All cases

STUDY: MORE THAN HALF OF UK CHRISTIANS EXPERIENCE HOSTILITY

June 13, 2024, United Kingdom

A new study carried out by Voice for Justice UK, surveying more than 1,500 Christians, reveals that more than half of respondents experienced hostility and ridicule when sharing their Christian beliefs. These alarming numbers match the observations of OIDAC Europe on growing pressure against Christians.

Arson attack on Quintin Basilica

June 13, 2024, France

On June 13, there was an arson attack on the Notre-Dame-de-Délivrance Basilica in Quintin. The police have confirmed that the fire was deliberate.

Fire in Dublin Crypt

June 12, 2024, Ireland

As reported on June 12, a man broke into the 11th-century church of St. Michael in Dublin and started a fire in the crypt containing 5 medieval mummies. They were damaged beyond repair. The man is now on trial.

Attack on French Catholic Family Association in Lyon

June 12, 2024, France

The building of the French Federation of Catholic Family Associations (AFC) in Lyon was severely attacked, leaving the place vandalised and daubed with graffiti slogans including "Death to Nazis" and similar insults. "AFC is not part of any political party", AFC underlined in the face of this absurd accusations in a statement published on their website.

Catalonia: Register of conscientious objectors in medical care

June 11, 2024, Spain

On June 11, the Government of Catalonia approved the creation of a register of health professionals who object to performing or assisting in abortions for reasons of conscience. According to the official statement, the register will be administrative and electronic, and not public. However, the management of health centres which provide abortion services will be able to access these records. Such a register is feared to lead to situations of discrimination on religious grounds in employment and indirectly violate the right to freedom of conscience of health personnel.

UPDATE: UK withdraws prosecution for "withholding money for transitioning"

June 10, 2024, United Kingdom

After "feedback from stakeholder" the Crown Prosecution Service has updated its domestic abuse guidance for prosecutors. In the updated version the section on “Transgender and non-binary identifying victims” no longer states that withholding “money for transitioning” may be considered abuse. Furthermore, refusing to use one's children's preferred name or pronoun can only be considered as part of a wider offence of coercive behaviour if there is intent to cause humiliation or distress. For an offence the children must be at least 16 years or older.

Vandalism in Bordeaux Church

June 10, 2024, France

Around 10 pm on June 10, the Saint Éloi church in Bordeaux was vandalised during a leftist demonstration. The perpetrators threw down plates and cutlery kept for the winter soup kitchen and spray-painted "Death to nationalists" on the church walls.

Vandalism in Poitiers

June 9, 2024, France

On June 9, the Montierneuf church in Poitiers was found vandalised. The cross was twisted, the altar smashed, vases of flowers were thrown against the walls, a sacred plaque on the altar was unsealed, twelve columns were torn down and the cross from the high altar was thrown on the sidewalk. Furthermore, furniture and sacred objects were damaged. The most symbolic and sacrilegious act for the catholic community remains the degradation of the tabernacle, where the consecrated hosts were kept. It was unsealed from the top.

Christian concert attacked in Bonn

June 9, 2024, Germany

On June 9, during a concert inside a church at Bonn's Hofgarten, an unknown person threw a stone from outside, smashing a window and injuring a 55 year old musician. There were around 80 artists performing in the classical concert by Johann Sebastian Bach, St. John's passion "Open heaven for me".

Cross in Lubartów Defaced

June 8, 2024, Poland

On 8th June, a cross on a street in Lubartów with the figure of Jesus was found spray-painted with swastikas. The face of the statue was also smeared with white paint. On a bench nearby, graffiti containing "Slava Ukraine JP" was spray-painted.

Christian pro-life association attacked for 13th time in three years

June 6, 2024, Italy

The headquarters of the Italian Christian pro-life association Pro Vita & Famiglia in Rome was attacked on June 6. A female protestor, a cameraman of an Italian news channel and a candidate for the European Parliament pasted a pro-abortion poster on the building and refused to leave until the police arrived. This had been the 13th attack on this organisation in three years and third only that month.

Man sentenced for series of arsons in Pau

June 5, 2024, France

On June 5, Fataharhman Awad Allah Abdalkrem, a political refugee, was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for a series of arson attacks in Pau between March and May 2022. He had caused fire to the chaplaincy of the Saint-Pierre Church, from which he also stole a cash box containing 300 euros and a computer.

