The evangelical Sacrower Heilandskirche in Potsdam was vandalized with large amounts of graffiti on the 6th of June by unknown people. The damage to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which the police were investigating, will cost tens of thousands of euros to repair. The slogans written said "No God; No State; No Patriarchy" and portrayed an anarchist symbol.
An unknown arsonist set fire to the billboard of the Catholic church in St. Margrethen sometime between 12:00 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. on the 5th of June. The fire went out on its own but damage of several hundred francs was caused. The St. Gallen police were looking for witnesses who could provide more information about the incident.
Bishop Santiago Gómez Sierra of Huelva spoke in a Mass on Pentecost Sunday and reminded Catholics of the importance of upholding the values of life and family when they vote in the upcoming election. He said that he was not trying to enforce anything but rather encourage "moral principles" that "should be above the different party strategies because they are issues required by reason, natural law, and true humanism.” For this speech, he was accused by left-leaning media and politicians of being homophobic and attacking "rights won by the left."
The Maria Santissima Immacolata church in Fragagnano, was broken into on during the night of June the 3rd by a 38-year-old Moroccan. The man tried to steal money from the offering box as well as sacred objects, but was caught by the carabinieri who then retrieved the stolen goods. In trying to access these items, he caused a large amount of property damage that will cost around 1,000 euros to repair.
On June 2nd, the San Giuseppe Church in Grosseto was vandalized by a person who was caught on camera but has not been identified. A man in his 40s entered the sacristy and upset drawers that contained linen for the altar and objects for worship. He didn't steel anything but smashed a wooden door. This was one of several thefts and vandalism that have happened to churches in this area in recent weeks.
The group "Pro-Life Europe" has launched a petition to be admitted at the University of Regensburg. Since 2020, they have been refused a place in 6 universities in German speaking countries; a serious challenge to freedom of speech. In 2021, the students tried to be accepted as a group at the University of Regensburg to discuss the topic of abortion with scientific approaches. Despite asking three times and complying with the guidelines, they were rejected without reason; while other groups were given full support. Similar opposition was met at other universities including TU Munich, the University of Wuppertal, the University of Augsburg, the Johannes Kepler University , and the University of Vienna which denied them a stand. The organization is not religious, but many belonging students identify as Christians and are representative of religious groups with similar opinions.
For the 7th time, a vehicle of the Catholic help group "HOME Base" Salzburg, was spray-painted, covering the name, logo, and slogan on the van. This time it happened on the 30th of May. The victims later wrote on Facebook "Thank you, dear 'Antifada' confused neighbors." They also called on the City of Salzburg to do something to prevent such attacks.
The Catholic Church of St. Joseph in Schömberg experienced an extensive vandalistic attack on May 29th. Paper towels were strewn all over the floor and one was used to snuff out the eternal light. The altar cloth was left soiled and crumpled, and evidence suggested that the altar was walked on. The unknown intruder had also urinated in the baptismal font. Those who take care of the church were shocked by the incident.
On May 26th, on Ascension Day, a pool of disinfectant was set on fire in the Nonnenweier church, and hymn books were thrown around with their pages torn out. The property damage was around 1000 euros but there were no good clues as to who the perpetrators could be. Pastor Christine Egenlauf, expressed her shock and lamented the incident, also mentioning that someone could have been hurt. The police had started investigating.
A few days before the 23rd of May, the façade of the Santa Catalina church in Tacoronte was splashed with red paint by an unknown person. The primary target of the graffiti was a plaque that has been in place since 1938 and bears the name of the founder José Antonio Primo de Rivera on it. Although he was a political figure which could be the motive for the attack, a church has also suffered the consequences and it will take around 3,000 euros to restore.
Between 2019 and 2022, 53 cases of church vandalism were recorded in Brussels, while only 1 mosque was vandalized in the same region and time frame. Dominiek Lootens, leader of the Vlaams Belang group in the Brussels Parliament, wrote to Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort and asked him to communicate the extent of the damage, reported "Our Central Europe". The report also pointed out that the media and politics failed to mention these numbers as they refuse to recognize this type of biased discrimination against Christians.
