of vandalism committed in a Chapel of the town. In the photos he posted it can be noticed that the saints of the church have been painted black as well as signatures that the vandals left all over the building.
In May 2019, Dr. Richard Scott faced an investigation by the NHS England (National Health Service) after several complaints were made about him offering prayer to patients, as he discussed this practice during a BBC Radio 4 interview. Dr. Scott faced an investigation to see if he was fit for practice, but the case has now been settled between Dr. Scott and the NHS, as reported on the news at the beginning of October. He has agreed to attend a course about professional boundaries and at the same time, with no admittance of wrongdoing.
Monsignor Massimo D'Angelo of the diocese of Chieti, denounced on his Facebook account that a sacrilegious theft had taken place at the chapel of San Rocco in Sambuceto. "This night they stole from the parish by uprooting the security door and removing from the wall the safe with the gold votive gifts of St. Roch and some Chalices" he wrote.
On October 9, 2022, a thirty-nine-year-old man disrupted the celebration of evening Mass at St. Francis Church in Zabrze. During the Eucharist in progress there, two men entered the church, with one of them immediately heading toward the altar. Then, in front of the priest celebrating Mass and the gathered faithful, he set off a firecracker. Panic broke out. As a result of the situation, the faithful began to leave the church building in panic. It was determined that no one was hurt as a result of the incident.
A barrage of eggs was thrown against the façade of the church of the Madonna di Loreto in Borgetto, in the Palermo area. The main façade of the building, which overlooks Via Monastero, was vandalised in several places. This was reported on the 8. October.
Between the 7. and 8. October, unknnown perpetrators threw apples at the hexagonal baroque windows of a collegiate church in Klagenfurt. The police has to quantify the amount of the damage to property.
The UK's already controversial Public Order Bill has received an amendment proposal that would criminalize supporting women seeking an abortion within a 150-meter "buffer zone" from an abortion clinic. Apart from the fact that this would open the way for authorities to repress Christian street preachers, this amendment means that prayer or any kind of help inside the "buffer zones" could lead to an up to two-year jail sentence. Laws like this already exist in Northern Ireland since March, and will also be a reality in Scotland in the near future.
In less than twelve hours the town of A Coruña suffered two robberies in the local cemetery, affecting practically all the inhabitants. María Cambón, a neighbour who visits the cemetery every day, raised the alarm on the 10th of October, after discovering that someone had taken a number of bronze and copper virgins from the niches. Most of them were behind the glass doors of each tomb, in small chapels. In the afternoon of the same day, a similar robbery happened again. An image of the Virgen del Carmen was found lying on the floor of the cemetery, which the thieves probably left behind. In total, around 40 statues have been stolen.
The church of St. Mary of Jesus in Ritiro was vandalised and the organ was damaged on the 7. October. This incident occurred only 9 months after the last case of vandalism, according to the source. The CCTV cameras show that young persons broke into the building and gravely damaged the electronic organ. They also mimicked the Crucifix and played with some of the furnishings of the altar before running away.
The Observatory for Religious Freedom and Freedom of Conscience (Observatorio para la Libertad Religiosa y de Conciencia) has reported on its social media that it has denounced the hacking of which they were victims last October 6 during the presentation of the "Report of attacks on religious freedom in Spain 2021".
After a fire on September 25, where arson has not been ruled out, media sources reported on October 6 that Belarusian authorities are terminating the Red Church's use agreement with the Roman Catholic parish community of St. Simon and St. Helen. Notice of this has already been received by the church authorities and the parish has been ordered to take all belongings from the temple within a few days.
It was reported on the 6th of October that Minsk authorities closed a religious school at the Catholic Christian Social Center of the city. Police were sent to the centre to check "whether there were any classes there", Radio Svaboda reports. According to Fr. Yuri Sanko, Minsk authorities ordered the social and educational parts to be closed on August the 30th.
