All cases

Extreme Vandalism to Church caused over 10 thousand Euro Damage

December 4, 2021, Germany

On Sunday morning (5. December), the churchgoers found the Johanneskirche in Feuersee completely vandalised. The perpetrator(s) devastated the Protestant church by destroying over 20 windows, breaking open the cupboards, taking the bibles from the shelves and throwing them around, among other things during the night of the 4. December. The damage is estimated at over 10 thousand Euros and the Church has to remain closed for the time being. The police are investigating to find the perpetrator(s).

Proposal to replace the word "Christmas" with "Holidays" or "Winter Break" raised Concern

December 1, 2021, International

In the first week of December, an internal document outlining communication guidelines for European Union staff was leaked, which raised concern among the Christian population. In this document, the EU Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli of Malta, proposed replacing the term "Happy Christmas" for "Happy Holidays" or calling Christmas a "winter break" in the name of inclusivity. Among the Christian voices that raised concern, Pope Francis called this action "a fashion of a watered-down secularism" and called it an "anachronism". The document has since been withdrawn.

Arson at Church in Boulonnais follows series of attacks

November 27, 2021, France

On the night of 26th to 27th November around midnight, a fire struck a church in Boulonnais in the town of Le Portel. The church Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul had already been vandalised a couple of days before. The fire started at the back of the religious building in the sacristy where the equipment of the parish priest and volunteers is kept. Nineteen firemen intervened to control the fire, which threatened the whole church. The police arrested a 36-year-old suspect during the night as he was trying to flee, as the police commissioner of Boulogne, Arnaud Jublin, explained. A hearing of the suspect will take place soon. 

Arson by Under-Age-Boy at a Church in Toulouse

November 26, 2021, France

A parishioner of the church of Fronton in Toulouse witnessed on the 26. November how a fire broke out on the altar of the church. Thanks to his quick reaction, the fire was rapidly brought under control. The investigation launched by the police showed that the fire had been set by a minor. The young man has been taken into police custody and will be tried in February 2022.

Church of Santa Maria Magdalena Vandalised Twice in November

November 25, 2021, Poland

The parish of St. Mary Magdalene reported an attack that took place on the 23. November in the morning. Police were notified by the parish priest that someone had smashed the windows with a stone in the sacristy and the utility room. The damage was estimated at 1.5 thousand PLN according to the police. This is not the first case in recent days, as on the 14. November, three lanterns and lamps illuminating the facade were destroyed at the same church. The investigation of that case is still running.

OSCE Report shows alarming increase of Anti-Christian Hate Crimes

November 16, 2021, Austria

On the "International Day for Tolerance", the OSCE released a Hate Crimes Report, which documented 980 descriptive incidents against Christians out of 4008 incidents. Descriptive incidents are the ones documented by civil society organizations, such as the Observatory. There is a larger number of cases when police numbers are counted. The Observatory has drawn attention to the rising trend (70%) of Anti-Christian Hate Crimes since last year, considering that only 8 out of the 136 civil society or international organisations consistently reported crimes with Anti-Christian bias.

Man Steals 55 Euros from the Mariahilfe Church in Vienna

November 11, 2021, Austria

The Viennese police caught a 40-year-old man in a Church in Vienna-Mariahilf on the morning of the 11th after a burglary. He was temporarily handcuffed and the stolen offertory money was seized, as the Vienna Police Directorate reported in a press release on Friday. According to spokeswoman Barbara Gass, about 55 euros were found on the man. The perpetrator has been imprisoned.

Man Tries to Burn Down an Entire Chapel due to his Beliefs

November 8, 2021, Poland

A 38-year-old man was arrested while setting fire to the small chapel of St. Anna in Jasienica in the city of Myślenice on the 8. November. The police were alerted and managed to arrive on the scene in time to arrest the man and initiate operations to reduce the fire. The arriving patrol officers noticed that the window glass of the building was broken and the assailant was still inside. "He lit a fire there, expecting the fire to consume this small building." They pulled the man out of the window and handcuffed him. According to the police spokesman, Sebastian Gleń, the perpetrator explained he committed this act due to his beliefs and that his aim was to destroy the chapel completely. He is now awaiting sentencing, which could be up to ten years in prison.

Spanish Politician Compares Catholics with the Taliban

November 2, 2021, Spain

Politician Beatriz Bandera posted on Twitter on the 2. November a short video of the Sevillian Holy Week devotees during their yearly procession with the caption "Our Taliban". With this post, she compares faithful Catholics during a peaceful procession with the terrorist group of radical Islamist fundamentalists. Despite the criticism and offence that her commentary has generated, Mrs Bandera has not apologised, "I criticise what I finance with my taxes. Can I? Or not?", she reiterated.

UPDATE: Ban on "Conversion Therapy" in UK "Could Lead to the Prosecution" of Pastors and Church Leaders

November 1, 2021, United Kingdom

The Welsh government has admitted that the ban on conversion therapy "could lead to the prosecution of religious leaders". The ban on conversion therapy was announced by the Queen in May this year and was welcomed by the Bench of Bishops in the Church in Wales. The document presented by the government leaves aside questions such as the possibility to attack religious freedom and claims that conversion therapies cause harm, although it gives "no evidence to justify the claim". Since then, Christian groups have raised concern that the ban could apply for private prayer and conversations, undermining religious freedom. The consultation by the Government will be open until 10. December 2021.

