Former employee of Sainsbury's Jacqueline Rendell is suing the supermarket chain for "unfair dismissal" alleging she was fired for refusing to work on Sunday mornings so she could attend Sunday services at church. She claims the supermarket chain fired her because she refused demands to work every Sunday morning.
Several Chinese Christians have been arriving in Spain since the end of October seeking religious asylum after being denied it in other countries. The lack of response from the Spanish government puts their physical integrity at risk if they are deported to China. Among them is a famous Chinese Catholic actress, Li Yan Li, who has said she would rather die than return to China.
A fire was started at the church of Santa Maria in Vado on November 4 at around 8:45 AM. It was reported that the perpetrator set fire to a tent set up in the churchyard. From there, the fire then spread to the front door of the church. People in the church noticed and notified the fire department, then used water to start putting out the fire. The firefighters arrived and finished putting out the fire. Smoke filled the interior of the church and an old notice board was destroyed. Police investigated the scene, and the vandal was reportedly caught on surveillance cameras and already identified.
A valuable monstrance, among other religious objects, was stolen from St. Barbara Church in Schophoven during the night of November 3. The mayor of Schophoven, Matthias Hahn, entered the church in the morning to find the tabernacle opened. Liturgical objects, including the monstrance, were stolen. Some of the items taken were a goblet spoon, a ciborium, and a drinking cup. A St. Barbara relic fell to the floor and was bent, but not taken. The sacristy door was also broken open, and the wall safe had been removed from the wall and broken into.
On November 4, the congregation of the Church of Ķekava announced on Facebook that an old Bible had been stolen from the church's altar. The Facebook post said that it could have been taken as early as November 2. The church community is trying to retrieve the Bible, and the thief has not been found.
During the prayer initative "40 Days for Life" a man and a woman holding signs and praying outside an abortion clinic in Vienna were attacked by a man. The man snatched the signs, which displayed the picture of a baby, from them and violently broke the signs into pieces. He also took one of the signs and ran away with it.
In the afternoon of October 28, the Church of San Giovannino was desecrated. A young man entered the presbytery, climbed onto the alter to reach for the crucifix and threw it on the floor, breaking it into several pieces. After that, he removed a crucifix from the wall at the front of the church and broke it. The incident was filmed by security cameras, though the man had put out the candles in the church as to not be recognized.
Scottish MP Dr Lisa Cameron shared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour how she had felt marginalised in the Scottish National Party (SNP) because of her Christian faith and pressured to vote against her convictions. Now defected to the Conservative Party, Dr Cameron voted against the 2020 new abortion regime for Northern Ireland and disagreed with bills which sought to legalise assisted suicide in England and Wales.
The historic crucifix located in the Santa Marta square in Seville was destroyed on the night of October 22nd by unknown perpetrators. It dated to the 16th century and had a carving of a crucifix on one side and a pietà on the other.
The Dietrich Bonhoeffer International School in Germany was forced to close for the year by German education authorities. The school has been open for 9 years with an award-winning pedagogical model. Germany has banned homeschooling, hybrid schools, and has tightened restrictions on private schools. German authorities wrote to the school that "the immediate enforcement of prohibitions is ordered", preventing students from continuing their schooling there for the rest of the year. The government has also fined the school 600 euros in administrative fees. Authorities stated that the school website was an "advertisement for the impermissible school", and was ordered to be shut down. The school is arguing that Germany is violating national and international human rights law - including parents' rights to educate their children in accordance with their philosophical and religious convictions - with its ban on homeschooling, along with other restrictions on education. An urgency lawsuit to reopen the school is currently pending.
Christian preacher, Stephen Green, 72, was tried in court on October 17, for allegedly having protested against abortion within a 'buffer zone' surrounding MSI Reproductive Choices clinic in Mattock Lane, West London on February 6, 2023. Green was quietly holding a sign with a Bible verse from Psalm 139:13 written on it, which reads: "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb". Appearing at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court, Green pleaded not guilty to breaking the public spaces protection order (PSPO). According to the Mail Online, Mr. Green's charge sheet accuses him of "[protesting] by engaging in an act of disapproval or attempted act of disapproval with respect to issues related to abortion services, by written means in that you were holding a large sign displaying the text ‘Psalm 139:13 (...) relating directly or indirectly to the termination of pregnancy."
