All cases

Satanic Vandalic Attack on a Church in Golino

December 19, 2022, Switzerland

Between the 18th and 18th of December, unknown vandals tagged the walls of the church of San Giorgio in Golino, Canton of Ticino, with satanic and anarchist symbology in black paint. A complaint has already been made by the parish. The damage was noticed by the sacristan the next morning.

Saint-Roch's church in Paris Defaced with Hateful Graffiti

December 19, 2022, France

On 19 December several tags with insults, anarchist and nazi symbols appeared on several doors of Saint Roch's church in the centre of Paris. "A few days before Christmas, scandalous inscriptions were left on the church of Saint-Roch", wrote the mayor of Paris, Ariel Weil. He commented that a complaint had been lodged at the police and that the cleaning of the building had started.

Man Arrested After Destroying Nativity Scene with Hammer

December 17, 2022, Spain

A video was uploaded on Youtube on the 17. December of a man that destroys a Nativity Scene with a hammer in the Spanish city of Calahorra. He has already been arrested by the police.

Good news: German court rules that the ban on worship services during pandemic was illegal

December 16, 2022, Germany

A German court in Minden has declared that the "decision to ban worship services was illegal" as "the measure was 'disproportional', not founded in the law for infection prevention and violated the freedom of religion severely." The case referred to the total ban on public worship passed by the municipal council of Lage, a small town in the state of Lower Saxony, during Easter 2021.

UPDATE: Spain's Lower House Passes Bill Allowing Abortion for Minors Without Parental Consent

December 15, 2022, Spain

After some months of debate, the Congress of Deputies (the national parliament lower house in Madrid) recently passed the new abortion law. This law breaches human rights for parents and medical staff alike, as it allows minor girls 16 and 17 years old to undergo an abortion without parental consent. Also, the freedom of conscience for medical staff is under pressure, as doctors who opt-out from this procedure for conscience reasons will be placed on a list of "conscientious objectors" and removed from the medical committees that decide over a woman's claims of malformation or illness of the foetus that want to abort beyond the limit of the first 14 weeks.

Statues of Joseph and Mary Beheaded in Broad Daylight in Schaffen

December 14, 2022, Belgium

The statues of Joseph and Mary were found beheaded at the Nativity scene in Schaffen (Diest), on 14 December. It happened in broad daylight, in the afternoon. According to local residents, it is not the first time vandals have struck at the nativity scene.

The ECHR condemns Bulgaria for violating the right to Religious Freedom of Evangelical Christians

December 13, 2022, Bulgaria

The European Court of Human Rights has condemned Bulgaria for a 2008 governmental campaign to warn children and families away from Protestant churches. This came after in 2021, Pastor Tonchev and Pastor Kiryakov in Burgas, challenged the government's campaign that labelled Protestant Christians as "sects"and told children at schools that they should not attend such churches.

Vandalism to Church Property in Braga

December 12, 2022, Portugal

The vicinity of the Parish Church of São Francisco, in the parish of Real, in Braga, has been the target of vandalism and graffiti. Also a signboard in São Bento da Porta Aberta was found destroyed on 12 December.

Protestant Pastor arrested in Berdyansk, Ukraine by Russian Forces

December 12, 2022, Ukraine

The Ngo Forum 18 reports that on 12. December, "armed Russian soldiers broke into the home of Serhiy Karpenko, Pastor of the Vefil (Bethel) Protestant Church in Berdyansk." The Russian forces took him away in an unknown direction. The Berdyansk News Online also reported this on its Telegram channel the same day. According to the news channel, local residents said "soldiers had also searched the Church and allegedly found Ukrainian symbols."

"God is Dead, We killed him" Tagged on St. Nikolaus Church and Primary School

December 9, 2022, Germany

Between December 9 and the 13th, the buildings of the St. Nikolaus church and an elementary school were smeared with graffiti and anti-Christian slogans in Konz. One writing said, "God is dead, we killed him", while other symbols were tagged such as pentagrams and inverted crosses. The police have proof from the CCTV cameras of two unidentified perpetrators who entered the elementary school grounds and graffitied the walls. However, the persons are yet to be identified.

