Find here a list of cases for the year 2009 which was brought to our attention .
In 2009 the Roman Catholic Polish magazine, Gosc Niedzielny (Sunday Visitor) was fined nearly €25,000 for an anti-abortion editorial.
In 2008 and 2009 several isolation cases of vandalizing of churches took place in various parts of Lithuania. These cases include on breaking into churches and vandalizing cemeteries, presumably by satanic groups. Some cases were reported to the police.
The orthodox archpriest was shot dead by criminals after he admonished them for hooliganism. The killers came to the church and defecated in the hallway. The priest asked them to stop their acting and was shot to death.
Christmas wordings were substituted by non-religious phrases on countless occasions. Phrases range from “seasonal greetings” to “may your celebration be under a good star” to "white seasons songs" in all European countries. A very interesting report has reached us from an employee of a global corporation based in Switzerland.
‘I feel if I had spoken about almost any other topic I would have been fine but Christianity is seen as a no-go area. It felt as if I was being treated as a criminal. It is like a bad dream that had come true,’ says sacked teacher Olive Jones.
Due diligence omitted in questionable article in German daily Die Zeit wrongly accusing Christians of being in favour of radical law in Uganda. Complaint to Press Council lodged by professor of journalism.
Eight families in Salzkotten, Germany, have suffered heavy fines and now their fathers have been sentenced to prison, because they have refused to send their elementary school-age children to mandatory sexual education classes. State wants “to prevent parallel societies.”
Several acts of vandalism against the church of Derventa were reported in December 2009. Vandals attempted to break in the church, destroyed windows, damaged the cemetery and destroyed lights and decorations.
The advent season is used by Belgian anti-religious politicians to propose ban of religious symbols on objects serving a public function and a ban on religious traditions of public life.
A Christian hotelier couple who expressed their Christian beliefs to Muslim guest during a discussion of religion were subsequently arrested for disrupting public order. Charges were later dismissed.
Homosexual students disrupted a lecture of Protestant philosopher Prof. Edith Düsing at Cologne University. The students made noise and used kissing and banners due to her support of a manifesto in May 2009 protesting the cancellation of an academic lecture at a psychology congress on grounds of the speakers’ research on healing homosexuality.
The International Social Survey Program - a 45-nation academic group - finds that nearly 40 percent of population has negative view of Christians. 49 percent of those surveyed said they would either "absolutely" or "most likely" not support a political party that accepted people from another religion. No non-Muslim religious gathering in Turkey is completely "risk free."
A couple from northern Hessen (Germany) had to pay a fine to the extent of 120 € for taking their children out of school for religious reasons. The district Court of Kassel charged the 48-year-old man and his 43-year-old wife with 60 daily rates of 1€ in an appellate decision. In the previous contested judgment of June 2008 they were supposed to go to jail for three months, even though the attorney admitted that the children are well educated.
New FBI statistics on hate crimes show a nine percent increase in crimes against religious groups in 2008 and an almost 25 percent increase in reported hate crimes against Catholics.
EU-equal opportunities-commissioner Vladimir Spidla has said that absolutely no exemptions can be allowed in anti-discrimination laws, even for religious conscience. In a letter to the British government, the EU has demanded that Britain abolish laws protecting religious freedom rights with regards to "sexual orientation."
United Left (IU) and Initiative for a Green Catalonia (ICV) proposed an amendment to the National Spanish Budget to deprive the Catholic Church of state funding, remove the tax deduction of volunteer contributions of citizens, and end the benefits on value-added-tax and property tax.
The Women’s Telephone Association of Milan launched an awareness campaign on violence against women featuring a semi-nude woman in the position of the crucifixion, with the slogan: “Who pays for the sins of men?”
Chapel set on fire in the night from November 15th to 16th in Over (Hamburg). Damage caused is estimated over 100,000 Euros.
Scotland town eliminated all references to Christmas, an address by a Christian minister, and the traditional nativity from its annual holiday celebration.
Police investigating the brutal assault of two teenage boys in Canterbury in November who say they may have been attacked because they were delivering Christian leaflets.
Scottish gay/transsexual festival "Glasgay!" featured the play "Jesus, Queen of Heaven" in which Jesus is a transsexual woman. Taxpayer money involved. Christian protestors named "homophobic".
Christian woman of Norwich complained about a gay pride march in letter to police upon which she was investigated on hate crime.
Judge Fernando Calamita sentenced to 10 years of occupational ban and fined for delaying the adoption of a little girl by the lesbian partner of her mother as a form of conscientious objection.
Aleksejs Ribakovs, Orthodox Priest, was beaten and forced to move to another city to protect his family. One of the suspects was caught and identified as a young Muslim who proclaimed to hate Christians.
