All cases

Minors Set Altar on Fire

April 6, 2024, Austria

Two Children, one of them a 12-year-old boy, set a fire to the Serbian Orthodox Church of Our Lady in Feldkirch causing considerable damage. After searching the unlocked donation boxes for cash, they set the cloth at the altar in the back of the church on fire endangering liturgical objects.

Vandalism and Theft in Den Bosch Church

April 6, 2024, Netherlands

Burglars broke into St. John's Cathedral in Den Bosch, smashed stained-glass windows, emptied a fire extinguisher inside the building and stole a time capsule intended to be opened in the year 2122.

Arson attack on French Church

April 4, 2024, France

A fire broke out in the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Agneaux on Thursday afternoon, April 4. According to police investigation's initial findings, the fire was intentional.

Desecration of Mission Cross

April 4, 2024, Poland

In the Church of St. Maksymilian Maria Kolbe in Bogatynia, a Mission Cross was chopped down over night.

After Two Fires Church Temporarily Closed

April 3, 2024, France

Within 24 hours two fires hit the Saint-Serge Church in Angers. On April 2, the altar of the chapel of the Virgin Mary was set on fire. On the next day a fire broke out in front of the Saint-Ambroise statue. A suspect women was spotted and arrested by the police.

Church Smeared with Eggs, Glue and Dog Excrement

April 3, 2024, United Kingdom

Rivertown Church in Shotton was subject to vandalism. Eggs were thrown at the rear door. Previously, glue and dog excrement were smeared on the same door. Furthermore, the church has seen damage to both locks and seats inside. In light of the church’s effort in running a community hub, the incident appears very distressing to volunteers and the church community.

Controversy about secular court ruling on dismissal of a nun under canonical procedure

April 3, 2024, France

In an unusual case, a secular civilian court has issued a ruling against the Vatican’s in-house canonical procedures in the case of the dismissal of a French nun from her order and has sparked discussions on religious autonomy. On April 3, the Lorient tribunal ruled in favour of a nun who turned to the French court after being removed from a monastery in Brittany. The Vatican replied in a written statement that such a ruling on "internal discipline and membership in a religious institute" would be a "serious violation of the fundamental rights to religious freedom and freedom of association of Catholic faithful."

Church starts dialogue project after severe vandalism

April 2, 2024, Italy

On April 2, the parish priest of the St. Anthony's Oratory in Porto Mantovano, Trento, found the oratory severely vandalised. Next to smashed locks, broken doors and glass, damaged objects and furniture, there was dirt, a swastika and offensive writings on the floor. The incident, was only the latest in a series of vandalism attacks on the oratory. The priest therefore reached out to the community for help.

Scottish 'Hate Speech' Bill Could Limit Freedom of Religion

April 1, 2024, United Kingdom

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021 came into force on April 1, 2024. The Act could criminalise expressions of religious convictions, religious and human rights groups fear.

Liturgical clothings and procession flags stolen from church

March 31, 2024, Germany

On March 31, a stole, procession flags and clothing were stolen from the Roman Catholic Church of the Assumption of Mary in Scheinfeld, Germany. The perpetrator was apparently hiding in the confessional during mass before stealing the objects. The man also damaged the confessional, which caused damage of approximately 200 euros.