All cases

Christian worker fired after refusing to work during church's Sunday service

November 5, 2023, United Kingdom

Former employee of Sainsbury's Jacqueline Rendell is suing the supermarket chain for "unfair dismissal" alleging she was fired for refusing to work on Sunday mornings so she could attend Sunday services at church. She claims the supermarket chain fired her because she refused demands to work every Sunday morning.

Spanish Government Denies Religious Asylum to Chinese Christians

November 5, 2023, Spain

Several Chinese Christians have been arriving in Spain since the end of October seeking religious asylum after being denied it in other countries. The lack of response from the Spanish government puts their physical integrity at risk if they are deported to China. Among them is a famous Chinese Catholic actress, Li Yan Li, who has said she would rather die than return to China.

Arson Attack on Church in Vado

November 4, 2023, Italy

A fire was started at the church of Santa Maria in Vado on November 4 at around 8:45 AM. It was reported that the perpetrator set fire to a tent set up in the churchyard. From there, the fire then spread to the front door of the church. People in the church noticed and notified the fire department, then used water to start putting out the fire. The firefighters arrived and finished putting out the fire. Smoke filled the interior of the church and an old notice board was destroyed. Police investigated the scene, and the vandal was reportedly caught on surveillance cameras and already identified.

Monstrance Stolen from Church in Schophoven

November 3, 2023, Germany

A valuable monstrance, among other religious objects, was stolen from St. Barbara Church in Schophoven during the night of November 3. The mayor of Schophoven, Matthias Hahn, entered the church in the morning to find the tabernacle opened. Liturgical objects, including the monstrance, were stolen. Some of the items taken were a goblet spoon, a ciborium, and a drinking cup. A St. Barbara relic fell to the floor and was bent, but not taken. The sacristy door was also broken open, and the wall safe had been removed from the wall and broken into.

Bible Stolen from the Altar of the Church of Ķekava

November 2, 2023, Latvia

On November 4, the congregation of the Church of Ķekava announced on Facebook that an old Bible had been stolen from the church's altar. The Facebook post said that it could have been taken as early as November 2. The church community is trying to retrieve the Bible, and the thief has not been found.

Man Attacks People Praying outside Abortion Clinic

October 28, 2023, Austria

During the prayer initative "40 Days for Life" a man and a woman holding signs and praying outside an abortion clinic in Vienna were attacked by a man. The man snatched the signs, which displayed the picture of a baby, from them and violently broke the signs into pieces. He also took one of the signs and ran away with it. 

Churches in Alessandria Desecrated

October 28, 2023, Italy

In the afternoon of October 28, the Church of San Giovannino was desecrated. A young man entered the presbytery, climbed onto the alter to reach for the crucifix and threw it on the floor, breaking it into several pieces. After that, he removed a crucifix from the wall at the front of the church and broke it. The incident was filmed by security cameras, though the man had put out the candles in the church as to not be recognized.

Scottish MP says she left her party after being 'unwelcome as a Christian'

October 25, 2023, United Kingdom

Scottish MP Dr Lisa Cameron shared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour how she had felt marginalised in the Scottish National Party (SNP) because of her Christian faith and pressured to vote against her convictions. Now defected to the Conservative Party, Dr Cameron voted against the 2020 new abortion regime for Northern Ireland and disagreed with bills which sought to legalise assisted suicide in England and Wales.

Historical 16th century crucifix destroyed in Seville

October 22, 2023, Spain

The historic crucifix located in the Santa Marta square in Seville was destroyed on the night of October 22nd by unknown perpetrators. It dated to the 16th century and had a carving of a crucifix on one side and a pietà on the other.