On October 15, a group vandalized St. Francis Xavier Church in Hereford. A group of youths meddled with the microphone, threw lit candles around the room and spit on the altar. The church priest, Father Thomas, said that security must be tightened because of this incident. Before, the church had been open at any time of the day so churchgoers could come to pray or light a candle. The police are still investigating the situation.
A 56-year old man from Pescara asked the parish priest for money, but when the priest refused he started a fire near the altar. The incident occurred around 3:30 PM on October 15. The police was notified and found that a wooden bench, placed to the side of the altar, showed clear signs of combustion. The fabric covering the bench and the carpet underneath it were damaged by the flames, but the fire had already been put out by some parishioners.
On October 14 the Police Station in Krzeszowice was notified about damage to a chapel located in the Krzeszowice commune. A vandal used an axe to damage a historic painting depicting Elijah the Prophet of Carmel. The vandal then left the area on bike. The police caught the 35-year-old on his bike with the axe that he used to destroy the religious painting. He was arrested and taken into custody.
Several meters of lightning conductors and copper downpipe were dismantled and stolen from a church in Taura, near Torgau. The police department in Leipzig announced that unknown perpetrators had forcibly gained access to the church between 4 pm on October 12 and 11 am on October 13. The exact extent of the property damage and theft damage is currently unknown. The police have started an investigation into this case and are treating the incident as a particularly serious theft.
A statue of St. Anthony holding Baby Jesus was stolen from a monastic house in the Nowy Sącz region by a 34-year-old resident. The man was detained by the police two hours after receiving the report. The plaster statue has already returned to the house from which it was taken.
The Eucharist kept in the tabernacle of the chapel of Di Maria Hospital in Avola in the province of Syracuse was stolen on October 11. The Bishop of Noto, Monsignor Salvatore Rumeo, stated, "I learn with deep sorrow and infinite bitterness that a sacrilegious theft was perpetrated today." On October 15 a Mass of Reparation was held, with the consecration of the new particles to be placed in the tabernacle.
Four teenage boys heavily vandalized the Church of Carmine in Noci on the morning of October 11. The pupils left their middle school early due to a union meeting of their teachers. They roamed the streets before entering and vandalizing the Church of Carmine. The children were in the church for 30 minutes when they broke off the doors of the tabernacle, tampered with the organ, threw hand sanitizer on the floor, threw waste inside the church, and set fire in the skylight. Luckily the fire did not spread to other parts of the church. The teenagers also damaged the security cameras, but by then the footage of their actions had already been archived. Gregorio Gabriele, custodian and manager of the Church of Carmine, notified the police as soon as he discovered the destruction. The police viewed video footage and caught the boys who committed the acts of vandalism.
On October 11 the House of Representatives of Belarus approved the new law on the activities of religious organisations in its first reading. The content of this bill has only recently been made public and although it is still awaiting its second reading before coming into force, the UN and various human rights organisations are warning of the further repression of churches considered "undesirable" that this law will allow. "Mass liquidation of various religious organizations" is expected, reports opposition media.
Vandals targeted a burial ground at Peterborough Cathedral on October 9 between 6 PM and 7 PM. A metal obelisk was kicked over, grave markers were turned upside down and labels identifying various types of flowers were ripped off. The Cathedral gardening team is attempting to repair the damage, and police have launched an investigation.
Glawdys Leger, 43, taught modern foreign languages at Bishop Justus Church of England School until May, 2022 when she was fired for refusing to teach her 7 and 8-year-old pupils about gender and sexual identities. The teacher was reported by a student and subsequently fired for "gross misconduct" after an investigation and disciplinary hearing. Shortly after, she received a letter from the Teaching Regulation Agency that allegedly her teaching conduct had been "contrary to fundamental British values in that it lacked tolerance to those with different beliefs." Leger, on the other hand, says that she "cannot, in good conscience, teach or say things I believe are contrary to my faith." Leger's hearing is due to commence in Coventry on October 9, 2023.
Between October 6 and October 9, an unknown perpetrator tried to pry open the entrance door to the church of St. Magdalena in Schnaitsee. The perpetrator was unable to gain entry to the church. Based on the evidence on site, it can be assumed that a lever tool was used. This damaged both the entrance door and the masonry of the church. The police reported the incident on October 10.
A swastika sign was painted on the entrance steps of a Protestant church in Spangenberg. The Homberg criminal police are now investigating the unknown perpetrators.