The parish priest Vincenzo Del Mastro, of the "Madonna della Grazia" Church in Andria has spoken up about recurrent and serious vandalism to his church on the 5th of October. He says that in the afternoons and evenings around 20 to 30 teenagers come with electric bikes and invade the area near the main entrance of the church. The priest says that they smoke cigarettes and drugs, are found and damage the flowerbeds. Also, if he tries to reprimand them, they insult him or throw stones at him. They have also defaced the back wall of the church and broke a door. The priest is asking for support from his community.
A new report on "Hate Crimes Based on Religion, Belief or Nonbelief in Turkey" by the Freedom of Belief Initiative of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee describes the increasing problem of hate incidents against religious minorities in the country. These attacks target Christians, Jews, Alevis (a branch of Shīʿa Islam with some pre-Islamic influences, which is practiced mainly in Turkey), and atheists. The nature of the hate attacks varies between damage to property, threats, violent attacks against individuals, damage to places of worship and cemeteries, harassment, and insults. Some places belonging to religious communities have been repeatedly targeted.
A statue of Padre Pio that belonged to the church of Santa Marta in Carpignano was stolen by unknown persons. This was reported on the 4th of October, the statue of fibreglass and two vases were stolen from the church. There was no vandalism inside the religious site. The theft was discovered by the woman who cleans the church. The church filed a complaint with the authorities.
A TikTok video shows how a large group of young people vandalize the Cathedral of Lugo – declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2015 – by climbing up and down its facade in a kind of competition. Earlier this year, in March there was another incident of vandalism at the cathedral, as three young men urinated on its facade. The damage done was estimated around 900 Euro by the police.
A new report was submitted to the Scottish Government on the 4th of October that could criminalize efforts by parents to mentor their children according to their beliefs, with the possibility of losing parental custody. Prayers and private conversations could also be criminalized. The report considers "conversion practices" as "any treatment, practice or effort that aims to change, suppress, and/or eliminate a person's sexual orientation, expression of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression.".
In the city of Vöhringen, unknown perpetrators threw several eggs at the façade wall of the front side and the main entrance of the church in the Roselfelder Straße between 31 October and 3 November. After it was cleaned, not all residues could be removed, according to the police report, which estimates the damage caused at several hundred euros.
On the 3rd of October it was reported that unknown persons vandalised the memorial plaque of Don Michele Grella. He was an important parish priest of the San Ciro church. According to the news outlet, the church in Viale Italia has been the target of vandals lately.
On the 1st of October, unknown thieves targeted the St. Nicholas Church in Baddesley Ensor. They have stolen the historic stained glass windows that were at the side of the church. The Warwickshire Police are investigating the case. For now, the windows had to be boarded up.
During the week of the 3rd of October, the Saint-Joseph chapel in Saint-Pol-de-Léon was vandalised by unknown perpetrators. The door was smashed with an axe and the cupboards were searched. The perpetrators also broke windows, dishes and kitchenware. Some electronic devices were stolen and the library was ransacked. On top of that, inside the tabernacle, the vandals smashed crucifixes and other sacred symbols. A case has been filed with the police.
On Sunday 2nd October, a 22-year-old man entered the church in Würzburg and lit a zigarrette inside the church. When a 59-year-old woman approached him and reprimanded him for his behaviour, he suddenly struck her and then spat on her. The young man then ran away and is being searched by the police for physical aggression and hurting religious sentiments.
On the Sunday night of October the 2nd, an unidentified person threw bleach from a balcony at the image of the Virgin of the Rosary when the statue was in procession near the Cathedral. The Local Police were immediately informed and are trying to identify the perpetrator of this hate crime.
A statue of the Virgin Mary was thrown into the garden of the parish of San Miguel Arcángel in Las Rozas, Madrid, on the night of the 1st to the 2nd of October. The parish priest, José Antonio Buceta Toro, denounced the act on Sunday morning and informed the police.
