All cases

Invitation: 'Self-Censored' Live Premiere in Vienna

March 14, 2024, Austria

After the successful online release of our documentary “Self-Censored” we are now hosting a film screening event in Vienna. If you are in the area, join us for the event!

Suspected Arson at St Matthews Church

March 1, 2024, Germany

Early on Friday morning, March 1, St Matthews Church in Berlin was the scene of several fires. The police suspect arson.

Landmark ECJ ruling recognises conversion in subsequent asylum application

February 28, 2024, European Institutions (EU, ECHR, et.al.)

In a landmark ruling the European Court of Justice has decided that a conversion to Christianity after the flight should be recognised as grounds for asylum if the applicant can credibly demonstrate that he has changed his religion out of "inner conviction".

Theft and excrement in the church of the Madonna dei Sette Dolori

February 26, 2024, Italy

On February 26, thieves broke into the church of the Madonna dei Sette Dolori in Vasto and stole offerings from the donation box. The perpetrators furthermore left human excrement on the floor of the church. The parish priest expressed his shock and disgust about this gesture of degradation and disrespect.

Unknown perpetrator sets fire to priest's car

February 25, 2024, Italy

The car belonging to Father Marcos was destroyed in an arson attack outside the church of Francolise near Caserta. The mayor has condemned this incident on social media.

Attempted poisoning of Italian priest during mass

February 24, 2024, Italy

On 24 February, an unknown person attempted to poison Father Felice Palamara, the parish priest of San Nicola di Pannaconi, by adding bleach to the altar wine. Police suspect the local Mafia behind the attack.

Islamist graffiti on stone crosses

February 22, 2024, France

Islamist graffiti was discovered on roadside “calver” stone crosses saying "Tomorrow this will be the land of Islam". this is not the first time: on Christmas night, Islamist vandals wrote "Allah" on the cross, and the other day they found the inscription "Today is the land of infidels".

Church vandalised with fire extinguisher

February 22, 2024, Denmark

Between February 17 and 20 Spjellerup Church in the Danish region Sjælland was severely vandalised. The police believe that a perpetrator had emptied two fire extinguishers in the church, targeting the organ and the altar.

St. Johann parish church robbed and desecrated

February 20, 2024, Austria

Unknown perpetrators broke into the parish church of St. Johann in Tirol, Austria, and stole and damaged religious objects. The figure of Christ was broken off a wooden cross.

Vandalism at the Dreieichenhain castle church

February 20, 2024, Germany

Unknown people damaged the church on the Dreieichenhain castle grounds. According to the police's initial assessment, the historic side door was forced open with brute force. At the same time, the perpetrators broke a window to the right of the main entrance. This is not the first time there has been vanalism to the church.

Pauluskirche painted with "Allahu Akbar"

February 20, 2024, Germany

Shortly after an anti-AfD (Alternative for Germany Party) demo took place on the forecourt, “Allahu Akbar” was daubed in Arabic script on the Protestant Pauluskirche in Hamm, Germany. In response to a news inquiry, the Hamm police confirmed the graffiti on February 20. However, no information can yet be provided about the perpetrator's profile. The investigation is ongoing.

Taxi Driver Fined for Displaying Bible Verse

February 20, 2024, Germany

A taxi driver from the German town of Essen was fined for displaying a small Bible verse sticker on the rear window of his car. The city authorities claim that the Bible verse constitutes "religious advertising", which is illegal on taxis which are regarded as part of the public transport.

Arson to St. Lambertus Church in Kalterherberg

February 18, 2024, Germany

Unknown perpetrators set fire to the parish church of St. Lambertus in Kalterherberg on Sunday. In the rear area of ​​the interior of the church, prayer books, a shelf with parish letters and sheets from the Book of the Dead were set on fire in front of the wall with the memorial plaques. Opposite, at the Marian altar, the burning memorial lights were thrown down and artificial flowers were also lit.

St Stephen and All Martyrs entrance vandalised

February 18, 2024, United Kingdom

The stone pinnacles from a church gate were stolen on the weekend of the church's 180th anniversary.

Vandalism to Major Cloister of St. Francis

February 17, 2024, Italy

During the night of February 17, the Major Cloister of St. Francis was smeared with spray cans in several places. The monastery has already been targeted several times by vandals.