On the morning of October 6, Don Boris Bandiera, the priest at the Parish of San Odorico in Sacile, found graffiti on the front wall of the church bell tower. He immediately notified the police, who helped him translate the Arabic graffiti writing: "There is no God but Allah." Don Boris stated that this is not the first attack on his church that he has witnessed, but the message of this vandalism left him stunned.
In the evening of October 6, the pastor of the Evangelical Church of Mesoraca, Giovanni Aiello, was having dinner at a restaurant in Mesoraca when an unknown individual set fire to his car. While Aiello and other guests were inside, someone noticed the flames and alerted everyone. The car was completely destroyed by the flames along with the car parked next to it. Aiello immediately filed a complaint at the Mesoraca police station. Military personnel promptly started investigations to trace the perpetrator of the serious act, examining the video surveillance cameras located in the area. Last December the pastor's mountain home in the Fratta area was also destroyed. "I thought it would end there", he said, but added that after the new attack he is feeling unsafe.
On October 5, Beaconthorpe Methodist church was set on fire. Firefighters were immediately called to the scene. No one was injured in the fire. Three men have been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire and have been released on bail while the investigation continues.
A church on Pothmannstraße in Feldmark, Gelsenkirchen was damaged between September 29 and October 4. The unknown perpetrators damaged a lighting rod and sprayed the church facade with various graffiti of swear words. The building's caretaker noticed the damage on October 4 and notified the police.
Two churches were vandalized in Andalusia: the Virgen de las Flores Convent Church in Malaga and the Puerto Real Hospital Chapel in Cadiz. The attacks happened in September of 2023 and were reported on October 3, 2023. In the Puerto Real Hospital the perpetrators took a consecrated host, while in the Virgen de las Flores Convent they scattered the consecrated hosts on the floor, took the mantle of Mary and the image of Baby Jesus. The Spanish Foundation of Christian Laywers filed complaints against those responsible for the attacks in October of 2023.
The first arrests in Northern Ireland in relation to the new buffer zones regulation around abortion clinics occurred on the morning of October 3. The individuals arrested were a Catholic man and woman. They were praying outside Causeway Hospital. The woman was praying on her knees with a rosary and they were holding pro-life signs. Officers told them to leave and when they refused they were arrested. They were later released on bail pending further enquiries. The issue was highlighted when a pro-choice activist posted a photo of the pair talking to a police officer on social media. A fellow activist who knew the pair said they had been coming to pray outside the hospital weekly after regulations permitting abortion were introduced in Northern Ireland in March 2020.
The church of St. Johannes in Neustadt an der Aisch was vandalized on October 3. Presumably three young teenagers left a trail of destruction. Pastor Daniel Bittel of the parish of St. Johannes said he encountered the three vandals, but only later realized that they were probably responsible for the destruction. Bottles of wine and beer and flour from the thanksgiving altar had been scattered, nearly all the offering candles had been thrown to the ground, and praise books had been torn to pieces in the front of the church.
On 3 October special police units raided the premises of the Holy Intercession Tikhonite Church, a non-Moscow Patriarchate Russian Orthodox Church in Krasnodar Krai, southern Russia. Electronic devices and documents were seized, and the agents, armed with machine guns, arrested and threatened to criminally prosecute Archbishop Viktor Pivovarov and Hieromonk Iona Sigida with "discrediting the Russian Armed Forces" for their anti-war stance.
Emergency services were called to St. Peter's Church on Portland on the evening of October 2, 2023 due to a fire in the church. Police have said a local youth is assisting them with enquiries about how the fire began. The fire at the historic site, which is more than 150 years old, is believed to be deliberate. According to the police, security measures will be needed to prevent this kind of anti-social behaviour.
On October 1, the camera used for live broadcasts in St. Ann's Church in Dublin was stolen. The camera has not been found, but a hat with a name written on the inside was left at the scene. The vicar of the church, Father Arbuthnot, said "Of course, we completely forgive the man who took the camera - we just want it back." The church uses the camera to stream their services so that the elderly and infirm parishioners can stay connected with the parish life and not become too isolated.
In the early hours of September 29th somebody sprayed swastikas and other slogans on the outside walls and the door of the Church of Sechshelden. The Police has started an investigation.
