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.
A new code of practice on Non-Crime Hate Incidents (NCHI) introduced to UK Parliament in March clarifyies that simply causing offence is not enough to justify the police including someone's personal information in an NCHI. This comes in opposition to previous NCHI measures that unlawfully interfered with free speech. For example when the Police logged the personal details of a person in a NCHI record after receiving a complaint about a ‘transphobic’ tweet. This user, Harry Miller, appealed and won the case.
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.
Germany prohibits abortion, but under the condition that women receive mandatory counseling, it is not punishable during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is also not punished in cases of danger for the woman's health or rape. As many politicians ask for its legalization, Lisa Paus, Federal Minister for Family Affairs, expressed her intentions to create buffer zones around abortion clinics, which poses a real thread on freedom of speech and thought if, as in the UK or Spain, they include the prohibition of prayer, for example.
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.
The anti-Christian incidents have been rising in France, up to the point that 20 personalities from different organisations and careers have issued a letter to the authorities. The newspaper "Le Figaro" has published a collective statement signed by twenty french personalities asking for a better response against this problem in France and Europe. The article mentions recent news about two nuns who will leave the city of Nantes due to insecurity. The authors state: "If the worrying rise in violence against religions affects all believers, Christianity remains the primary target of anti-religious acts in France as in Europe." The statement asks the European Union to "react and recall that all anti-religious acts must be fought with the same force."
Rev Dr. Bernard Randall, the former Trent College chaplain in Derbyshire, has lost his unfair dismissal appeal. He was dismissed and reported to a terrorist watchdog after holding a sermon in which he encouraged students to feel free to make up their own opinions regarding the school's initiative to promote LGBT workshops. Even though Rev. Bernard expressed himself respectfully and calmly, he was also blacklisted as a safeguarding risk to children by the Church of England (CofE).
The St. Jacob's Church in Köthen, Germany was vandalized on February 24 by an unknown perpetrator who smeared graffiti on the front and around the door of the 19th-century church. The police have been notified and are still investigating the motive behind the graffiti.
In the Czarnkowsko-Trzcianecki district of Drawsko, an unknown perpetrator has destroyed the statue of St. Joseph. The perpetrator did not only destroy the statue but also cut off two fingers from the figure, as reported by asta24 Poland. A resident named Ryszard Jablonowski expressed his feelings towards the situation: "I looked at the statue and, to be honest, I am shocked by what I saw. I'm trying to explain to myself what this is all about. Is it that simply the youth did it for a joke." The Priest thinks that the marks on the statue could have been done by using a knife, as well as by cutting off the fingers of the St. Joseph statue.
The Parish church of St. Heinrich in München was damaged by arson and vandalism on the 22nd of February, causing shock among the parishioners. While visiting the church, a 60-year-old woman found some hymn books set on fire. Before calling the authorities, the lady and an employee were able to extinguish the fire. The German news portal reported that a church room had also been vandalized, candles had been knocked over and hymn books were scattered on the floor. The perpetrators remain unknown.
Between the 18. and 19. of February, it was reported that the display board of the Catholic Church St. Andreas in Elbingerode was set on fire. The fire caused by unknown perpetrators destroyed the display case and the house facade, covering around 2 meters of the wall. The police are investigating and have estimated the costs of the damages at around 5,000 euros.
The St. Lambert's Church in Etten-Leur was attacked with paint bombs by unknown vandals. The paint covered the front doors, pillars, stairs and a statue. The report says that the "paint had even run in under the door." The incident was reported on February 17. and it mentioned that the Church had recently finished renovating and is unfortunately ruined again. Secretary Johan Snijders explained how the paint was covering the entrance and has soaked up from the pillars, the perpetrators used multiple colours of paint. Snijders reported that the unknown person "had also left behind all sorts of items: books, candles, a laptop, a bag of jars of paint and even a broken pot of vegetables".
Unknown perpetrators vandalized the Parish Church of Tarouca on February 14. The authorities have investigated the crime and have mentioned that the main churchyard doors were scratched, and the stained glass window was destroyed. The Parish said "We only know that it was an attack against a Monument, art, humanity, faith, and the Parish of Tarouca. And this is a crime!”