On the 21st of May, the Karlskirche in Vienna was graffitied for the fourth time in 2022. It is not known who did it. According to the Witness who reported these incidents, this is the worst year so far with vandalism and there are damages to the church almost every day.
On May 20th, there was a motion in the European Parliament to debate the topic of Christian Persecution, and in particular, the case of Deborah Samuel Yabuku, who was murdered in Nigeria after her peers falsely accused her of blasphemy. She had thanked Jesus in a class WhatsApp group for helping her in an exam and was accused of insulting the prophet Mohammad. The motion to discuss this was rejected with 231 votes for, and 244 against, to which some MEPs shouted “shame on you” across the plenary floor.
A thief, who was later caught, stole a chalice and a chest of hosts from a church in the Saggen district of Innsbruck. The incident happened on May 18th and the thief was arrested by the police. The stolen goods would be given back to the church after the hearing.
On May 18th, mass was held in the basilica of Wadowice to commemorate the 102nd birthday of Pope John Paul II. During the mass, the anti-clerical initiative "Enough of Silence", organized a protest in which they turned on loudspeaker to disrupt the celebrations. Some in the square tried to stop the protestors and were shocked by their presence saying: "How can you be there? On such a day?"
A video went viral, where a group of agents from the Guardia Civil is seen carrying another officer who pretends to be the Christ of Good Death in Malaga, while they sing El Novio de la Muerte, the traditional anthem of the Spanish Legion. The agents carried the other officer like they were legionnaires on Holy Thursday, in the streets around the Sanctuary of Lourdes, while laughing, joking, and drinking, which has caused some outrage due to the disrespect to religious feelings.
On the 16th of May, the Karlskirche in Vienna was targeted with graffiti.
During the night of 15 to 16 May, unknown perpetrators destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary, located in the garden of the house of the Heralds of the Gospel in Sevilla la Nueva, also causing other considerable damages to the property. They insulted and threatened the Heralds, cut off the electricity, and damaged other infrastructures on the property.
The police in Spain had to stop a protest that was taking place at the door of the church "Virgen de la Luz" in Cuenca, in which several half-naked women were wearing religious symbols. This was reported on the 16th of May by the online news "El Debate". Later on, "Abogados Cristianos" opened proceedings against the group for hurting religious feelings, after the same incident took place in other churches.
A 38-year-old man, thought to be Croatian, was observed throwing stones at an evangelical Church in Leipzig on May 14th. The police arrested him but not before he had damaged a total of five window panes. An investigation was underway.
On May 14th, a man and woman broke open the door of the Henstedt-Ulzburger Kreuzkirche and vandalized the inside. They tried to set the carpet in front of the alter on fire, which went out, and they damaged knee cushions and hymnals. The property damage was not yet calculated but the police were notified and wrote a complaint to the Norderstedter detectives who investigated it.
A weather blessing cross, that is almost 200 years old and very important to the community, was stolen from the St. Gallen Catholic Church in St. George. It stands 45cm tall and was taken on the 14th of May by unknown thieves. Magnus Hächler, administrator of the church said: "It's a painful loss and very annoying."
The Catholic provost church Sankt Trinitatis in Leipzig was once again targeted by vandalism after the theft of the tabernacle in April. This time, on May 13th, the 20-meter long by 3 three-meter high church window which has the entire Bible printed on it, was destroyed. The property damage was at least 50,000 to 100,000 euros said provost Gregor Giele of the Catholic New Agency (KNA). Police started an investigation.
Six panes of glass were broken in on May 13th at the Catholic Church Sankt Laurentius in Reudnitz-Thonberg, Leipzig. It was not known who completed the vandalism but an investigation was underway. The property damage was in the four-digit range.
The Chaplaincy in Pau was the victim of an arson attack on the 12th of May. The fire was started on the ground floor of the presbytery of the church of Saint-Pierre and it was obvious that the tabernacle was deliberately targeted as it was charred. The consecrated hosts were not burned but the police also noticed thefts of a computer and some money.
