In the city of Corticelle, vandals targeted the building adjacent to the Pieve church on the 28th of January. The building is a Catholic-owned centre that belongs to the Amici della Pieve association. The news reported that unknown perpetrators caused major damage by breaking the windows and doors and committing burglary. The police are said to investigate under surveillance cameras since vandals have caused two events within two weeks.
On December 28, the surveillance camera showed how unknown suspects stole the statue of the Baby Jesus from the nativity scene. The reports have also mentioned that several young people were hiding the statue of Baby Jesus under their clothes and walking around the city with it. The figure was later found at a restaurant terrace and other acts of vandalism have been investigated previously by the police.
Unidentified person(s) have caused several damages inside the Catholic Provost Church of St Trinitatis in Leipzig. On the 27. December in the afternoon, he rioted in the church, threw various books around and damaged the nativity figures. The damage was estimated at a three-digit amount by the police.
In the Jesuit Church of St. Michael in Munich, the nativity scene has been ruined and an unknown suspect has stolen the statue of the infant baby Jesus. It was reported that the statue about 25 centimetres tall, was stolen on the second day of Christmas. Father Martin Stark has therefore left a note on the empty crib saying "Here lay our baby Jesus, who is part of our historical nativity scene. Unfortunately it got lost on the 2nd day of Christmas. I ask the one, who probably took it, imploringly to return the figure to us!".
On the 25. December, while 30 people were celebrating mass in a small wooden church in Rautjärvi, a fire broke out and the faithful had to be quickly evacuated. The historic Evangelical church was completely destroyed by the fire that started at 8.30 am. The criminal commissioner, Mika Salminen said in a press conference that the side doors of the church had been attacked with ropes. There is no doubt for the police, that this was a willful attack.
While celebrating mass and Christmas Eve in the village of Alsace, burglars entered the Priests' home and stole money. It was said the burglars might have known the time the masses were since it was posted online. Therefore, the theft was already planned beforehand. The amount of the stolen money is unclear, but it was from donations and collections from the church. The 59-year-old has said it was "traumatic" for him and that the investigation is still ongoing.
On the 25th of December, the police reported that unknown perpetrators broke into the Christuskirche and burgled the interior. Laptops and bread rolls packages were stolen. The vandals entered the church through a window and by breaking the connected doors.
In Valperga, vandals broke a glass pane of the Belmonte sanctuary, as reported on the 22nd of December. Mayor Sandretto commented that a volunteer who takes care of the place has repaired the damage, as he was the one that noticed it. The attack must have been on the days before.
ADF UK reported that a charity volunteer has been arrested and charged with four counts after telling the police that she “might” be praying silently in her mind, after being questioned by them over why she was standing inside an abortion facility’s censorship zone. The arrest and charges took place as authorities consider criminalising prayer near abortion facilities nationwide in the new Public Order Bill.
In December 2022, the Church of Norway was asked by the local branch of the Human-Ethical Association (HEF) to remove the crosses on chapels and cemeteries as it finds them to be "threatening". The HEF advocates for more "neutrality" in public space.
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.
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.
Between the 18th and 19th of December, an unknown perpetrator destroyed several windows of the St. John of Rochester Catholic church in Egham Hythe. The perpetrator smashed the windows by throwing flower pots through them. The shattered glass spread over the floor and the incident was discovered by a church volunteer, Anne-do Bauchot. She and other church members said they were "heartbroken" by seeing this attack. Also, because of this, the church was not able to hold their traditional Christmas Eve service.
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.
On the evening of January 17, it was reported that two 18-year-olds climbed up the roof of the Saint-Maclou Church in Rouen. Once they were there, they pushed down the church's gargoyles. Their motives were unclear and authorities also reported that the men were heavily intoxicated. From the gargoyles that were thrown, at least one was destroyed and several others were damaged.
Amid the new tensions of December 2022 between Serbians and Albanians in Kosovo, it was reported on Serbian news that ethnic Albanians looted several Serbian houses and one church: "Residents of the village of Bogoševac near Prizren said that Albanians had looted several Serbian houses. The local population lost everything - from equipment to personal belongings. The church of St. Nicholas, built in the 16th century, was also looted. In 2022, the highest number of attacks on the Serbian population of Kosovo and Metohija was recorded".
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.
Tremithousa Village is located in Cyprus, where there has been a grand theft at the Chapel of the Prophet Elias. It was reported on the 16th of December that the police have started the investigation. Unknown perpetrators have broken into the chapel and have stolen four altarpieces that are worth 1,000 euros.