Increase in Thefts of Consecrated Hosts in the Days Leading Up to Halloween

October 31, 2021, Spain

According to a report by ABC, the theft of consecrated Hosts in Spain has been a yearly phenomenon that occurs with special emphasis in the days leading up to halloween. The fathers recall finding the churches damaged after the hosts were stolen. This has happened in different churches for the last 10 years. Famed Spanish exorcist Fr. José Antonio Fortea reported that desecrations are taking place in many dioceses, but "the media do not usually report it". Many priests also fail to report such thefts, fearing that going public would have a "domino effect". Although these desecrating incidents happen annually, the police has not put up any preventive safety measures.

St Nicholas Church Vandalised on the Halloween Night

October 31, 2021, Germany

On the 31. October at night, the St. Nicholas Church in Immenstadt was damaged by graffiti. The unknown perpetrator(s) sprayed the words "Die Heiligen Geschwister Scholl" (The holy Scholl siblings) in black paint on the wall, causing damage of about 500 euros. The police are running an investigation. On the 31. October, there was increased vandalism in the whole region.

Arson by Unknown Perpetrators in Church Premises

October 30, 2021, Italy

On the evening of 30. October, a fire broke out in the premises next to the church of Sant'Aniceto in Villar Perosa. Thanks to the Fire Brigade and volunteers, the fire was brought under control and no one was hurt. The parish priest, Don Orlando Aguilar Tobon, suspects that the fire was voluntary because the cleaning ladies noticed the smell of cigarettes and found a disordered room, later he was informed that a fire had broken out from a locked cabinet. A bottle of wine and two glasses were also found in the room.

Arson and Vandalism at Church in Germany

October 28, 2021, Germany

On 28. October at around 7.15 pm., witnesses found that there had been several damages to property in the church in Hellenthal. The organ and other objects were smeared with wax, and a burnt hole was found in the pew, among other things. The damage amounts to a few hundred euros. The damage to the property must have taken place between 10 am and 7 pm. The police opened an investigation.

Man Damaged Crucifix and Dismantled Church for "Religious Reasons"

October 28, 2021, Germany

At around 12.30 p.m. on 28. October, the police received a report of damage to property in the evangelical Frauenberg church in Sangerhäuser Straße, Nordhausen. A 25-year-old Afghan man had gone into the church, emptied it for "religious reasons" and broken a Crucifix. The police have filed a complaint of damage to property. The amount of damage is not yet known, but the damaged Crucifix had a high historical value to the community, which will be immediately restored.

Church Walls Vandalized with Graffiti in Leipzig

October 28, 2021, Germany

On the 28. October at night, vandals sprayed messages in black paint on the walls of a church in Stötteritz. Some of the tags were also against the police and the damage to property is estimated at around 1,000 euros. The police filed a report are investigating the incident.

Church in Neuburg Vandalised with Graffiti

October 25, 2021, Germany

In Neuburg, the Holy Spirit Church on Spitalplatz was smeared with graffiti on the 25. October, as was reported by the police. Between the 25th and 26th, an unknown perpetrator sprayed grey graffiti on a wall in the area of the parish garden. This caused damage amounting to 1000 euros, the police are running an investigation.

Attempted Arson and Vandalism at the Protestant Church in Holzkirchen

October 22, 2021, Germany

According to the police of Holzkirchen, between the 22. and 24. October, the Protestant Blessing Church in the Haidstraße was targeted for vandalism. Unknown perpetrators entered the church without any problem, as the place of worship is open every day. They destroyed the disinfectant provided and spread it on the floor of the entrance, it seems that they intended to light a fire because burn matches were found in the church, they also threw the pillows of the chairs around the church. Outside, police found a fireplace consisting of a vehicle tire and small wooden branches, although no fire was lit there.

Mallorca: Another Cross Demolished in Spain

October 21, 2021, Spain

On 22 October, the town council of Son Servera (Mallorca), which is governed by Natalia Troya, demolished the Cross of the Fallen in the Plaza de la Tercera Edad. There there was no inscription of any kind and the Cross and it had been peacefully part of the town's monuments for decades. There is serious suspicion of illegality hanging over the decision, given that in June an application was registered with the Consell de Mallorca for the Cross to be cataloged as a listed monument, and this file is pending a report which was mandatory to take any action on the monument. The town council used the "Law of Historical Memory", which was passed by the PSOE in the times of President Zapatero.

St. Marien Church in Bochum-Langendreer Looted for the Third Time

October 21, 2021, Germany

In Bochum-Langendreer, criminals have been targeting churches for looting, the last time being on the night of 23. to 24. October. The Catholic community of St. Mary's in the former Langendreer station has been the target of three burglaries this year. In February, the parish office behind the church in Marien was devastated. This time the burglars had their sight set on the church. On the night of Wednesday to Thursday (20./21. October), they broke in through the side door and stole a projector, according to the congregation. And on the night of Saturday to Sunday (23./24. October) the main entrance was broken into and the offerings were stolen.