Arson attempt in Tyumen

June 3, 2024, Russia

On June 3, a 43-year-old man tried to set fire on the Dmitry Donskoy Church Tyumen. He threw incendiary mixtures and fled on his bicycle, as filmed by an eyewitness. The police have now detained the man. The motives are still unknown.

Vandals urinate into the holy water fountain of Strasbourg church

May 31, 2024, France

On the morning of May 31, the priest of Saint-Maurice Church in Strasbourg observed that some people had urinated into the holy water fountain near the entrance. This is not the first incident in this church. There have been a series of thefts and other incivilites over several months.

Vandalism of Chapel in Tawern

May 31, 2024, Germany

On May 31, unknown perpetrators knocked down two historical statues of saints and the Stations of the Cross in Margarethen Chapel Tawern causing severe damage. The head of the statue of Peter was broken and three reliefs of the Stations of the Cross were torn down from the wall.

Scotland: Most extreme buffer zone law passes first stage

May 30, 2024, United Kingdom

The Scottish draft legislation on abortion "buffer zones", which was passed at first stage on April 30, has sparked a debate on the criminalisation of silent prayer in these zones. This bill proposes the creation of a zone extending to 200 meters around abortion clinics in which "influencing" someone in regard to abortion would be illegal. In a parliament debate MSP Jeremy Balfour asked if he would be criminalised for praying at a bus stop inside the zone. He tabled an amendment seeking to exclude silent prayer from the criminal actions within the zone. MSP Gillian Mackay who introduced the Bill responded to Mr Balfour by saying: "If nobody knows someone is praying, and nothing in their conduct is capable of having the effects on women or staff that this Bill seeks to prevent, then it is unlikely that any offence could be committed. If someone stands silently praying for a long time, deliberately looking at women accessing an abortion clinic, or for example with a sign, then they may be committing an offence."

Fire in Pagnano Church

May 30, 2024, Italy

On May 30, a fire broke out in the church of San Giorgio in Pagnano. Fortunately, the damage is minimal, since the fire which had started from a wooden candle holder was immediately extinguished. While the cause of the fire is currently unknown the priest suspects that someone had deliberately started the fire, since the candle holder was only used to store unlit candles and it was empty. Also, no signs of melted wax were found.

Church in Faubourg-Bonnefoy severely vandalised

May 30, 2024, France

On 30th May, the Immaculate Conception church in Toulouse was heavily vandalised by unknown perpetrators. Several objects, boards and furniture were broken and overturned, causing severe damage. Although the altar is located in a protected area behind bars, it was also overturned and severely damaged. The head of the statue of Virgin Mary was covered with a blue cloth.

Man steals statue of Jesus from church

May 29, 2024, Italy

In the early morning of May 29, in the Santissima Addolorata church in Taranto, a man was caught on camera, carrying a statue of Jesus on his shoulder, which he had taken from the church. The police were able to track down the perpetrator, a 28-year-old convicted felon. He had already been under house arrest, during which he had escaped to steal the statue.

Vandalism of altar in Siedliska

May 29, 2024, Poland

On May 29 at night, unknown perpetrators destroyed decorations on the altar prepared for the Corpus Christi procession in Siedliska. They also tore down decorative trees attached to the Christian community centre, and damaged the stairs of the building. Furthermore, the contents of two garbage bins were spilt next to the altar.

Chapel defaced with Islamic graffiti

May 29, 2024, Slovenia

On May 29, a chapel at the crossroads of Zagrad and Leše, in the municipality of Prevalje, Slovenia, was found defaced with graffiti. Unknown perpetrators wrote the word "Allah" in big letters with red paint on the walls of the chapel.

Man rammed car into Rodez Cathedral shouting "I hate Jesus"

May 28, 2024, France

As reported on 28th May, a 55 year old Frenchman has been arrested for driving his vehicle into the Cathedral of Rodez in Aveyron region. Fortunately, the SUV got stuck on the stairs leading up to the entrance and did not damage the Cathedral. According to witnesses, he was shouting “I hate Jesus” and “I hate Christianity”.

Vandalism in North Yorkshire

May 26, 2024, United Kingdom

Between 24th and 26th May, unknown perpetrators smashed 500 year old windows of a church in St. Mary's Church Thirsk.