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.
According to the police, on 14. December, unknown perpetrators have probably thrown fireworks at the rooftop of the Luther Church of Chemnitz. This has caused damage to the entrance, the estimated amount is around 7500 euros
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 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.
The nativity scene at the heart of the Christmas market in Illkirch-Graffenstaden, a town near Strasbourg, was destroyed by arson, reports the news site "20 Minutes". The incident was reported on the 13th of December. The police is searching for the perpetrator.
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.
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."
Unknown perpetrators stole the cross from the church of St. Michael in Blumenfeld, as reported on 11. December. It seems that this happened soon after the Advent singing, leaving the dean and the mayor stunned with the theft. The cross, which is more than 110 years old, is estimated to be worth up to 12,000 euros. The police have started an investigation and are looking for witnesses and information.
An armed robbery took place on 11. December night in an evangelical church in Orta di Atella, in the province of Caserta. The six robbers, according to the witnesses, entered the church during the Sunday service with covered faces and, at least two of them, armed with pistols, robbing some of the worshippers present. The whole incident lasted only a few minutes, after which the bandits fled in a car, with the Carabinieri only appearing at the scene later.
The Door of St. Peter's Church in Versmold has been tagged with right-wing extremist slogans by unknown perpetrators. The graffiti shows inciting symbols and slogans, as it was reported on the 11. December. The police of Bielefeld are investigating and trying to identify the perpetrators.
The bells of the Church of Santa Marta, in the parish of Benfica do Ribatejo, were stolen and the facilities of the scouts were robbed. The alert for the theft was given this Saturday morning, December 10, but the robbery would have occurred on Thursday or Friday. The bells were stolen from the Church Tower and the robbers caused even more damage. They entered the Scouts' premises and destroyed various Scout materials and even stole several tents.
On 10. December, rooms, doors, and objects at the Notre Dame des Armées Church in Calais were burned during an arson attack. One of the parish members commented that they perceived a"strong burning smell" when they entered the building on that day. Unknown perpetrators had burned the door leading to the sacristy, the room where the priest prepares the celebrations and the floor tile. The police have opened an investigation, they are treating the case as an intensional fire caused by the perpetrator. Fortunately, no injuries were reported and the fire did not affect "valuable objects".
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.
On the night of the 9. December, unknown perpetrators spray-painted insults on the Monument to the Brotherhood of Valladolid in the city of Valladolid. The vandals painted the word "paedophile" on the statue of the brother and "little slut" on the statue of the girl. The monument represents the tradition of the Valladolid Holy Week. The incident has been reported by the police and the cleaning service has been notified. The police is looking for witnesses to identify the perpetrators.
A 60-year-old man has been arrested by the police in Medina Sidonia for allegedly assaulting a priest in the church of San Juan de Dios on Thursday 8th of December. According to witnesses, the man attacked the priest with several punches before a funeral was going to take place. He caused him a series of injuries for which the priest had to be treated later at a hospital. The incident occurred at around 16.30 hours. The priest, Fr. Stuart James Chipolina was preparing to officiate at a funeral in the church when, after an argument with the local, the latter punched the priest several times.
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.
Signs and writing appeared on the façade of the Church of Santa Maria dei Centurelli, in the municipality of Caporciano. The report was made by the Celestinian Movement, which posted photos showing the vandalism. A graffiti on the wall of the church seems to say "thieves", and the information sign outside the church was also defaced with graffiti. The perpetrators remain unknown. The photos were shared on social media by Massimo Alesii and caused indignation. "A serious, very serious fact happened in Centurelli. The appeal is to the local communities... to raise their eyes to the mountains,' wrote Massimo Alesii.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In late November or early December, the Church of 'Santa Maria della Pieve', in Via Borgo Pieve in Castelfranco Veneto, was targeted. Two glass and brass candle holders, various liturgical booklets and votive candles were stolen, while a copper cover and a holy water stoup were partially damaged in an attempt to steal them. Two persons, also linked to other church thefts in the area of Treviso, have been arrested.
"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.
In November 2022, the Pew Research Center published a new worldwide study on harassment and restrictions against religious groups in 2020. According to the findings, government authorities harassed religious groups in 178 countries in 2020 and social groups or individuals harassed religious groups in 164 countries. Both numbers show a slight decline in comparison to 2019. Christians and Muslims, the largest religions in the world, faced harassment in more countries than any other religious group, same as in previous years. The study documented that Christians were harassed in 155 countries, (2019: 153). Muslims were harassed in 145 countries (2019: 147) and Jews faced harassment in 94 countries (2019: 89).
