All cases

Update: Finnish Court Upholds Free Speech in Major Trial

March 30, 2022, Finland

On March 30th, the Helsinki District Court unanimously dismissed all charges against MP Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola in a major freedom of speech victory. Päivi Räsänen was prosecuted for sharing her faith based beliefs on marriage in a tweet, and Juhana Pohjola had published a pamphlet, by Räsänen containing these beliefs, 17 years earlier. The ruling of this high-profile case stated that “it is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts," ordered the prosecution to pay the legal costs of 60,000 EUR, and gave the prosecution seven days to appeal.

Sacred Relic Stolen from Church in Brianza

March 30, 2022, Italy

On the 30th of April, an antique silver cross was stolen from a church in Barlassina. The cross, which was kept in a small box that was forced open, was of little monetary value which makes the theft particularly sacrilegious. Investigations were underway to find out who committed the theft.

Orthodox Priest Kidnapped in Kherson, Ukraine

March 30, 2022, Ukraine

Sergey Chudinovich, an Orthodox priest from the church of Serhiy Chudynovych in Kherson, was kidnapped on March 30th. Three men, who claimed they were police officers, searched the documents of those present and then drove off with Sergey Chudinovich, who was said to be a well know public figure. He is one of the many religious leaders who has been abducted in Russian occupied areas of Ukraine.

59 Religious Buildings, Mostly Orthodox, have been Damaged by Russian Military

March 28, 2022, Ukraine

Since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 21st, 59 religious buildings have been badly damaged by Russian attacks in 8 different regions. The Ministry of Information Policy and Culture of Ukraine reported that most of these building had been Orthodox Churches while others were synagogues, mosques, and religious education institutions. The Kremlin claims to "protect Orthodoxy" but these statistics tell a different story.

Sacred Objects Stolen from Couhé

March 28, 2022, France

A ciboria and chalices, both of which were in the sacristy or tabernacle, were stolen from the Couhé church on March 28th. Consecrated hosts were also taken, which implies the perpetrator was targeting the celebration of the Eucharist as hosts can be sold for high prices in some satanic circles. The theft of these objects of worship was a hateful attack on the religious traditions of the church.

Cross Stolen from St. Michael's Church

March 27, 2022, Germany

On March 27th, a cross made of cast bronze was stolen from the crypt of St. Michael's church in Fulda. It was not known who did it but the police were investigating.

Würzburg Church Vandalized with Letter Z

March 27, 2022, Germany

The letter Z, a pro-Russian symbol of war, was painted on the Gethsemane Church in Würzburg on March 27th. The congregation responded with a prayer for peace and the parish priest, Anna Bamberger, condemned the act. The perpetrator, who used this place of worship to advocate a war, was not found.

WHO called for Doctors to Act Against Conscience

March 26, 2022, Switzerland

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a ban on all limits on abortion as they may violate the rights of "women, girls or other pregnant persons." Among these proposed policies, was one that would limit medical professionals' rights to refuse to take part in abortion for conscientious reasons. These targeted Christian doctors who, for religiously based moral reasons, are unable to assist in an abortion and would face consequences if countries were to act on this guidance.

Church Ransacked in Walsum-Aldenrade

March 26, 2022, Germany

An unknown thief ransacked several rooms in the church of Walsum-Aldenrade, and stole the money box from the choir community on March 26th. The bathroom window was pried open to gain access to the building but few clues as to who did it have been found. The police were notified and are looking for witnesses.

Police Detain Church Burglar in Luban

March 24, 2022, Poland

A 22 year old man was detained in Luban for the burglary of a church, and church buildings, on the 24 of March. He damaged the door of the sacristy and broke windows to gain access to the other church buildings where he stole property left there. He was responsible for 11 thefts in all, some unrelated to the church, and was put under police provision and banned from leaving the country.

WEA Called Greece to Provide Religious Classes other than Christian Orthodox

March 23, 2022, Greece

In the UN Human Rights council's Universal Periodic Review of Greece on April 23rd, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), encouraged Greece to provide alternative religious classes for students who were not Orthodox Christians. They said that there should be a class for all major religions in Greece and the Orthodox Christian class should be optional, as should all the other religious classes. This would increase the religious liberty of all denominations but also that of other Christian religions and especially parents of alternative religions.

WEA Advocacy Officer Challenged Greece's Proselytism Ban

March 23, 2022, Greece

During the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Greece on April 23rd, a World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Advocacy Officer, denounced the Greek law which prohibits proselytization. This law prevents Christian religions or otherwise, from attempting to undermine the religious beliefs of others. Although rarely applied, this law could hinder religious discourse and a Pentecostal was sentenced using this law.

Precious Items Stolen from St. Nicholas Statue in Bari

March 22, 2022, Italy

Unknown thieves broke into the St. Nicholas Basilica of Bari and stole valuable items from the St. Nicolas statue within. They took a book with three silver balls and a cross with some precious stones. From the other hand, they took a golden ring with some stones and an old necklace. This statue has become a symbol of peace in the last weeks, due to the Ukraine war, which made the theft especially malicious. The theft occurred on 22. March.

