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.
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".
An unexpected shooting occurred in North London on January 14. at the St Aloysius Roman Catholic Church. The 22-year-old suspect drove and shot 6 people who were coming out of a memorial service inside the church. The victims were a 48-year-old who has severe life-threatening injuries; a 12, 21, 41, and 54-year-old. A 7-year-old girl was also injured and was in serious condition. The police department detained the suspect for questioning after his car was found parked on Sunday. It was also mentioned that the bullets came from a black Toyota C-HR.
Near the city of Newry, vandalism occurred at a church on January 13. during the night. The perpetrator broke six windows and four bathrooms that were outside the Church of the Sacred Heart. Father Richard Naughton commented that he was "shocked to the core" and vandalism like this had never happened before. The cost for the reparation of the windows was estimated at thousand pounds. The perpetrator is still on the run. The police department has asked for witnesses to contact them as soon as possible.
on the 10th of January, the online news source MK-Online reported a rise in anti-Christian hate speech and vandalism in Bavaria. The most recent incident was red graffiti on the Cathedral of Augsburg that said "F*ck Jesus! He would have wanted it this way". The historical church dates back to Roman times. The reasons behind the perpetrator's actions are still under investigation and the cost of the damaged property lies around a couple of hundred euros. Other cases have been reported in Munich, where the Jesus figure was stolen. In an Augsburg Catholic Church perpetrators threw eggs and left insulting graffiti on the wall against the Word of God.
On the afternoon of January 10., it was reported that the Saint-Louis Roi church of Champagne-au-Mont-d'Or in Lyon was heavily vandalized by a perpetrator. The vandal broke windows and tossed to the ground two crucifixes, candles, books, and cases. District Councillor Tiffany Joncour posted a picture on twitter of a broken crucifix laying on the ground after the attack. The Minister of the Interior Gérald Dramamine later shared on Twitter that the suspect had been arrested.
The chapel of St. Julien in Morbihan has been desecrated and vandalised by unknown perpetrators on the 8th of January. The newspaper Le Télégramme revealed that all crosses were turned upside down, a statue of the Virgin Mary was wrapped with red electric lights, an ex-voto was damaged and a fire extinguisher was poured out on the church. According to the mayor of Morbihan, Patrick Le Roux, such acts had not been seen in the past in this city, "It is for me the expression of absolute evil and stupidity," he added. The destruction was found by a parishioner on Sunday afternoon.
Between the 19th of December and the 8th of January, the wayside shrine in Icking was vandalised. An unknown perpetrator unscrewed the Jesus figure from its cross and took it away. Now, the police have been notified and they are investigating the case.
In the city of Halberstadt, a form of pyrotechnics were used to destroy church property at the Lüttgenfeldstraße, amounting to 5,000 euros in damage. Around 3:45 a.m. unknown persons threw crafted explosives over the fence of the church and caused damage to a nativity play which was handcrafted with plastic and wood. The explosion also caused damage to the façade of the church and a window. The police are seeking witnesses to find the perpetrators.
Between the 7th and 9th of January, unknown perpetrators damaged the cupboards of the St. Martinus Church in Ottersheim. The police is running an investigation and looking for the perpetrators. The damaged cupboards amount to about 1000 euros worth.
During the night of 6. January, the statue of Baby Jesus from the Nativity Scene in the St. James Church was vandalized in Brzesko. According to the report, the right hands were cut off, and the statue was destroyed and left at the Jordan park. The pastor of the church commented: "This kind of profanation is not only an expression of stupidity, vandalism or thuggery on the part of some people, but it is first and foremost an attack on our religious feelings."
It was reported that two young people vandalised St. John's Church on the 4th of January. They left traces of foam from the fire extinguisher all over the church and special items. The sacristan came to the church right after the incident happened and reported the crime. A cleaning crew tried to remove the foam, textiles and other valuable Paramentes also had to be cleaned. It seems that the Altar Bible has suffered permanent damage. The police are investigating.
On the morning of January 2. in the Holy Virgin Church in Vinnytsia, an unknown man attacked the priest Anthony Kovtonyuk and cut him on the throat. The unidentified man had entered the church and started turning everything over, so the priest reprimanded him. Then, the perpetrator attacked the priest with his knife, as it was reported by the diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The police came to the scene and apprehended the attacker, who has been arrested. Father Anthony was taken to the emergency services later transferred to the intensive care unit in a Vinnitsia hospital.
The Romanesque Church of Saints Peter and Paul located in Chianocco, Turin, has been spray painted by unknown vandals. The perpetrators painted inappropriate or obscene drawings and words on the stone wall of the old church. This was reported on the 2nd of January. In the next days, volunteers will come and help clean up the mess that was left behind. The police are investigating.
In the town of Marigliano, the facade of thee church The Lady Most Holy of Mount Carmel was vandalized with paper bombs by young vandals. The perpetrators ruined the facade and caused shock among the residents, who expressed their emotions and anger. The incident was filmed with smartphones and the images were shared on social networks.
The police in North Kerry are investigating an act of vandalism against a church in Ballyduff. Three young women entered the St. Peter and St. Paul church and set fire to the altar cloth. The incident happened on the 30th of December, during the opening hours of the church. Detectives are investigating the motive behind the incident. The altar cloth did not go up in flames, so the damage was not extensive.
On the 29th of December around midday, unknown persons broke into a church and removed the fence. They entered by breaking the kitchen window, but they did not cause other damage to the interior. The police has estimated the damages to be of 2,000 euros.
On the 29th of December, unknown vandals stole the Baby Jesus of the nativity scene in Waren and beheaded one of the three wisemen figures. The display belongs to a Baptist Church and it has been vandalized many times in the last few years. This last incident included two consecutive nights of vandalism. The municipality is trying to help with the investigation. Apart from the main figures, a sheep and another figure were scattered on the meadow and other figures were knocked over.
In the city of Zamora, the locals and neighbours showed shock and sadness towards an attack on a nativity scene, which was reported on the 29th of December. Unknown vandals, suspected to be a young group of people, burned the figures of the Christmas display. Some people commented that the fire looked like a bonfire as vandals were burning religious figures.
Around the Christmas time, there were several cases of vandalism to oratories in Melegnano. Vandals broke into oratories and destroyed rooms, religious objects, as well as the façade of the Church building. There is an ongoing investigation to find the perpetrators.
At around 3.45 p.m. on the 29th of December, the St Peter’s Church door was busted open by teenagers. Once inside, they damaged a cross, a statue and candles. The suspects are four boys and four girls who were seen by residents running away from the church with dark clothes on and heading toward Claydon High School. The faces are yet to be identified but the police are asking for any cam footage from cars that were there parked near the scene.
In the town of Barbera del Valles, thieves "kidnapped" the figure of the baby Jesus from the open-air nativity scene on the 28. December at night. They then posted a video on social media with covered faces and distorted voices demanding a ransom of 10,000 euros for the precious figure. According to Spanish media, the city council of the town expressed the hope that it could be a sort of prank. But this is not the first theft of the small figure from the Nativity scene in the church square.