All cases

Church Desecrated With Insulting Tags in Rouen

August 14, 2022, France

The doors and several sections of the façade of the Saint-Patrice church in Rouen were tagged with insulting slogans and militant symbols on the night of Saturday 13. August. The Diocese released a statement expressing the sadness due to the desecration and announced that the parish has filed a complaint with the police for damage to property. The tags were removed from the historic Church on the 16. August.

Refuge Denied to Iranian Christian Convert in Germany

August 11, 2022, Germany

Germany rejected the asylum application made in 2018 by Hassan, a 44-year-old Iranian who converted to Christianity in Iran and was prosecuted for the same reason. When he testified before the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in Germany, he disclosed that he learned about Christianity in Iran through his brother-in-law, who had been imprisoned for his activities and was then killed for practicing his faith in jail. During the second week of August, the European Court of Human Rights refused to listen to Hassan's case, meaning now he faces the threat of being deported to his home country, where he will likely face imprisonment or death.

Perpetrators Spray-Painted Church of San Benedetto

August 11, 2022, Italy

The columns and the flower boxes of the Church of San Benedetto in Livorno have been spray-painted with red tags. Some of the inscriptions that defaced the Church said "No Nazi" and "1312". It is presumed that it is the same vandals that have vandalized a statue of Canapone in the Piazza XX Settembre. A concierge hopes that the security cameras might help identify the perpetrator.

Swedish Historian Dick Harrison: "Persecuted Christians get no Headlines"

August 7, 2022, Sweden

The historian Dick Harrison recently wrote a review of a book called "The First Right: Freedom of Religion. Freedom from Religion", written by the deputy secretary general of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance, Jacob Rudenstrand. The historian commented that the book was worth reading and pointed out that the current persecution of Christians "hardly gets any media attention."

Two Men Disrupt Sunday Mass Shouting Obscene Gestures on the Church of San Bartolomé

August 7, 2022, Spain

On Sunday 7. August, tthe police in Murcia arrested two men after they attacked the church of San Bartolomé during the celebration of Mass. The perpetrators, aged 24 and 27, who are originally from Estonia, entered the church shouting and obscene gestures. The parish priest and several parishioners tried to intervene and stop them before they gained access to the tabernacle. The parishioners told the police officers the details of the incident and regretted the lack of respect by these individuals for their faith and the violation of their freedom of worship. The perpetrators have been handed over to the Examining Magistrate's Court on duty.

Catholic Church Vandalized With Graffiti, Bible Desecrated

August 4, 2022, Germany

Unknown perpetrators vandalized the Catholic Church of the Good Hirte, using a marker pen to write words and sayings on the pillars and walls inside the church. They further desecrated a Bible, which was open for reading, and a fresco in a side niche. Pastor Gerd Möller said that "the fresco, in particular, will not be easy to restore". According to the Pastor, the attack took place during the morning on August 4 and the damage caused amounts to 10,000 euros. He further added that "the immaterial damage cannot be estimated. A church is a place of encounter with God and prayer. These places are of inestimable value for people who practice their religion". The parish filed a criminal complaint with the police who launched an investigation to find the perpetrators.

Leipzig Church Broken Into and Burgled

August 4, 2022, Germany

Between the early afternoon of August 4 and the morning of the 5th, unknown people broke into a church located in the west of Leipzig. They entered through a window and searched several rooms inside the building. The door of one of the offices was forced open and the room was looted. There is not yet any available information regarding the stolen items and the damage caused. The case was reported to the police who launched an investigation, deeming this a case of aggravated theft.

Church of San Giovanello and Surrounding Area Repeatedly Vandalized

August 3, 2022, Italy

It was reported on the 3rd of August that the church of San Giovannello is being constantly vandalised and spray painted by unknown persons. According to the newspaper, they receive daily complaints and pictures of the church being daubed on every corner by vandals, including the surroundings. The newspaper suggests installing a video surveillance system.

Attempted Break-In Into the Church of Reconciliation

August 3, 2022, Germany

German Police are investigating an attempted break-in at the Reconciliation Church in the Bännjerrück district of Kaiserslautern. The event took place on the 3rd of August, as the perpetrators tried to gain access to the church, but did not succeed. Nevertheless, the burglars caused damage estimated to be at least 200 euros.

Canada: 260% Rise in anti-Catholic Hate Crimes, but no Media Coverage

August 3, 2022, Canada

The Canadian police released the hate crime data for 2021 on the 3rd of August, showing an alarming rise in anti-religious hate crimes: from 530 cases in 2020 to 884 in 2021. Anti-Catholic hate crimes rose 260%: while there were 43 cases in 2020, it rose to 155 in 2021. Catholics were the second most target group after Jews. Main News Broadcasters reported on these worrying numbers, but although Anti-Catholic motives were the second most targeted religious group and showed the highest rise among all categories, the media only used examples from other groups.