Pastor Arrested in Mariupol, Ukraine

March 21, 2022, Ukraine

Release International has reported that Alexsander Glushko, the pastor of the Light of the World Evangelical Church of Mariupol, has been arrested by the Russian military. He was believed to have been taken to Dokuchaevsk, which is close to Donetsk, but no further information has been given about his wellbeing. Other pastors homes near Mariupol have been searched and the "hunt for pastors has begun in areas now under Russian control."

No Evidence to Justify Oxford College's Cancellation of Wilberforce Academy

March 21, 2022, United Kingdom

An independent investigation found that there was no substantial evidence for Worcester College's apology and cancellation of the Wilberforce Academy in September of 2021. After hosting this Christian youth conference that seeks to uphold free and considerate debate about controversial issues, this Oxford College said it had received "a number of complaints" and would not hold the event next year. Christian Concern inquired about these complaints, which they had heard nothing of, and upon getting little response, instigated their own investigation.

Pastor Kidnapped by Russian Military in Melitopol, Ukraine

March 19, 2022, Ukraine

Dmitry Bodyu, the American - Ukrainian pastor of the Word of Life Church, was taken from his house in Melitopol, Ukraine by Russian soldiers. His wife Helen explained how 10 soldiers walked into their house, questioned them about their nationality, and then took her husband along with their electronic devices and other documents. This was the second pastor, that we know of, to be abducted by Russian troops.

Stations of the Cross Vandalized in Wettenhausen

March 18, 2022, Germany

Almost all of the Stations of the Cross in Wettenhausen have been violently vandalized by unknown persons on March 18th. The police estimated that the damage was around 150,000 Euros but with the cleanup would probably end up being more. The deliberate attack on sacred Christian symbols demonstrates a complete lack of respect.

Several Anti-Christian Graffitis on Christian's Homes and Workplaces

March 17, 2022, Austria

Around the 8th of March, several Anti-Christian graffitis appeared in Vienna. The home and office of Gerhard Labschütz, a pro-life Catholic, were painted with anti-Christian tags by unknown vandals. The graffitied epithets read: "here lives a Christian fundamentalist" and "abort fundamentalists." Mr Labschütz is also the managing director of the Catholic-based Austrian Cartell Association (ÖCV), the offices that were also targeted by the perpetrators. Similar tags were found outside the offices of two other organisations: "Fairändern" and the "Lebensbewegung" (ÖLB).

Attempted Arson and Theft in Church in Albinatico

March 17, 2022, Italy

In the church of San Leopoldo in Albinatico, a candlestick for votive candles, and the offerings donated to the church, were stolen on 17. March. The thief, also inserted some lighted candles in the candlestick next to the special seats where the electric candles are usually put. When the parish priest Don Paolo Monti entered the church, he found that the lit candle was bending over and catching an electrical candle alight which he said could have started a fire.

St. Bernard Church in Angelmodder Ransacked

March 16, 2022, Germany

The sacristy of the St. Bernhard church in Angelmodder was ransacked by unknown vandals who stole and broke sacred objects. The thieves broke through a window made by the famous artist Johannes Schreiter and stole chalices, destroyed a monstrance, and broke into a safe. The damage and theft of these sacred objects was reported to the police.

USCIRF Warns of Religious Repression in Ukraine

March 16, 2022, Ukraine

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has warned of the religious oppression that Ukraine will experience under Russian control. They have recorded the increasing religious intolerance in Russia over the years and are concerned for the societal consequences that will undoubtedly ensue. Several religious buildings have already been damaged in the shelling along with the arrests of religious leaders and those attending prayer events.

St. Cuthbert's Church Vandalized in Somerset

March 16, 2022, United Kingdom

The police were called after the St. Cuthbert's Church in Wells, Somerset was vandalized on March 16th. A door was damaged and glass was broken but no one has been found yet. After viewing some CCTV footage, the police have a man they would like to question.

Insults against Christians Written on Grenoble Chapel

March 16, 2022, France

The enclosure wall of the Saint-Marie-Saint-Michel Chapel in Grenoble was tagged with hateful messages on March 16th. The inscriptions included the phrase: "Here homophobic racists" with an arrow directed toward the door and where the word "Civitas" was also written. The incident was reported to the police who started an investigation.

Koekelberg Basilica Vandalized for 15 Days

March 15, 2022, Belgium

For the past 15 days, the Koekelberg basilica in Belgium has had cobblestones thrown through its windows by young teenagers. Other vandalism and disrespectful acts have been done at this sacred sight in the past but the recent escalation was evident. The director general, Martine Motteux-Abeloos, regrets how little the police have done and will hold talks with other leaders about potentially closing the sight to the public.

English Schools Transition Pupils without Parents Knowledge

March 15, 2022, United Kingdom

Robin Walker, Schools Minister in England, told the House of Commons' Education Select Committee that schools would continue to teach LGBTQ+ content. This came in response to Conservative MP Miriam Cates who said "you cannot change sex" and that she often got concerns from parents that their children were being transitioned in school. This posses a problem for Christian parents and children who may disagree with such teachings on a religious basis.