Pro-terrorist Graffiti at Church's Door in Sevilla

December 6, 2022, Spain

A tag with the words "Gora ET(A)" appeared at the door of San Marcos' parish in Sevilla on 6 December. The meaning of the painted slogan in Basque language is "long live ETA", in reference to the Basque separatist organization ETA, classified as a terrorist group by Spain, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and the European Union.

Church in Campania desecrated with excrement in the holy water fonts

December 4, 2022, Italy

Urine and excrement were found in the two stoups at the entrance to the Church of Sant'Adiutore in Cervinara. This was revealed on Sunday mass, by the parish priest of Cervinara, Don Renato Trapani. All the churches in Cervinara are also open at night so that those who want to gather in prayer freely at all hours can do so without restrictions. The priest showed his sorrow, inviting those in the know to come forward to shed light on this episode.

Vandalic Attack to the Oldest Church in Madrid

December 3, 2022, Spain

On the night of 2 to 3 December, unknown persons defaced the walls of the hermitage of Santa María La Antigua of Carabanchel with graffiti, one of the tags containing the Anarchist Ⓐ and an upside-down cross. This 13th-century Mudéjar temple is the oldest building constructed in Madrid.

Altar cloths set on fire in Bauler church

December 3, 2022, Germany

In the period from Friday, 2 December, to Saturday, 3 December 2022, the altar cloths were burnt in the parish church in Bauler, according to the Bitburg police department. The perpetrator or perpetrators, who are as to date unknown, lit all the sacrificial candles and then also the altar cloths, some of which burnt down, causing material damage, according to the police.

Raising concerns over Zelensky's green light to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church activities

December 1, 2022, Ukraine

On 1. December Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that he had signed the decision by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC). This instructed the government to submit a bill "on the impossibility of religious organizations affiliated with the centres of influence in the Russian Federation to operate in Ukraine" to the Verkhovna Rada. Although this is a political decision conveyed during a war period, the way it is put into practice could gravely affect religious freedom in the country.

Church in Vienna Tagged With Anti-Christian slogan

November 30, 2022, Austria

"No God, No State, No Patriarchy" was sprayed on the walls of the Breitenfeld Church in Vienna in a vandalic attack that took place in late November. An eyewitness sent the picture to OIDAC Europe.

Chaplain receives Apology after being pressured to remove his half-inch cross

November 28, 2022, United Kingdom

Derek Timms, a chaplain from Solihull, was told in September at the Marie Curie charity’s Solihull branch, that he must not wear the cross as it might "offend’ and "create barriers" with patients. He was also told that he would face consequences if he did not remove the cross, which was a symbol of his faith but also a memory of his late wife. After receiving legal support, Mr Timms received an "unreserved" apology letter from the Marie Curie charity's regional head office.

Vandals Sprayed Blasphemous tag on a crucifix in Italy

November 22, 2022, Italy

Unknown perpetrators traced a big blasphemous writing on a votive crucifix at via Chiesa Rossa in Milan. "Now there is no limit to the vandalistic drift, we are seriously concerned. We ask for a stance from the institutions," said vice-president of the coordination of Milan committees, Fabiola Minoletti, quoted by Milano Today.

Arson to Wooden Chapel in Lithuania

November 20, 2022, Lithuania

A suspect has been caught on CCTV cameras after a wooden chapel in the Prienai district was set on fire on the 20th November. The chapel was in the churchyard of the Skriaudžiai church. Firefighters could not save the wooden building. Fr. Antanas Mickevičius, parish priest of St. Laurynas parish in Skriaudžiai, suspected that the fire was caused by arson: "There was no electricity, fireplace or candles [in the chapel], nothing like that. It could only be arson" quoted Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT). After investigating, the firefighters believed that the building may have been set on fire after being doused with a flammable liquid.

Drafted 'conversion therapy ban' in Belgium Raises Concerns for Religious Freedom

November 18, 2022, Belgium

At the end of October, a draft bill was approved by the Council of Ministers to ban so-called "conversion practices" against LGBTQ+ people. The bill was carried out by the Minister of Equality Opportunity Secretary, Sarah Schlitz. The adoption of this specific bill will allow the ban to take effect immediately. While the protection of victims from abuse and manipulative practices is extremely important, the bill could threaten religious freedom, as the Minister affirms she wants to ban "ALL forms of conversion therapies". Given that there is not a clear definition of what counts as "conversion practice", the bill could ban simple prayers and private conversations among Christians.