On the 2nd of October, a student was arrested in Montpellier after threatening to set fire to the church of Saint-François d'Assise. She said that she could not stand the noise of the church bells. The woman is said to have stormed into the church at the time of service (around 11.30 am) and threatened to set fire to the church, referencing what happened at Notre Dame in Paris. Given the aggressive behaviour towards the parish volunteers, she has been banned from entering the church.
The Holy Spirit Church in Emmerich was targeted by burglars around the 2nd of October. According to the report, they stole chalices that have a low material value but were very important to the parish community. Burglars broke into the sacristy of the Church and opened the safe, from which they took one chalice that belonged to a Pastor who had passed away, Ps Lambert, and three other chalices from 1960s. There is no trace of the perpetrators.
Sometime between 25. September and 1st of October, a silver chalice worth thousands of pounds was stolen from a village church in Cambridgeshire. According to the sources, the chalice is believed to date back to the 16th century. It was kept in the All Saints and St Andrews Church, where thieves broke in and took the chalice from the safe. The police have been notified and are running investigations.
in the Catholic "Church of our Lady" in Achern, a candlestick with great sentimental and spiritual value for the community was stolen by an unidentified perpetrator. This happened on the 1st of October and the theft was discovered at the time the church was to be locked (5.45pm). The parish secretary, Bernd Müller said that the candlestick was still there one hour before closing. Apart from the missing piece, the room's carpet was covered with white wax stains from the lit candles. The candlestick is worth around 700 euros, but the sentimental value was much higher for the community, it also contains a small box for 50 cents when someone used a candle - probably only amounting to 5-6 euros. It is hard to believe that the thieve took the candlestick for its material cost or the couple of cents.
Several windows were smashed in an attack with stones against a 19th-century church in Donegal. The St. Columba Church of Ireland was damaged between the 30. September and the 1. October. Given that the building is a cultural heritage and dear to the community, the incident has caused upset for people in the area. The police are investigating.
At the end of September, two thieves entered the Church of All Saints of St. Petersburg in Kingisepp, Leningrad oblast, through the bell tower and stole two pectoral crosses placed on the altar. They were arrested. The youngest was also connected with a theft from a florist. A third protagonist who was on the lookout is also wanted.
A 48-year-old woman and her daughter-in-law who were arrested after stealing sacred gold objects from a church store on the night of May 10-11 in Orenburg were tried and sentenced to ten months of "colony life", which is the Russian equivalent of semi-liberty. The loot was returned.
During the night of September 30 to October 1, a recently refurbished statue of the Virgin Mary was broken and placed on a pole a little further away, in La Chapelle Thouarault, a township located west of Rennes, near the Hermitage-Mordelles station. The act aroused the indignation of the town hall and local residents.
In the district of Haselbach in Braunau, a sacristan was brutally beaten up during his evening prayers on the 29. September. The perpetrator has been identified as a 26-year-old homeless man from Romania. The perpetrator had asked the 87-year-old sacristan for money, who had given him some help before. This time, the sacristan refused and the young man decided to attack him. The victim was found by witnesses, who saw him severely injured and alerted the police.
Between September 25 and 28, unknown perpetrators forced open an entrance door of the Dreifaltigkeitskirche (Holy Trinity Church) and thus entered the church building. Inside, cupboards and donation boxes were broken open and an unknown amount of money was stolen from them. The damage to property cannot yet be quantified, reports the local police.
On September 27, a number of brass chalices and two big screens were stolen from the basilica of the Santissima Annunziata di Firenze in Montecosaro. The chalices are sacred objects that are used to celebrate Mass.
It was reported on the 27. September that the Municipal Committee of the Aragonese Party (PAR) criticised the vandalism caused to the exterior of the church of La Magdalena in Zaragoza. The exterior wall of the church is covered in graffiti that includes offensive expressions or insults against the clergy.
Belarusian Police banned New Life Church from meeting for dominical worship in the parking lot of the church building from which they had been forcibly evicted. On 25 September officials ordered the Belarussian Police to ban the Sunday meeting and detain anyone who did not leave, while pastors Vyacheslav Goncharenko and Antoni Bokun were detained and fined for having organized the 18 September 2022 service.