Vandalism in St. Anna Chapel in Altshausen

May 24, 2024, Germany

On Friday evening, May 24, an intoxicated man committed an act of vandalism and damaged the St. Anna Chapel in Altshausen. According to the police, the man went on a rampage in the chapel "like a madman". The man smashed objects, flower decorations and destroyed plaster angels. He also tore down a crucifix and ripped off the hand of a statue of a saint. The police arrested a 32-year-old suspect. According to the initial estimate, the damage amounts to 10,000 euros.

Vandalism of statues in Szydłowo

May 24, 2024, Poland

Unknown perpetrators have painted defaced statues of Mary and Jesus in a roadside chapel in Szydłowo. In red colour they painted the eyes, nails and mouths. "This is a shameful and blasphemous act. It appears to have been done consciously and boldly during the day.", the local parish priest, Fr. Maruszewski said.

Vandalism in the church of Sant'Angelo Magno

May 20, 2024, Italy

On May 20, it was discovered that unknown vandals had broken inside the Church of Sant'Angelo Magno and destroyed candelabras, a crucifix, a statue, sacred vestments, and the 17th-century organ.

Vandals set fire to altar in Dannevoux church

May 19, 2024, France

On Pentecost, Sunday, May 19, between 9 am and 7.30 pm, in the church of Saint-Hippolyte in Dannevoux (Meuse), an act of vandalism was recorded and caused over €1,500 worth of material damage. According to a news report, fire was set to the altar. Fortunately, it was quickly extinguished with water from the holy water font, thus avoiding potentially dramatic consequences. The fire did, however, cause some damage to the altar. The tablecloth, base and column were partially burnt.

Police accused of pressuring Tory party to unseat Councillor Stevens

May 18, 2024, United Kingdom

Media revealed that a police detective allegedly put pressure on the Wellingborough local Tory party to unseat councillor Anthony Stevens after Mr. Stevens had defended the freedom of speech of a Christian street preacher and a Christian councillor. According to reports, the police detective explained that “in her opinion” Mr Steven was “not a fit person to be a councillor” because of his free speech beliefs and used internal information ton put pressure on the local chair of the committee. The incident happened just before the police searched and detained Cllr Stevens for supporting the freedom of speech case of Christian councillor King Lawal on his personal Twitter account in August 2023. The incident has prompted accusations of political interference by police.

"Allah" graffiti on Christ Church in Philippsburg

May 17, 2024, Germany

Unknown perpetrators daubed the facade of the Protestant Christ Church with the word "Allah" in Arabic language. The words were written with neon pink spray paint on the door and the wall. The town's inhabitants are shocked about the incidents, local media says.

"Are you here to pray for the lives of unborn children?"

May 16, 2024, United Kingdom

Sebastian Vaughan-Spruce was fined on May 16th in Birmingham while standing in a buffer zone near an abortion clinic. Among other things, the police asked him "Are you here to pray for the lives of unborn children?", in order to establish whether he was committing a crime. Sebastian replied that he was not praying silently in his head and further clarified: "I did not approach anyone, I did not speak to anyone, I did not breach anyone's privacy. I simply stood silently." He carried no sign either. The police could not tell him which crime he was committing, but nevertheless asked him to move away and leave the zone. When he inquired why, he was fined for not moving.

Church of the Holy Trinity near Peć vandalised with Islamist graffiti

May 15, 2024, Kosovo

Unknown individuals broke into the Church of the Holy Trinity a village near Peć and vandalised it with graffiti. The messages included “Allah Akbar,” as well as Albanian phrases such as “Remove this church from here,” “Only Muslims are here,” “We don’t want churches, we want mosques,” and “Islam is the only true religion!”

Attempted petrol bomb arson attack on Glasgow Baptist Church

May 15, 2024, United Kingdom

On Wednesday, May 15, an unknown perpetrator tried to set fire to Dennistoun Baptist Church in Glasgow with a petrol bomb which exploded in front of the entrance door of the church. Images show the charred pavement in front of the church. Police received reports of attempts to damage Dennistoun Baptist Church on Finlay Drive at around 10:50 a.m., and an investigation has been launched.

Catholic cemetery in Smorgon vandalised

May 15, 2024, Belarus

On Wednesday, May 15, unknown perpetrators set fire to a 19th century large brick chapel on the catholic cemetery in the town of Smorgon in Belarus. An image of Jesus and the roof of the chapel was burned. Parishioners are convinced that there was an act of profanation.

Arson and Vandalism in Sainte-Thérèse de Poitiers

May 14, 2024, France

On May 14, benches were gathered in heaps and set on fire in front of the choir in the church of Sainte-Thérèse in Poitiers. Furthermore, a statue of Mary was beheaded by the vandals.

