On June 3rd, the sacristan of the Chuch of Mailhac discovered that the place of worship had been vandalized. Many candles lay broken on the floor, and there are clear signs that someone had tried to open the trunk. The sacristan had already filed a complaint for the destruction of candles in the past. As a consequence of this act, the church has been closed for an indefinite time. The Ginestas gendarmerie was informed on the same day, and a complaint had been filed.
On June 1st, the provincial prosecutor's office of La Coruña opened a case over the burning of a cross in La Toleira of Neda, following a complaint by the Spanish Foundation of Christian Lawyers. The lawyers' organization indicates that BNG (Galician nationalist party) members were responsible for the incident. They are charged with possible hate crimes, offending religious feelings, offending historical heritage and illegal demonstrations. The Prosecutor's Office is asking the police to identify those involved in the reported act and the person(s) responsible for the fire. Ana Antón, a lawyer with the Spanish Christian Lawyers Foundation, welcomed the Prosecutor's Office's decision. She commented: "This act demonstrates the hatred that some far-left parties have against Catholics. Such acts cannot go unpunished. And faced with the passivity of the institutions, Christian lawyers will go all the way to defend Christian symbols."
On April 27, the Moscow City Court ruled the liquidation of the Sova Information and Analytical Center, the leading organization monitoring religious liberty violations in the country. This represents a significant blow to the protection of freedom of religion in Russia.
On April 26, the lower house of the Irish Parliament passed what could be the most extreme hate speech law in Europe, with critics saying that it is in fact a 'thought crime' bill. The text of the bill makes the possession of material considered 'hateful' against certain groups a crime punishable with jail, and the burden of proof is shifted to the accused, who is expected to prove they didn't intend to use the material to "spread hate".
On May 23rd, a ruling by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) in the UK banned Christian Joshua Sutcliffe from teaching altogether, after he failed to treat his pupils "with dignity and respect" by misgendering a transgender boy. This case is the first of its kind in the UK and has become international news. It goes back to 2017, when the former maths teacher at the Cherwell School in Oxford, said "well done girls" to a group of girls, where one was a transgender boy - and he later apologized. Sutcliffe was later also accused of inappropriately sharing his Christian beliefs.
In Malnia, near Gogolin on May 23rd, unknown perpetrators blocked the door to the rectory to prevent the parish priest from intervening and committed the destruction of a statue of the Virgin Mary, a statue of St. Anthony, and the devastation of the church interior. The losses made by the perpetrators were estimated at several thousand zlotys.
A 21-year-old British man, Edward Little, has pleaded guilty to preparing to commit acts of terrorism in an attack against the evangelist Hatun Tash in 2022. Little was found carrying £5,000, with which he planned to buy a firearm to kill Hatun Tash at the Speaker's Corner, a place for public debates where she frequently debates and preaches. He refused the allegations at first, but on the 19. May 2023 he admitted to planning the murder back on 23. September 2022.
On May 17, a citizen who was silently praying in front of the Dator abortion clinic in Madrid was arrested by the Spanish national police. The arrest comes as a result of the entry into force of the reform of the Spanish Criminal Code last year, which punishes praying in front of abortion clinics as it considers it 'harassment to women.'
Churches in Bavaria are targeted by vandals with increased frequency. The Bavarian State Criminal Police Office (LKA) registered 294 cases of damage to property in churches, chapels, or monasteries last year - 23 more than in 2021 (271). According to the information, the trend has been increasing in recent years. In 2019, the LKA still counted 219 cases, and the following year it was 242. According to a spokesman of the Catholic diocese of Regensburg there are: "For example, figures of saints were destroyed or damaged, people smoked and urinated in church rooms, church walls were smeared or fires were set inside the church."
A teacher in Wales, Ben Dybowski, was encouraged to express his Christian beliefs at a seminar and was subsequently fired for "hate speech." The teacher was prompted to share his opinions during a mandatory training session organised by the charity Diverse Cymru to instruct teachers on "workforce diversity practice, unconscious bias and gender awareness." He later commented that: "We were told it was a safe space and encouraged to speak freely."
A Christian primary school teacher who questioned Stonewall and Mermaids' recommendations to support a "gender transition" of an 8-year-old student without providing any supporting medical data has lost her job and is the subject of numerous regulatory body inquiries. She is being supported by the organisation Christian Concern to contest against her dismissal. due to discrimination based on her religion.