Woman Detained in Moscow for Holding Religious Placard

March 15, 2022, Russia

Anastasiya Parshkova was detained but not charged, on March 15th for holding a sign that had: "The 6th commandment: Thou shalt not kill" written on it. She was wearing a headscarf and stood for five minutes outside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior before she was arrested and taken to the Khamovniki police station. She said: "despite my fear, I decided that this must be done."

Signatories of Anti-Conversion Therapy Letter in England Face Discrimination

March 14, 2022, United Kingdom

Evangelical ministers have faced a severe backlash after signing a letter to Liz Truss which expresses their opposition to the governments upcoming conversion therapy ban. Consequentially, they have had to take down the list of signatures which was published on the Ministers' Consultation Response website for fear of more acts of discrimination happening. It had collected 5,000 signatures from ministers and church leaders.

Denying Someone's Preferred Gender could be Criminalised in Scotland

March 14, 2022, United Kingdom

The SNP in Scotland have advocated for legislation that will make it a criminal offence to not "affirm" someone's preferred gender and make it illegal for parents to "refuse to support" their children in taking puberty blockers. This legislation would prevent people from legally holding to their religious beliefs on issues like gender and infringe on parental rights by not allowing parents to educate their children on sexual matters in a way they deem appropriate. The latter would disproportionately affect Christian parents who may have religiously grounded sexual guidelines.

Theft of Sacred Objects in Courcoury

March 14, 2022, France

The Saint-Martin de Tours church in Courcoury was targeted by a thief who stole consecrated hosts on March 14th. The tabernacle was broken into and a lunula, which contained a large consecrated host, was taken. The Bishop of La Rochelle, Mgr Colomb, commented on, "this act of pure hatred and denounced a very serious sacrilege committed against Christ and against his Church". He called in a "new blow of the spear in the side of Christ." An investigation was launched by the police.

Russian Orthodox Church in Oxford Looted

March 12, 2022, United Kingdom

On March 12th, the Russian Orthodox Church of St Nicholas in Oxford was looted by unknown individuals who damaged the holy alter and stole other religious items such as crosses, and altar vessels. They also broke open the church safe and stole a collection of money that was intended for Ukraine. The police were investigating the crime.

Arsonist Burns Church Doors in Lissone

March 10, 2022, Italy

The two wooden side doors of the Sacred Heart of Jesus church in Lissone were set alight by an arsonist in the night of March 10th. The attack looked like the work of "Nerone", someone who has done repeated attacks of a similar nature to churches in the area. Necessary investigations were carried out by the Carabinieri the next day.

Russian Priest Arrested after He Condemns Ukraine Invasion

March 9, 2022, Russia

Rev. Ioann Burdin, a Russian Orthodox priest, was arrested after he gave a speech that condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine. His speech, given in the Karabanovo village, was said to “discredit(ing) the use of the Armed Forces” reported the BBC. His name was also on a public letter signed by 285 Russian Orthodox priests which called for an end to the war.

Next Step in Sweden's Ban of Religious Schools

March 8, 2022, Sweden

The Swedish Minister of Education, Lina Axelsson Kihlblom, announced the next step in the Social Democrat's plan to ban private religious schools. It will impose stricter regulations on schools that require them to report all religious activities and principals will have to pass "democratic conditions" to have their position. These new regulations have been introduced in the "democracy clause" and were justified with the need for "democratic control" of education.

Church Website Suspended for Conversion Therapy Views

March 8, 2022, United Kingdom

The website of the Stanley Road Baptist Church in Morecambe, Lancashire was suspended by its host firm Torrix since the pastor signed an anti-conversion therapy letter. This letter was addressed to Liz Truss, whose governmental department will be dealing with proposed legislation to ban conversion therapy. Matt Fletcher, the Torrix proprietor, said he cannot support anything that opposes the LGBTQ+ movement. Rev. Hewitt commented his sadness for this development, but still expressed gratefulness for the working relationship they had with Torrix.

Plans of Irish Government for Abortion Clinic Safe Zone Limits Freedom of Expression

March 8, 2022, Ireland

Stephen Donnelly, Irish Minister of Health, announced that the government plans to draft legislation regarding safe zones around abortion clinics before the Dáil summer break. This proposed law aims create a 100 meter zone around abortion facilities in which people cannot protest. This will severely restrict peoples freedom to express their beliefs on this issue, especially Christians who tend to hold pro-life views.

Feminists Deface Church in Savoy

March 8, 2022, Italy

On March 8th, the façade of the Santissima Annunziata church in Turin, was defaced with anti - Christian graffiti by feminists during National Women's Day. The floor and steps were covered with purple paint that condemned the "patriarchy" of the church. This act showed an apparent ignorance to the role Christianity has played to improve the rights of women.