The Spanish Christian Lawyers Foundation has filed a complaint against a pro-abortion organization whose members allegedly harassed people attending Mass and spray-painted offensive slogans on the walls of the church. According to the lawyers, the organization responsible for the harassment and vandalism was the Association of Sexual and Reproductive Rights. On September 28, during a march through the streets of Barcelona, protestors "attacked the parish of Santa María del Remei in the Las Corts neighborhood," according to a statement posted on October 17 on the lawyers' website. The complaint to the judge specifies that "the attackers reproached the parishioners who attended Mass in addition to painting graffiti with statements such as "(piece of) trash church you are a dictatorship" or "abuser priests prohibit abortion."
A Christian family is asking the Biden administration to intervene in their deportation after they lived in the USA for 15 years seeking asylum from prosecution in Germany. The Romeikes had fled Bissingen, Germany in 2008 after being threatened with prosecution for homeschooling their five children. Homeschooling in Germany is tightly regulated and only allowed under certain circumstances.
On the 14th of September, CNA reported that a hospital chapel in the town of Puerto Real, in the Diocese of Cádiz and Ceuta, had recently been desecrated twice. The first time, nothing was stolen but someone moved the tabernacle so that it was out of joint and left a dirty glass in it. The second time, the consecrated hosts were stolen and the veil of the tabernacle was torn off. The police were notified.
The Home Secretary of the UK has now clarified that “silent prayer, within itself, is not unlawful” in a letter for the police forces across the country. This statement comes in response to many months of controversy over "buffer zones" outside abortion facilities that have led to the arrest of several citizens for praying silently in their minds inside a buffer zone.
As the humanitarian situation of Armenian Christians behind Azerbaijan's blockade in Nagoro-Karabakh becomes critical, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the US Congress conducted a hearing on 6 September to explore the situation. Experts heard by the commission pointed out that Azerbaijan’s actions clearly constituted a genocide, as it is using starvation as a form of ethnic cleansing. Georgetown University adjunct professor David L. Philips argued that the final intention of Azerbaijan is the “elimination of the entire Christian population and its churches.”
Between September 4th and 6th, an organ console worth 5000€ was stolen from a church in Detmold. This is not only significant because of the monetary value but it also hinders the ceremonial process of the mass. Local police assumes that there were at lease two people involved in the theft and started an investigation.
In the night of September 4th to 5th, unidentified thieves managed to break into the church by entering through a window of the neighbouring building and then using the shared basement. They left with the tabernacle, the golden chalice inside it and two more boxes of unknown content. Since the tabernacle is quite heavy, police expects that more than one person must have been involved in the crime. The exact damage is unknown since it is not clear what the tabernacle and the chalice are made of. The local police started an investigation.
On September 5 a man broke into the Corpus Christi parish church in Pedregalejo (Malaga) and caused considerable damage to the parish hall while uttering death threats and shouting "God doesn't exist", among other derogatory phrases against the Church. The offender smashed several paintings, including one of Mary, a carving of Christ crucified, a pedestal of Mary, several chairs, a candelabra and some glass.
A 252-year-old statue of a pelican has been stolen from St Dyfnog Church in Llanrhaedr, Denbighshire. The 0.6 meter gilded statue was stolen between August 22 and September 5. The carving, which has been hanging in the church for at least 100 years, was situated next to the altar in the church. The North Wales Police are investigating the theft.
During the 31st of August and the 1st September, Finnish Politian Päivi Räsänen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola stood trial at the Helsinki Court of Appeal for the charges brought against them of "inciting hatred" against LGBT people. These charges are based upon a Twitter post made by Räsänen in 2019, as well as a pamphlet and a radio interview. Last year, Räsänen and Pohjola were unanimously acquitted of all charges, but due to the appeal by the prosecutor, they stood trial again. The verdict will be announced in November 30th.
St. Petroc's Church in Bodmin was opened to visitors outside of services but on September 1 the church announced that it has been forced to close because of repeated vandalism. A spokesperson of the church said that it hoped to reopen to visitors in time, and that it was working with the police on the issue.
The Sopron District Prosecutor's office requested the arrest of a 43-year-old man who tried to break into five churches in one night. One night in September, the unemployed homeless man attempted to break into two small churches in one town, but was unsuccessful. After that, he continued to another village where he was able to pry open the door of the church. He searched through the church but did not steal anything, but damaged two motion detectors and caused approximately HUF 50,000 worth of damage. Following this incident, the man went to the church of another settlement, where he cracked open the window to enter the church and opened the display cases containing cash. He took less than HUF 50,000, but including the vandalism of the church, approximately HUF 100,000 worth of damage was caused. Lastly, the man visited a different church where he broke the window and pried open a cupboard containing donations. He stole HUF 20,000 from this church, but approximately HUF 100,000 in damage was caused. The prosecutor proposed the arrest of the perpetrator.