Some people have tried to cause a fire in the church of Santa María de los Ángeles. This criminal act occurred on Tuesday, May 9 around 4:00 pm in Vitoria, while the church was closed. Perpetrators sprayed gasoline at the main entrance of the church. The fire burned a billboard and the church entrance, which they left darkened and dirty. The criminals fled, but thanks to the images from the church's security cameras, the police were able to identify them.
On the 9. May, the Police of Salzburg have arrested a man who hurled a bottle of red wine he had brought with full force against the high altar on Monday morning in the parish church of Schwarzach im Pongau. Thus, two altar lights were knocked over and the offering table and brickwork were contaminated by the wine. The man had entered the church loudly ranting and gesticulating aggressively and spat at a statue of Christ. The man - a Czech citizen who is banned from staying in Austria - was filmed in the church by two video cameras.
In the context of the current blockade by Azerbaijan on the Republic of Artsakh, the ethnic Armenian breakaway state in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the Armenian Christians are suffering increasing threats and fear for their future. In one of the latest threats against the Christians living in the region, Azerbaijan has demanded the expulsion of the Armenian clergy from the Dadivank monastery, built in the 9th century and one of the symbols of medieval Armenia.
An exhibition in the European Parliament showing Jesus surrounded by men dressed in leather as sadomasochistic slaves, apparently homosexuals, has provoked complaints from several MEPs and Christians in Europe. The author, lesbian Swedish photographer Elisabeth Ohlson, argues the photographs depict Christ supporting homosexual rights.
A German man who was doing a bicycle tour around the Tollensee Sea in Germany, near Neubrandenburg, came across a wall displaying several hateful or disrespectful messages and insults almost entirely against Christians or Catholic Christians. He posted a picture of the display on his facebook page and informed the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians. Some of the posters on the wall say "F**k off Vatican", "Good that theologians are disappearing on their own", "Catholics are sh*t", among other things.
On the 22. April. unknown people destroyed two statues and one vase in the Saint-Rémi Church, in the village of Profondeville. The day after, a small chapel nearby was burnt. A few days before, a Statue of the Virgin had been destroyed too. The police assume, that the same persons committed the three acts.
On April 15, seven young men were fined for talking about Easter in a public street in the city centre of Minsk. The individuals, who were all Protestant, were approached by police and told that they were violating the law by "conducting missionary activities without a permit." The police fined each one about 2 months' average wages, reports Forum 18.
On April 14, in the Russian city of Bryansk, the Volodarskiy Magistrates' District Court penalized the pastor of the "First Church of Evangelical Christians Baptists of Bryansk" for engaging in "illegal" missionary work. He was charged with "introducing 'modern' ways of communicating in line with 'Western standards'."
On 14. April, in Menden, near Dortmund, unknown persons have tampered with the missionary cross on the church square of the Holy Cross Church. They broke off the Jesus figure and stole it. The police is looking for witnesses.
On the 12. April 2023, the rector of the Sainte-Madeleine Church in Angers found his church devastated: seven statues had been beheaded or amputated, the altar was vandalized, and many crosses were too. Mr. Verchère, Mayor of the city, and Mr. Darmanin, Minister of the Interior condemned the degradation. On the 18. April, a 40-year-old with criminal records named Brahim was arrested by the police, he was also taken to a hospital for psychiatric examination.
Over three nights on April 12, 13, and 14, in Croydon, thirty gravestones have been destroyed with a sledgehammer - some graves were dating back 500 years, at a Grade I listed church. «The church is appealing for witnesses along with police who are trying to find out who took a sledgehammer to the graves. »
On 9th of April, at night, unknown people wrote with white paint "Pa Pedophil" (paedophile pastor) on the evangelical Church of Jemelle. Pastor Grégory Zieleniec received a hateful letter in his mailbox "pedophil en liberté. Il s'agit du pasteur grégory zieleniec" (Free paedophile. This is Pastor Gregory Zieleniec). The Pastor has filed a complaint for insult, vandalism and defamation.
Marisa Francescangeli, a primary school teacher in San Vero Milis (Oristano, Sardinia), has been suspended for 20 days with a pay reduction (from 25 March to 15 April) for having made her students construct a rosary for Christmas and praying an Ave Maria and Our Father with them. The Oristano school office's decision of suspension was taken after two mothers protested. While other parents defend her, she said she will appeal the decision.