Church in Montpellier Repeatedly Tagged with Anti-Christian Slogans

March 7, 2022, France

The St. Bernadette church in Montpellier, has once again been tagged with anti - Christian phrases such as, "the only church that illuminates is the one that burns". There have been a series of vandalistic attacks to this church and churches in the Montpellier area but no one has been identified despite an investigation launched by the national police.

Vandalism at Beverwijk Mennonite Church

March 7, 2022, Netherlands

The Beverwijk Mennonite Church was the victim of a vandalistic attack on March 8th. The intruder succeeded in kicking a chandelier from the ceiling but due to the lack of surveillance, was not caught. This location has also become a drug trafficking sight and cameras would help prevent that as well.

Key for Tabernacle of the St. Joseph Hospital Church in Bensheim Stolen

March 6, 2022, Germany

During the night of March 6th, burglars force their way into the St. Joseph Hospital Church and stole the key to the tabernacle. To do this, they broke through a wooden door and pushed open the door of the sacristy. The tabernacle holds the sacred hosts which shows this was a targeted act.

4 Women in Belarus Detained by Police for Praying

March 3, 2022, Belarus

Four mothers of soldiers were detained for praying for peace in Ukraine at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. They, along with 100 other soldiers' mothers, were attending the regular evening prayer when the officers followed them into the main Orthodox cathedral of the city and after the service, demanded their documents and then took them for questioning. They were taken to the Central District Police Station and were released four hours later.

MLA's Vote in Support of Abortion Bill Despite Public Opposition

March 2, 2022, United Kingdom

MLA's in Northern Ireland voted in support of a bill that will create "safe zones" around abortion clinics despite 98 percent of the 6,412 public submissions expressing strong opposition to it. This proposed legislation, from Green Party leader Clare Bailey, will make it illegal to “influenc[e] a [person seeking an abortion], whether directly or indirectly” within “safe access zones” reported the Right to Life News. Christians who hold pro-life views will find it difficult to freely express them under this proposed legislation.

Father Maksym Kozachyna Killed in Ivankiv, Ukraine

March 2, 2022, Ukraine

Father Maksym Kozachyna, of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, was killed near Ivankiv on March 3rd when the Russian troops were advancing. He was in uniform at the time and an eye witness said he was pulled out of a car and shot. The Russian military has often targeted religious leaders during their invasion.

Perpetrators Despoil and Damage Church in Villach

March 1, 2022, Austria

On March 1st, unknown perpetrators broke into the Villach parish church and tore off the metal decoration of a picture of the Virgin Mary while also stealing five gold plated candlesticks worth several hundred euros. During the police investigation, two metal bowls from the holy water font were also found near the crime scene.

Man Spits on Priest in Bordeaux

February 27, 2022, France

A man, who has been identified by the police and arrested, spat in the face of a priest at the Saint Michel church in Bordeaux. Foreigners had set up stalls inside the church without permission and the police had to intervene. At the exit of the church, a priest was blessing those in the square when a man allegedly spat in his face. The priest has chosen not to press charges due to the church policy of maintaining peace.

PCSC Bill Causes Freedom of Speech Concern

February 25, 2022, United Kingdom

Charity and Faith leaders around the UK have raised freedom of speech concerns in regard to Part 3 of the Policing, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts bill (PCSC). This bill empowers police officers to impose conditions or arrest public demonstrators who cause “serious unease, alarm or distress”, or even “inconvenience” to members of the public. Proposed amendments will remove this part of the bill and await final votes on the 28th of February.

Armed Men Storm Church in Violent Manner

February 25, 2022, Ukraine

Armed men, dressed in military uniforms and balaclavas, broke into the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Mariupol during the administration of a baptism. They physically harmed an employee, a security guard, and the priest; and then took money from the church safe, stole food, and household items. They then concluded their rampage by fleeing in two of the clergies cars. Due to their state of shock, those who observed the act were unable to identify the criminals.

Montpellier Church Vandalised with Tags Inciting Violence

February 25, 2022, France

The parish of Sainte-Bernadette in Montpellier has been graffitied with threatening tags directed at the church and Father Benoît on 25. February. The phrases were mainly intifada and anarchist related and included "the only church that illuminates is the one that burns." Father Benoît was distressed by the act and planned to file a complaint.

Church in Niederndodeleber Vandalised

February 24, 2022, Germany

The church of St. Peter and Paul in Niederndodeleber, Germany was vandalised on February 24. Pastor Martin Zander found "numerous destructions" and smears, reported the Volksstimme as well as paper scattered everywhere. The devastation reflected a lack of respect for religious spaces.

Vases at Alter in Thizy-les-Bourgs Broken

February 24, 2022, France

Several vases at the alter of the Thizy-les-Bourgs church were broken on 24. February. It was not known who committed the act but an investigation was started.

Urn Broken in the Moux-en-Morvan Church

February 24, 2022, France

An urn, used for the exchange of payment for lighting candles, was broken in the Moux-en-Morvan church on February 21st. The contents of the urn were also stolen but it was not known who committed the sacrilegious act.