The position of an EU Envoy of Religious Freedom is still vacant. The position was left vacant for 2 years, until it was briefly held by Christos Stylianides from May to September 2021. He left the role, as he was offered a different position only 5 months later. In 2022, it was communicated that Mario Mauro would be confirmed as a new Envoy, but there has not been any further confirmation. On the 23. September 2022, Marco Gombacci wrote an Open Letter to Ursula von der Leyen questioning why the EU is not making the safeguarding of Religious Freedom a priority, given its "indispensable value for defining democracies and states under the rule of law".
On September 23, during a solemn mass with the ostension and adoration of the relics of St. Sergei of Radonezh, the Pskov cathedral had to be evacuated after a bomb threat. The Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov announced the evacuation after his homily and after the faithful kissed the relics as it had been reported that the cathedral had been mined. "Dear brothers and sisters, did everyone lay hands on the relics? Well done. We have been informed that the cathedral has been mined. Quietly, everyone comes out... I bless you with the cross, go quickly with God, everyone come out, the Emergencies Ministry is there," said Metropolitan Tikhon.
A man of foreign origin, and known to the local police for numerous acts of theft, was arrested on September 23 at the Church of St. Michael the Archangel in the Madonna Alta district of Perugia, while threatening the faithful and shouting in the place of worship, during mass. The man is also known for robberies against a church in the city. He has been referred to the police.
During the night of September 22-23, individuals broke the bottom of the door of the Chapel of the Virgin, in Via della Riotta in Novara, in the Italian Piedmont, and removed the Stations of the Cross from the wall to throw the stations into the garden of the chapel. The parish priest, Fr. Massimo Volpatti, filed a complaint and reported the incident on social networks - this small 17th-century chapel has no video surveillance. He also celebrated a mass of reparation and strongly denounced "a profane, serious, sacrilegious act" in the local press.
Two 13-year-olds vandalised and spray-painted a Chapel in Jeuchental, near Konz, on the 20th of September. As quoted by the police "The chapel had been heavily damaged with graffiti on three sides and on the entrance door. Facebook users raised their concerns and commented on the situation. The police has identified the vandals.
On September 21, a building belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church was set on fire in the Lomonosovo district of St. Petersburg. It turned out that the fire was arson. A 20-year-old man was arrested and admitted to the crime - he said that he wanted to set fire to a nearby building where the registers of those who could be mobilized were kept - Russia had decreed a partial mobilization, which has since been completed, to call back 300,000 people who had done their military service - but he was in the wrong building. He was put in jail for two months while awaiting trial.
On September 21, a woman broke into the sacristy of the cathedral of Gorizia, an Italian city in Friuli on the border with Slovenia, with keys stolen last week, and looted it. Nevertheless she was detected by the cathedral's video surveillance and arrested a few hundred meters away. In her bag were chalices, patens, a custode, a baptismal shell and other consecrated objects - but all in non-precious metal. As well as a bag with other keys of the cathedral.
On the 20. September, a large-scale study was published by the Faith and Media Initiative (FAMI), which looks at the portrayal of faith and religion in the media. The study revealed there is a strong demand across the world for more news and media coverage about faith. It also shows that journalists and editors admit coverage of faith-related topics is rarely encouraged in the industry. The study had 9,000 respondents, including citizens, journalists, and editors from 18 countries and major religions. An important finding was that the general population feels that "media coverage can perpetuate faith-related stereotypes rather than protect against them."
A 45-year-old man, was arrested in Chisinau, Moldova, at the end of September for stealing two bronze crosses, as well as a large bust of the deceased, from a tomb in the Saint Lazarus cemetery. He intended to resell them for 40,000 Moldavian lei (around 2,000€) and caused a damage of 8,000 lei on the burial site (400€). In Moldova the desecration of graves is an aggravating cause - he faces up to three years of prison.
