MP Pävi Räsänen is facing three criminal charges for alleged hate speech brought against her by the Finnish Prosecutor General. This is not the first time MP Räsänen is being investigated for hate speech by the police but the first time she is confronted with criminal charges. The medical doctor, mother of five, and grandmother of six is accused of having engaged in “hate speech” for publicly voicing her opinion on marriage and human sexuality in a 2004 pamphlet, for comments made on a 2018 TV show and, most recently, a tweet directed at her church leadership. The Prosecutor General considers that Räsänen's statements are likely to cause intolerance, contempt and hatred towards homosexuals. The charges will be heard later at the Helsinki District Court.
The priest's car, the church façade and the surveillance cameras of the church of Gussago, Franciacorta, were vandalised the night before 26 April. The perpetrators were a group of youths who had been celebrating frequently during services, next to the church the days before. After the parish priest Don Adriano Dabellani complained and called the carabinieri, vandalistic acts were perpetrated in the following nights, probably in revenge. The vandals wrote blasphemies on the priest's car, as well as on the façade of the church. Police are investigating.
On 19 April, in front of the Polish Church of the Assumption at 'Concorde' in Paris, the bust of St John Paul II was vandalised . An unknown perpetrator covered the bust with red paint. Father Paweł Witkowski mentioned the great merits and achievements of John Paul II, who "certainly did not deserve such treatment". The case is being investigated by the police.
For the second time in a month, the church of Lazzaretto in Golasecca has been vandalised. This time the perpetrators damaged the door and vandalised the interior. Unknown persons had already broken into the small sacred building on 21 March, at which time the parish priest had filed a complaint with the Carabinieri. The church of Saints Simon and Judas is located in the woods near the village. The police are investigating.
On the afternoon of 15 April, a fire was set at the door of the church of Saints Jacopo and Filippo in Montecatini Alto. The door was partially destroyed. The fire brigade and the Carabinieri intervened right away. So far, there seem to be no direct witnesses to the arson, which can be safely assumed. The police are investigating.
A woman vandalised sacred objects in the sanctuary of the Maxkirche in Düsseldorf between 12 and 16 April. The perpetrator threw candles and altar cloths on the floor. The congregation is shocked at the extent of the devastation. The city Deacon, Frank Heidkamp, said: "An adult woman threw candles, candlesticks, floral arrangements, altar cloths and sacrificial candles on the floor during normal opening hours last week and obviously caused this devastation with wanton intent." The case was recorded on a security camera and has already been handed over to the police, who is now investigating.
Vandals attacked the parish cemetery in Mosina during the night of 11 to 12 April. Broken candles and other damages were found. The case was also investigated by the police, who have already arrested one person. The city police also found a vandalised car in a nearby car park.
In Höxter, unknown perpetrators vandalised the church of St. Anna on 11 April. Inside the church they destroyed the ornamental organ pipes. The vandals also lit candles, spread matches on the floor and left two notes with inscriptions. The damage to property amounts to 1.000€. The incident was reported to the police.
After red-light parties with prostitutes were held in the Cassino cemetery, the local church officials felt compelled to return sanctity to the desecrated place and rededicate the cemetery. "This rite of reparation", the diocese said, "became necessary as a result of the recent judicial investigation of the management of the municipal cemetery, which revealed serious acts that qualify as desecration of the bodies. In the name of the Church and representing the entire community of Setina, we went to the cemetery, prayed for the deceased buried there and renewed the rite of blessing the cemetery as an act of reparation for the desecration and sacrilege committed."
A fire broke out in the empty church of St. Mary's Assumption in Gelsenkirchen on the evening of Easter Monday, 5 April. The fire brigade was on the scene with 80 emergency personnel. The fire started inside the building and had broken out into the sacristy. From there, the fire spread to the nave and smoke came out of the roof. While the cause of the fire was initially completely unclear, the police announced the following day that "deliberate arson is to be assumed".
On the night of Easter Sunday, thieves gained entry into the Église Saint-Joseph des Nations church in Paris. They escaped with the proceeds of the collection, two sacred vessels and a consecrated host. According to Aleteia, “the thieves took away the large chest containing the proceeds of Easter collections, three (empty) boxes and two ciboriums that they located by forcing the doors of the tabernacle. The hosts were found on the altar tablecloth, while the large host used for adoration was taken away by the vandals. The police are investigating.
On the night of Easter Sunday, April 4th, unknown perpetrators tagged the facade of the town parish church in Aichach with an insulting and stereotyping slogan. In the morning, the sacristan reported the damage to property to the police. The police are investigating.
In the days immediately before Easter, the parish of Saints Leo and Nicholas in the town of Scalo in the Gallo D'Oro area was targeted. During the night, unknown persons broke into the church through a smashed window and stole from the church interior only a few coins that were kept in the offertory. They also broke open a door and stole a loudspeaker. The police are investigating.
Three unknown, alcoholised young Muslim men have disturbed the Easter Vigil service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church "Zum Heiligen Geist" in Nidda, Central Hesse. According to the church congregation, they repeatedly attacked worshippers (especially children and teenagers) and shouted "There is only one God, and that is Allah" and "Allah is the greatest". The unknown perpetrators had already insulted some of the worshippers outside the church and even filmed them. The perpetrators were asked to leave numerous times, also because they did not wear masks but refused to do so. The State Security Service has started an investigation for disturbing the exercise of religion.
On the 2nd of April posters explicitly attacking the Catholic Church and mocking the holy cross were hung on the door of the Polish House in Bydgoszcz. The Catholic House in Bydgoszcz, also called the Polish House, is a historic public building used as a place of activity by Catholic organisations and associations in Bydgoszcz. The unknown perpetrators also left the blasphemous inscription: "The secret of faith - cars and dollars". The holy cross, The incident was reported by the church authorities to the city police.