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.
Between 22 and 27 November, unknown assailants have stolen a 400-kilogram bell from a church in Gelsenkirchen-Scholven. The bell has a diameter of about 75 centimetres and a height of 1.15 metres, according to the police. The bell itself was not in the tower of St. Joseph's Church at the time of the theft. It was was placed in the interior.
An act of desecration happened in Jerzmanowice on 26 November. Someone turned the cross on the local Calvary upside down and hung an animal skull on it. This is the second time this year that an unknown perpetrator has destroyed, devastated and profaned this Way of the Cross.
In November 2022, policemen confronted a woman praying in a public space, on the edge of a "buffer zone" (a 150m neutral zone surrounding abortion clinics in British law). The case raises polemics about "buffer zones" in general.
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.
On 22. November night, the church of St. Joseph was broken into and desecrated in Cannes. Furniture and drawers were emptied out, donations were stolen, and gasoline was poured all over the walls and floors. The faithful are shocked at the sight of the incident. A mass of reparation is planned for next Friday in the presence of Mgr Nault.
Neighbors of Almería complain that every morning, the area around the church of San Roque, a parish in Almería, is full of garbage and the remains of the previous night's 'botellón' (parties). Recently, the remains of a bonfire appeared on one of the walls of the parish church of San Roque after a barbecue was made at the place, damaging the facade of the church. This form of damage shows a lack of respect for religious groups.
As reported by the newspaper Libertà Sicilia, on November 8, investigators from Sicily received the report of a crime concerning the theft of two antique bells dating back to the early 1900s, stolen from a church. The investigation allowed the tracing of the first perpetrator. As a result of the in-depth investigations, the agents were later able to identify two other individuals, responsible for the laundering of brass scrap, (with a total weight of 55 kilograms) of a bell stolen from another church in the Diocese of Netina.
Fr. Nicolas, the rector of the churches of Santa Maria dell'Olmo and San Rocco in Archi, reported that all the guarded votive gold dedicated to Saint Roch had been stolen. This has been reported on the 20th of November. The police have been notified and are conducting investigations.
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.
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.
A chasuble from the 19th century was stolen on Monday 18. from the high altar of the Citykirche in Aachen, where it was exposed in an ongoing art installation. For the parish of St. Francis of Aachen (where the chasuble originally belongs) this theft is a serious loss, emphasized Father Timotheus Eller to Aachener Zeitung.
On 17 November a man tried to set fire to the wooden fence of an Orthodox church on Kavkazskiy Bul'var in Moscow. He was arrested nearby by law enforcement officials. He claims that he went for a walk with a can of petrol, then emptied it on the fence for no reason and set it on fire. Pending his trial for "vandalism", he is under house arrest and released under judicial supervision.
Police officers in Poland have detained a married couple who robbed church donation boxes. The couple, from Białystok, stole from more than 20 churches. Among other things, several hundred zlotys and the keys to one of the churches were found in their car.
On 16. November, the church in the small town of Champagnat was severely damaged by fire. 39 firemen were mobilised to secure the building and extinguish the fire, which seems to have been started on a pile of books that were placed beside a wooden confessional. The alert was raised by people attending a funeral, who saw thick smoke coming out of the church. A local volunteer fireman began containing the fire until the fire brigade arrived. They were able to preserve a painting of Christ, but another painting was destroyed, along with the books, a statue and the confessional.
Plastic objects inside the church have been set on fire and were burned on a candle holder on the 15th of November. The incident was discovered by a parishioner, who had opened the church and left to return a couple of hours later. When she came back, the premises smelled like burning, so she alerted the parish priest. They also notified the police, who realized that plastic objects had been set on fire intentionally by unknown perpetrators.
In November 2022, there was an attack on a Catholic church in Augsburg, in the Oberhausen discritc. Unknown perpetrators threw eggs at the church of St. Peter and Paul and tagged it with graffiti. The graffiti said "F*CK JESUS", it also had a Satanic star and the number "666", which refers to the devil.
The former football player Vasilios Tsiartas was sentenced this November to 10 months in prison for a comment made on Facebook in 2017 where he stated that “God created Adam and Eve” in response to a bill for the redefinition of gender identity. On his Twitter account, he has stated that he will appeal the sentence.