The diocese of Jaén reported that on the 19. September, a robbery and a desecration took place in the parish church of Our Lady of Carmen. The perpetrators stole money from the lampstand and broke into the tabernacle. The consecrated hosts were scattered on the floor, which is what struck the community the most. The Bishop of Jaén, Monsignor Sebastián Chico Martínez, condemned the incident and asked all the parishes to worship a prayer of atonement during that week.
On September 18, the Sokolsk police received a report of damage to a shrine in Porajovo. The window of the shrine and the facade of the building were destroyed.
On September 18th, around 15:30 firefighters intervened after they received a report of flames escaping from the chapel of Our Lady of Liesse in Fleury d'Aude, where several fires were lit. Additionally, the church was vandalised with swastikas that were drawn onto the altar. The gendarmerie are still investigating to find the perpetrators.
On September 17, 2022, a mass at the Sacred Heart Church in Brig, Switzerland was disrupted by two pro-abortion activists. It was the day before the March for Life in Switzerland, and the sermon of the priest Fr. Edi Arnold was about the protection of life.
Satanist tags have been painted on the walls of the Church of the Sacred Heart in Zurich on September 17. On the same day, Bishop Marian Eleganti, former auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Chur, celebrated a mass there as part of the "March for Life", organized on the same day. The act was claimed by the anarchist group barrikade.info, to protest against the "March for Life".
A Scottish politician, John Mason, has been disciplined by party leaders at Holyrood after he showed support for pro-life activism outside hospitals. He was sent a written warning and was accused of causing women “great distress” for his remarks on abortion and buffer zones outside clinics. The news was reported recently on the 15. September.
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, has pronounced in favor of the legislation meant to limit pro-life activity around abortion clinics, which could lead to the creation of abortion clinic "buffer zones" across Scotland. The First Minister suggested that pro-life groups could protest in front of the Scottish parliament instead of gathering outside abortion clinics. A legal counsel for ADF UK, Mr. Igunnubole, warns that such laws do not possess a "reasonable excuse" to ignore basic tenets of the rule of law, such as Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly.
On September 14, a man tried to set fire to a pile of chairs in the church of Rothéneuf near Saint Malo in Ille-et-Vilaine, without success. He was arrested the next day after threatening a bank teller in Paramé, a district of Saint Malo located near the train station.
On September 13, 2022, local Polish media reported on the devastation of chapel furnishings in Łabiszynek. The unknown perpetrator destroyed the door and broke the glass in the windows of the chapel, broke wooden elements necessary for the service and tore off the heads of the figures of saints.
The Virgen de la Hiniesta, from the parish of San Julian, in Sevilla, suffered an attack on the weekend of the 10th of September. The statue was sprayed with bleach, causing significant damage to the garment. This was reported by the Brotherhood of the Vera Cruz and Charity of Brenes, responsible for the parish, on their social media.
As reported to "La Voz de Tomelloso" local newspaper by one of the assistants, the Sunday 9th of September an altercation took place during the celebration of the morning Mass in the parish of La Asunción de Tomelloso. An individual burst into the church and, going to the altar, threw the chalice, the ciborium and the consecrated forms to the ground after shaking the celebrant.
On September 8, the crown of the statue of Our Lady of the Assumption was stolen in broad daylight from the co-cathedral of Cassino, in Lazio, which is the only church in the city that remains open apart from Mass celebration. Previously, two fine altar cloths were stolen from the same church.
On September 6, a young man was arrested by the St. Petersburg police after he tried to enter into the church of the Venerable John of Kronstadt and threaten the parishioners and the priest with a cane. Both times, the parishioners threw him out before finally calling the police. To the police, the criminal declared himself a "Satanist" and claimed that "the Devil ordered him to kill a priest". He was arrested and later hospitalized.