Attempted Break In leaves 2,000 euros of damage

February 16, 2024, Germany

A unknown perpetrator tried to break a window of the Catholic Mariä Himmelfahrt parish church to presumably get into the building. Awakened by the noise, the priest who lived in the house discovered the attempted break-in and spoke to the unknown person, whereupon he immediately fled on foot towards the train station.

"Religion of Lies" Sprayed on Loosdorf Church

February 15, 2024, Austria

Unknown perpetrators daubed the walls of the Loosdorf parish church with the words “Religion of Lies”. On another wall vandals had sprayed the words “Sol invictus”, meaning "undefeated sun god".

Stations of the cross vandalised

February 13, 2024, Austria

The stations of the cross, that are usually installed in the forest between the old to the new cemetery of St Stephan's church in Amstetten, Austria, have been vandalised. Some of the wooden crosses were torn out of the ground and destroyed.

Vandalism at a Roadside Shrine in Włocławek

February 12, 2024, Poland

The roadside shrine in Włocławek has been vandalised for the third time within two weeks. A statue of Mary has been taken out of the shrine and destroyed. The broken pieces were left on the floor.

Fire set repeatedly in front of St. Bartholomäus church

February 12, 2024, Germany

Fire was set repeatedly in the outdoor area of St. Bartholomäus church in Götzingen. Further, the unknown perpetrators stole, among other things, prayer flyers and sacrificial candles from inside the prayer house and set them on fire on the stairs to the sacristy.

St. Ägidius Church Vandalised

February 11, 2024, Germany

During the night between February 10 and 11, unknown perpetrators vandalized the church of St. Ägidius in Grafing. Several prayer books were thrown to the floor, the microphones on the altar were tampered with and an elaborately decorated Easter candle was broken. The material damage is estimated at around 300 euros.

Far-left vandals threatening priest in Barcelona

February 10, 2024, Spain

On February 10, strangers left a message on the walls of the parish church of the Roman Catholic priest Father Pablo Pich Aguilera which could be translated into Spanish like this: “We are watching you, Pablo. We will abort.” The text is signed by Arran, a youth group of the Catalan separatist left.

Christian Neurologist Cleared after a three-year investigation for 'pro-life values'

February 9, 2024, United Kingdom

Rev. Dr. Patrick Pullicino, a neurologist and Catholic priest has been vindicated by the General Medical Council (GMC) after a three-year investigation for allegedly giving a bias opinion due to his 'pro-life values'.

1,000 euros of property damage to Eiterfeld Church

February 8, 2024, Germany

Unknown persons went into the St. Franziskus-Xaverius Churchin Eiterfeld and broke open a wooden interior door. “According to current information, nothing was stolen,” the police said. However, the property damage amount to around 1,000 euros.

Window of Dettelbach church smashed

February 7, 2024, Germany

Between February 6 and 7 a window of Dettelbach church, which is located on a pilgrimage route, was smashed. According to a police report the perpetrator climbed the scaffolding in order to do this. The damage is estimated around 500 euros.

Suspected Arson to the Church of the Heart of Jesus in Vilnius

February 6, 2024, Lithuania

In the Church of the Heart of Jesus, a fire broke out during where the wooden floor was burnt. The police suspect an arson attack. The loss is estimated to be 5,000 euros.

Police investigation of Christian preacher over 'hate-crime complaints'

February 6, 2024, United Kingdom

Metropolitan Police officers have been filmed threatening to arrest a Christian preacher over allegations of a breach of a Public Space Protection Order. A video posted on social media showed a group of at least five officers demanding the names of evangelists due to allegations of a hate crime after they had been preaching and reading from the Bible.

A couple who specialised in stealing from churches convicted

February 5, 2024, France

A couple who specialised in stealing from churches has now been caught and convicted. In 2014 the couple had stolen various religious objects in broad daylight from dozens of churches in the west of France. Once stolen these sacred items were sent by mail to England before being sold.

Cross of 7th Century Church of Vankasar Removed

February 5, 2024, Armenia

The cross of the 7th Century Vankasar Church has been found removed on pictures circulating online.