Two men were arrested on the 05. April after having urinated inside of the St. Georg's church of Nördlingen. One of the perpetrators is 39 and the other is 41 years old. The day before, faeces had been found in the same church. In addition, the two men attempted to break the offertory box. As the police searched the suspects' apartments, stolen goods from the previous day were found and seized.
Mikhail Simonov, a 63-year-old Russian Orthodox Christian, has become the first person to be imprisoned for expressing opposition to Russia's war in Ukraine on religious grounds. Simonov has been accused of disseminating false information about the Russian armed forces "based on political hatred" due to two social media posts in which he criticized Russian attacks on Kiev and Mariupol. One of the posts read "We, Russia, have become godless. Forgive us, Lord!"
In the Norwegian city of Klepp, nine council members are conducting investigations into a suspected case of religious discrimination over the funding of Christian organisations. It is suspected that organisations that adhere to the traditional view of marriage appear to be left out of the community grants.
On the 04. April, intruders broke into the church Santa Caterina da Siena in Coverciano (a suburb of Florence). Sacred objects, including four chalices, and two pyxins (host holders) were stolen. Also, loudspeakers and microphones have been stolen. A parish priest's helper raised the alarm when he noticed that the window of the entrance door had been smashed on Monday morning. Also, a copper gutter was partly torn off the wall. The value of the damage is yet to be estimated. The police are investigating.
On the 02. April, a Statue of Pope John-Paul II was vandalized: the hands were painted red, the face yellow. The sentence "Maxima Culpa" has been written on the pedestal, which is most probably an allusion to Ekke Overbeek's book accusing the late Pope of having closed the eyes on children-abuse cases.
On the 1. April, two German men were arrested after a random police control for having stolen 14 skulls in a Church Ossuary in Mölbling, Austria. The men said they had taken the skulls because they were interested in mourning and funeral cultures. The 43-year-old driver and his 35-year-old passenger from the Regensburg area said they had never stolen skulls before. The police seized the objects and stated that the two death cult fans would be charged with disturbing the peace of the dead after the investigation was completed.
On the 31. March 2023, pupils and teachers from the Catholic School "Saint-Pierre", in the southern city of Montrond-les-Bains, received a threatening message in the school's intern e-mail box. An unknown person, probably an outsider, threatened pupils of with death with the words "I'm going to cut your throat". An investigation has been opened by the police.
The Swiss TV sender SRF has prohibited the moderator Wasiliki Goutziomitros to wear a cross necklace during the program. Ms. Goutziomitros is a presenter on the news program "10 vor 10", and was seen wearing a small cross pendant. Now, the SRF has decided that it violates journalistic guidelines. This has caused a great discussion in Switzerland regarding religious freedom. These news were reported around the 24. March.
On the 21. March, the City Council of Aléria (Corsica), stated that a painting representing Jesus Christ and exposed in the Village Church had been stolen. The town hall of Aleria posted on its Facebook page about the theft. The municipality of Plaine orientale wrote: "It is a shock in the parish of Aleria, (...) a sacred object has been stolen." A complaint has been filled.
On the 21. March, intruders broke in the church of Sadaba for the second time in the week. The mayor pointed out that the stolen money only had a total amount of under 10 euros. However, the perpetrators made several degradations, including destroying the sacristy's door and throwing several items to the floor, including the clothes from the priests. The mayor expressed his support to the local priest.
"If you abort now, what are we going to f**k in 5 or 6 years?" This is what was depicted in the posters that appeared in March in several bus shelters in San Sebastián, Spain. Apart from the hateful sentence that attacks religious feelings and discriminates Catholics, the posters included the image of an unborn child and the logo of the Spanish Episcopal Conference. The Organisation "Abogados Cristianos" filed a complaint regarding the events and now the courts have asked the Ertaintza (Basque Police) to investigate the authorship of the posters.
On the 19. March, unknown vandals wrote the anarchist motto "Ni Dieu ni maître" (No God nor master) on the pedestal of Cardinal Saliège's statue in Toulouse. The Cardinal served as archbishop of the city during World War 2 and used all his power to rescue Jews from persecution and later received the title of Righteous Among the Nations. The current archbishop, Guy de Kerimel strongly condemned this degradation which "hurts both Christians and Jews". The degradation occurred precisely eleven years after Mohammed Merah's mass shooting at a Jewish school.
On the 19. March at night, burglars stole valuable silver items in a church from a rural parish in East Devon in Sidmouth. The police are looking for witnesses. On Twitter, pictures show that the objects were chalices, host holders and other tools for the celebration of Mass.