A Somerset Parish Council ended a 115-year tradition of saying Christian prayers at the beginning of its meeting after receiving a complaint.
A church in London has seen congregation numbers dwindle from 100 to 30 since the local council subjected it to noise restrictions following a complaint from a Muslim neighbour.
A large percentage of Turkish residents report that Christians are unwelcome in both the public and private sectors.
Professor Luigi Lombardi Vallauri's teaching contract was not prolonged by the Catholic University of Milano after he taught things like the gospel was the “most frightening message ever made known to mankind” and that “Jesus was through and through a bad human being”. On October 20th, the Court ruled that this was a violation of his freedom of opinion.
Catholics were stoned while participating to a Mass at the cemetery chapel of Donji Vajuf.
Unknown perpetrators placed several pornographic images in the hymnal books of two Tyrolean Churches, and glued various Jewish and Nazi symbols on the front cover.
The church of Notre-Dame d’Espérance in Siant-Brieux (Côtes d’Armor) was targeted by vandals on Saturday, October 3rd, 2009. Chairs were broken and thrown to the ground, trash was spread in the church and stain glass windows were broken by throwing stones and chairs at them.
Large white crosses carried by pro life manifestations through the city of Berlin. Several of the crosses were stolen by members of left wing associations and were thrown into a nearby river.
About 15 graves were vandalized in the cemetery of Cré near Châteauroux (Indre). Headstones were tipped or broken and funeral ornaments were wrecked.
Vandals broke or extracted numerous white crosses of the military cemetery of Nompatelize (Vosges). The Maire of Nompatelize, Didier Barret, furious, says: “What distinguishes men from animals is the respect for the dead. Those who did this are stupid, I don’t even know if they were aware of their actions. I wish they will once know the price of the blood shed for their peace and freedom.”
Large-scale vandalism of a Christian cemetery recalls decades of suffering by Orthodox Christians in Turkey.
A group of Catholic nuns were openly insulted in Tuzla on August 21st, 2009.
On Thursday, September 17th, 2009, in the evening, a man entered the church of Saint-Hilaire to vandalize the statue of the Virgin Mary. The statue fell on the ground and broke into pieces.
On September 11th, 12th and 13th was set in the French town of Angers the 11th annual Festival of the Accroche-Coeur. Its theme was “Angels and Demons”, a theme which led to half-naked angels and demons parades, erotic shows and short plays imitating and fooling a Catholic Mass. The Christian Democratic Party said he was “deeply shocked” by the erotic displays; the mayor himself, Jean-Claude Antonini left the show without giving his final speech.
Anti-Christian slogans such as “There is no God” and “If Mary had had an abortion, we would have been spared from you!” shouted at anti-life demo in Vienna.
A Christian church in South Wales was targeted by vandals who smashed its newly restored stained glass windows. Worshippers were forced to cancel services in order to fix damages.
70 graves were wrecked in the cemetery of Coudekerque-Branche. Memorial plaques, funeral ornaments and urns were found broken into pieces and laying on the ground. Rocks were also thrown on numerous graves, thus damaging them. David Bailleul, the mayor of Coudekerque-Branche, condems these “obnoxious, unacceptable and scandalous acts”.
A charity in Scotland decided to drop the word ‘church’ from its title, saying that it creates “unnecessary barriers” to accessing public funding. The chairman of Perth-based Churches Action for the Homeless (CATH) said he had been told “off the record” that their perceived religious identity made it more difficult for them to receive grants. Trustees asked the charity’s supporters to suggest a new “fully inclusive” name for the group.
In July and in August 2009, the church of Juniville was targeted several times by vandals who broke stained glass windows by throwing rocks at them. The costs of the fixing was estimated at about 10 000€.
The Xth century church of Communay was targeted by vandals during the night of August, 24th, 2009. Two crosses were unhooked and thrown to the ground. Candals and singing books were found all over the church and flower pots were thrown against a stain-glass window.
The church of the Sacred-Heart of Maubeuge was the target of degradations. A parishioner put an and to the damage when he entered the church at approximately 6:30 p.m., thus putting to flight three young men. The three had left a devotional note to Allah.
Christians treated as second class teachers; pupils taught that “Christianity would be abolished in the end, all other religions would disappear and everybody will convert to Islam” at school in Amsterdam, and that “only Muslims can after all be good people.”
Harrassed Christian family sends report to the observatory
Freedom of speech is being challenged in the case of Miguel Hayworth, a Christian street preacher in Manchester, UK who was silenced by police after publicly reading a passage from the Bible discussing homosexuality.
Obscene and offensive messages have been scrawled over a Bible at a taxpayer-funded exhibition in Glasgow.
