All cases

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.

Property Damage and Theft in St. Gallen Church

February 20, 2022, Switzerland

A church in St. Gallen was targeted by thieves who caused property damage to 1000 Swiss francs in the process of stealing a small amount of cash on the 20th of February. They forced their way through a window and once inside, searched rooms and broke open several containers. The case was recorded by the police.

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."

France: Ban on "Conversion Therapy" Does Not Target Abusers but Breaches Parental Rights

January 25, 2022, France

On January 25, the French National Assembly unanimously approved a "conversion therapy" law, introducing prison sentences and high fines for those convicted of trying to change the sexual orientation or identity of LGBT+ people. Whereas the abusive practices mentioned in the law have never occurred in France, the broadly written law does not mention conversion therapy organizations or possible perpetrators, but it prohibits parents from refusing hormonal therapies or even questioning their children about their doubts about their identity. A Child psychiatrist, Christian Flavigny, warned that this law will hinder any reflection on children in deep distress and disqualify the parent-child bond.

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."

Police Are Investigating Arson to Dundee Church

January 15, 2022, United Kingdom

In Dundee, Scotland, the St Luke’s Parish Church was the victim of an arson attack on the 15. January. The crew that extinguished the fire found that someone had set alight rubbish around 4 pm, according to the police. Also, neighbours said there have been issues with teenagers accessing the grounds of the former church.

Polish Court Rejects Appeal for LGBTQ Acquittal

January 12, 2022, Poland

The Plock court in Poland has finally rejected the prosecutions appeal after three pro-LGBTQ women were acquitted in March of 2021. They had been distributing posters of the Virgin May with a rainbow halo on her head and were prosecuted for "offending religious beliefs." The sentence would have been up to two years but the offence was not deemed severe enough.

Tabernacle Broken in Romainville

January 11, 2022, France

Vandals wrecked the church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois in Romainville on December 11th. The Diocese wrote in a press release, "a trunk was torn off, the tabernacle was fractured, the sound equipment, stolen and the cupboards of the sacristy, stripped of several sacred vases". This act of desecration expressed a total lack of respect for these religious symbols.

Hundreds of Hosts Stolen from Saint-Pierre Church

January 10, 2022, France

Thieves broke through the stained-glass windows of the Saint-Pierre Church in Bondy to desecrate the tabernacle and steal hundreds of hosts. This act of desecration showed intense disrespect for some of the most sacred objects in the Catholic church. Father Jocelyn Petitfils explains that the tabernacle is "the most venerable place in the church, where the consecrated hosts are stored”.

Attempted Arson at Bakum Church

January 10, 2022, Germany

Between the 8th and the 10th of January, unknown perpetrators made an arson attack at the St.-Johannes-Baptist-Church in Bakum. According to the police, the fire was started on a paper and it damaged one table. The fire smoke also damaged the walls. The damage amounts to approx. 200 Euro. The police is now investigating and requesting clues from eye-witnesses.

Crucifix Stolen from Church During Funeral

January 10, 2022, France

A repeat thief stole a wooden crucifix off the condolence table at the Saint-Nicolas de Port Basilica near Dombasle, France. The absence of the liturgical piece was noticed shortly after the funeral had ended and upon viewing the footage from the nearby surveillance cameras, the police identified the thief to be Phillipe Languedoc. He has been in prison for the past 38 years for other offences and now will spend 12 more months behind bars for this crime. The lack of respect for religious sentiments was evident in the incident.

Obscene Phrases Written on Fabriano Church

January 9, 2022, Italy

The front facade of the Church of Our Lady of Grace in Via Conce, was defaced with epithets written in spray paint on 1. January. Police examined footage of the surrounding area in search of the vandals but no one has been arrested.

Windows of Bouvignes Church Broken

January 9, 2022, Belgium

On 9. January, the stained glass windows of the Bouvignes church were smashed in. Father Jean-Baptiste Raty labelled the act: "gratuitous vandalism".

Karlskirche in Vienna Tagged Again by Unknown Vandals

January 8, 2022, Austria

On the night of the 7. to 8. January, the historical Karlskirche in Vienna was tagged with red paint by unknown vandals. Among the symbols, there were blasphemous drawings, anarchist and communist symbols. Johannes Pasquali, a Viennese politician, demanded that security cameras be installed to protect the church. These attacks and vandalism have been repetitive for some months.