Unknown persons set a fire at the St. Bonifatius church on the 13th of November in Freckenhorst. According to police, the fire did not spread much but it damaged part of the stone floor. The perpetrators also smeared a wall in the church with soot. The police are now looking for information to identify the vandals.
Unknown persons entered the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Monterone, on the 16th of November. They enacted numerous acts of vandalism, destroying and stealing sacred furnishings and iconography. In particular, the perpetrators detached and carried away an ancient wooden crucifix later found by police inside a heavily damaged garbage can. According to the sources, the form of desecration and damage indicates that it might have been a satanic motivated attack.
On the 13th November, the door of the Sankt Laurentius church in Langenhorn was set on fire by unknown perpetrators. A video of the crime was uploaded on the internet but it has been removed again. A vandal threw a Molotov Cocktail at the church and posted a video of the flames. The police opened an investigation with the video.
A church in Llanllwchaiarn (near Newtown) is facing a "at least" £30,000 bill after unknown vandals smashed six glass-stained windows. The windows of the St. Llwchaiarn church were protected with a wire mesh, but the vandals were still able to break the glass, apparently with iron rods from an old grave. The incident took place between the 8th and 10th of November.
During a church service in the Catholic Church of Abtsgmünd, a man threw a firework into the building on the 8th of November. The firecracker remained in the entrance area and burned down there. "Fortunately, it did not explode," commented a police spokesman. No one was injured in the incident, but there were slight burn marks on the carpet. The perpetrator was not identified.
Police officers in Cerignola, Foggiano, arrested a 32-year-old immigrant man responsible for damaging the church and setting fire to the door. He also insulted the religious denomination. As he was confronted, he resisted and injured a public official. During a patrol, police officers noticed the flames in front of the main door of the church of San Domenico and the perpetrator running away with a canister probably containing flammable liquid.
CNE News reports that YouTube has banned a Norwegian prayer channel called "Kanal 10 'We pray for you'" for allegedly violating the social media guidelines under the category of "online spam, deceptive practices and fraud." Øyvind Rygg, the general manager of Kanal 10, says there are also no economic interests in the program. "We were told last week Monday that if we continued to broadcast the prayer program, YouTube would block us. That means that they are ending our entire channel on YouTube", told Rygg to Dagen.
On the 7th of November, it was reported that the cross was stolen a few months before from Montesano Cathedral. The cross was taken from the hands of the statue of St. Rita. Now it has been recovered and the thief has been detained.
The Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia "Orskoye" of the Orenburg region completed the investigation of a criminal case on charges of a 31-year-old citizen of the Republic of Tajikistan of stealing money and setting fire to a building of the temple complex of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul of the Orsk diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in the city of Novotroitsk.
On the 7. November in the city of Granada, a 36-year-old man was arrested for insulting and attacking a priest on the public street during the day. The parish priest, José Gabriel Martín, as waking on the Elvira Street wearing his office clothing and collar, as he was approached by the attacker, who insulted him. The priest entered a bar for refuge, where the attacker followed and punched him in the eye.
On Sunday 6th of November, unknown perpetrators caused damage to a window pane of the St. Pancratius Church in Burgdorf. According to witnesses, a group of youths were at the church and then fled. As the police arrived, some remaining youths gave the police some information regarding the ones who fled. The damage was estimated at 1000 euros.
The church of St. Bavo in Oud-Turnhout was vandalized by intruders that ransacked the back of the sacristy and emptied bottles of mass wine. "With a fire extinguisher, they also made a big hole in the wooden connecting door to the church itself," said Jos Huybreghts, treasurer of the Oud-Turnhout church council. The attack happened between the 5th and 6th of November at night. It seems that the vandals broke in through the back of the church. The police were notified and have started an investigation.
The Church of St. George in Bor was ransacked, and thieves took the money that the faithful left in boxes under the benches. They also broke several icons in the church. Furthermore, they broke into the church's souvenir shop and took all the money they found there. The police are looking for the perpetrators.
In the St. Ludwig Church in Munich, six of the sculptures belonging to the 14 stations of the "Way of the Cross" have been damaged or stolen. The sculptures were part of an art installation about the Passion of Jesus. They were set up in the St. Ludwig church in June and on the 16th of September, they were vandalized by unknown perpetrators. Six of the statues were damaged and a couple of days later, on the 28th of September, two of them were ripped off and stolen. The police are investigating
Two places of worship were attacked with graffiti in Leipzig, the St. Thomas Church and at the Russian Church. A grave slab in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig was vandalized with the words "Death King" written by an unknown vandal on the sculpture from the 19th century. The grave shows Dietrich III, also known as Diezmann. Also, unknown persons smeared a "Z" on the Russian Church - which was built in memory of the Russian victims of the Battle of the Nations.