Vandalism in the church of Fontenay-le-Comte

February 5, 2024, France

On February 5, vandals attacked the church of Notre Dame in Fontenay-le-Comte and broke two statues. The local Catholic community is deeply shocked about these acts.

St. Joseph Church in Schalke Vandalised

February 4, 2024, Germany

In the course of a series of vandalism attacks, the St. Joseph Church in Schalke has also been targeted. The perpetrators threw projectiles through the stained windows destroying four windows, breaking a door and two gates.

LGBT group vandalises Greek Orthodox Church

February 4, 2024, Greece

The Church of St. Achillius of Larissa was vandalised on the eve of the reading of the synodal circular of the Orthodox Church of Greece on the bill to legalize gay marriage. Unknown people wrote slogans on the ground and walls directed against the Orthodox faith and Metropolitan Jerome personally.

Man breaks statue in Saint Jean-Baptiste church "in the name of Allah"

February 2, 2024, France

A man entered Saint Jean-Baptiste church and violently attacked the statue of John the Baptist using a crucifix. The statue, made of plaster, was completely broken and the crucifix was badly damaged.

Vandalism at the Sacred Heart Church

January 31, 2024, Germany

On January 31, unknown perpetrators entered the Sacred Heart Church in Sorghof, Germany and used candles to burn a hole in the upholstery of a prayer stool. Further, they also destroyed the reading glasses the church had kept there for a churchgoer.

Man turns himself in after spray painting satanist symbols on church

January 31, 2024, Germany

A man 32 hands himself into the police after going on a vandalism spree around Markt Schwaben. Spray painting the town hall and elementary school with anti-police and Nazi messages before then painting satanist symbols on a chapel and St. Margaret's Church.

Vandalism and Desecration of Eucharist in Church

January 31, 2024, Italy

Thieves broke into the Church of Saint Mary of the Carmine in Lecce and stole money, desecrated the Eucharist kept in the tabernacle, and turned various sacred furnishings into corpses.

Suspected Arson Attack at St. Walpurgis Church

January 30, 2024, Germany

A fire broke out in the altar area of St. Walpurgis Church burning, among other things, the nativity scene. The fire caused damage of estimated 50,000 euros. Investigators have ruled out a technical defect and are assuming arson.

Vandals destroy tombstones and chapel of the Secret Army

January 30, 2024, Belgium

On January 30 vandals destroy tombstones and chapel of the Secret Army in Hoelbeek, Belgium. First the gravestones were smeared twice with black paint. Some time later the door and information columns of the chapel of the Secret Army were also painted black.

Draft Bill seeks to introduce Censorship Zones Around Abortion Clinics

January 29, 2024, Germany

Germany's Federal Family Minister, Lisa Paus, has proposed amendments to the Pregnancy Conflict Act ("Schwangerschaftskonfliktgesetz"), which would impose fines up to 5.000 euros fine on anyone committing a "disturbing" or "confusing" action within 100 meters around abortion clinics. Religious freedom organizations fear that this law could lead to 'censorship zones' like in the UK where individuals have been arrested for silent prayer and other peaceful expressions on public streets around abortion clinics.

Communist and Anti-Israel Graffiti on Santa Maria della Pietà Church

January 29, 2024, Italy

The external wall of the church of Santa Maria della Pieta, in via San Vitale, was daubed with symbols and the writing 'Israel = death', drawn in red paint. The letters "CCCP" and a hammer and sickle in red paint were also left on the wall.

Terrorists Attack on Church in Istanbul Leaves one Dead and several Injured

January 28, 2024, Turkey

On January 28 at 11.40 local time two masked gunmen walked into a Sunday mass at the Santa Maria Catholic Church in Istanbul's Sariyer district and fired two shots killing a person and leaving several injured. The Islamic State claims responsibility for the attack.

Vandalism and Theft the Sanctuary of the Angels in Cuneo

January 28, 2024, Italy

The Sanctuary of the Angels Church has repeatedly been a target of vandalism. Most recently, the statue of the Madonna was found on the ground with its little finger missing. While in the past it was mostly the candles in front of the statue of the Madonna which disappeared, this time a vase of holy water was stolen in the church.