Christian Hybrid School Forcibly Closed by German Authorities

October 19, 2023, Germany

The Dietrich Bonhoeffer International School in Germany was forced to close for the year by German education authorities. The school has been open for 9 years with an award-winning pedagogical model. Germany has banned homeschooling, hybrid schools, and has tightened restrictions on private schools. German authorities wrote to the school that "the immediate enforcement of prohibitions is ordered", preventing students from continuing their schooling there for the rest of the year. The government has also fined the school 600 euros in administrative fees. Authorities stated that the school website was an "advertisement for the impermissible school", and was ordered to be shut down. The school is arguing that Germany is violating national and international human rights law - including parents' rights to educate their children in accordance with their philosophical and religious convictions - with its ban on homeschooling, along with other restrictions on education. An urgency lawsuit to reopen the school is currently pending.

Christian Preacher Faces up to Six Months in Prison for Holding Sign with Bible Verse

October 17, 2023, United Kingdom

Christian preacher, Stephen Green, 72, was tried in court on October 17, for allegedly having protested against abortion within a 'buffer zone' surrounding MSI Reproductive Choices clinic in Mattock Lane, West London on February 6, 2023. Green was quietly holding a sign with a Bible verse from Psalm 139:13 written on it, which reads: "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb". Appearing at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court, Green pleaded not guilty to breaking the public spaces protection order (PSPO). According to the Mail Online, Mr. Green's charge sheet accuses him of "[protesting] by engaging in an act of disapproval or attempted act of disapproval with respect to issues related to abortion services, by written means in that you were holding a large sign displaying the text ‘Psalm 139:13 (...) relating directly or indirectly to the termination of pregnancy."

Criminal Damage Caused to Church in Hereford

October 15, 2023, United Kingdom

On October 15, a group vandalized St. Francis Xavier Church in Hereford. A group of youths meddled with the microphone, threw lit candles around the room and spit on the altar. The church priest, Father Thomas, said that security must be tightened because of this incident. Before, the church had been open at any time of the day so churchgoers could come to pray or light a candle. The police are still investigating the situation.

Man Sets Fire in a Church in Pescara after being Denied Money from the Priest

October 15, 2023, Italy

A 56-year old man from Pescara asked the parish priest for money, but when the priest refused he started a fire near the altar. The incident occurred around 3:30 PM on October 15. The police was notified and found that a wooden bench, placed to the side of the altar, showed clear signs of combustion. The fabric covering the bench and the carpet underneath it were damaged by the flames, but the fire had already been put out by some parishioners.

Painting of Elijah heavily Damaged with Axe in Krzeszowice

October 14, 2023, Poland

On October 14 the Police Station in Krzeszowice was notified about damage to a chapel located in the Krzeszowice commune. A vandal used an axe to damage a historic painting depicting Elijah the Prophet of Carmel. The vandal then left the area on bike. The police caught the 35-year-old on his bike with the axe that he used to destroy the religious painting. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Pipes Stolen from Taura Church

October 13, 2023, Germany

Several meters of lightning conductors and copper downpipe were dismantled and stolen from a church in Taura, near Torgau. The police department in Leipzig announced that unknown perpetrators had forcibly gained access to the church between 4 pm on October 12 and 11 am on October 13. The exact extent of the property damage and theft damage is currently unknown. The police have started an investigation into this case and are treating the incident as a particularly serious theft.

Statue of St. Anthony Stolen from Nowy Sacz Monastery

October 11, 2023, Poland

A statue of St. Anthony holding Baby Jesus was stolen from a monastic house in the Nowy Sącz region by a 34-year-old resident. The man was detained by the police two hours after receiving the report. The plaster statue has already returned to the house from which it was taken.

Eucharist Stolen from Hospital Chapel in Avola

October 11, 2023, Italy

The Eucharist kept in the tabernacle of the chapel of Di Maria Hospital in Avola in the province of Syracuse was stolen on October 11. The Bishop of Noto, Monsignor Salvatore Rumeo, stated, "I learn with deep sorrow and infinite bitterness that a sacrilegious theft was perpetrated today." On October 15 a Mass of Reparation was held, with the consecration of the new particles to be placed in the tabernacle.