Residents of Milnrow, Lancashire, were surprised to see council workers installing Christmas lights in August 2009, 127 days before Christmas Day. Rochdale Borough Council said the lights would be used to celebrate a number of festivals, starting with the Muslim feast of Eid in September. Other ‘holy days’ over the period between August and Christmas include Hindu Diwali celebrations in October, the Jewish feast of Hanukkah in December and even Yule, the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. The Council’s decision attracted derision from the national press and Milnrow residents. One local labelled the move “ludicrous” and said: “A worker told me they had to be up in time for all the religious festivals, but most of the lights refer to the Christian Christmas.”
Pop-singer Madonna performed on August 15, the main Marian feast day of Polish Catholics, in Warsaw with for Christians offensive lyrics and images. Ads included sentences such as “There is no room for two queens in that country.”
Experienced community paediatrician dismissed from adoption panel over Christian views has been reinstated upon public outcry.
Around twenty churches were vandalized on the night of July 26th in commemoration of the centenary of the „Tragic Week“ (a series of blood sheding fights between the Spanish army and the working classes) in Barcelona.
German entrepreneur murdered in Istanbul most likely because of hatred towards Christians. CNN-Turk and Agence France Press quote the murderer to have stated in an interrogation that he had aimed at "killing Christians".
The church of the Sacred-Heart of Toulon has been for the past two years the target of malevolent acts. Urine was found in the baptismal font, a church responsible was seriously assaulted, the tabernacle was vandalized and many thefts and degradation are to be deplored. The church had to be kept closed for several weeks in 2009.
Father Noël became a victim of intimidation and threats in Toul over the course of a year. He finally decided to leave the district of la Croix de Metz in Toul.
A new Irish initiative that would grant rights to homosexual couples contains no conscience clause and lays out fines and potential prison sentences for registrars who refuse to carry out same-sex civil partnerships. Concerns from church leaders disregarded as Bill passes Second Stage consideration.
Seven-year-old taken away from his family by Swedish authorities at Arlanda International Airport in Stockholm, for being home educated, although home education was legal in Sweden at that time.
The Belfast church which had offered refuge to Romanian immigrants after a racisst attack was itself attacked.
Gay Pride parade in Rome depicts crosses with sex items, ridicules the suffering Jesus by live imitations and carries anti-Catholic flags.
The City Major of Rivas-Vaciamadrid, José Masa, announced that he was going to organize a celebration for children between the ages of 8 to 10 similar to the religious first communion upon the request of the community. The festivities would be called "fiestas del florecimiento" (flowering festival). "It would be a 'laity first communion'; but I do not want to call it this way because then, the right wing blames me for the celebration of laity baptisms and marriages using Catholic Church rituals", he clarified.
German Gay and Lesbian Association in opposition to two speeches on Psychotherapy congress on whether sexual orientation could be changed if wished for. Speeches had to be delivered with police protection. Anti-Christian counter-demonstration portrayed Jesus as a pig nailed to the cross and used slogans such as: “We are here to hurt your feelings.”
Belgian magazine attached altar host imitations to May issue. Cover shows nun in sexy lace blouse saying “Holy shit!”
A new Equality Bill which would have forced Churches to employ practicing homosexuals or transsexuals as youth workers was amended and retained existing employment exceptions for the purposes of religion.
“Angels & Demons”, a film adaptation of Dan Brown's novel of the same name released on May 15, 2009, is filled with historical inaccuracies and anti-Christian stereotypes.
Half a dozen swastikas found tagged on several columns in the basilica of Saint Denis, Paris.
The “Trinity Cross of the Order of Trinity” has been replaced by an “Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago” - a featuring a sun, stars, water and a map of the islands - as it was considered as offensive for non - Christians inhabitants.
During the night from Thursday 7th to Friday 8th, one or several individuals broke in the cemetery of Varilhes and vandalized numerous graves. Flower pots were broken, flower and funeral ornaments thrown in the alleys and graves were unsealed.
Liberal Group in the European Parliament tabled an amendment to the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World condemning Pope Benedict XVI's anti-condom statement.
A community ruling forbids any religious symbols, such as the crucifix, including on cemetery grounds, on May 6, 2009, in Lugo di Romagna.
A London hospital informed local artists who contributed paintings for its decoration were informed that any depiction but that of churches was welcome. The reason given was to be mindful of other religions.
Anand Rao, a nurse with over 40-years of experience, has been sacked after he suggested two people playing patients might go to Church and pray during a role play session on a training course.
The Catalonia Green Initiative (ICV), a left political fraction in the Spanish Congress, presented a motion to condemn Pope Benedict Statements made in Africa regarding HIV and the use of preservatives. The motion which was led by Joan Herrera and received the support of two members of the Popular Party (PP), Ana Pastor and Celia Villalobos.