Theft of Money and Consecrated Hosts in Vitry-sur-Seine

January 7, 2022, France

In the night of January 6th, unknown persons broke into the Saint-Germain church of Vitry-sur-Seine. There, they broke open the three tabernacles and took the ciborium with the consecrated hosts as well as stealing some money donated by the parishioners. The desecration of the hosts showed their malignant intent.

Evangelical Dean Receives Several Threats For his Views

January 7, 2022, Germany

The Dean of the Evangelical Church has received several anonymous threatening letters due to the vaccination campaign in Ulm Minster. These letters criticise vaccinations and the role played by the Dean in it.No one close or familiar to the Dean is considered a suspect, as the details of the letter demonstrated a lack of knowledge regarding the church's internal procedures and even the address the letter was sent to was incorrect.

Statue of the Virgin Mary destroyed in Poland

January 7, 2022, Poland

A statue of the Virgin Mary was torn apart and a local chapel destroyed in Sikorzyna, Poland, as reported on the 7th of January. The four perpetrators have been arrested and will be judged accordingly. The Fidei Defensor Monitoring Center for Christianophobia stated that it "will intervene to bring the perpetrators to justice".

Six Church Statues Decapitated in Poitiers

January 6, 2022, France

On January 6th, six statues were found decapitated in the church of Sainte-Thérèse in Poitiers. The police have confirmed that the vandalism

Repetitive Burglary in Church

January 6, 2022, Germany

Church on Hiddensee Island was sacked for the second time within only a few weeks. Money was stolen from the donation containers, with a total plundering and property damage estimated at around 600€. Nearly a month before, unknown thieves had broken into the antechamber of the church, stealing the money saved in a wooden donation chest.

Vandals Desecrate Tombstones at Cemetery

January 6, 2022, Italy

On January 6th, unknown vandals raided cooper vases and bouquets of flowers were found torn apart on the floor. A second theft was recorded in fifteen days in the Cemetery of Ponticelli. These acts of vandalism were recorded both in the chapel of Sant'Anna and in the municipal hypogeum located in the most recent zone of construction of the Ponticelli Cemetery.

Burglary in the Church of Santa Maria Assunta

January 6, 2022, Italy

A theft occurred on the 6. January during the Catholic celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord. Unknown vandals took advantage of the absence of people and broke into the Church of Santa Maria Assunta by breaking the glass of the sacristy. A music box was stolen, commonly used by the city choirs to animate celebrations in the Church. The police were immediately alerted and began the investigations to find the authors of this theft. Both the members of the choir and the parish priest Don Francesco Scarin expressed deep regret for this theft.

UPDATE: Catholic Nurse Wins Discrimination and Harassment Case

January 5, 2022, United Kingdom

Mary Onuoha was constructively dismissed in 2020 from the Croydon NHS Trust Hospital in London for wearing a golden cross necklace. She now has won the case against her unfair dismissal for discrimination and harassment, with the help of the Christian Legal Center, as it was communicated on 5. January. The Hospital had said her necklace was "too visible" and posed a ‘risk of injury or infection’, but the ruling found out that other medical staff wore jewellery, religious attire and badges, and that this was "widely tolerated". The ruling declared the dismissal of Mrs Onuoha discriminatory and arbitrary, and recognized her right to religious freedom, such as wearing a cross necklace.

Saarburg Church Heavily Desecrated and Vandalised

January 5, 2022, Germany

Unknown vandals broke through the door of the Protestant church on the Schlossberg in Saarburg, Germany, on January 5th. The perpetrators urinated in the church and left vomit and cigarette ashes. This disrespectful act was the second crime in the church after candlesticks had been stolen the previous year.

Theft and Damage of Liturgical Objects in France

January 5, 2022, France

Sacred objects in the Saint-Symphorien church in Genouilly, were damaged and taken by unknown thieves. They stole the liturgical piece that displays the host, and after breaking through the tabernacle door, took two ciboriums that hold the host. Michel Legendre, the mayor of the commune, plans to file a complaint about this disrespectful act.

Arson: Molotov Cocktail Thrown at Church

January 5, 2022, Netherlands

On New Year's Eve, a Molotov cocktail was hurled at Arnhem's Saint Nicholas Church starting a fire. Jan van Schuylenburg, who is a church volunteer, was soon at the scene and put the fire out. There is footage of the cocktail being thrown, which will help with the prosecution, and Jan "think(s) it was an attack".