Napoli Church Defaced with Graffiti for the Second Time

February 23, 2022, Italy

After being restored for only a few days, the outer wall of the Angevin building at the Saint Marta church in Napoli was once again covered with graffiti. Writings offending the church from the first incident had been painted over but new inscriptions were there to replace them on February 23. The community has been very saddened by this vandalism of the historic church.

Church Tagged with Insults Against Priest

February 23, 2022, France

During the night of February 23rd, unknown vandals spray-painted an insult on the side of a church in Curlu, France. The insult was directed towards the parish priest Sylvain Mansart, who commented: "At least I'm not alone in this problem. (...) We comfort each other". Priests in neighbouring churches have received similar abuse. The local police confirmed these claims and are investigating.

Religious Freedom severely restricted in Donbas region

February 23, 2022, Ukraine

The organisation Forum 18 has been monitoring the human rights of Christians and other religious communities in the area of eastern Europe, and they recently published a survey on the situation in the Luhansk region in Ukraine. They state that freedom of religion is severely restricted in the rebel zone occupied by the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), which makes up a third of the Luhansk region. In this area, all Protestant and non-Moscow Patriarchate Orthodox communities are rendered illegal, there are repeated denials of permission to a Catholic priest to live in the region, Evangelical and Catholic literature is being banned and there is an overall fear about discussing these — among other — human rights violations.

16 to 18 Year Old Girls in Spain may no Longer Need Parental Consent to Abort

February 23, 2022, Spain

Irene Montero, Spain's equality minister, has told Congress's Equality Commission that 16 to 18 year old girls should be allowed to access abortion without consulting their parents. This would allow for the daughter of Christian parents to complete an abortion without them knowing or being able to advise her on this life changing event. This change has no set date yet but will greatly affect the lives of minor girls if enacted.

Religious Statue Removal to be Decided in French Court

February 22, 2022, France

Back in 2020, a group called The National Federation for Free Thought requested that The statue of the Virgin Mary, in the village of La Flotte-en-Re France be removed. They claimed it was not in accordance with the separation of church and state. This case has now gone to court and will be decided on March 3rd. The statue was only targeted after it was hit by a car and was later rebuilt identically.

Satanist Tags on Notre-Dame de Coutances Cathedral

February 21, 2022, France

Satanist inscriptions were found on the façade of the Notre-Dame de Coutances Cathedral on the 21st of February. They were painted in black and included the words "I'm back" with a star after it and the number 666, symbolizing the devil. A complaint has been lodged about this hateful attack.

Easter Candle Stolen from Munich Church

February 20, 2022, Germany

An Easter candle was stolen from the Apparition of the Lord Catholic church in Blumenau, Munich. The police were searching for the individual who was wearing an orange hooded sweatshirt and black vest, attire often worn by the Harley rider group. The thief caused 100 Euros of damage.

Man Shouts "Allah Akbar" During Church Service

February 20, 2022, France

A man, who was Caucasian and possibly Chechen, entered the Saint - Gervais church in Avranches during the morning mass on February 20th. He walked around the building shouting "Allah Akbar" while play rap music with his phone. The authorities were notified and began searching for him.

Theft at Sacred Heart Church in Einswarden

February 19, 2022, Germany

In a theft at the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart, candlesticks and holy water holders were stolen by unknown perpetrators. Located in Einswarden, this church and the surrounding land have been bought by the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Consecrated Hosts and Candle Stolen from Church

February 18, 2022, Italy

An unknown thief stole a pyx filled with consecrated hosts and a candle from the San Giovanni Battista in Careggi. Don Marco Fantappiè called the police and an inspection was carried out but few conclusions were made. This was not the first attack against this church and Marco Fantappiè was quite distressed at how little help he has received to prevent sacrilegious acts such as this.

Freedom of Conscience endangered by Belgium's Expansion of Euthanasia Law

February 17, 2022, Belgium

On 17. February, Belgium's Constitutional Court in Brussels advanced amendments that made it illegal for health care institutions to withhold euthanasia on the grounds of faith. This has adversely affected Christian doctors whose faith does not permit this practice. Human Rights experts have expressed concerns over this challenge to freedom of religion and conscience.

TikTok Influencers Desecrate French Church on Viral Video

February 16, 2022, France

Two TikTok influencers, Benjamin Ledig and "Queen Paul", filmed themselves wearing a crop-top and twerking (dancing sexually) in front of a crucifix at the Parisian church of Saint Paul on February 16th. They later posted this video on social media where it received some 20 million views despite it being repeatedly removed. Ledig claims he did it to protest the "homophobia" of the church while "Queen Paul" apologized for his behaviour.

Anti - Christians Graffiti on Church in Velten

February 16, 2022, Germany

The façade of a Protestant church in Velten, was defaced with large amounts of graffiti. Although most of it seemed to be contentless, some phrases read "Satan" or the "Devil is here," giving the act a definite anti - Christian bias. Pastor Reimers has reported the incident and several volunteers have offered to assist with the removal of the paint.