Tombstones were tipped over, crosses broken, plaques and ornaments wrecked, flower pots put into pieces: a shocking sigh for the inhabitants. “I was disgusted to discover that,” says Gwenhaël François, mayor of Montbron.
Saint Joseph’s church of Clermont-Ferrand was partially destroyed by fire set to it on purpose. The fire started at 11:55 a.m. on Saturday, April 25th, and was mastered by the firemen only at 5 p.m. Philippe Kloeckner, the parish priest, explained that he had reported to the police a first attempt of fire against the church on Friday April 24th.
The Belgian Chamber and Senate overwhelmingly approve of two decisions that formally condemn the pope for having stated that the distribution of condoms will not help to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. The pope’s position is called a “crime against humanity."
Television program ANNOZERO openly insults Christianity by showing satirical vignettes of the Way of the Cross.
On the 27th of April 2009, the cemetery di Vezzo in the Comune della Provincia di Verbano Cusio Ossola was desecrated.
Christianity is being targeted on British television. The popular TV soap Coronation Street featured a series of outspoken attacks on the Christian faith. Numerous TV series and broadcasts present Christianity as ridiculous and absurd.
In March 2009, more than 100 participants of an unannounced counter-demonstration partially blocked a pro-life organisations, the so called 1000-crosses-march, in Muenster (Münster). The chairman of the pro-life organisation Euro pro Life, Wolfgang Hering, responsible for the march, had been surrounded by a large number of tourblemakers. Only under threat of coercive measures by the police, he was released by the attackers.
A group of Christian and Muslim parents who kept their children away from controversial lessons about homosexuality were reportedly facing legal action by the council involved.
A Christian minister was brutally attacked in London by three men who ripped off his cross, stole his Bible and threatened to break his legs. Metropolitan Police treated the case as a ‘faith hate’ assault.
Liberal Harvard scholar Edward Green strongly attacked in public for agreeing with Pope in saying that the distribution of condoms will not prevent the spread of HIV/Aids.
An employee at a Christian ‘homeless’ charity, whose Patron is the Archbishop of Canterbury, was suspended for answering questions about his faith to a colleague at work.
An Exposition at Museo Pan di Napoli showed the crucifix veiled in a condom.
From March 22nd to March 25th, vandals repeatedly destroyed windows of the Cathedral of Sarajevo.
Vandals broke in the church of Banja Luka, destroyed stained glass windows, and stole holy objects.
Vandals broke in the cathedral of Sarajevo and stole the chalices and other liturgical appointments.
St Mary’s Church in Heworth has been once more targeted by thieves and vandals.
The Christian Party office was vandalized days after the party launched a bus advertising campaign with the slogan, “There definitely is a God. So join the Christian party and enjoy your life.” The ad was a response to widespread atheist ads which carried the slogan, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” The Metropolitan Police investigated the vandalism as a ‘religious hate crime’.
The pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Rochdale was attacked by a gang of up to 20 youths. Pastor Dennis Rigg and his brother were making preparations in the church building for their father’s funeral when the group attacked the pastor and shouted out abuse relating to their Christian faith.
Intolerance and discrimination manifests itself also as social exclusion and marginalisation of Christians. Stereotyping by biased media coverage is a familiar tool of furthering marginalisation. The following excursus to the New York Times of Feb. 26th, 09, is just one example.
Between 15 and 24 February 2009 two churches in the Oxford area were broken into and highly symbolic religious items were desecrated. Local police officers thought the two incidents were linked and were possibly religiously motivated attacks to make a point against the Church of England. In both incidents safes containing communion bread at the churches were forced open, but nothing was stolen in either case. It is estimated that there was £3,000 worth of damage at St James the Great, in West Hanney, and in St Nicholas Church, in East Challow.
Burning of Bibles reported in Israel; mockery of Christians on TV; Catholic bishops speak of a "low profile" form of Christ[ian]ophobia.
67% of French Catholic parents say that public schools do not respect the freedom of conscience of their children.
For the third time in less than a year, the cemetery of Saint-Laurent-des-Autels was vandalized on Sunday, February 14th, 2009. This time, tags were found on graves and on the door of the church. In the cemetery, one could see swastikas on trees.
A five-year-old girl was reprimanded for talking about her faith at school and her mother, Jennie Cain, who worked part-time at her daughter’s school, was investigated for professional misconduct and faced disciplinary action. The school has settled out of court.
On the 7th and 12th of February 2009, two youths vandalized the Soz Kitapevi bookshop of the Turkish Bible Society in the city of Adana. The aggressors are suspected to be Muslim militants.
BBC repeats the screening of a drama depicting pro life campaigners as murderous terrorists.