Man armed with knife caught in church

May 13, 2024, Poland

On Monday, May 13, a 40-year-old man entered a church in Czaplinek with a knife while a First Communion service for children was taking place. The adult worshippers overpowered the man and called the police. The latter detained him for disrupting the service. According to witnesses, the man was dressed all in black, held a long kitchen knife and was walking towards the priest.

LibDems reported to EHRC for deselecting Christian candidate

May 12, 2024, United Kingdom

More than 400 party members filed a complaint with the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission which accuses the Liberal Democrats of deselecting a candidate based on his Christian faith in breach of equality law and having tolerated a “hostile environment” for people of faith. David Campanale, an Anglican believer and award-winning former BBC journalist has been targeted by an activist group within the party who has been lobbying against him because of his Christian believes since his selection as a candidate in 2021. The campaign alleged that he had not sufficiently disclosed his faith during the selection process, which he denies, and complained that a decade earlier he had been a member of the Christian People’s Alliance (CPA).

Islamic graffiti on church wall in Vienna

May 12, 2024, Austria

Next to the entrance to the church of St. Anthony of Padua slogans written in black pen appeared on the wall. "Islam will win, with you or without," and "Deen over Dunya" ("Religion over worldly life") are just some of the numerous slogans on the wall. Some of the words have been crossed out or replaced, but the graffiti has not been removed.

Vandalism in Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives

May 9, 2024, France

On the night of Wednesday, May 8 to Thursday, May 9, Ascension Day, the abbey church of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives was the victim of acts of vandalism. The tabernacle, where the consecrated hosts are kept, was forcefully opened, although nothing was stolen. Mass vestments were also vandalised. The parish priest, Father Donat, immediately lodged a complaint with the gendarmerie. The gendarmerie is investigating the accident.

Minors commit Arson and Vandalism at Church

May 8, 2024, Italy

Wednesday May 8, minors set fire to the Catheral of Casalmaggiore and vandalised it. The boys broke into the nave on the right side of the church where they broke the stoup into pieces and started a fire with candles. They then entered from the opposite side and went into a storeroom where the electrical panel that operates the lift and installations is located. The perpetrators could be identified thanks to surveillance cameras.

Polish missionaries arrested in Belarus

May 8, 2024, Belarus

On May 8, two Polish missionaries, Fr Andrzej Yukhnievich, OMI and Fr Pawel Lemekh, OMI were detained at the parish church of Our Lady of Fatima, Šumilina in Belarus for expressing their support to Ukraine. They have been sentenced to 15 days and 10 days in prison, for “subversive activity to the detriment of the Belarussian state”.

Arson attempt in Brive

May 6, 2024, France

Saint-Sernin church in Brive became the target of two arson attempts on May 3 and May 6. Due to lack of resources to ensure continuous surveillance, the church is now closed.

Lutheran church in Plettenberg "devastated" by vandals

May 5, 2024, Germany

On Saturday evening, May 5, the police were called to the Lutheran Böhler church in Plettenberg, because a witness had found "people rioting" there. Upon arrival the police found that the door had been smashed in and the wooden panelling was broken. The interior was "a picture of devastation", according to reports. The baptismal font was knocked over, a candelabra was torn down and a window was damaged. The organ on the upper floor was also demolished, as were parts of the roof truss. The damage is estimated by the presbytery to be at least 50,000 euros.

Fourteen Helpers Church tagged with swastikas

April 30, 2024, Germany

Unknown persons have scratched two swastikas and a runic symbol on the façade of Fourteen Helpers Church in Zeitzer Straße in Gera. According to the police, the offence is now being investigated not only for damage to property, but also for the use of anti-constitutional symbols.

Protestant church vandalised with graffiti referring to massacre of Protestants

April 30, 2024, France

A protestant church in France was vandalised with a graffiti reading “Long live Saint-Barthélemy”. Saint Barthélemy Day refers to the mass massacre of Protestants following 24 August 1572, in which between 15,000 and 30,000 Protestants were murdered in Paris and the provinces because of their faith. In this light, the graffiti is a particularly troubling display of anti-Protestant hatred.

Arson on St Theresa Church Grounds

April 29, 2024, United Kingdom

On 29 April a fire was discovered inside the garages on the grounds of St Theresa’s of the Child of Jesus Church in St Helens. A window of the church was also found to have been smashed. The Detective Police Inspector, Jimmy Rotheram, commented: "It’s truly shocking that a church, which is such a valued resource and focal point for the community, has been targeted in this way."

