All cases

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.

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.