Satanists leave 1000 Euros in Damage due to Church Vandalism

January 28, 2024, Germany

A pentagram was painted on the side entrance door of St. Vitus Church in Blumberg. An external electronic sensor and a lamp have also been damaged.

Woman harassed by Metropolitan Police for Publicly Signing Gospel Songs

January 28, 2024, United Kingdom

Harmonie London was performing in London's Oxford Street when a Metropolitan Police special constable told her: “No, miss, you’re not allowed to sing church songs outside of church grounds, by the way”.

Baptismal font and Stations of the Cross stolen

January 27, 2024, Germany

During the night of 27-28 January, unknown perpetrators stole the baptismal font and several stations of the cross from the Catholic Liebfrauenkirche in Sinsen, Germany.

Man Set Fire around and inside Bordeaux-Caudéran church

January 27, 2024, France

On January 27, a man set a fire outside of the church in a bin before going inside the church and trying to set the altar on fire. He also attempted to set fire to a chair. He was quickly stopped by parishioners before the police came and arrested him.

Analysis: Increased anti-Christian vandalism during the Christmas season

January 26, 2024, Italy

OIDAC Europe's analysis shows an increase of anti-Christian incidents over Christmas. Next to tightened security due to terrorism threats to some major churches in European cities, a high number of vandalism of nativity scenes in Italy is raising concerns.

Vandalism at St. Peter and Paul church Lindenberg

January 26, 2024, Germany

An unknown perpetrator threw rotten eggs at the five doors of St. Peter and Paul church Lindenberg. The parish priest said he did not believe that this was simply a joke by youth. This is not the first time the church has been targeted.

Thieves Steal Cross and Statutes from Salford Church

January 22, 2024, United Kingdom

A statue of Jesus on a crucifix was stolen from outside a church using an electric saw. Along with a kneeling angel and a kneeling figure of St Bernadette.

Metropolitan Longin attacked in Bancheny

January 22, 2024, Ukraine

On the night of January 22, 2024, an unknown person attacked the Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Longinus of Bancheny, severely striking the bishop in the face. Metropolitan Longin lost consciousness, and surgery was performed on his eyelids.

Basque Protest Group Interrupts Mass and Vandalises Churches

January 21, 2024, Spain

Members of "Defentsa Komunitatea", a youth section of the Basque independence and nationalist movement, interrupted a mass throwing leaflets and fake money. During the last weeks some churches in Azpeitia and Beasain, as well as churches in Lasao, Arroa and Aizarna, have also been vandalized by members of that same group.

Arson Attack on Priest's Car

January 15, 2024, Italy

Priest Don Giovanni Rigoli's car was set on fire by an unknown perpetrator. This happened after the celebration of a funeral in the parish church of Santo Stefano.

Teaching Assistant Wins Legal Case After Being Fired for Street Preaching

January 12, 2024, United Kingdom

In March 2022, Andy Nix, 65, was called to the headteacher's office from Temple Moor High School and interrogated about his street preaching in the summer of 2021. This happened after some students complained that his street preaching made them feel "unsafe". He was fired on the spot and had to leave the school premises immediately. Supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), Mr Nix took legal action against the school claiming harassment, discrimination and a breach of his right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion under Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). Now, the school decided to settle the case and pay him £7,000 in compensation instead of going to trial.

UPDATE: Prosecutor Will Take Päivi Räsänen Case to The Supreme Court

January 12, 2024, Finland

After the Court of Appeal cleared Päivi Räsänen of all charges in November 2023, the prosecutor has decided to take the case against the Finnish politician to the Supreme Court of Finland. The case started back in 2019 due to do social media postings by Mrs. Räsänen, in which she quoted a bible verse and asked the Finnish Lutheran Church to stop the support of the Helsinki Gay Pride Parade. Part of the charges were also directed against the Lutheran bishop Juhana Pohjola, who published a booklet by Mrs Räsänen about the Christian teaching on marriage and family.

Fire set on church of San Matteo

January 9, 2024, Italy

On January 9, someone set fire to wooden pallets leaning against the walls of the Salesian Oratory of San Matteo in Messina, Italy. The fire blackened the walls of the church and the pavement. The incident was reported to the police by the oratory's director, Don Gabriele Cardaciatto. "We consider certain behaviours to be absurd and unseemly incivility," said Raffaele Verso, President of the V Municipality of Messina.