Consecrated Hosts stolen from Czestochowa Church

April 28, 2024, Poland

Unknown perpetrators broke into the church of Our Lady of Czestochowa and stole the consecrated host, which is considered as an act of desecration by Catholics. Two ciboria with consecrated hosts disappeared from the secure tabernacle, as discovered by parish priest Father Stanislaw Mikos during Sunday Mass.

Right-wing slogans and swastika daubed on church doors

April 27, 2024, Germany

In the village of Hesborn, the parish church and the cemetery chapel were smeared with right-wing slogans and symbols. Early on Saturday morning, April 27, a large swastika was found emblazoned on the church door and "Foreigners out" was written on the door to the cemetery chapel. Police and state security are investigating.

Arson in Haren Church

April 27, 2024, Germany

Unknown persons set a fire in a church in Haren between April 26 and 27. According to the police, the fire was set in the porch of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church (Herz-Jesu-Kirche). Floor tiles were damaged as a result. The fire went out on its own.

Altar Cloth set on Fire in Capri Church

April 26, 2024, Italy

On Friday morning, April 26, an unknown perpetrator tried to set fire to the church of San Bernardino Realino in Carpi. After attempting to steal the offering box, he set fire to the tablecloth in the side chapel.

'Fire at the Vatican': Walls of Roman church defaced with graffiti

April 24, 2024, Italy

On Wednesday, April 24, the walls of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in San Lorenzo, Rome, were defaced with graffiti, including anti-Christian slogans. 'Fire at the Vatican', 'Freedom to anarchists', 'Trans liberation', 'Get the church out of our pants' and 'Free Palestine' were some of the inscriptions on the walls.

Vandalism in the Appels church

April 23, 2024, Belgium

On Tuesday evening, April 23, in the church of Appels in Dendermande, an act of vandalism was reported.

Repeated vandalism of chapel in Torfaen

April 23, 2024, United Kingdom

The chapel of Bethlehem Church in Blaenavon, in the south of Wales, has become a target of vandalism three times within three weeks. According to media reports, parts of the out buildings at Bethlehem Church have been vandalised and a wall and step were damaged. Furthermore, urine was discovered in the church doorway.

Vandalism: Windows smashed in Bonn Church

April 21, 2024, Germany

Since the weekend of April 21, the St. Franziskus church has had smashed windows since the weekend. The management board is shocked.

Vandalism and Fire in Hilders Church

April 21, 2024, Germany

On Sunday, April 21, unknown persons entered the Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist during official opening hours, tore flower decorations from the benches, destroyed sacrificial candles and burned paper in several places.

Vandalism and Islamic Graffiti inside Aachen Chapel

April 21, 2024, Germany

On Sunday, April 21, Ursula Becker, a member of the parish council at St. Katharina, Aachen, discovered garbage and graffiti in the parish's St. Mary Chapel. Among other things, "Allahu Akbar" was written on the walls and doors. The crime must have happened between 12 and 4 p.m.

Vandalism and Desecration of Church of Santa Maria in Albis

April 20, 2024, France

On Saturday night, April 20, individuals broke into the church of Sancta Maria in Albis, located in the heart of the village of Breil-sur-Roya.

Passion Trail Vandalised

April 16, 2024, Germany

The Passion Trail set up by the Evangelical Lutheran parish in Hagen-Haspe has been demolished. The path, which was lined with crosses and prayer texts, led along the forest path at Tücking.

Brussels authorities ban event due to “ethically conservative” beliefs on abortion, marriage, and the EU

April 16, 2024, Belgium

On April 16, Brussels officials issued a police order to ban the entrance to the NatCon conference. The official order to shut down the conference included the reason that its "vision is not only ethically conservative (e.g. hostility to the legalisation of abortion, same-sex unions, etc.) but also focused on the defence of “national sovereignty”, which implies, amongst other things, a “Eurosceptic” attitude”. In an emergency ruling, Belgium highest court has lifted the ban and declared it unconstitutional.

England's High court backs prayer ritual ban at schools

April 16, 2024, United Kingdom

In its judgment on Tuesday, April 16, the High Court of England and Wales dismissed a Muslim pupil's challenge to a ban of 'prayer rituals' at Michaela Community School in Brent, north-west London. The High Court judged that publicly funded schools in England can impose such bans of communal prayer rituals among students. It is not yet clear in how far Christian prayer will be affected by the ban.