Unknown Vandals Riot in Church and Set Praise Book on Fire

August 2, 2022, Germany

On the 2nd of August afternoon, unknown perpetrator(s) vandalised a church in the Zähringerstraße. The individuals damaged flyers and a praise book with fire, they threw over altar candles and stands and damaged a holy figure. Also, an unknown number of candles were stolen. The police has taken over the investigation of the damage to property and asks for information from witnesses.

"Burn In Hell" Sprayed in the Facade of the Church of Our Lady

July 29, 2022, Switzerland

On the 29. July, the wall of the Church of our Lady in Zurich was found with inscriptions in red paint saying: "Burn in Hell", "Strike Fundamentalists on the Mouth" and an anarchist symbol, along with paint dripped over the staircase. For the time being, the parish staff is not allowed to clean up the graffiti, while the crime is being investigated by the police. The shocked priest said he had never experienced anything like this.

Human Rights Group: Germany's Migration Office Ignores the Persecution of Iranian Christian Converts

July 28, 2022, Germany

During a press conference on the 28. July, the "International Gesellschaft für Menschenrechte (IGFM)" reported on the indifference and even bias present in the BAMF (the Migration Office in Germany) in regard to the fate of Iranian Christian converts, who face persecution or even death if deported to Iran. Pastor Dr. Gottfried Martens, an expert on legal practice and deportation procedures recalls how representatives would make fun of the statements of Christian Iranians, he stated that court hearings were "pure gambling". Many Iranian converts shared their hardships and disappointing experiences with the german authorities.

Perpetrators Desecrate and Rob Saint-François-d'Assise Church

July 23, 2022, France

The church of Saint-François-d'Assise in Perpignan was desecrated on the 23. July in the afternoon by a group of vandals. The perpetrators ransacked the church and the sacristry, they threw the consecrated hosts to the ground and attempted to set fire to a statue of the Virgin Mary and dried flowers. They also broke the safe and looted the little money that was in the church from offerings and donations. The police is investigating the case.

Expert Identifies Religious Illiteracy among UK Elected Officials

July 22, 2022, United Kingdom

During an interview with the Christian Institute, Dr. James Holt, Chair of the Freedom Declared Foundation, said that there is a lack of religious literacy among some elected officials in the UK. He noted that at the recent International Conference on Freedom of Religion and Belief in London, the issue seemed to be addressed mainly as a foreign policy issue and not a domestic concern. He considers that "much more needs to be done" to counter anti-religious hatred in the UK and secure religious freedom.

Death Threats Sent to Priest in Sevilla

July 21, 2022, Spain

The priest of the municipality of Camas in Sevilla, Pedro José Rodriguez Molina, received a note with death threats on the 21. July. The note said "Ardereis como en el 36" (You will burn like in 36) and "Cloro al clero" (Chlorine to the clergy). The priest posted the note on his social media profile.

Church Window Smashed With Stones in Austria

July 19, 2022, Austria

Between July 10 and 19, unknown vandals smashed two windows in the parish of St. Paul in Klein. The perpetrators threw stones at the windows, creating a total of five holes distributed over the panes' surface. The total amount of the property damage has not been assessed yet but, according to the police, it is estimated to be around several thousand euros, since "these are very old and colorful stained glass panes".

Unidentified Women Smear the Facade of Church of St. Agostino

July 18, 2022, Italy

The facade of St. Agostino's Church, located in via Principi D'Acaja, was smeared with writings by perpetrators who were unaware of the security cameras in the vicinity. Thanks to the surveillance system the police were able to identify those responsible for damaging the church. Federico Battel, the commander of the Municipal Police of Pinerolo, disclosed that "we are talking about some girls, probably adults, from the shooting we recognize the faces well, now we are working to trace the names and surnames. Subsequently, we will proceed to report for damage and the costs of the restoration will also be charged".

Update: Grandmother Fined for Praying on the Street Wins Her Appeal

July 18, 2022, United Kingdom

Rosa Lalor, who on the 24th of February of 2021 was fined for praying silently on the public street, and later decided to challenge the sanction, won her appeal. At the time, the police considered that she did not have a "reasonable excuse" to be outside, even though she explained that she was simply "walking and praying" and that daily exercise was allowed. She received a fine of £200 and was then detained in the police car. Rosa Lalor decided to challenge the fine, with the help of ADF UK and won the case in court.

Authorities Confirmed Arson to Church in Lessen

July 18, 2022, Germany

On the early evening of July 18, two people attending the church in Leezen noticed smoke building up in the rear area of the church and alerted the authorities. According to the police's preliminary investigations, a box with candles was lit on fire inside the church, deeming this case an "attempted serious arson". However, the extent of the damage caused could not be assessed yet. The police are looking for witnesses who might have seen people acting suspiciously on the church grounds. The arson motive was confirmed later on.