Four Pupils Vandalize Church in Noci

October 11, 2023, Italy

Four teenage boys heavily vandalized the Church of Carmine in Noci on the morning of October 11. The pupils left their middle school early due to a union meeting of their teachers. They roamed the streets before entering and vandalizing the Church of Carmine. The children were in the church for 30 minutes when they broke off the doors of the tabernacle, tampered with the organ, threw hand sanitizer on the floor, threw waste inside the church, and set fire in the skylight. Luckily the fire did not spread to other parts of the church. The teenagers also damaged the security cameras, but by then the footage of their actions had already been archived. Gregorio Gabriele, custodian and manager of the Church of Carmine, notified the police as soon as he discovered the destruction. The police viewed video footage and caught the boys who committed the acts of vandalism.

New Religion Law in Belarus will allow more arbitrariness against Christian churches

October 11, 2023, Belarus

On October 11 the House of Representatives of Belarus approved the new law on the activities of religious organisations in its first reading. The content of this bill has only recently been made public and although it is still awaiting its second reading before coming into force, the UN and various human rights organisations are warning of the further repression of churches considered "undesirable" that this law will allow. "Mass liquidation of various religious organizations" is expected, reports opposition media.

Graveyard Vandalized at Peterborough Cathedral

October 9, 2023, United Kingdom

Vandals targeted a burial ground at Peterborough Cathedral on October 9 between 6 PM and 7 PM. A metal obelisk was kicked over, grave markers were turned upside down and labels identifying various types of flowers were ripped off. The Cathedral gardening team is attempting to repair the damage, and police have launched an investigation.

Christian Secondary School Teacher Fired after Refusing to Teach 8-Year-Old Pupils Gender and Sexual Identities

October 9, 2023, United Kingdom

Glawdys Leger, 43, taught modern foreign languages at Bishop Justus Church of England School until May, 2022 when she was fired for refusing to teach her 7 and 8-year-old pupils about gender and sexual identities. The teacher was reported by a student and subsequently fired for "gross misconduct" after an investigation and disciplinary hearing. Shortly after, she received a letter from the Teaching Regulation Agency that allegedly her teaching conduct had been "contrary to fundamental British values in that it lacked tolerance to those with different beliefs." Leger, on the other hand, says that she "cannot, in good conscience, teach or say things I believe are contrary to my faith." Leger's hearing is due to commence in Coventry on October 9, 2023.

Attempted Break-In to Church in Schnaitsee

October 9, 2023, Germany

Between October 6 and October 9, an unknown perpetrator tried to pry open the entrance door to the church of St. Magdalena in Schnaitsee. The perpetrator was unable to gain entry to the church. Based on the evidence on site, it can be assumed that a lever tool was used. This damaged both the entrance door and the masonry of the church. The police reported the incident on October 10.

Swastika Painted on Front Step of Spangenberg Church

October 8, 2023, Germany

A swastika sign was painted on the entrance steps of a Protestant church in Spangenberg. The Homberg criminal police are now investigating the unknown perpetrators.

Arabic Graffiti on Church Bell Tower in Sacile

October 6, 2023, Italy

On the morning of October 6, Don Boris Bandiera, the priest at the Parish of San Odorico in Sacile, found graffiti on the front wall of the church bell tower. He immediately notified the police, who helped him translate the Arabic graffiti writing: "There is no God but Allah." Don Boris stated that this is not the first attack on his church that he has witnessed, but the message of this vandalism left him stunned.

Pastor's Car Set on Fire in Mesoraca

October 6, 2023, Italy

In the evening of October 6, the pastor of the Evangelical Church of Mesoraca, Giovanni Aiello, was having dinner at a restaurant in Mesoraca when an unknown individual set fire to his car. While Aiello and other guests were inside, someone noticed the flames and alerted everyone. The car was completely destroyed by the flames along with the car parked next to it. Aiello immediately filed a complaint at the Mesoraca police station. Military personnel promptly started investigations to trace the perpetrator of the serious act, examining the video surveillance cameras located in the area. Last December the pastor's mountain home in the Fratta area was also destroyed. "I thought it would end there", he said, but added that after the new attack he is feeling unsafe.