Grave of Late Patriarch Neophyte Desecrated

April 15, 2024, Bulgaria

The grave of the late Patriarch Neophyte was desecrated in Sofia, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church informed Tuesday morning, April 16.

Youth disturb concert in Cathedral shouting "Allah Akbar"

April 14, 2024, France

On Sunday, April 14, five adolescents entered the Saint-Etienne Cathedral in Metz during a concert of Bach, one of them interrupting the concert and shouting "Allah Akbar". The teenagers then fled but were found and arrested by the police.

Shouting Man Smashes Objects in Church

April 13, 2024, Italy

Shortly after 6 pm, a 41-year-old man started shouting complaining about an alleged theft of a backpack. According to the police, he then entered the church in Via Felice Bellotti, the San Benedetto Monastery, in Milan’s city centre and started to hit commemorative wreaths and a statue, which he threw to the ground. The police intervened against the intoxicated man, who was charged with a criminal offence.

Jesus Figure Stolen from Easter Crib

April 13, 2024, Italy

In the afternoon of April 13, a statue of Jesus was stolen from the Easter crib in the Consolation Parish in Via XX Settembre in Genoa. The first scene of the Easter crib displayed Jesus entering Jerusalem on the back of a donkey.

Arrest warrant for youths on suspicion of terrorist attack against "Christians and police"

April 12, 2024, Germany

The German national security forces have unearthed a terrorist cell of minors in Düsseldorf. According to the newspaper Bild, the youths wanted to attack "Christians ("unbelievers") in churches" and "police officers in police stations" with knives and Molotov cocktails in the name of the ISIS. Arrest warrants have been issued.

Sacred objects stolen from Great Yarmouth Minster upset community

April 12, 2024, United Kingdom

Great Yarmouth Minster Church was broken into twice within two weeks, first overnight between March 29 and March 30 and then again on April 12, 2024. Besides stealing money the thieves also broke the windows of the church and took sacred objects, namely the bread and wine which has been blessed and kept reserved and some of the sacred oils. "So many people in Yarmouth feel hurt by the fact that a place they consider special and important to community life has been violated," the church Reverend said.

Church façade vandalised during mass

April 10, 2024, Germany

On April 10, a young man threw several bottles filled with alcohol against the façade of the Catholic Sacred Heart Church in Diez during the church service at around 6 p.m, causing heavy soiling and property damage.

Theft and Arson in Church

April 10, 2024, Italy

At the church of Castelvecchio di Compito in the Lucca region, a 37-year-old man stole objects worth over 10,000 euros from the oratory, which included liturgical objects dating back to the early 19th century such as two candelabra and a wooden canopy. He set fire to the parish premises and fled.

Germany Issues Deportation Order for Iranian Convert

April 10, 2024, Germany

The administrative office for foreigners of Central Franconia, Germany, has issued a deportation order for an Iranian convert. According to the media, the lawyer has confirmed the conversion to Christianity of the Iranian asylum seeker. The lawyer also said that his client had been warned by his mother not to return to Iran because otherwise he would be arrested.

Vandalism at St. Athanasius Monastery Church

April 9, 2024, North Macedonia

The church of St. Athanasius monastery in Tetovo has been broken in, all the windows were broken and serious material damage was done.

Purse stolen During Prayer at Mass

April 8, 2024, Italy

During mass on Monday, a pickpocket stole a purse containing about 100 Euro and the woman’s phone in the church of Sant'Aniello Abate in Cosenza. The theft happened while the woman was praying.

Archbishop receives criminal conviction for criticising Russia's war in Ukraine

April 8, 2024, Russia

According to the religious freedom watchdog organisation Forum 18, Archbishop Viktor Pivovarov has become the fifth person to receive a criminal conviction for criticising Russia's war in Ukraine from a religious perspective. On April 8, he was found guilty of repeatedly "discrediting" the Russian Armed Forces after condemning the war as "aggressive" and "Satanic" in his sermons.

Fire and Vandalism at Roßwein Church

April 6, 2024, Germany

On Saturday, April 6, unknown persons set fire to a memorial table of the Church in Roßwein and damaged the donation box.