The verdict of the Court against Fr Ioann Kurmoyarov was given on 31 August and has finally sentenced the hieromonk to 3 years in a penal colony accused of disseminating false information about the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
In the evening of August 27, on the fringes of a Syrian protest, a glass door of the St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna was smashed with a hammer. The police, who were present due to the rally scheduled for the evening, immediately arrested the perpetrator armed with two hammers. The man was taken to the hospital, in case he was suffering from psychosis - the police considered a connection with the demonstration unlikely.
On the night of August 24, three men broke 6 stone crosses from de crowns on Margaret Bridge in Budapest. The perpetrators were filmed by CCTV cameras and an investigation has been launched by the police to identify them.
A man targeted a Catholic church in Haninge, near Stockholm, with stones while shouting "Allah Akbar, I'm going to rape Jesus." The video is uploaded by 'Fares Aziz', he posted the video on TikTok. It is not exactly clear when the event took place and how local authorities responded.
Vandals set fire to a wooden cross erected a few years ago in the Nagy-Szénás mountain, near the village of Nagykovácsi. This happened on August 20, when Hungary celebrates its first king St. Stephen I and the State Foundation Day. The burning of the cross, erected on the 550-metre-high peak, has provoked strong anger among the villagers who have already started a fundraising campaign to replace the cross as soon as possible. The perpetrators have not been identified.
A medieval stone cross was taken from St. John The Baptist Church in Great Carlton between 1:45 and 7:30 PM on August 19. The cross had been described as "priceless to the church in historical terms". The police are still searching for information and for the perpetrator.
On August 17 a foreign man attacked the historic church of Santa Cristina in Turin's Plazza San Carlo in broad daylight. The attack can be seen in a video that is circulating on the Internet. In the video, the man can be heard cursing at the worshippers inside the church, and shouting: 'F****ng Christians'. The perpetrator was arrested by the police and was taken to a hospital, as he injured himself while throwing stones against the church.
On August 17, a video surfaced on the Internet showing a man in the Apostolos Andreas Monastery in the Karpasia peninsula of Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, harassing a priest by reciting the Shahāda (Islamic profession of faith). Legal proceedings have been initiated against the provokator.
Pastor Viachaslau Hancharenka of the New Life Full Gospel Church in Minsk, was detained together with his son-in-law Illia Budai on the 15th of August. According to the news, 20 armed policemen broke into his house, searched and detained them. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail and his son-in-law to 5 days in jail for resisting the detention.
On the night of August 12, the windows were smashed at the church of St. Adrian's in Gullane. The Rev Simon Metzner stated that there had been reports of youths drinking and smashing bottles in the area. He was unsure of the cost of the damage but stressed that police were looking into the issue.
On the night of 7-8 August, a group of unidentified vandals entered and destroyed the parish facilities of the Santa Maria Liberatrice parish in Vigentino, Milan. "The area with all the objects was ransacked, plus two fire extinguishers were emptied. There was white powder everywhere," told one of the founders of the association that is helping to clean and repair the destruction. The carabinieri investigating the case are also voluntarily helping with the clearing clear out of service hours.
On August 8, Wellingborough Town Councillor Anthony Stevens, 50, was searched in his house in front of his wife and children, taken to the Kettering police station, and heavily questioned, for posting tweets from his personal account supporting the case of Christian Councillor King Lawal. King Lawal faced suspension as a Councillor, investigations and other forms of cancelling and discriminatory treatment for tweeting that "Pride" is a sin in June 2023. Mr Lawal launched a petition, which has been signed by over 26,000 people, calling on the Chairman of the Conservative Party, Greg Hands, to intervene in his behalf. Cllr Stevens shared the petition and tweeted in support of Cllr Lawal saying: ‘If you value free speech please sign and share’. Officers showed Cllr Stevens his tweets and asked him why he supported the petition. Cllr Stevens stated that he is a free speech absolutist and that even if he does not agree with someone, he believes in their right to express their beliefs. Cllr Stevens was released on bail, his mobile phone was seized to be searched for further evidence. He is required to surrender himself at Kettering police station on November 1. He has made a complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct regarding his treatment.