Church in Cleethorpes Set on Fire

October 5, 2023, United Kingdom

On October 5, Beaconthorpe Methodist church was set on fire. Firefighters were immediately called to the scene. No one was injured in the fire. Three men have been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire and have been released on bail while the investigation continues.

Feldmark Church Vandalized with Graffiti

October 4, 2023, Germany

A church on Pothmannstraße in Feldmark, Gelsenkirchen was damaged between September 29 and October 4. The unknown perpetrators damaged a lighting rod and sprayed the church facade with various graffiti of swear words. The building's caretaker noticed the damage on October 4 and notified the police.

Two Assaults on Churches in Malaga and Cadiz

October 3, 2023, Spain

Two churches were vandalized in Andalusia: the Virgen de las Flores Convent Church in Malaga and the Puerto Real Hospital Chapel in Cadiz. The attacks happened in September of 2023 and were reported on October 3, 2023. In the Puerto Real Hospital the perpetrators took a consecrated host, while in the Virgen de las Flores Convent they scattered the consecrated hosts on the floor, took the mantle of Mary and the image of Baby Jesus. The Spanish Foundation of Christian Laywers filed complaints against those responsible for the attacks in October of 2023.

First Arrests in Coleraine over Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone

October 3, 2023, Ireland

The first arrests in Northern Ireland in relation to the new buffer zones regulation around abortion clinics occurred on the morning of October 3. The individuals arrested were a Catholic man and woman. They were praying outside Causeway Hospital. The woman was praying on her knees with a rosary and they were holding pro-life signs. Officers told them to leave and when they refused they were arrested. They were later released on bail pending further enquiries. The issue was highlighted when a pro-choice activist posted a photo of the pair talking to a police officer on social media. A fellow activist who knew the pair said they had been coming to pray outside the hospital weekly after regulations permitting abortion were introduced in Northern Ireland in March 2020.

Church in Aisch Vandalized

October 3, 2023, Germany

The church of St. Johannes in Neustadt an der Aisch was vandalized on October 3. Presumably three young teenagers left a trail of destruction. Pastor Daniel Bittel of the parish of St. Johannes said he encountered the three vandals, but only later realized that they were probably responsible for the destruction. Bottles of wine and beer and flour from the thanksgiving altar had been scattered, nearly all the offering candles had been thrown to the ground, and praise books had been torn to pieces in the front of the church.

Armed raid on Krasnodar church and arrest of clergy following anti-war sermon

October 3, 2023, Russia

On 3 October special police units raided the premises of the Holy Intercession Tikhonite Church, a non-Moscow Patriarchate Russian Orthodox Church in Krasnodar Krai, southern Russia. Electronic devices and documents were seized, and the agents, armed with machine guns, arrested and threatened to criminally prosecute Archbishop Viktor Pivovarov and Hieromonk Iona Sigida with "discrediting the Russian Armed Forces" for their anti-war stance.

Church on Isle of Portland, Dorset Set on Fire

October 2, 2023, United Kingdom

Emergency services were called to St. Peter's Church on Portland on the evening of October 2, 2023 due to a fire in the church. Police have said a local youth is assisting them with enquiries about how the fire began. The fire at the historic site, which is more than 150 years old, is believed to be deliberate. According to the police, security measures will be needed to prevent this kind of anti-social behaviour.

Live Broadcast Camera Stolen from Church in Dublin

October 1, 2023, Ireland

On October 1, the camera used for live broadcasts in St. Ann's Church in Dublin was stolen. The camera has not been found, but a hat with a name written on the inside was left at the scene. The vicar of the church, Father Arbuthnot, said "Of course, we completely forgive the man who took the camera - we just want it back." The church uses the camera to stream their services so that the elderly and infirm parishioners can stay connected with the parish life and not become too isolated.