St. John Church in Barcelona vandalised by left-wing group

January 9, 2024, Spain

On January 9, the church of Saint John in Barcelona, Spain, was vandalised by the left-wing organisation ARRAN. The church is considered a cultural asset of the city. The incident was published in X by and several users called for ARRAN to be fined.

Hosts and sacred objects stolen

January 8, 2024, Italy

On January 8, between 2am and 4am, thieves broke into the sanctuary of Beata Vergine dell'Olmo in Portomaggiore, Italy, and stole hosts, sacred objects, video and sound equipment, and damaged the interior of the church. When the parish priest, Don Ugo Berti, went to prepare for the first mass of the day at 6.30am he found the church door open. At first he thought it was an accident, but then he saw that the entrance had been forced open in several places. He quickly alerted the authorities. "I am afraid it was a theft on behalf of Satanists: the hosts could be used to celebrate black masses," the parish priest said.

Arson to Monastery in Stavronikita, Greece

January 8, 2024, Greece

On January 8, the Holy Monastery of Stavronikita on Mount Athos suffered an arson attack. A 63-year-old man has been arrested, after being reported by one of the monks as the suspected perpetrator, and he confessed to being involved in the arson attack.

Arson to Church in Pula, Croatia

January 7, 2024, Croatia

On January 7, unknown perpetrators started a fire in front of the church in Pula. As a witness reported, the vandals placed two burning boards in front of the large wooden door, which was quickly engulfed by the fire. The police have started an investigation and are looking for the perpetrators. The church held a mass on the same day to pray for the ones who committed the act.

Windows of St Jame's Church repeatedly smashed

January 5, 2024, United Kingdom

The stained galss windows of St James's Church in west London have been repeatedly smashed accross five nights. In total, they have been broken through 16 times. In some cases the panes have been damaged, in others they have been completely destroyed.

ISIS issues global call to kill Jews and Christians

January 4, 2024, International

On Thursday, January 4, the IS militia once again claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Kerman, Iran. It also issued a global call to attack Jews and Christians, particularly in Europe and the US.

Nativity scene in Turin destroyed

January 4, 2024, Italy

On January 4, the nativity scene and Christmas tree were destroyed in an act of vandalism in the 5th district of Turin. The president of the district, Enrico Crescimanno, announced that an investigation would be launched to identify the vandals. He also described the act as "a disgraceful gesture against the representation of the Nativity".

Statue of Jesus stolen from Nativity Scene - and Returned

January 4, 2024, Italy

On New Year's Eve, the the statue of Infant Jesus was stolen from a nativity shrine on Umberto I Square in Orbassano, near Turin. However, on January 4 the statue reappeared on the steps of St. John the Baptist Parish with a letter of apology: "I apologise for the stupid gesture. Please put it back where it belongs. Thank you".

Arson attack on Lutheran church in Halle

January 3, 2024, Germany

On January 3, a Lutheran church in Halle, Germany, was set on fire. The police assume it was an arson attack. "Witnesses became aware of the fire at the entrance to the church and were able to prevent the fire from spreading further", said the police spokesperson. As a result of the arson attack, the entrance door is damaged. The police is investigating the case.

Statue of Infant Jesus thrown into Garda Lake

January 3, 2024, Italy

Vandals attacked a Nativity scene in Salò, Italy. The figure of the Infant Jesus from the Nativity Scene of the local fire brigade was thrown into the Garda Lake between the 2nd and 3rd of January. The friends of the Salò fire brigade comment that "the baby Jesus was uprooted from his cradle and thrown into the waters in front of the site designated to house the Nativity." They also reported that the figure of St Joseph was also replaced.

Cologne Cathedral Terrorist Attack Plot uncovered

January 2, 2024, Germany

A plot to bomb Cologne's Catholic cathedral has been uncovered by police. "The attack was to have been carried out with a car packed with explosives," the local media announced. As a result of the plot, five men were arrested between 26 and 31 December, all of them allegedly linked to Islamic extremists. The Cologne police spokesman said that the police would maintain security at the cathedral.