In a Berchtesgaden Franciscan church, on the 2nd of November, a churchgoer noticed a fire on an offering candlestick. He then discovered that between the candles there was a burning Divine Praise hymnal and floral decorations. She quickly alerted the Father, with whom they managed to extinguish the fire. Two other fires were discovered, which were also started by placing hymn books on burning candles. The fire brigade was called and they ventilated the church. The police were looking for information, they are treating the case as arson.
On the walls of the Church of San Giuseppe in Intra, unknown vandals painted Swastikas of various sizes and other phrases. The writings are mostly covering the walls facing the entrance. The municipal police are looking for the perpetrators and the curia will see that the inscriptions are removed.
A Church in the Gütersloh district in Rheda-Wiedenbrück has been smeared with Islamist slogans. The church had been renovated two years ago. The parish dean, Reinhard Edeler, has expressed anger and sadness at the scene. The incident was reported at the beginning of November. The parish dean has notified the State security services.
An employee of the parish had unlocked the 700-year-old house of worship on Wednesday morning (2.11.2022), 8 o'clock. When he returned to the church around 11 a.m., he noticed that several stacks of brochures on a table in the church were on fire. "It was only by chance and the quick and courageous intervention of a church employee that the church in Helmstedt did not go up in flames". The regionalHeute.de news source reported the incident.
The Russian Orthodox Church in Leipzig was covered with graffiti of Russian propaganda war symbols on Tuesday night (1. November), according to the police. On the entrance door, the [Z] military symbol was drawn with red paint by unidentified perpetrators. The police also found a second illegible graffiti in front of the church, it is unclear if both graffiti are connected. The police are investigating.
The parish church of Our Lady of Lourdes on the Slinkerstraat in Heide-Heuvel was targeted by unknown vandals. The perpetrators shattered a large window, presumably by using a slingshot. They also set a fire at the church premises. The police have been notified and are investigating. The incident was communicated on the 1st of November. According to the news source, this is not the first time the church has been vandalised or targeted by arsonists.
The St Martin's Church in 't Veld has filed another report of vandalism at the police station. Ten shots were fired at the windows on the 27. October. And a couple of days later, vandals snapped in half two prunus trees in the garden near the house of worship. "We have asked the police to make an extra round at the church from time to time anyway, because apparently vandals are targeting us," says church board chairman Hans Glas.
On the 1st of November it was reported that over several days, the cemeteries of Carnac have been victims of theft and vandalism. The municipality of Morbihan is raising awareness about this issue. The damages included vandalism to equipment, thefts of watering cans, stolen walkers for people with reduced mobility, padlocks forced open of the cemetery entrance, among others. The graves were also targeted, as flowers were stolen and steles were broken.
In the city of Loseto, the 15th-century Church of the Santissimo Salvatore was vandalised on the 31st of October, at night. The organisation Retake Bari reported that unknown persons vandalised the church with red spray paint. City councillor Antonio Ciaula said: 'Tomorrow I will personally take action at the competent offices and in the council commissions, to restore the proper decorum to the little church, eliminating a disfigurement that, in addition to defacing the park, painfully marks the hearts and faces of all of us.
On the night of October 31. to November 1st, a statue of Mary was smashed in the parish of Corpus Christi and St. Mary of Czestochowa in Wierzbice. There was also damage done to the tombstone of a nun. The newspaper reports the statue of the Mother of God was very meaningful for the parishioners. The parish priest, Leszek Bajorski, suspects that youths who were at Halloween parties were responsible for the damage. The case has been reported to the police.
On Sunday, October 30, the rector of the Church of St. Andrew the First-Called on Vuoksa (Vasilevo village, Priozersky district of Leningrad region) contacted the police. He reported that unknown perpetrators tried to set fire to the structure of a wooden church. The fire burned part of the outer wall of the church. The vandals also broke down the gate to the bridge leading to the temple. The rector of the temple said that he had not had conflicts with anyone.
On the morning of October 30, the police were contacted by of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the village of Churachiki, who discovered the loss of silver jewelry from a casket in a church shop and an opened donation box. The attacker entered the temple by breaking a window.