In the city of Leeds, members of society raised concerns, claiming that street preachers in the city center are using hate speech and homophobic language. The local council, together with the Police have now issued a new "code of conduct", in which they tell preachers that they respect their freedom of expression, but also recognise that it may be limited to "prevent disorder or crime".
Rev Dr. Bernard Randall is a Christian chaplain who was reported to a terrorist watchdog by the school he worked at, after giving a sermon addressing the new LGBT Guidelines and telling his pupils it was ok to make up their own minds, as long as they remain respectful towards other's opinions. He is now facing a high-profile Employment Tribunal hearing and has even been blacklisted as a safeguarding risk to children by the Church of England (CofE). Dr. Randall says he was interrogated and told that refusing to capitulate to the allegation and denying his beliefs made him a risk. The diocese safeguarding team concluded ‘the Church itself is a risk factor.’
During the night of 4. September, the statue of the Virgin Mary in the village of Pailharès was vandalised. The statue was covered with paint and with, among other things, lipstick and underwear around her neck. The village is located between Annonay and Saint-Agreve in the north of the Ardèche. Mgr. Jean-Louis Balsa, bishop of the diocese of Viviers, wants to put the church back in the heart of the village: "It is inadmissible, we must accept the beliefs of all. It is a fundamental lack of respect for the faithful. He refuses that the Church suffers from acts of delinquency of this kind and drives the point home: "We should not be despised for our beliefs and victims of fools, we deserve to be respected in our faith."
During the night of 4-5. September, individuals let themselves be locked into the church of Saint Martin de l'Aigle in the Orne region of France, where they broke a stained glass window, unsealed and stole a money box and ripped out the locks of the building from the inside. "A pair of pliers was found on the roof. The thieves also damaged the doors "including the lock on the main door which was ripped off with a crowbar" and another door which was taken off its hinges. This was done from the inside as there is no lock on the outside. A complaint has been filed.
A big fire in Sjösås "New Church" in Växjö destroyed the building on the 3rd of September. The emergency services were on site with several units, but were not able to save the church. The alarm was raised at 12.30 on Saturday, as heavy smoke was seen coming from the church tower. When the rescue services arrived, the fire had reached the main hall and it had gone through the window panes. Martin Olofsson, team leader at SOS Alarm, said that the fire was fully developed. Fortunately, no one was injured as the church was empty when the fire started. Although the investigations were not finished, the police considers the incident to be arson, as there were no natural causes for the fire.
On September 1, local Polish media reported on the destruction of a roadside cross in Kamionek (in the Gogolin Municipality). Unknown perpetrators tore out the marble flower tray placed on the vertical beam of the cross and smashed the candles standing under the cross.
The priest of the Saint Saturnin Parish in Blois told 'La Tribune de l'Art' that he had been attacked by drug dealers in late August. He said: "At the end of August, I was beaten up by six junkies in the baptistery, and the mayor doesn't care."
A group of about a hundred residents of Fuentesauco de Fuentidueña made this Sunday a "cacerolada" (disruption with loud noises by banging pots and other objects) at the doors of the church. They were protesting that the pries did not authorize the celebration of a concert of a local orchestra of this town in the parish church. The priest had considered that it was not a performance of church music. Due to the disruption, the priest had to call the police because he could not celebrate Mass normally due to a large crowd of people outside the church.
An 18-year-old girl mimed a sexual act on a grave in a cemetery in Samara, topped by a cross, on 25 August. Before committing the desecration, the girl began by "talking to the dead" and then insulted the Orthodox religion, announcing that she would "commit an act that the Orthodox Church will not forgive her". The video was posted on social networks where her identity was quickly disclosed. The Samara police announced that they were opening an investigation into the incident.
On August 24, in Domodedovo, a suburb of Moscow - where one of the city's airports is located, a man killed the parish priest of the village Orthodox church and set it on fire. The motive for the murder and burning was a personal conflict between the victim and the alleged perpetrator. The perpetrator was a former Sunday school teacher of the parish who was dismissed after being inappropriate with one of the parishioners.