Nativity scene Figures beheaded in Florence

January 2, 2024, Italy

Every year dozens of nativity scenes are set up along the Via dei Presepi. This Christmas, one of them was found with eight out of ten human figures decapitated, as it was reported by the police on January 2nd. The figures of the animals were also damaged. The incident has been described as a "sacrilegious surgical act". This event was also communicated on social media by the councillor, Susi Giglioli.

Arson attack on St John the Evangelist church

January 1, 2024, United Kingdom

Fire was set on St John the Evangelist church in Enfield. Forty firefighters were needed to extinguish the fire. It has been confirmed by the police that this was an arson attack. The fire started by the high altar and damaged stained-glass windows and artefacts.

Statue of Jesus from Nativity Scene Beheaded

January 1, 2024, Italy

On January 1st, unknown vandals smashed the statue of the Child Jesus in Gorla Maggiore, Italy, in broad daylight. Mayor Pietro Zappamiglio expressed "great sadness and bitterness at what has happened." It is hoped that the vandals were caught on church cameras.

The statue of the Infant Jesus was decapitated in Alliste

December 31, 2023, Italy

It was reported that on New Year's Eve, unknown perpetrators vandalised the nativity scene of the parish church of San Quintino in Alliste, targeting the statue of the infant Jesus. The parish priest commented: "An outburst by our children that should make us reflect".

Nativity Scene Vandalised with Blue Paint

December 31, 2023, Germany

On January 4, a nativity scene was vandalised with blue paint outside the parish church of Großenbach-Hünfeld, Germany. The local community is shocked about the incident.

Via Crucis vandalised in Mavignola

December 31, 2023, Italy

In the night from December 31 to January 1, unknown perpetrators have damaged the stations of the Via Crucis, defacing them and committing severe vandalism. According to the councilor of the Municipality of Pinzolo, Luca Vidi, the statue of Christ was stolen from the first of the stations of the cross. Other stations have been defaced with "unrepeatable slogans" against "the Church, Christianity and the Pope". "Some people are not educated as they should be, and there is no respect for the common heritage, ignoring the fact that it was created with everyone's efforts," the councillor commented.

Statue of Mary Vandalised for the Second Time

December 31, 2023, Hungary

On New Year's Eve a newly restored statue of Mary has been vandalised for the second time in Dunavecse, Hungary. Unknown perpetrators smashed the head of the statue and trampled its pieces.

Another Nativity scene vandalised in Italy

December 31, 2023, Italy

On New Year's Eve, vandals destroyed the nativity scene in Campogalliano, Italy. The crib was built by local volunteers. Unknown vandals destroyed the figures and also damaged a nearby bus station.

Nativity Scene Vandalism: Statue of Infant Jesus destroyed

December 31, 2023, Italy

A statue of the infant Jesus of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie was found destroyed on New Year's Eve. The figure was found with its arm and head cut off. The head is still missing. The village, which has only 198 inhabitants, is wondering who could have done such a thing.

Baby Jesus Figure Beheaded and torn into pieces

December 31, 2023, Italy

As it was reported at the end of December 2023, the nativity scene in Piazza della Repubblica in Monfalcone, Italy, has been attacked. The statuette of baby Jesus was found decapitated and smashed to pieces. The police are investigating. The mayor, Anna Maria Christi, said that everything is being done to find those responsible.

Nativity scene destroyed in Rome

December 30, 2023, Italy

On December 30, a nativity scene was destroyed in the Setticamini area of Rome, Italy. The crib was built by the citizens. The vandals "destroyed the face of Mary, they broke the hand of Saint Joseph, they tore down all the decorations and scattered them everywhere".

Figure of Infant Jesus stolen from Church

December 29, 2023, Italy

On January 29, Don Severino Bernardini, the parish priest of Sant'Agnese, noticed that the crib was empty: the baby Jesus had been stolen. This is not the first time that this has happened in the parish. Hopefully the priest, who is a man of vision, had another baby figurine in stock. However, Don Severino left a note in the cradle to try and move the thief's heart: "Please take me back to my crib". Although the missing figurine has been replaced, the parish priest hopes that the thief will return the stolen baby Jesus.