On Friday the 13th, the church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Vinnytsia was vandalized and desecrated. The church belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. It was reported that "unknown persons broke almost all the windows, attacked the cross in front of the church with an axe, and broke the legs of the Saviour on Calvary." It was also said that due to the strong force used by the perpetrator throwing the axe and destroying the statue, it also broke other candlelights and other religious objects.
The church of Saint-Martin located in Choisy-le-Roi was vandalized on the 12th of February. The French news portal has reported the statue of the Virgin Mary was decapitated and desecrated. Quoted "the church of Saint-Martin was vandalized by one or more individuals, according to information from Le Parisien confirmed by the Créteil prosecutor's office."
The historical Baroque "Church of the Cross" in Wissen has been destroyed and desecrated on the 10th of February. The police have identified a 39-year-old perpetrator, who has caused damages worth millions of euros. According to the reports, the man broke open the back door of the church by smashing it with stones, vandalized the religious symbols and set fire to the high altar, which has been completely destroyed. Two firefighter squats were able to stop the fire, they were alarmed as people noticed smoke coming out of the church.
The Marienkirche in Treuchtlingen has once again been vandalised by unknown perpetrators. On February 10. it was reported that perpetrators broke the windows of the Church, left used socks on an open Bible, as well as a box of cigarettes, and urinated on the corner of the room. Pastor Matthias Fischer was sadly not surprised after witnessing the scene. He expressed his emotions and frustration since there have been several cases of vandalism in the Marienkirche. However, Pastor decided not to report this case this time, as he says he has had much worse.
On 7. February, a man was arrested by police in Paris for making death threats against multiple priests. According to a French news site, a staff member from the Saint-Sulpice church alerted the authorities about the suspect. It was also reported that the man had threatened a priest in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés parish. The Paris judicial police are investigating the case, and it was revealed that the man is on an S file for state security related to terrorism and a search file for a temporary ban from French territory. These developments are concerning and raise questions about the motives behind the threats and whether the man acted alone or as part of a larger group.
A church in Catanzaro suffered a vandalic attack in early February (reported on the 5th February), causing damages worth 3000 euros. According to the sources, this church has been targeted before. "Dismay and anger. The umpteenth act of vandalism to which the Pistoia neighbourhood church of St. Mary of Hope [in Catanzaro], has been subjected provokes a reaction of indignation" reports Catanzaro Informa quoting Fr. Giorgio Pilò, parish priest of the vandalised church.
Matthew Grech, a 33-year-old charity worker from Malta had a first trial on February 3, after being charged with allegedly promoting 'conversion practices.' The allegations came after Matthew held an online interview with PMnews Malta in which he shared his testimony of becoming a Christian. He talked about his past, saying that he identified as gay in the past and used to be confused regarding his sexuality. Although he never promoted "conversion therapies", the police have pressed criminal charges against him.
Isabel Vaughan-Spruce had been arrested and charged with violating protest policy near an abortion center, as she was standing on the street and praying in her thoughts. UK authorities have now dropped the charges against her, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) warned that charges could start again in a near future. Vaughan-Spruce has said she wants to seek a clear verdict in court.
On January 31, it was reported that the Russian invaders have fired on a Church belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate in the town of Oleshky. The attack happened while a funeral was taking place, in which collaborate Zhuravko was being buried. The number of casualties after the incident is still under investigation.
One year after a group of MPs proposed a Bill in the Netherlands to ban "conversion therapies" (February 2022), the Dutch Council of State declared that the proposed bill would be a violation of religious freedom. The proposed bill aimed to impose a fine of up to 22,500€ and a year of prison for anyone found guilty of offering conversion therapies. But in a recent opinion, the Council announced that there was no clear way to differentiate between actual victims of coercion and participants who chose such a practice voluntarily, emphasizing that intrusive forms of "conversion therapy" and coercion are already prohibited by the existing laws.
On the afternoon of January 28., a perpetrator sprayed a red swastika symbol on the entrance door of the St. Wendelin Church in Neuses. It was reported that the act of vandalism was discovered right after the mass around 6:15 p.m.. The number 187 was also found next to it. An employee who takes care of the church, Klaus Schmitt, has removed the spray paint off from the wall.