Unknown perpetrators targeted the side entrance of the Basilica of San Paolino in Lucca with red paint. The parish priest Don Lucio Malanca told the newspaper "La Nazione" that they have experienced of repeated acts of vandalism. He said: "Unfortunately, this is not even the most serious act of vandalism suffered by our Lucchese churches and monuments in the historic centre".
The Office for Kosovo and Metohija of the Government of the Republic of Serbia reported and shared pictures of a vandalic attack that the church of Saint Petka suffered on 7 August. The church is located in the settlement of Suvi Do, close to Mitrovica, and belongs to the Serbian Orthodox Church. The church was attacked the night before its dedication day (temple's glory day).
On the night of August 6-7, the monument with the letters "Leiria" in the city of the same name in Portugal was vandalized with an anti-Church slogan. The letters were put in commemoration of World Youth Day 2023 in Portugal painted with the colors and the logo of WYD.
The statue of St Anthony recently inaugurated in Torres Novas was vandalised on August 5. It was found the next morning with the head cut off, baby Jesus destroyed and a carton banner written "God is dead" and "You paedophiles." The damage was valued at €13,000.
On August 5, a tile panel depicting the Ecce Homo (an image of Jesus Christ), the 5th station of the ancient procession of "Nosso Senhor dos Passos," was vandalized with the graffiti "God is trans" in the city of Torres Novas. This panel had recently been restored and blessed.
Unknown vandals entered San Lorenzo's medieval church in Varigotti on the night of 5-6 August and destroyed several things during the raid. Apart from ransacking the premises, they also stole offerings and other equipment from the church.
On August 4, the baroque protestant church of Großröhrsdorf, a small town in Saxony, burned down to the ground. After a week of investigation, the criminal investigation department determined that the cause of the fire was arson and a suspect has already been arrested.
On August 4, the church of Saint Peter of Désaignes, in France, was vandalized on its interior. A crucifix was damaged, leaving the arms of Christ broken, when it was taken down and left near the altar. There were also tags painted with silver paint on two pillars on either side of the altar, representing the male and female symbols. The gendarmerie is conducting an investigation.
German luxury car brand Porsche digitally removed the statue of Christ the King in Lisbon from an advertisement celebrating 60 years of the Porsche 911 filmed in Portugal and published on 2 August. After the unreasonable removal of the monument caused outrage among Christians, the brand apologised for the "error" and re-published the video with the Christ unedited.
In the night of 1st to 2nd of August, a church in Graz was vandalised with graffiti. Perpetrators painted inverted crosses on the outside walls of the church. Inverted crosses are known to be anti-Christian, satanic and occultist symbols. The police were notified and have started an investigation.
A Christian governor and mother who was dismissed for raising concerns with the trans-affirming sex-education policy at her children's primary school has been reinstated by the High Court. The mother, who was granted anonymity by the Court in order to protect her children, reached a legal settlement with the school after being kicked off its Governing Body for pointing to legal errors in its Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) policy. She first raised her concerns with fellow governors in March 2021. She pointed out that the Gateshead School's RSE policy could be unlawful, and shortly later, she was accused by the school managers of opposing their "collective decision." She was removed as governor in June 2022. The High Court recognized that the decision to remove her was unlawful and she was reinstated in August 2023.
At the end of July, it was communicated that a Swedish bakery has been reported to the Discrimination Ombudsman after they declined to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. The Christian bakers believe that the person who ordered the cake already knew their religious beliefs and intentionally generated this case.
On the 16th of July, two youths stood trial in Leoben on charges of terrorist association and criminal organization. A 16-year-old and a 15-year-old planned a terrorist attack on MS Bruck school, since early 2022. The police found out through their chats that the plans were far advanced. When questioned, the perpetrators confirmed that they "wanted to shoot all the Christians in the class". The boys have now been convicted by law.
Felix Ngole, a Christian social worker, had a job offer by Touchstone Support withdrawn after the company found out that he won a free speech case over his Christian views. He says: “The reasons they gave for withdrawing the job offer were an attack on me and my faith." Ngole is now taking Touchstone to an employment tribunal.
On the 14th of July, the Saint Lucia church in Fondo, Italy, was found vandalised. The altar was damaged and a statue destroyed, with the vandals leaving a bottle of beer in the hands of the statue as a last act of destruction. The provincial councillor in Trento, Denis Paoli, condemns the attack: “What happened constitutes an intolerable outrage not only for the religious community but for the entire civil society."