Thrown Rocks Broke Churches Stained Glass Windows Landéda

February 16, 2022, France

The rose stained glass windows of the Saint-Laurent de Tromenec chapel in Landéda were broken by vandals for the second time. Rocks were used to inflict the damage and the openings had to be covered with plexiglass until the glassmaker came. The police compiled a file of these incidents.

Crypt of Church in Flers Covered with Red Paint

February 15, 2022, France

The inside and outside of the Saint-Germain church crypt in Flers, was tagged with red paint and crosses were drawn on 15. February. This was done by an unknown perpetrator who also broke a window to get in, smashed a wheelchair, and knocked a cross to the ground. The sacrilegious crime has been reported and the police are investigating.

Arson at Entrance of Church in Wangen

February 15, 2022, Germany

The wooden staircase in the Evangelical church in Wangen was set on fire by a stranger on February 2nd. It was thought that the arsonist used disinfectant to facilitate the fire but it was still relatively unsuccessful. Pastor Martin Sauer could only shake his head as the material damage, which was manageable, but the emotional damage was devastating. Police were investigating the crime.

Update: 18 Year Old Accused of Arson Attacks on Several Churches in Derby

February 14, 2022, United Kingdom

Johnny Brady, an 18 year old, has been accused of several acts of arson committed in 2020 to several churches and school buildings in Derby, England. The historic church of All Saints was damaged and some schools, including St Mary’s Catholic School, were burned entirely to the ground. He is due to appear in court on March 31.

Extensive Fire Caused by Arson at Church in Glasgow

February 13, 2022, United Kingdom

The Jackson Church of Scotland in Airdrie, a North Lanarkshire town near Glasgow, was deliberately set on fire on the morning of the 13. February. An investigation has been launched by the police, who are treating the fire as arson. According to the police, the fire was started around 3 am and the fire brigade was called around 4 am. The church building will remain closed and services have been suspended, as Kay Gilchrist, the church's reverend announced on the Twitter account of the church.

35 Graves Desecrated in the Ciempozuelos Cemetery in Madrid

February 13, 2022, Spain

In the beginning of February 2022, 35 graves were desecrated in the Ciempozuelos municipal cemetery. The perpetrators stole status of Christ, crucifixes and other metal and copper funerary elements that adorned the tombstones, while some of them were found broken and trampled.

France: Report finds 38% Rise in Anti-Religious Violence

February 10, 2022, France

Initial findings of a report were presented on the 10. February by French MPs Ludovic Mendes and Isabelle Florennes. They were ordered by the French Prime Minister Jean Castex to conduct a report on anti-religious attacks in France. The report found a 38% rise in anti-religious violence since 2019. Of the 1.659 anti-religious incidents in 2021, 857 were against Christians, which makes them the most targeted religion in France.

3 People Charged with Terrorist Attack Against Orthodox Church

February 10, 2022, Greece

Two men and one women were charged with terrorism, endangering life, and damage to property after they threw a Molotov cocktail into the entrance of a Greek Orthodox church. They were expected to be part of a group called Organization Anarchist Action who have done similar attacks in the past. Thankfully this targeted attack caused little damage.

Crucifix and Commemorative Plaques Stolen from Grave in Gouvix

February 9, 2022, France

Four commemorative plaques, a funeral medallion, and a crucifix were stolen from the La Fosse-à-Terre cemetery in Gouvix. It was the grave of a young man who's father, Georges Delannée, found the theft and was heartbroken. He said "this rekindles the pain of a father who lost a child who left too early, in the prime of life." The father has filed a complaint.

Money Stolen and Organ Smashed in Church

February 8, 2022, United Kingdom

Unknown vandals broke into St. Mary's Church in Higham Ferres where they stole money from a large glass jar, scattered the prayer candles, and smashed the organ alter. A crowbar found in a hedge the next day was thought to be used for the ransacking. The act showed a complete disregard for the religious objects in the church.

Decapitated Sculpture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in San Fernando

February 6, 2022, Spain

In the early hours of February 6th an act of vandalism took place in the town of San Fernando Cádiz. The sculpture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, located in the square of the parish of Nuestra Señora de la Oliva, was decapitated. After the attack the sculpture had to be removed from its usual place. The parish, and some municipal political groups alerted the police and asked the authorities to arrest the offenders and compel them to pay for the damages caused.

New Control Mechanism for French Religious Associations to Access Subsidies

February 4, 2022, France

A current tool has been implemented under the french anti-separatism law, which aims at reinforcing "respect of republican principles." This is the Republican Commitment Contract (CER), which was approved in 2020, and it needs to be signed by all associations, including religious ones, to have access to subsidies. While the National Council of Evangelicals (CNEF) and the Protestant Evangelical Committee for Human Dignity (CPDH) welcome the contract that seeks to uphold freedom of association and freedom of conscience, thought and religion, as well as the fight against violence, they are concerned about the practical application and interpretation of these measures by public authorities or administrations, as "some terms could be misinterpreted."