On May 10th, a church on Kirchstrasse in Romsthal was the victim of an arson attempt. The criminals set fire to several parish letters under a stool and burned some prayer texts near the altar. In addition, they knocked over an offering box, and some candles, and spread the wax over the floor. The fire was out by the time it was discovered and the property damage was around 150 euros but could have been much more. The police were looking for witnesses.
On May 8th, vandals forced their way into the interior of the Santa Croce church in Lomellina. There, they damaged the the votive candle lighting system and ransacked the priest's office. No valuable appeared to be stolen but extent of the damage had not been properly assessed.
Between February 24th, when Russia first invaded Ukraine, and May 7th, there have been 116 spiritually significant buildings destroyed. 91 of these buildings were Orthodox churches while the rest, were Mosques, Synagogues, Catholic and Protestant churches, and buildings of religious organizations. Most of these ruined sites were in the regions of Donetsk, Kyiv, and Kharkiv. The war in Ukraine has caused a divide, especially in the Christian Orthodox Church which has led Russia to ban the Ukraine Orthodox Church and Ukraine to attempt a similar ban on the Russian Orthodox Church.
The churchyard of the San Rocco church in Ruvo di Puglia, was vandalized on May 6th by unknown perpetrators. Diesel was sprinkled around which caused damage to the sidewalk and floor. Municipal councilor Mariatiziana Rugliani thought the cameras may be able to help identify who did it. He also said of the incident: "An ignoble act, a meaningless disfigurement to a sacred place and to those who lovingly guard it."
The evangelical church in Vöcklabruck, Austria, was vandalized on Friday the 6th of May. Three lights on the pathway outside the church were kicked over, and notices, brochures, leaflets, and prayer books were scattered all over the inside of the church. The microphones were damaged and the offering box was broken open from which money was then stolen. The amount of damage was not entirely clear but the police were investigating.
The outer walls of the parish church in Mautern were sprayed with Nazi symbols on May 6th. Once the police had the relevant details, they were able to identify the perpetrators who were brothers aged 21 and 27 from the Leoben district. The property damage was significant. One graffiti reads "F** Jesus".
A report titled "Persecution of minorities on the grounds of belief or religion," was adopted by the European Parliament in Brussels on May 4th. It has since been called “openly hostile towards religion” by human rights experts since it in places points to religion as a threat and a driver of humanitarian crises. It also failed to mention the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Africa, but states that "sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including abortion, are being banned in the name of religion." Although the report had some positive points it did not always refer to religion favorably.
In the last weeks of April, there were several thefts of sacred objects from churches in Tuscany. The carabinieri in Florence identified a Romanian individual who was behind most of the crimes as after his home was searched, a number of these items were found including paintings and statues. The police were investigating the crimes to find a possible accomplice.
On May 1st during a trade union demonstration, a group of leftist activists - also identified as Antifa - attacked parishioners in front of the Notre-Dame des Victoires church in Angers. The group went by the name of "the Angevin Anti-Fascist Network (RAAF)." The parishioners were attending the 11-hour Mass, while others had positioned themselves in front of the church to prevent attacks. The mob still threw paint on the building and squashed eggs on the ground. They shouted "homophobic slogans" and later returned with a banner directed at Catholics that read, "We are here to challenge those who are dedicated to deifying themselves." The police had to intervene to stop further violence.
Between May 1st and 2nd, burglars broke into the St. Mary's Church in Hamm and stole around 100 euros from the donation box. They forcefully entered through a window and once inside, searched the sacristy and then looked through cupboards which they had violently opened. The property damage was around 500 euros and the police, who were investigating the crime, needed more information.
Ignacio “Nacho” Gil Conesa, a well-known Spanish "tikToker", has been attacked by other influencers for being Catholic. He goes by the name Nachter, and a few months before May 1st, he devoted his time solely to making humorous videos about typical things that happen in the house. In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, he said "there are other influencers who have attacked me for being catholic," a situation he described as "ridiculous."