It was reported that two 15-year-old teenage girls have caused a hate crime Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Grodno. They filmed themselves while committing this crime. It is mentioned that the girls might belong to a gothic subculture "judging from their clothes and appearance at the time they committed their act." The agency has also shared how images of swastikas were on their phones and both have been sentenced for vandalism.
On 27 January the church of Our Lady of Fatima in Koziegłowy near Poznań was desecrated. The perpetrator was a 41-year-old man who has been arrested. He knocked over a statue of the Virgin Mary, vandalized the manger, left the figure of Jesus in the baptismal font and damaged the church's sound system. The Metropolitan Curia of Poznań has called the faithful for acts of reparation.
On 25 January in the evening, a jihadist terror attack targeting two Catholic churches took place in Algeciras, Spain. Y. K., a 25-year-old Moroccan, has been arrested as the sole perpetrator of the attack, which he executed with a machete. An altar server was killed, and at least four persons are injured, including a priest in serious condition. Several witnesses indicate that he conducted the attack while shouting "Allah is great" and "death to Christians".
On the 25th of January, unknown perpetrators damaged the confessional chairs of a church with cigarette buds. The police have described the damages located in Saalfelden, Austria as willful damage to numerous pews. The investigation is still ongoing to find out the perpetrator(s).
The "la Seo" Cathedral in Zaragoza has been vandalized again, as reported on the 24th of January. The facade of the church was graffitied in several parts of the outer walls with random words, pro-Moroccan slogans, anti-police slogans and anarchist symbols with red and black spray paint. The Church has said they filed a complaint, and the investigations are still going on.
Between the 17. and the 25. of January, three Parisian churches have been attacked with arson by unknown perpetrators. Several fires have caused shock and sadness among parishioners in Paris. The last attack was on the Church of Saint-Laurent in the 10th district on the 24th. According to the findings, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the left side of the door.
During the weekend of the 23. January in the village of Krzrpielow, a Crucifix was desecrated. An unknown perpetrator shot the statue of Jesus on the cross that belongs to the Church of the Holy Trinity. The incident was reported to the police, who are treating the case as desecration, due to the lack of respect for religious feelings. The investigation is still ongoing, and the police are asking for help to find the perpetrator.
On January 23., a witness reported to the police that several young people had destroyed the windows at the Church of St. Paul in Velbert. In a German news website, it said "small stones were used to damage the exterior glazing of the windows of the Bohemian Church." It was also reported that larger stones were found larger surrounding the Church. Fortunately, no persons were harmed. The police are looking for the vandals.
The NGO ADF UK posted a video of two community safety accredited officers in Bournemouth interrogating a veteran who was standing on the street alone, praying in his thoughts. The officers told Adam Smith-Connor that he was praying inside a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) space, for which he was fined. According to the PSPO, certain activities such as acts of "disapproval" towards the abortion facility in the area are prohibited. Adam is at least the second person who was fined for praying silently on the street. He told the officers he was praying for his deceased son, which they considered an "act of disapproval."
There have been multiple cases in France, where churches have been targeted for hate crimes, theft or vandalism. The newest incident happened on January 18. near Paris, where the church of Saint-Martin-des-Champs and its front door and facade were partially burned. An unknown perpetrator has thrown an incendiary device, which was reported to be a molotov cocktail, against the front door at around five o'clock in the morning.
On the 17th and the 22nd of January, the church of Notre-Dame-de-Fatima, the 19th district of Paris, was hit twice by unknown arsonists. The Newspaper "Le Parisien" reported that the door of the church was sprayed with a flammable liquid. Then, the perpetrators used newspapers to start a fire, which fortunately did not spread inside the building.
On the 16. January, 46-year-old Vitaly Alekseenko was given a one-year jail term for refusing the call to the military on conscientious grounds. The Ivano-Frankivsk Appeal Court rejected his appeal against his conviction and has sentenced him to jail starting on the 19th of January. Alekseenko is the fifth known case of court conviction due to conscientious objection, but he is the first one to receive a jail sentence. Alekseenko told Forum 18 that he is "not guilty under the law of God".