Arson attack on Maria Namen Church in Vienna

December 26, 2023, Austria

On December 26, unknown perpetrators set fire to the entrance of Maria Namen Parish Church in the 16th district of Vienna, Austria. A construction site toilet, which had been placed at the entrance of the church due to current rennovations, has been set on fire and completely melted. Apparently, fire accelerants must have been used. The parish priest, Jesus David Jean Villalobos, suspects arson.

Baby Jesus Torn into Pieces By Young Vandals

December 26, 2023, Italy

In Muggio, Italy, vandals damaged the Nativity scene by destroying first a sheep and later the statue of baby Jesus. The act was caught by the security camera and handed over to the police. Also, the parish priest of the Madonna del Castagno pastoral community, Don Maurizio Tremolada, published a video on his Facebook page showing the young people who entered the hut around 26 December and wrote a letter addressed to those who had destroyed the statue of the baby Jesus. In the letter, he invites the perpetrators to make up for their actions.

Arrest after prevented terror attack on Cologne's Cathedral

December 24, 2023, Germany

A 30-year-old man from Tajikistan has been arrested in connection with the terror warning for Cologne's Cathedral. Shortly before Christmas, the German police had received indications about a planned terrorist attack on the Cathedral. The police presumes an Islamist extremist motive. Cologne's Cathedral has been closed outside church service hours due to security concerns since Christmas.

Nativity scene violently destroyed

December 24, 2023, Italy

On Christmas Eve, street cameras caught a group of people damaging the nativity scene on the sqaure of Uboldo. The figures were "furiously kicked, punched and beaten". Someone also sat on the cradle and damaged it. The Major has announced that appropriate action will be taken.

Arrests after Prevented Potential Attack on Cathedral

December 23, 2023, Austria

Austria has increased security measures over Christmas due to threats of Islamist terror attacks. The suspected targets should have been Vienna's Cathedral and a few other churches. The Tajik man arrested in Germany was allegedly part of a terrorist group discovered in Vienna. The police is suspecting an Islamist terrorist motive and a connection to the ISIS-K (Islamic State - Khorasan Province). Although the suspect fled, a few other suspected terrorists, namely a man from Chechnya, another Tajik man and a woman from Turkey, were arrested before Christmas. The fugitive was arrested in Germany and is awaiting extradition to Austria.

Church Defaced with Paint just before Christmas

December 23, 2023, Poland

On December 23, three juvenile residents vandalised a church in Gostynin, Poland. The walls of the church was spray painted in blue. The tags show insults and possible slogans related to Catholicism. A police investigation was launched and the vandals were identified thanks to the city surveillance.

Statue from Nativity Scene Stolen and Church Damaged Before Christmas

December 23, 2023, Italy

On the 23rd of December, it was reported that a statuette of the nativity scene in the church of Valdagno was stolen. Now, the crib will be secured behind bars. The thieves stole the statue of a priest holding a monstrance and by doing so they also damaged the door, some pews and the steps to the entrance door, where another statue was ripped off. The police were notified.

Nativity scene figures stolen and damaged

December 23, 2023, Germany

Between December 23 and 30, three figures were stolen from the nativity scene in St Anthony's Church in Amberg, Germany. In addition, a fourth figure was completely smashed. The police are asking anyone with information to contact them.

Armenian Church of St. Mary in Sweden Vandalized Before Christmas

December 20, 2023, Sweden

St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Södertälje, Sweden, was the target of a raid on 20 December. Intruders gained access through a window leading to a room used for various ceremonies and stole valuable items with great sentimental value for the community. “We didn’t expect this. We are facing an empty altar before Christmas,” said Alexander Sharoyan, the church’s representative. A police investigation has been initiated.

Nativity scene destroyed by fire

December 20, 2023, Italy

On December 20, a fire destroyed the nativity scene in the parish church of Brentonico, Rome. A woman raised the alarm when she saw the church was completely filled with smoke. The parish priest, Don Daniele Laghi, suspects arson, as the nativity scene had already vandalised a few weeks ago. The police have opened an investigation to establish the facts.