On the night of April 28th, a sentence was written in red paint on the Parish Church of Santo Stefano in Piozzo. It read: "The Nazis create poverty to take away freedom." The perpetrator(s) remain(s) unknown.
The St. Nikolai Church of Glindenberg was devastated on April 28th and had to be closed as a result. The inside of the church was devastated: the altar cross was torn off as well hymn books were left in the streets with their pages torn out. The police were looking for the perpetrators.
Satanic graffiti appeared in the St. Vincent church in Graz on the 28th of April. The word Satan, upside-down crosses, and the Antichrist number 666 were painted with red spray paint on the walls and altar of the church. The vandals also sprayed an angel's face red and burnt a bible. The Priest, Wolfgang Pucher commented, "It's just unbelievable."
Jim Ryan (64), and his wife Ann (59), were both fined €300 for travelling 70km to a Mass on Easter Sunday when there was a 5km limit for non essential travel during lockdown. They have since appealed their sentence but have also said they will go to jail rather then pay. Jim told the Sunday World "I have no intention of paying them a fine for me going to Mass - for doing what I have done my whole life."
On April 27th, it was discovered that three of the windows on the Remigius Church in Albersdorf were damaged by thrown stones. Two had holes in them and one was cracked with the damage amounting to around 3,000 euros. There were no leads to the perpetrators and the police were looking for witnesses.
Scottish ministers said they plan to explore options of mediation with pro-life activists regarding "buffer zones" around abortion clinics. According to minutes from an abortion "buffer zone" meeting in February, the Centre for Good Relations asked for engagement “with all interested parties, not just those who are directly involved with the conflict itself." The ministers were criticized for their plan which aims to understand “the issues and perspective from all sides."
In 2018, a Pakistani national who had converted from Islam to Christianity requested asylum in Switzerland but was rejected by the authorities. Despite them recognizing his conversion, The Federal Administrative Court rejected the request; however, upon taking the case, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled in favor of the applicant. They held that articles 2 and 3 of the ECHR would be violated should he be sent back to Pakistan.
A man was seen on video, on the 26th of April, urinating in the churchyard of Sant'Agostino in Trani. Judging by the stench, others have done the same thing which eventually causes lasting damage to the walls that then have to be repaired. This man obviously had little respect for this sacred sight.
The windows of the St. David's Church in Newtown were smashed by vandals on April 25th. It was not known who did the act and someone who was closely affiliated with the church said it was "absolutely disgusting to see yet again," which implies that vandalism similar to this has already occurred.
Three teenagers entered the Magherafelt Catholic church on the 23rd of April and, after verbally insulting the priest, damaged several objects. Officers then arrested three suspects aged 11, 13, and 15, for a number of charges including criminal damage, as they smashed a vase, threw the Bible and other holy books around, and damaged a microphone. They appeared in court, for what the police called a hate crime, and two of them were banned from entering the Magherafelt area while the third still awaits trial.
The Spanish General Council of the Judiciary's (CGPJ), warned that the LGBTQ+ draft law proposed by the government would violate the rights of women, parents, and religious persons. The law seeks to allow minors to change their sex after the age of 12 without submitting a medical or psychological report and after the age of 16, parental consent would not be needed. Christian parents would not be able to raise their children in line with their beliefs and women's spaces and women's sports could be jeopardized.
The Grosseto Cathedral was raided by a masked man with a hat and gloves who fled with several items. On April 19th, he entered the Cathedral and took a brass candlestick from the altar, and then smashed the glass of the shrine that holds the ex-votos that people offer to Madonna with an awl. Some policemen, who were nearby, ran after him so he dropped the candlestick but held on to the votive offerings of devotional value.
A Statue of Christ in the church of Addolorata in San Salvo, was thrown to the ground and smashed on April 18th. The author of this act of vandalism appeared to use an object to break the statue into tiny pieces. The parish lodged a complaint.
On Saturday the 16th of April, a man entered an Easter church service in the Church of St Panteleimon and shouted Arabic phrases into a microphone. Video footage showed the priest trying to calm the congregation and the offender was later arrested by the police in Athens.