Swastikas sprayed on the Outside Walls of Church in Sechshelden

September 29, 2023, Germany

In the early hours of September 29th somebody sprayed swastikas and other slogans on the outside walls and the door of the Church of Sechshelden. The Police has started an investigation.

Pro-Abortion Demonstrators Vandalize Church in Barcelona with Offensive Graffiti and Harass Churchgoers

September 28, 2023, Spain

The Spanish Christian Lawyers Foundation has filed a complaint against a pro-abortion organization whose members allegedly harassed people attending Mass and spray-painted offensive slogans on the walls of the church. According to the lawyers, the organization responsible for the harassment and vandalism was the Association of Sexual and Reproductive Rights. On September 28, during a march through the streets of Barcelona, protestors "attacked the parish of Santa María del Remei in the Las Corts neighborhood," according to a statement posted on October 17 on the lawyers' website. The complaint to the judge specifies that "the attackers reproached the parishioners who attended Mass in addition to painting graffiti with statements such as "(piece of) trash church you are a dictatorship" or "abuser priests prohibit abortion."

Christian Family Faces Prosecution for Homeschooling if Deported Back to Germany

September 25, 2023, Germany

A Christian family is asking the Biden administration to intervene in their deportation after they lived in the USA for 15 years seeking asylum from prosecution in Germany. The Romeikes had fled Bissingen, Germany in 2008 after being threatened with prosecution for homeschooling their five children. Homeschooling in Germany is tightly regulated and only allowed under certain circumstances.

Two Cases of Desecration in Hospital Chapel in Puerto Real

September 14, 2023, Spain

On the 14th of September, CNA reported that a hospital chapel in the town of Puerto Real, in the Diocese of Cádiz and Ceuta, had recently been desecrated twice. The first time, nothing was stolen but someone moved the tabernacle so that it was out of joint and left a dirty glass in it. The second time, the consecrated hosts were stolen and the veil of the tabernacle was torn off. The police were notified.

UPDATE: UK Home Secretary Clarifies that "Silent Prayer" is not Unlawful

September 8, 2023, United Kingdom

The Home Secretary of the UK has now clarified that “silent prayer, within itself, is not unlawful” in a letter for the police forces across the country. This statement comes in response to many months of controversy over "buffer zones" outside abortion facilities that have led to the arrest of several citizens for praying silently in their minds inside a buffer zone.

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission: "Azerbaijan Pursues ‘Elimination of the Entire Christian Population and Its Churches’ in Nagorno-Karabakh"

September 6, 2023, Armenia

As the humanitarian situation of Armenian Christians behind Azerbaijan's blockade in Nagoro-Karabakh becomes critical, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the US Congress conducted a hearing on 6 September to explore the situation. Experts heard by the commission pointed out that Azerbaijan’s actions clearly constituted a genocide, as it is using starvation as a form of ethnic cleansing. Georgetown University adjunct professor David L. Philips argued that the final intention of Azerbaijan is the “elimination of the entire Christian population and its churches.”

Church Organ Console Worth 5000 Euro Stolen

September 6, 2023, Germany

Between September 4th and 6th, an organ console worth 5000€ was stolen from a church in Detmold. This is not only significant because of the monetary value but it also hinders the ceremonial process of the mass. Local police assumes that there were at lease two people involved in the theft and started an investigation.

Theft and Desecration of Tabernacle from a Church in Mönchengladbach

September 5, 2023, Germany

In the night of September 4th to 5th, unidentified thieves managed to break into the church by entering through a window of the neighbouring building and then using the shared basement. They left with the tabernacle, the golden chalice inside it and two more boxes of unknown content. Since the tabernacle is quite heavy, police expects that more than one person must have been involved in the crime. The exact damage is unknown since it is not clear what the tabernacle and the chalice are made of. The local police started an investigation. 