Minors Set Altar on Fire

April 6, 2024, Austria

Two Children, one of them a 12-year-old boy, set a fire to the Serbian Orthodox Church of Our Lady in Feldkirch causing considerable damage. After searching the unlocked donation boxes for cash, they set the cloth at the altar in the back of the church on fire endangering liturgical objects.

Vandalism and Theft in Den Bosch Church

April 6, 2024, Netherlands

Burglars broke into St. John's Cathedral in Den Bosch, smashed stained-glass windows, emptied a fire extinguisher inside the building and stole a time capsule intended to be opened in the year 2122.

Arson attack on French Church

April 4, 2024, France

A fire broke out in the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Agneaux on Thursday afternoon, April 4. According to police investigation's initial findings, the fire was intentional.

Desecration of Mission Cross

April 4, 2024, Poland

In the Church of St. Maksymilian Maria Kolbe in Bogatynia, a Mission Cross was chopped down over night.

Armenian Church Demolished in Nagorno-Karabakh

April 4, 2024, Other

Between December 28, 2023 and April 4, 2024, St. John the Baptist Church (S. Hovhannes Mkrtich) in Nagorno-Karabakh was destroyed, according to Caucasus Heritage Watch, referring to satellite pictures. The church was built in 1818 had been a landmark in Shusha/Shushi.

After Two Fires Church Temporarily Closed

April 3, 2024, France

Within 24 hours two fires hit the Saint-Serge Church in Angers. On April 2, the altar of the chapel of the Virgin Mary was set on fire. On the next day a fire broke out in front of the Saint-Ambroise statue. A suspect women was spotted and arrested by the police.

Church Smeared with Eggs, Glue and Dog Excrement

April 3, 2024, United Kingdom

Rivertown Church in Shotton was subject to vandalism. Eggs were thrown at the rear door. Previously, glue and dog excrement were smeared on the same door. Furthermore, the church has seen damage to both locks and seats inside. In light of the church’s effort in running a community hub, the incident appears very distressing to volunteers and the church community.

Controversy about secular court ruling on dismissal of a nun under canonical procedure

April 3, 2024, France

In an unusual case, a secular civilian court has issued a ruling against the Vatican’s in-house canonical procedures in the case of the dismissal of a French nun from her order and has sparked discussions on religious autonomy. On April 3, the Lorient tribunal ruled in favour of a nun who turned to the French court after being removed from a monastery in Brittany. The Vatican replied in a written statement that such a ruling on "internal discipline and membership in a religious institute" would be a "serious violation of the fundamental rights to religious freedom and freedom of association of Catholic faithful."

Church starts dialogue project after severe vandalism

April 2, 2024, Italy

On April 2, the parish priest of the St. Anthony's Oratory in Porto Mantovano, Trento, found the oratory severely vandalised. Next to smashed locks, broken doors and glass, damaged objects and furniture, there was dirt, a swastika and offensive writings on the floor. The incident, was only the latest in a series of vandalism attacks on the oratory. The priest therefore reached out to the community for help.

Scottish 'Hate Speech' Bill Could Limit Freedom of Religion

April 1, 2024, United Kingdom

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021 came into force on April 1, 2024. The Act could criminalise expressions of religious convictions, religious and human rights groups fear.

Liturgical clothings and procession flags stolen from church

March 31, 2024, Germany

On March 31, a stole, procession flags and clothing were stolen from the Roman Catholic Church of the Assumption of Mary in Scheinfeld, Germany. The perpetrator was apparently hiding in the confessional during mass before stealing the objects. The man also damaged the confessional, which caused damage of approximately 200 euros.

Man Insults Congregation and Attacks Liturgical Servant During Mass

March 30, 2024, Poland

A 38-year-old disrupted the Holy Saturday celebrations at the All Saints parish in Jastrzębie-Zdrój. Entering the altar area, he loudly shouted vulgar words from the pulpit. When being asked to leave the altar stage, he attacked one of the liturgical servants as well as a police officer during arrest.

Thwarted Terrorist Attack on Notre Dame de Paris

March 30, 2024, France

An Egyptian man with links to ISIS has been arrested over a suspected terrorist attack on the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris, as became known in the media on March 30. The man was arrested on March 5 by officers from the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI). Thanks to the work of the domestic intelligence services, the terrorist was identified, arrested for "criminal terrorist association" and placed in pre-trial detention.

"Never again!" Banner Stolen from Church Fence

March 30, 2024, Germany

In the night from Good Friday to Holy Saturday, unknown perpetrators removed a banner from the fence of St Sebastian's parish and stole it. The campaign slogan: "Never again! - Strong together for democracy and against right-wing extremism!" Investigations are ongoing. 