On the 29th of October, the San Lorenzo Church in Chiavenna was defaced with graffiti. Unknown vandals left inscriptions and markings in red paint in the portico, the oratory and the neighbouring buildings of the religious site. According to the graffiti, it looks like it was perpetrated by the same person or group of persons.
In Chiavenna, a man defaced the perimeter walls of the Collegiate Church of San Lorenzo and some streets in the town centre. He was tracked down and identified by the Carabinieri of the Operative and Radiomobile Nucleus of the Chiavenna Company. The perpetrator was arrested on the 29th of October by the Carabinieri after he had defaced the walls in Via Bossi and Via Cereria. He was found in possession of several cans of spray paint and various indelible pens of different colours. The man, a Northern European national, admitted to the Carabinieri that on the evening of 29 October he had also defaced the perimeter walls of the Collegiate Church, part of the façade of the San Luigi Oratory and a wall along Via Bottonera using red and black spray paint. He has been reported for the offences of defacing things of historical and artistic interest.
The Russian Embassy in Switzerland reported that: “In the early hours of October 28, 2022, unidentified offenders committed an act of vandalism by splattering paint on the entrance to the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in Geneva, which is a parish of the Russian Orthodox Church.”
Between the 22. and 28. of October, the windows of the Protestant church in Urspringen were damaged by unknown perpetrators. An employee of the church filed a complaint for damage to property. She had found four small holes in the windows of the church. According to the police, the affected panes are at a height of three metres. The damage amounts to about 500 euros.
In the morning of October 27. a man vandalised the church of San Carlo in Lugano. First, holding a vase of flowers, he hit the protective glass of the statue of the Virgin above the altar. Then he used a candleholder to destroy other statues and objects in the church, including decapitating a plaster statue of Padre Pio. The sacristan's wife, assisted by another person, locked the intruder in the church and called the police. The sacristan, who arrived at the church shortly after, tried to stop the intruder, who then attempted to assault him.
On October 27 a 61-year-old man set seven buildings on fire, included the local church, in Dyula, a Ukrainian village near the border with Romania with about 1,500 inhabitants. He was later arrested and faces up to 10 years in prison.
In Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Territory, the Military Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation intends to open a criminal case against two members of the Evangelical Church of the Holy Trinity for refusing to go to the war for religious reasons. If convicted, they could face prison sentences of up to three years. The two Christians, Sergey Tarasov and Maxim Drozdov were called under the mobilization decree on 24 September. As they objected for religious reasons, the commander refused their appeal.
On the night of the 25. Oktober, unknown burglars entered the Evangelical Lutheran Emmaus Church in Leipzig by smashing a window. They damaged parts of the furnishings and the organ room, causing considerable damage mostly to the sanctuary. Among other items, the altar cross was stolen, leaving toilet paper instead. The perpetrators also set fire to the church. The amount of damage could not yet be quantified.
In the period from October 25 to October 26, unknown persons broke into the parish office in Neuendorf in the district of Harz by forcibly opening the office door. They subsequently stole a safe containing cash, several chalices and monstrances, with a total value of about 11,000 euros were stolen from the storehouse of the parish office.
On October 25, unknown vandals broke the crucifix at the entrance to the village of Pryvitiv in the Zhytomyr region and damaged the crucifix, according to the press service of the Zhytomyr diocese. The rector of the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (UOC-MP), Fr. Alexander Litvinyuk, said that the cross had been installed by the care and guardianship of the community of this temple, located inside the village.
After an emergency call on Sunday night (23. October), multiple police officers from the Leipzig police department went out on a large-scale operation including explosives experts and sniffer dogs. Someone had made a threat of a bombing a church. A 36-year-old man has been identified and arrested as the main suspect.
Unknown persons set a container on fire in front of a church parish hall and pushed the container into the building, burning the entrance and part of the façade. This incident happened in the city of Bielefeld on the 23. October and has shocked the members of the church of St. Nikolas. According to the news, the parish hall of the St. Nikolai Church and the entry of the church would have to remain closed until the end of the year or longer, due to the reparation work. The police are investigating.
On the 22. October, vandals entered a church in Nidda (Germany) and threw down hymn books, damaged candles and spilt candle wax on the altar and on a Bible. The damage of the church took place during the opening hours in the afternoon and the damage amounts to about 150 Euros. The police in Büdingen are asking for information from witnesses.