On the 13th of July, 2023, an unknown vandal set fire to a cloth laying on a stand in the Roman Catholic church in Steinfeld, Germany. The cloth was completely burned and a Bible damaged, amounting to 300 euros in damage. This is the second case of arson in this church in the last three months.
Paving slabs, including a distinctive large blue piece of slate, have been stolen from St. Mary's Church in Llanfair-ar-y-Brun. The church warden discovered the theft on July 13. The vicar, Paul Pritchard, said that replacing the slabs would be difficult, given they already did not have sufficient funds to repair a collapsed wall at the church.
On the night of Wednesday the 12th of July, the Lourdes-Grotto in the Italian town of Fescoggia was vandalised, with the flowerpots overturned. Giorgio Bazurri, of the parish Fescoggia: "Popular faith is being attacked here, the cultural tradition of those who built these chapels." This is not the only case of vandalisation in the area: the face of the Madonna figure of the Greina-Ebene was also found smeared with black paint recently.
On Tuesday afternoon, the 11th of July, an altar cloth on a side altar in the St. Laurentius church was found in flames, with a damage amounting to around 5000 euros. The police have started an investigation. According to their findings, arson cannot be ruled out.
On the 11th of July 2023, Dmitry Dashkevich, a Christian political activist in Belarus who was imprisoned last year, was supposed to be released. However, the authorities unexpectedly arrested him again. Dmitry Dashkevich is a Belarusian activist, he was the leader of the Belarusian democratic movement "Young Front" in 2004-2015. He has been repeatedly detained by the authorities since the early 2000's, already serving two years in prison from 2011-2013.
In the past year, the door of the Saint Joseph church in Stadthagen was smeared with faeces, the holy water font was filled with urine, and now the sanctuary was found urinated as well. Due to these attacks, the church has decided to close its doors to the public during the day, says Father Markus Grabowski: "For months our church has been urinated in, multiple times. We're tired and don't know what else to do but to close."
The New Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in England and Wales has published a new Trans Equality Statement that defines forms of abuse towards trans victims, including "withholding money for transitioning", "refusing to use their preferred name or pronoun" or "Body shaming or criticising the victim for not being 'a real man/woman' if they have not undergone reassignment surgery." It also states that these actions can be considered as domestic abuse by family members and partners. Therefore, the CPS guidance makes parents vulnerable to prosecution, if they do not agree with transgender children.
On the 7th of July, seed oil, which was supposed to be distributed to assisted families by Caritas was found smeared on the entrance of the Purgatoria al Castello church and convent in Carini, near Palermo. The vandals have not been identified.
On Friday,July 7 2023, in Nürnberg, Bavaria, a crucifix worth 200 euros placed on the altar of the Herz-Jesu church was stolen. The robbery happened around 1.30 PM in the afternoon. The police have started an investigation.
In the afternoon of the 7th of July, 2023, the Liebfrauenkirche in Waldshut-Tiengen was found vandalised: the Bible was torn and the Easter candle was damaged. It was used to hit the piano, which damaged the paintwork. The police have started an investigation.
The Saint-Martin Church in Avallon was found vandalised on the 5th of July, 2023. The tabernacle which contains the consecrated hosts was damaged and a monstrance and two ciboria (chalices which contain the hosts) were stolen. This is not the first incident of its kind in Avallon: on June 28th, the St-Lazare church was targeted and a pyx containing hosts was stolen. Two complaints have been filed.
Unknown vandals smeared the walls of a church in Kirchberg, Böbingen an der Rems, with unreadable graffiti and two Nazi swastikas. The damage was found on the 7th of July, the police are still searching for witnesses.
In the early morning of July 4th 2023, a man set fire to the altar of the church Notre Dame de Kerdro in Locmariaquer, France. The fire was quickly brought under control by firefighters and only damaged the altar and some religious furniture. A complaint was filed to the police who arrested a 35-year-old man in connection to the fire. The man is set to be brought before the court in November.
Images of Jesus and Mary were beheaded and vandalized in a prayer garden in a district of Vienna, Austria. The prayer garden is considered a spiritual oasis for visitors. The alarm was raised by two bypassers who discovered the devastated prayer garden. The police have been notified and they are conducting investigations to identify the motives and the perpetrators. A video by "Project Telos" shows the devastation of several objects in the garden, and the direct targeting of the statues of Mary and Jesus.