On July 23, trunk robbers ransacked the church of Ceglia, breaking into the trunks and the door of the sacristy, but the also desecrated the tabernacle where they spilled the consecrated hosts on the floor. Nevertheless, the thieves abandoned the sacred vessels when they realized that they were made of brass. A mass and prayers of reparation were organized.
The liturgical organ of the church of Saint Jean Baptiste in Omonville la Rogue, near the Hague, was dismantled and stolen between 23 and 28 July, along with the sound system - in fact it is a kind of harmonium. The theft is said to have been committed during the church's opening hours. The municipality has filed a complaint.
In the village of Trebište in western North Macedonia unknown persons attempted on 22. August to set fire to the Church of St. Achilles of Larissa, built around 1840 and decorated with frescoes by Dičo Zograf (1819-1872), one of the most famous fresco painters in the Balkans in the 19th century. Damage was caused by the outbreak the fire inside the church, but it was brought under control.
The parishioners of a Romanian Orthodox Church found the door locked with chains and a padlock on Sunday 21. August. Unknown vandals" had wrapped a chain around the iron knobs of the front door of the St. Roque's church in Valletta, they also locked the chain with a padlock. The president of the community, Fr George-Alexandru Popescu, told the newspaper that he contacted the people of the parish to see if someone had locked the doors in this way, but found out that it was an act of vandalism. Another incident had already happened in November of last year, when vandals poured gasoline on the parvis.
Unknown persons stole the altar and a painting from the Chapel of the Church Santa Maria dell'Orazione in Pontelatone. This was announced by the Mayor of Pontelatone, Alfonso Izzo, who recalled how the small local community continues to be the victim of thefts to the detriment of its numerous archaeological and architectural assets. The altar is a specifically sacred object that is necessary to carry out religious services. The practices of the parish is limited due to this theft.
A 53-year-old man from Toulouse, damaged a church and insulted the priest on Sunday 21 August. He will be judged on a preliminary admission of guilt in 2023. "He obviously did not like the church," tells France Bleu. The man admitted in police custody to have broken a wooden table in two, a vase and knocked over a candle holder in which a candle was lit, fortunately without starting a fire. The damage was estimated to cost around 1,000 euros. The man is also accused of insulting the priest. Two people present called the police who quickly arrested him.
On 21. August, "Grimsby Live" reported that the Willows Community Church in Grimsby had been tagged with slogans about sex and drugs that affected the community. Organizers of the Church repainted the walls within hours after the desecration took place. And the news outlet chose not to publish the pictures of the vandalistic act, due to the nature of the slogans. The police was notified and they will run an investigation.
During the night of August 19 to 20, one or more people broke into the church of Saint-Etienne in Bayonne. "Furniture was damaged and objects belonging to the place of worship were stolen. Various elements are missing: a trunk containing cash donations, or a silver container," recalls Sud Ouest. Above all, the 19th century organ has been damaged, and the repairs could cost several thousand euros.
On 19 August, the little church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Paderno d'Adda fell once again victim to an act of vandalism. Vandals unhinged the wooden gate and broke the padlock. It is the third time within a few months that a similar crime has occurred.
An unknown perpetrator stole an oil painting from the small church of San Filippo Neri in Terzago di Calvagese della Riviera on 19. August. The painting, which depicts the Virgin Mary, is estimated to be worth 50,000 euros. The police are investigating.
According to the police, in the night of 19 to 20 in Aub, an unknown perpetrator tore the railing of the church from the anchorage and loosened several stone slabs from the stairs.
Sacred objects had been stolen during the first week of August from the church of San Rocco in Maggianico and the church of San Martino Vescovo in Calolzio. The police of Lecco were able to identify the perpetrators, who were two men, and recovered what had been stolen: a wooden offering box, three metal offertories, a base of a crucifix, a wooden crucifix, and brass plating of the crucifix itself. Although the objects were found, there is damage to the crucifix.