All cases

Arson and Vandalism at Church in Henstedt-Ulzburg

May 14, 2022, Germany

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.

Arson Attack and Theft on Pau Chaplaincy

May 12, 2022, France

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.

Arson and Desecration in Romsthal Church

May 10, 2022, Germany

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.

Church in Lomellina Vandalized

May 8, 2022, Italy

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.

116 Spiritual Sites Destroyed Since Russian Invasion of Ukraine

May 7, 2022, Ukraine

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.

Churchyard in Ruvo di Puglia Vandalized

May 6, 2022, Italy

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."

Vandalism to Evangelical Church in Vöcklabruck

May 6, 2022, Austria

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.

Anti-Christian and Nazi Tags on Parish Church in Mautern

May 6, 2022, Austria

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".

European Parliament Adopts "Hostile" Report on Persecution of Religious Minorities

May 4, 2022, Belgium

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.

Several Thefts of Sacred Objects in Tuscany

May 1, 2022, Italy

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.