The 200-year-old Greek Orthodox Chapel of Saint Thekla in the village of Vokolida, Cyprus was demolished, allegedly by accident. The demolition was condemned publicly by the Turkish Cypriot authorities and two individuals were arrested for destroying the church and a promise was made to rebuild it. Nevertheless, due to several reasons, this has not yet been performed.
Unknown perpetrators knocked over gravestones and pulled out plants in a cemetery located in Velen.
Burglars broke into the church of Lukavac and stole various objects.
“Holy smoke” is the expression the Scottish media has used in reference to David Mach´s claim to set on fire the head of Jesus in the name of art. The artist plans to burn a head of Jesus made with matchsticks outside the City Art Centre of Edinburgh, which is hosting this religious-themed exhibit with taxpayers money in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. The exhibit will run from 30 July to 16 October. Mach, who described himself as a non believer, says he wants to use religious themes to "expose the hypocrisies of the contemporary world".
14-year-old UK students enrolled in GCSE (general certificate of secondary education) philosophy courses are being taught about euthanasia by viewing a video featuring Dr Philip Nitschke, a notorious assisted suicide campaigner and euthanasia fanatic. Nitschke, the Australian founder and director of the euthanasia group “Exit International”, known internationally as “Dr Death”, presents in a video a machine which delivers lethal injections.
The campaign “Calling the Pope to Account” sued Pope Benedict XVI at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity. The charges are: “the preservation and leadership of a worldwide totalitarian regime of coercion, which subjugates its members with terrifying and health-endangering threats; the adherence to a fatal forbiddance of the use of condoms, even when the danger of HIV-AIDS infection exists; and the establishment and maintenance of a worldwide system of cover-up of the sexual crimes committed by Catholic priests and their preferential treatment, which aids and abets ever new crimes”. The campaign is supported by posters and a book publication.
One of the routes to the main Austrian Catholic Shrine, MariaZell, located in the Austrian mountains, leads through the forest of Mr. Josef Rothwangl. In May 2011, Mr. Rothwangl put up a sign prohibiting priests to enter his property when accompanying children or youth. He says that he was a victim of abuse by Catholic priests himself, when he was a student at a Catholic high school. It is not clear, whether such a prohibition is legally permitted or not. The social effects are in any case problematic: The measure defames and stereotypes priests by implying that all Catholic priests are child abusers.
On 13th of May 2011 in Madrid, a group of atheist demonstrated „against religion“ mocking religious symbols of Christians. While such a manifestation is everyone’s freedom of expression, it is important to pay attention to the feelings of believers as well as to offer a contribution to the public debate instead of spreading hatred and intolerance.
An attempt of arson was noticed by a neighbour at Immaculate Heart of Mary church in Elmar on May 13th. Stranger(s) tried to set fire to several items in the church, including curtains, carpets and cushions. Locals extinguished the fire with water. The damaged amounts to about 2000 €.
The Swedish Parliament voted to campaign against a European resolution, which reiterates the right to conscientious objection for health professionals who do not want to perform abortions.
The parish church of “Nuestra Señora de la Asunción” suffered great damage on Sunday May 8, as several religious images made of plaster were destroyed. Local police arrested the assailant, a 35-year-old male local resident, who had made previous threats toward the church. As stated by Pastor Marcos Fermin, this is not only a financial problem for him - but bears also great emotional pain.
The Diálogo library in Madrid suffered serious damage as an unidentified pertpetrators smashed the window in which books related to the beatification of Pope Juan Pablo II were displayed. The library is well-known for specializing in religious subjects.
Vandals broke into the church of Anschar on May 7th, damaged several objects in the main church, threw down a crucifix and paintings in the sacristy, and tore everything out of the closets. Nothing was stolen, but fixing will be expensive. A new alarm system will be installed shortly to prevent any further attack. The incident was reported to the police.
The Spanish play “Me Cago en Dios” was shown in Madrid in 2004. It caused public uproar due to its radical anti-religious contents. It was subsequently shown in Lisbon and in 2011 in New York City.
The image of the Virgen del Pilar, patron of the Spanish Civil Guard, has been removed from its original location in Aranjuez. The image was placed years ago at the students´cafeteria inside the Spanish Civil Guard Academy. The removal was due to the visit of the Ministry of Interior and vice president of the socialist political party (PSOE), Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. The order came from one of Rubalcaba´s close collaborators because "it was not appropriate to see the image while the officer was having a wine of honor" there.
The sculptures of St. Peter and St. Laurent located outside the gate of San Esteban Church in Burgos were beheaded. The Church was built during the XIII century in a Gothic style; the sculpture of St. Peter had been restore six years ago while St. Laurent's image had been under renovation 12 years ago. The decapitation took place on the night of Good Friday.
A gang of about 20 youth has been rampaging repeatedly around the Nathan-Söderblom church in Reinbeck in the spring of 2011, including the urination into a work of art that represents the grave of Christ. Police and social service have not been able to calm down those involved, and are considering hiring a social worker to find a remedy.
A group of 40 youths, dressed in black, with their faces hidden, and holding signs against the Catholic Church, marched in support of the violent attack that took place at the Somosaguas Chapel in Barcelona.
Socialist Youth of Spain (Juventudes Socialistas de España - JSE), part of the PSOE political wing, has started an electoral platform that supports the removal of every religious symbol from public schools, and the progressive reduction of funds including the elimination of schools that receive taxpayers' money but are run privately (which are mostly confessional schools). Among other proposals the JSE supports free distribution of condoms, the day-after pill, indoctrination on abortion, and free sex change surgery.
The church of Bonneval has been vandalised on Holy Thursday. According to Father François Muchery, the damage was quite substantial: on the prayer book one can see obscene drawings and words, statues have been damaged and urinated on and candles were smashed.