Unknown Man Punches Priest During Mass

January 3, 2022, Slovakia

A video was posted on the 3rd of January, which shows how a man approached a Greek Catholic priest during Mass and punched him in the arm. The man was wearing a jacket with clearly read "F**k your God" and was rapidly taken away by other men, who reacted to the attack. The incident took place in the church of Pavel Petr Gojdic and Blessed Vasyl Hopko in Bardejov. After the attack, the 26-year-old priest asked the congregation to pray for his aggressor and declared forgiveness for him. The man was detained by the police and could face up to 3 years of prison.

Presbyterian Church in Creutzwald Vandalised

January 3, 2022, France

The Presbyterian church in Creutzwald was severely vandalised by unknown criminals. The lights, various pots, mailbox, and shutter were all damaged by fire crackers and the questioning angel, placed at the top of the crib, was removed of its head and the donations gone. For fear of more acts like this, the church has reduced its visiting hours.

Bomb Detonates at Greek Church on New Year's Eve

January 1, 2022, Greece

An explosion caused by unknown perpetrators occurred outside the Church of St. Paul in Athens at about 12:30 AM on New Year's, as reported by Protothema.gr. The explosion was caused by ten gas canisters placed outside the church, which caused minor material damage, such as blackened spots on the church's facade. A similar event took place in 2018, where two people were wounded. The police are investigating the attack.

Unknown Vandals destroy Statue of Christ

January 1, 2022, France

On the 1st of January, the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Saint-Porchaire Church, was thrown to the ground and destroyed, according to a witness. An investigation has been opened by the police and two men might have been the perpetrators. There are no suspects for the time being and a complaint has been filed.

Lecce: Theft of the Baby Jesus Figure

December 31, 2021, Italy

In Lecce, the baby boy from the large nativity scene set up in Piazza del Duomo was stolen, as reported on the 31st of December. Unknown perpetrators stole the statue of baby Jesus during the night. It was placed in the center of the Nativity scene in front of the cathedral church. This apparently happens every year, which affects the people of Lecce and the curia. The police are working to see if there is any footage from security cameras to identify the thieves.

Fire at St. Nicholaus Church on New Year's Eve treated as Arson

December 31, 2021, Switzerland

A big fire broke out in the St. Nicholaus Church in Hofstetten on the evening of the 31. December and it is being investigated for arson. The police were alerted and they, together with firefighters, rushed to the Catholic church to extinguish the fire, which took several brigades. It has left massive damage to the church, including the organ and the interior of the church. The damage is likely to amount to several 100,000 francs. There have been no injuries, but the police is running an investigation and asking for witnesses. According to the interim parish president, Georg Sigfrist, unknown vandals had destroyed the nativity scene inside the church shortly before the fire broke out.

Jewels and Offerings Stolen From Mary Image

December 31, 2021, Italy

In Taranto, the jewels and offerings that the parish people left to the icon of "Our Lady of Health" in her shrine have been stolen, as reported on the 31st of December. Monsignor Emanuele Ferro, spokesman for archbishop Filippo Santoro reported this to the media.

Christ Child Theft in Modling Nativity

December 31, 2021, Austria

The Christ Child figurine was stolen from a nativity scene in the Herz-Jesu parish in Modling. It was over fifty years old and had little monetary value so the Vicariate Councillor & Pastoral Assistant Alexandra Kommer expects it was done as a prank adding: "Who does something like that?" The police started an investigation to find the thieves.

Vandalism at St. Blasius Parish

December 31, 2021, Germany

On New Year's Eve, an unknown hooligan ripped a lamp in the square of the St. Blasius church in Balve out of its concrete base. The church council was offering a 500 euro reward to anyone who could provide information about the perpetrator.

Theft of Figures from Nativity Scene in Enzesfel

December 31, 2021, Austria

A bold theft of three kings and some sheep was carried out on on New Years Eve from the "Grödner nativity scene" in the Enzesfeld parish church by a unidentified man. Once video surveillance was viewed, the police saw the theft occur but the absence of the figures was only noticed by pastor Pastor Krzysztof Szczesny on January 7th. The 140 year old scene which is put up every year has had to be dismantled for fear of further thefts.

Court Sentences Couple, after Church Vandalism in Somme

December 31, 2021, France

A couple who severely vandalized a church in Somme on New Years Eve 2021, were sentenced to pay 1,870 euros to the municipality to compensate for the damage. Although intoxicated, the court still found them responsible for the damage caused. They broke down the door of the church and once inside, lit candles, overturned items, and stole several objects including a monstrance.