Theft and Vandalism in two Portuguese Churches

March 29, 2024, Portugal

In the night of Good Friday, two churches in the Portuguese towns Golegã and Pombalinho were subjects to theft and vandalism.

Good Friday: Altar of Neuhaus church damaged with fire

March 29, 2024, Germany

An unknown person damaged the altar in the Catholic Church in Neuhaus an der Pegnitz, Germany, on Good Friday, March 29. According to the police, the perpetrator apparently "held a candle to the altar in such a way that the wood and the altar cloth were damaged". Fortunately, the fire did not spread.

Vandalism at St John's Church Alresford

March 28, 2024, United Kingdom

In the night before Maundy Thursday, Easter crosses and the noticeboard of Baptist St John's Church in Alresford were vandalised.

ISIS boasts of "killing Christians" in Moscow attack

March 22, 2024, Russia

On 22 March, a terrorist attack targeting an event location close to Moscow resulted in the deaths of at least 137 people. Gunmen armed with automatic weapons opened fire during a crowded concert at Crocus City Hall. ISIS statements claiming responsibility for the attack boasted of “killing Christians”.

Suspected arson at church of of St Julia

March 21, 2024, France

On the morning of Thursday, 21 March 2024, a fire broke out in the church of Saint-Agathe and Saint-Julien in the village of Saint-Julia. The canvas burned and when the mayor, Christian Lagente, entered the church at around 10 am, everything was engulfed in smoke. The mayor made the first attempts to extinguish the fire before help arrived.

Bust of Christ Vandalised at Rennes Church

March 20, 2024, France

A bust of Christ was vandalised and the church door damaged in Church of Saint-Germain in Rennes. The vandalism was discovered by the parish priest, Father Philippe Hebert, on March 20. The priest lodged a complaint the next day, investigations are ongoing.

Desecration of church in Reggino

March 19, 2024, Italy

The church of San Giuseppe, in Melito Porto Salvo, in Reggino, was desecrated by unknown individuals. The perpetrators damaged the security cameras, forced entry into the church, stole the consecrated host and scatter the others. Furthermore, a sacred vessel was also taken.

Arson in St Benedict Church prevented by employee

March 19, 2024, Germany

An unknown person set fire to a seat cushion and a shrub that were placed in the front area of the church in Eisenharz for the upcoming First Communion. The fire was extinguished by an employee, but the pew and shrub were damaged. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Vandalism in three churches

March 19, 2024, Poland

On March 19, the church Jana Pawła Street, Konstantynów, was vandalised. The perpetrator kicked a cross, damaged three windows and knocked over tables, pews, and kneelers. The cost of the damage amounts to PLN 5,000.

Organ Damaged in Waltrop Church

March 19, 2024, Germany

On Tuesday, March 19, a fire extinguisher was emptied into the pipes of the organ in St Peter's Church.

Christian artist banned from her own exhibition after expressing concerns about puberty blockers

March 18, 2024, United Kingdom

Victoria Culf, a Christian artist, was reported to police and banned from her own exhibition after telling a Watford council worker, back in June 2023, that due to her Christian world view and as a mother she didn’t think children should transition. She is now taking legal action.

Ten statues and plaques in cemetery of Bovekerke vandalised

March 16, 2024, Belgium

On March 16, the cemetery surrounding the church of Bovekerke (Koekelare) was vandalised. Approximately a dozen statues, ornaments, flowers, and memorial plaques had been destroyed. The affected graves are not all close together and often involve very old concessions. According to another resident, some crosses have also been removed from the graves.

"This is a Muslim area" smeared on Evangelical Church

March 16, 2024, United Kingdom

A radical muslim graffiti was spray-painted on the windows of Southchurch Christian Fellowship Centre on Saturday night, March 16. The graffiti, which read "This is a Muslim area", is now being investigated by Essex Police as racially aggravated criminal damage. Ms Champion, who discovered the vandalism, said: "To see someone committing such hateful behaviour is so heartbreaking. It makes me very angry. A colleague and I went to the church to remove the worst of it because we didn't want people to feel intimidated when they came to the Sunday service the next morning."

Woman attacked by burglar during mass

March 16, 2024, France

A woman was attacked by a burglar when entering Saint-Étienne Cathedral for mass on March 16.