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 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.
According to the police, unknown perpetrators tried to break open the two doors and three windows of an annexe to a Catholic church in Sontra (Germany) between the 16. and 22. October. They did not get inside the building, but in the process, the perpetrators caused damage of about 3,000 euros.
The consternation over the theft of a baptismal font from the Apostles' Church in Münster has spread far and wide, reports Westfälische Nachrichten. The baptismal font was stolen on the 22nd of October. Pastor Dr Christoph Nooke has been contacted not only by shocked parishioners and people from Münster, but also by a couple from Lüdinghausen who learned of the crime from Westfälische Nachrichten and now offered to replace the stolen baptismal font.
It was reported on the 20. October that the walls of the Sint-Elisabeth Church in Kortrijk were vandalized with crossed-out crosses and the word "F*CK" written with black spray paint. This is not the first time the church has faced vandalism. The pastor of the church, Guido Cooman, said that he is going to file a complaint with the police.