Vandalism of Graveyard of Saint Eunan's Cathedral

December 19, 2023, Ireland

Between December 19 and January 3, unknown persons broke and pulled down several headstones in the graveyard of Saint Eunan's Cathedral in Raphoe, Ireland. Some were broken, other stones were pulled out of the ground. Local police are appealing to anyone with information about the vandalism.

Crosses will not be removed from Bavaria's state buildings

December 19, 2023, Germany

A German High Court rejected the claim that the presence of a cross infringes on the religious freedom of the plaintiffs. On December 19, the Federal Administrative Court of Leipzig dismissed a lawsuit against a Bavarian decree (Kreuzerlass) from 2018, which required the display of crosses in public institutions "as an expression of the historical and cultural identity of Bavaria".

Woman forced off public street by police while praying

December 18, 2023, United Kingdom

Livia Tossici-Bolt, a 63-year old charitable volunteer, has filed a complaint against officers who forced her off a public street where she was peacefully praying and holding a sign. While the officers accused her of breaching the local "buffer zone" legislation, Mrs. Tossici-Bolt was actually not standing within the zone, as video evidence confirms.

Nativity Scene Figures Beheaded

December 17, 2023, Germany

In the German town Rüsselsheim all figures of a nativity scene, including the depiction of baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary and the three Wise Men, have been beheaded in an act of vandalism. The damage was discovered on December 17. According to a report, the nativity scene, which was part of a Christmas marked, looked like a battlefield and the figure of Jesus in the manger was found beneath the rubble.

Cumbrae Church's Nativity Scence Vandalised

December 16, 2023, United Kingdom

A Christmas nativity scene at Cumbrae Parish Church was vandalised in Millport. Among other damages, the figure of Mary had been beheaded. The church community is shocked about the incident.

Former auxiliary bishop assaulted and seriously injured

December 16, 2023, Germany

The former Auxiliary Bishop of Hildesheim, Nikolaus Schwerdtfeger, has been the victim of an attack in his home and is being treated in intensive care.

St Anna church remains closed indefinitely after vandalism and threats

December 15, 2023, Germany

St Anne's Church in Stendal has been closed since December due to vandalism and intimidation. As reported on 28 February the church is still not receiving regular visitors and is only open for worship service.

Makovecs Square nativity scene destroyed

December 14, 2023, Hungary

On December 14, a nativity scene displayed on the main square in Markó, Hungary, was destroyed by unknown persons. The nativity scene, which was awarded the most beautiful in the country in 2020, was found with all the human figures decapitated, while the animal figures were untouched. The incident was reported to the police. Some of the figures appear to have been damaged beyond repair.

Three Christians Sentenced to Jail for Conscientious Objection to Military Service

December 13, 2023, Ukraine

In the past months, three Protestant Christians have been sentenced to jail for conscientious objections to military service on religious grounds in Ukraine. One of them, Dmytro Zelensky, is imprisoned after his acquittal was reversed by the Ternopil Appeal Court in August 2023. He has been sentenced to three years in prison and is currently preparing his appeal to the High Court.

French Minister announces dissolution of Catholic movement 'Accademia Christiana'

December 10, 2023, France

The French Minister of Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced on 10 December that he would present in “the coming weeks” to the Council of Ministers the dissolution of Academia Christiana, a youth-movement of traditional Catholics which since its foundation in 2013 has brought together thousands of young Christians in its training courses and summer schools. According to the minister, the decision was made on the fact that the movement is "inciting hatred and discrimination." Academia Christiana has already announced that they will challenge then ban in court.

Bomb Threat against Austrian Heiligenkreuz Abbey

December 9, 2023, Austria

On December 9, the Austrian Heiligenkreuz Abbey in the district Baden received a bomb threat. The threatening call came shorty before 5 pm. The police confirmed that the threat had an Islamist motive. According to media reports, the aggressor said on the phone: "Convert to Islam, or I will bomb you." Special police forces promptly searched the public areas of the monastery, but no suspicious items were found on the premises.

Climate activists vandalise Venice's San Marco Basilica

December 7, 2023, Italy

On 7 December, six climate activists defaced St Mark's Basilica of Venice by spraying Nesquik with fire extinguishers on the right side facade and pouring mud on the columns. They then unfurled a banner and a placard with the photos of twelve climate activists who were detained for three days after a roadblock in Fiumicino.