Online Safety Bill could lead to Censorship of Christian teaching

February 4, 2022, United Kingdom

On the 4. February, the UK Government published a press release about strengthening the Online Safety Bill that was drafted back in 2019. While the Bill aims to protect children and internet users from criminal acts, such as sexual harassment, illegal pornography and violence, some MPs are raising concern about other parts of the Bill that could endanger freedom of speech. The drafted Bill could also include the prosecution of what is to be considered "harmful" information and communication, which is a very broad term, and could be used wrongly to target unwanted opinions, such as the conservative Christian teaching.

Karlskirche in Vienna Vandalized for the Second Time in 2022

February 4, 2022, Austria

On the 4th of February, the Karlskirche in Vienna was vandalized by unknown people.

Update: Pro Life Campaigners Could face a Jail Sentence in Spain

February 3, 2022, Spain

New legislation in Spain could mean that people who support or pray in demonstrations outside abortion clinics may be arrested and face a jail sentence of three months to a year. Christians, who are more likely to be involved in this type of protest due to their pro-life convictions, will be targeted if their actions are said to be "offensive, intimidating, or coercive". After being passed in the Congress of Deputies on February 3rd, this bill awaits a vote in the Senate.

School in Flen May Face 10,000 SEK Fine for Prayer

February 1, 2022, Sweden

The Ålidenskolan kindergarten in Flen may be charged a fine of 10,000 SEK (960 euros) if they continue to do a meal time payer in school. They came under scrutiny after an school inspection accused them for having a religious element to their teaching which is not in line with Swedish regulations. This reflects Sweden's goal to remove all religion from their education system.

Remembrance Chapel for Sailors in Cotentin Vandalised

February 1, 2022, France

The chapel of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue (Manche) was once again vandalised when flowers and other objects were taken. This chapel was dedicated to lost sailors at sea and is a sacred place for many. It has now been placed under video surveillance to stop such acts happing in the future.

Catholic Home in Saint-Brieuc Targeted with Anti-Christian Tags

January 30, 2022, France

The car and home façade of the Catholic entrepreneur Sébastien Drouin, were painted with anti - Christian tags such an upside down cross and the number 666, know for its Anitchrist connection. He openly expressed his faith and was the radio host of the local Catholic station RCF. Him and his family unfortunately had to pay for their beliefs and Mr. Drouin posted on Twitter: "Where can we be safe?"

Attempted Attack in the Basilica in Blois

January 29, 2022, France

A man with typical Muslim attire returned to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Trinité in Blois on 29. January after he had prayed to Mecca and been asked to leave. The churchman was concerned by his behaviour an called the police who searched him. The Koran and a long kitchen knife were found attached to his belt at which point he was taken into custody.

Islamist Who Disrupted Funeral Could Have also Painted Swastika on Basilica

January 27, 2022, France

During a funeral on 27. January, a man entered the Saint - Denys Basilica in Argenteuil, shouted "Allah Akbar," and then fled. Moments later, a swastika was found painted on the outside of the church and the acts were thought to be connected. The incident was reported to the police but no one has been caught.

Church in San Teodoro Damaged by Arson Attack

January 26, 2022, Italy

A fire, that broke out in the church of San Teodoro, was suspected to be a deliberate act of arson after the video surveillance was examined. No major damage was noted but the fire started near a statue of Mary and some candles were burned. The deliberate act was being investigated by the Carabinieri.

Swastikas Painted on Church of Melton Mowbray

January 26, 2022, United Kingdom

Swastikas and a Star of David were spray - painted on the St. Mary's Church in Melton Mowbray. Police officers were looking into the vandalistic act and labeled it "religious aggravated graffiti." It came a few days before the Holocaust Memorial Day and a member of the church posted online "To desecrate a House of God seems pretty low."

500 Graves in Houdain Desecrated and Robbed

January 25, 2022, France

In the night of January 1st, 500 graves were robbed and desecrated in the Bois des Tours cemetery, in Houdain. The thieves were after metal objects that they could resell as scrap and the incident was reported to the police. Although they were after monetary gain, the act showed a complete lack of respect for those who were buried there and the religious objects on their graves.

A Clinic Training Course calls the Bible and Christianity "racist"

January 23, 2022, United Kingdom

As reported by Daily Mail on 23. January, a leading mental health clinic in London, Portman Clinic, told a student therapist during a training course that Christianity is a racist religion and that the Bible can be considered racists because it makes a contrast between "darkness" and "light". Amy Gallagher is a 33-year-old nurse, who is preparing to take legal action against this clinic. She will sue the clinic for discrimination against her as a Christian and a white person, and also due to the distress caused through this experience. A crowdfunding campaign has been started to support her on her legal challenge.

Graffiti on Chapel in Piétat by Unknown Vandal

January 23, 2022, France

The word "Ska" was spray-painted in black on the Notre-Dame de chapel in Piétat, France. Ska, is a music genre that originated in 1950s Jamaica and seems to have no relevance to the chapel. Despite this, it was a deliberate act to deface the side of a religious building.