In the evening of the 3rd of July, the firemen of the town of Schramberg, Germany, were called out to the church of Saint Maria - Heilig Geist where a stranger had set a table on fire in the back of the church. Dean Rüdiger Kocholl is deeply shocked and worries that the attack may have been planned. On top of setting the table on fire, new signs had been placed on the donation boxes, stating a new purpose for the donated money: for example, for drugs, alcohol and satanism.
A canvas painting that served as an altarpiece in the Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche in Ansbach was torn by a knife on Monday morning, the 3rd of July, 2023. The picture was made by the Ansbacher artist Georg Friedrich Bischoff (1819-1873). The restoration of the image is estimated to cost 2000-2500 euros.
In the night of July 1st to 2nd the St. Jakobus church in Rheinfeld am Rhein was severely vandalised. The intruders left without stealing anything but caused damages to the amount of 38 500€. Among other things, the intruders damaged an historical window and the church's organ. Police were notified and have started an investigation.
Multiple religious items were stolen on the night of the 30th of June to the 1st of July, 2023, at the Heilig Kreuz church in Mönchengladbach, Germany. The thieves came in by forcing the door to the church and from the main room there they came into the sacristy by breaking the window. Two individual patens were stolen and one chalice with paten was stolen. The police have started an investigation.
In a recent study by four universities focusing on religious experiences among university students showed that, although the majority of students perceived a diverse and open atmosphere to different religions, there was still a small percentage (10%) of students that felt pressured to withhold their beliefs. Christian students emerged prominently as one of the most affected religious groups, facing challenges and unique perceptions within secular academic environments.
On the 29th of June, the Irish Government approved legislation to introduce 100-metre buffer zones around abortion clinics similar to those already in place in Northern Ireland and with the PSPO's and the Public Order bill in England and Wales. In the same way as in the UK, the legislation does not distinguish between harassment and peaceful activism such as silent prayer or mere physical presence inside the buffer zone.
Between the 29th of June and the 6th of July the organ in the Herz Jesu church in Völklingen was damaged: tea lights were thrown against the pipes causing dents. The estimated damage is around 4000 euros. The police have started an investigation.
The evangelical church Philadelphia in Marseille was found ransacked on Wednesday, June 28th. The prayer room was destroyed with doors and windows fractured as well. On top of material damage, the tags speak of the anti-Christian nature of the attack: "Jesus is not God" and "Mohammed was the last prophet" were found written on the walls. The pastor has filed a complaint. It is unclear whether the attack is connected to the recent civil unrest in France.
On the 28th of June, 2023, the UK government voted to introduce a new mandatory curriculum on sex and abortion in Northern Ireland, which includes education on the prevention of early pregnancy and how to access an abortion. This legislation has met with worry about the freedom of conscience and religion in Northern Ireland. Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said: "This legislation will likely put teachers and parents who oppose abortion in a very difficult situation.”
The so-called SOGI report from the UN, made public on the 15th of June, proposes to limit freedom of conscience and religious freedom, to avoid discrimination against the LGBT community. The National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF) expressed worry about the implications of this report in a statement, which has also been supported by the World Evangelical Alliance and the European Evangelical Alliance.
On the 20th of June, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled that blanket bans against peaceful prayer gatherings near abortion organisations were impermissible. With this ruling, the legal issues end for a local prayer group in Pforzheim, which are challenging the bans since 2019. Germany’s highest administrative court has protected freedom of assembly, but Federal minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus is planning to introduce censorship zones around abortion organisations.
The glass of a candlestick was broken as were numerous candles, the contents of a first-aid kit were scattered on the floor, a holy water font was emptied and self-painted pictures of the first communion soaked with water in a large-scale act of vandalism in the St-Cyriak-Kirche in Dielheim, discovered on the 22nd of June. The damage is estimated to be around 3000 euros. This current case of vandalisation has moved the parish council to go to the police and limit the opening hours of the church. The church has seen smaller acts of vandalism before, including broken windows or candles, but something of this scale hasn't occurred since 2017.
Thieves caused damage to St. Mary's church on the night of June 20 while trying to steal lead. Unknown individuals went onto the roof and stole lead. It was not specified how much the damage will cost in repairs. Similar incidents have been occurring in Richmondshire over the past weeks. It has not been reported if an investigation was launched, but the people of the church are urged to be cautious.