Severe vandalism, desecration and death threats inside a chapel in Pedregalejo, Malaga

September 5, 2023, Spain

On September 5 a man broke into the Corpus Christi parish church in Pedregalejo (Malaga) and caused considerable damage to the parish hall while uttering death threats and shouting "God doesn't exist", among other derogatory phrases against the Church. The offender smashed several paintings, including one of Mary, a carving of Christ crucified, a pedestal of Mary, several chairs, a candelabra and some glass.

Gilded Statue Stolen from Church in Denbighshire

September 5, 2023, United States

A 252-year-old statue of a pelican has been stolen from St Dyfnog Church in Llanrhaedr, Denbighshire. The 0.6 meter gilded statue was stolen between August 22 and September 5. The carving, which has been hanging in the church for at least 100 years, was situated next to the altar in the church. The North Wales Police are investigating the theft.

UPDATE: Päivi Räsänen Stands Trial Again For Sharing her Christian Worldview

September 1, 2023, Finland

During the 31st of August and the 1st September, Finnish Politian Päivi Räsänen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola stood trial at the Helsinki Court of Appeal for the charges brought against them of "inciting hatred" against LGBT people. These charges are based upon a Twitter post made by Räsänen in 2019, as well as a pamphlet and a radio interview. Last year, Räsänen and Pohjola were unanimously acquitted of all charges, but due to the appeal by the prosecutor, they stood trial again. The verdict will be announced in November 30th.

Church in Bodmin Closed to Visitors after Repeated Vandalism

September 1, 2023, United Kingdom

St. Petroc's Church in Bodmin was opened to visitors outside of services but on September 1 the church announced that it has been forced to close because of repeated vandalism. A spokesperson of the church said that it hoped to reopen to visitors in time, and that it was working with the police on the issue.

Man from Sopron Tried to Rob Five Churches in One Night

September 0, 2023, Hungary

The Sopron District Prosecutor's office requested the arrest of a 43-year-old man who tried to break into five churches in one night. One night in September, the unemployed homeless man attempted to break into two small churches in one town, but was unsuccessful. After that, he continued to another village where he was able to pry open the door of the church. He searched through the church but did not steal anything, but damaged two motion detectors and caused approximately HUF 50,000 worth of damage. Following this incident, the man went to the church of another settlement, where he cracked open the window to enter the church and opened the display cases containing cash. He took less than HUF 50,000, but including the vandalism of the church, approximately HUF 100,000 worth of damage was caused. Lastly, the man visited a different church where he broke the window and pried open a cupboard containing donations. He stole HUF 20,000 from this church, but approximately HUF 100,000 in damage was caused. The prosecutor proposed the arrest of the perpetrator.

UPDATE: Hieromonk Ioann Kurmoyarov sentenced to three years in jail for oposing war in Ukraine

August 31, 2023, Russia

The verdict of the Court against Fr Ioann Kurmoyarov was given on 31 August and has finally sentenced the hieromonk to 3 years in a penal colony accused of disseminating false information about the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Glass Door of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna Destroyed with Hammer

August 27, 2023, Austria

In the evening of August 27, on the fringes of a Syrian protest, a glass door of the St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna was smashed with a hammer. The police, who were present due to the rally scheduled for the evening, immediately arrested the perpetrator armed with two hammers. The man was taken to the hospital, in case he was suffering from psychosis - the police considered a connection with the demonstration unlikely.

Six Stone Crosses were broken from the crowns on Budapest's Margaret Bridge

August 25, 2023, Hungary

On the night of August 24, three men broke 6 stone crosses from de crowns on Margaret Bridge in Budapest. The perpetrators were filmed by CCTV cameras and an investigation has been launched by the police to identify them.

Muslim Man hurls Insults and throws rocks at the windows of a church in Sweden

August 22, 2023, Sweden

A man targeted a Catholic church in Haninge, near Stockholm, with stones while shouting "Allah Akbar, I'm going to rape Jesus." The video is uploaded by 'Fares Aziz', he posted the video on TikTok. It is not exactly clear when the event took place and how local authorities responded.