Vandalism of Church Objects in Chaumont

January 23, 2022, France

Vandalism that occurred in 2021, to the Saint-Jean-Baptiste basilica, was finally reported during the general meeting of the Innovatis Basilica association. Burnt papers were found in the entrance to the church and several urns had been damaged. Some candles had also been stolen and it has been suggested that cameras be installed to prevent such actions in the future.

Greek Ministry Report: Anti-Christian Attacks make up approx. 93% of all Anti-Religious Hate Crimes in 2020

January 22, 2022, Greece

Greece’s Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs has released a report showing that between 2015 to 2020 there have been 2,339 incidents of desecration of Greek Orthodox churches. This means these churches are the main target among all religious groups in the country, as they make up approximately 93% of the cases. In 2020 alone, there were 404 attacks against religious spaces: 385 attacks were against Christians, while there were less than 10 attacks to any other religion.

Expensive Chalice Stolen from Church in Poland

January 22, 2022, Poland

A gold plated chalice worth several thousand zlotys was stolen from St. Martin's Church in Kepno, Poland on February 22nd. The chalice was later found in a dumpster and recovered. Investigators guess there were two thieves but they have not been found.

32 Nativity Figures Stolen from Saint-Pierre Church in Palavas-los-Flots

January 21, 2022, France

32 figures were stolen from the nativity scene at the Saint - Pierre church in Palavas - los - Flots on 21. January. Their total value was estimated to be around 300 euros. The visual artist, Marie-Pierre Guilhot, who had compiled the scene was especially saddened by the theft and said: “As a Catholic, you should forgive but here I find it difficult to forgive.

German Evangelical Pastor Receives Death Threats

January 20, 2022, Germany

The police in Germany has communicated that a pastor from Herne, Melanie Jansen, who regularly organises peace prayers on Saturdays (parallel to Covid-19 protests), has received death threats. The State Protection Service is now investigating, as the persons from the two incidents until now were unknown. The Evangelical Church in Rhineland has condemned these threats and have expressed solidarity towards this colleague and "sister in Christ".

Vandals Tagged Church Walls and Door with Blasphemous Words

January 20, 2022, Italy

In Muggio, the façade of the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Castagno was found covered with blasphemous taggs on the 21st of January. The walls and the entrance door of the church were vandalised by unknown perpetrators, with the words "Dio cane" (Dog God). According to the news outlet "Today", the places of worship in the city had been attacked with arson in recent weeks and in the summer. The community was very affected by this incident and volunteers have cleaned the walls.

Arsonist Burns Church Altar in Germany

January 20, 2022, Germany

The Paul Gerhardt Church in Berlin was the victim of an arson attack on the 20. January, which destroyed the altar, an image of Christ and the organ. 30 Firefighters were needed in order to extinguish the fire. The evangelical congregation was shocked by the incident and the pastor, Aljona Hofmann, said: "It strikes at the heart of the church." According to a witness, a man left the church in a hurry shortly before the fire started, and at this time the church was normally closed. The police are investigating.

France: Minister of Interior Releases 4 Million Euro Budget to protect Places of Worship

January 20, 2022, France

The minister of interior in France, Gérald Darmanin, has announced a four million euro budget to secure places of worship after a series of acts of vandalism to churches. In relation to this, the philosopher and historian, Remi Brague, said in an interview that attacking the Catholic Church has become very easy. He also sees it as a way of weakening the whole country and points out that the solution to improve the security of Churches is not only financial. The minister plans to finance video surveillance in particular. 

Catholic Church Vandalised with Dog Manure for several Months

January 20, 2022, Germany

The police have found a suspect, who might be responsible for the vandalism attacks that endured the Catholic church St. Aegidius for several months since October 2021. The man had smeared dog excrement on the walls of the church or left dog excrement at the entrance of the church almost every week. The pastor Anrul Lourdu commented: "We are speechless and meanwhile also powerless. It is simply undignified, unattractive and inhumane what is happening."

Outer Walls of Church in Napoli Marred by Fire

January 18, 2022, Italy

On January 18th, the outer walls of the Sant'Eligio Church in Piazza Mercato, Naples, were blackened by a fire lit by youths from the city. The police quickly arrived at the scene but not before the walls had been damaged.

Church Front Set Alight in Muggiò

January 18, 2022, Italy

The doormat of the Santa Giuliana church in Muggiò was set alight by unknow vandals on 18. January. The main doors of the historic 13th century church were blackened by the flames. This act of arson was obviously done in contempt of the church.

Man Tears Host into Pieces During Mass

January 16, 2022, France

On the 16. January, in the parish of Saint-Esprit in Paris during Mass, a man went to receive Communion, but instead, he took the Host and tore it into pieces and threw it to the ground. The Father Simón Fornier de Violeta, one of the parish vicars, was distributing Communion when this man arrived and stretched out his hand. As the priest tried to ask him about this profanation, he replied "For Nadia", and went away. The priest said: "The act was thought out, premeditated." He commented that the man had some injuries in his hands, like "people who consume drugs or drink too much."