On 17. March, for the second time in the same week, unknown intruders broke into the community house of St. Aegidius. They robbed nothing but perpetrated significant damages. Police officers are looking for witnesses.
On 17. March, a man loudly disturbed the Mass at the Saint-Hippolyte Church in Paris. He is also suspected to have stolen a Crucifix from a Parisian Church the day before. The crucifix, which was probably taken down during the theft, was found "broken into several pieces" on a nearby street corner, according to the police. The man is already flagged with a "fiche S", which means, the French State regards him as a danger to public safety. He has also been classified as a potential Islamist. He has also been sent to a psychiatric investigation.
On the 14. March, perpetrators vandalized the Sacred Heart church in Sieradz during the night, targeting stained glass portraits and posters of Pope John-Paul II. The stained glass and a glass door were broken too. The authorities were able to identify and arrest two perpetrators, which were two men in their 20s.
On the 12. March, a person noticed that the side of the church at the Karmelitenplatz in Vienna's second district (Karmelitenchurch) had been vandalised with graffiti in black paint that says "No God" (Kein Gott). It is not sure when the graffiti was made or if it was filed with the police. The vandals also remain unknown.
The Church of the Sacred Heart in Bordeaux has recently been vandalized and defaced with offensive graffiti, causing shock among the local community. According to reports from French news outlets, the perpetrators attempted to set fire to the church's door and left hateful messages on the walls, including phrases such as "Thank you Satan" and "devil take me with you," expressing their opposition to God and allegiance to Lucifer. Witnesses have stated that the offenders may have been a group of intoxicated individuals who were present before firefighters arrived at the scene.
On Saturday evening, a group of young individuals caused a disturbance at a church in Munich. They rioted and used offensive language directed against the attendants of the mass. It was reported that the parishioners inside the church also heard a loud noise, and then they noticed the window pane had been broken. The priests and churchgoers were targeted with derogatory comments. The group of young people then left. The police were notified, they had not yet identified the perpetrators and are estimating the costs of the damage to property.
The Basilica of La Mercé located in Barcelona was vandalized once again. A spokesperson told the news that this had happened before. An unknown suspect has sprayed offensive remarks against the church and God. The newspaper el Debate also reported that they contacted the city council to help wash the words from the affected walls and are hoping to get an answer, since they got ignored the last time something similar happened.
As reported by The Telegraph and the Christian Institute, Girlguiding, the UK's national guiding organisation for girls, has come under pressure and criticism after it published a blog post in which the organization argued that in order to make some of its traditional songs "inclusive for everyone," they need be changed to remove "references that have been hurtful to people." Using as an example a song in which references to God were removed.
Limited details are available regarding a recent incident where an individual allegedly vandalized the Notre Dame-de-Lorette Catholic Church in Paris. According to reports of the 9. March, the perpetrator caused damage to a statue, chairs, and other items within the church and may have targeted other churches as well. An investigation into the matter is currently underway, and additional information is expected to emerge in due course.
According to ifamnews, the Spanish Christian Lawyers Foundation has started legal proceedings against Senator Carles Mulet for engaging in acts of harassment against Christians and the affiliated organizations that publicly express their religious beliefs. The lawsuit also claims that Mulet has advocated for the removal of crosses by city councils, particularly in the Valley of the Fallen.
According to Italian news reports, vandals have destroyed a church of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice in the city of La Spezia. The destruction involved removing and stealing 15 painted ceramic tiles, vandalizing the baptistery, and stealing the offertory boxes, among other things. It was also reported that pages of sacred texts were scattered on the floor of the sacristy. The perpetrators also left behind satanic books. The police are investigating, but the perpetrators remain unknown.
On 7 March the House of Commons voted to comprehensively introduce buffer zones around abortion clinics to the Public Order Bill for the final time. The clause to the bill was approved by a majority of 299 MPs in favor to 116 against. Now that the Public Order Bill is set to become law, any form of "influence" around abortion clinics will be criminalised, including silent prayer or consensual conversations, de facto making "thought crime" a reality in the UK. Experts have commented that while harassment and intimidation are already illegal, this law would be a serious attack on freedom of speech and freedom of thought.
On the 5th of March, three teenagers broke into a church, severely damaged the organ, vandalized the church, and robbed the money in the offertory box. They are to be judged in April. According to the report, the perpetrators climbed through the balcony, stealing the key to the organ and bending several pipes, they also sprayed the church with a fire extinguisher and unsealed a railing.