On charges of violating COVID-19 rules, police in the UK have interrupted up a Good Friday service celebrated at the Roman Catholic Christ the King Church in London. Police also threatened to fine each person sitting in the pews $280. According to the British Independent newspaper, churches are allowed to hold services during the lockdown in England with no limit on the number of parishioners as long as the congregation adheres to social distancing and wears masks. The church rejected the police claims, saying in a statement, "We believe, however, that the police brutally exceeded their powers by issuing their warrant for no good reason, as all government requirements were met."
Far-left groups in Poland are proud to show themselves profaning the Church of the Holy Saviour in the centre of Warsaw on social media. Local anarchists lit flares in front of the entrance to the temple and hung a banner with vulgar inscription on the scaffolding. The assault took place on the afternoon of March 31st. The far-left in Poland seems to enjoys an impunity. This is evidenced by the minimal reaction of the judiciary to the series of provocations, desecrations and attacks carried out against Catholic churches since October 2020. According to the TVP Info portal, the recent attack did not cause any material losses, and no one was physically harmed. Nevertheless, the series of incidents strongly accentuated the symbolic dimension of these acts.
On 31 March, unknown persons caused damage amounting to several thousand Euros at the Servite Church in Innsbruck. According to the police, the perpetrators destroyed several objects between 11.25 a.m. and 11.55 a.m. that day. They also contaminated the premises. The police are investigating.
On March 28th, the church of St. Peter in Linz was severely damaged by a fire. According to the church's parish priest, the fire was set inside a chapel near the wooden altar. Despite early attempts to extinguish the fire, the wooden altar was destroyed and a statue of the Virgin Mary was damaged. The next day the police reported that a book commemorating the dead, which was lying on a side table, had been purposefully set on fire. Since the fire did not pose a serious threat to any person, the police stated they would only investigating for damage to property. The damage amounts to around €80,000.
After a fire broke out at a church in Wokingham on 26 March, the police arrested a 28-year-old man suspected of arson. The police was called at around 3pm after the fire was reported.
One of the five chapels of the Church of the Crosses in Foggia was smeared with blue paint. One pillar was defaced with a phallic symbol, now covered by a white cloth. The other pillars were sprayed with conspicuous and incomprehensible signs. Other writings were found on the ground of the chapel and on the pavement. The police is investigating.
During the night of March 25th, several young people threw stones at Father Ioan's car. The car was parked in Via Melzi in Magenta, near the church of San Rocco, where the Orthodox community is based. There are yet no clear indicators for the motivation of this crime. The police is investigating.
Unknown perpetrators threw a flammable object through a smashed window of a side door into the St. Bernhard Church in Baden-Baden during the night of 25 March. According to the police, heavy smoke developed and spread into the church interior. In addition, the perpetrators smeared a two-by-two-metre sign on the side wall of the church, which, according to the parish priest's interpretation, could represent a Jewish Star of David. The police are investigating.
On March 23rd, the municipal police received a report that gravestones had been damaged at the cemetery in Olsztyn. A total of 201 graves were vandalised. A few hours after the report, the police arrested a 38-year-old man. The man confessed the crime of insulting a gravesite in connection with damage to property.
On 23 March, the caretaker of the Catholic church in Clarens discovered broken glass and noticed that the piece of cartilage of the parish's patron saint, Saint Theresa of Lisieux, had been stolen from a statue. The chairman of the parish council says: "Materially, there's a bit of a market for relics, but I'm more inclined to think it was sacrilege." The police is investigating.
On March 22, the chapel of the Saint-Louis Hospital in La Rochelle got severely vandalised and desecrated. "When I knelt down at the altar to begin my prayer, I noticed that something was wrong," explained the chaplain. He noticed that the altar cloths were stained with a yellow liquid and that in front of one of the side chapels an imposing plaster statue of Christ was "pulverised". Matches and a cigarette butts that were found at the scene indicate that the perpetrators tried to set fire to the chapel. The police is investigating.
A Catholic priest in Ireland has been fined 500 Euros because he did not close the doors to his church while we was celebrating mass, so people would not be able join the church service. Due to government health measures, public religious services in the country have been suspended since 7 October 2020. In a parish newsletter, Father P.J. Hughes wrote: “Next Sunday marks the journey of Holy Week. It is hard to believe that for a second year people cannot come to take part in the ceremonies of Holy Week. Despite the size of the church and the holy place that it is because of the presence of Jesus in the Holy Tabernacle, the church has been deemed a hot spot for the spread of the virus by the gardaí.”
During the night of March 20th, unknown perpetrators smashed a window of the Church of Santa Maria della Speranza in Catanzaro by throwing stones against it. According to Mayor Sergio Abraham, the vandalism "strikes directly at the heart of the neighbourhood church, which is a landmark for all residents". The police is investigating.
Unknown persons destroyed windows at the Sacred Heart Church in Singen probably on the weekend of 19-21 March. Since the windows are leaded glass windows, the destruction causes much more financial damage than normal windows. According to the church's pastor, the vandalism is not an isolated case, as the church has been the victim of repeated attacks recently. The police is investigating.
On march 20th, two perpetrators vandalised the interior of a small church in the Saint Isidore district, they also stole several consecrated objects. A few hours later the police arrested the perpetrators with the help of public video recordings. Another incident occurred in parallel at the Basilica of Notre Dame, the church where three Christians were killed by an Islamic Terrorist in October 2020. During this incident a perpetrator, who was later identified and arrested by the police, had praised the terrorist massacre during holy mass.
On 20 March, a rave party took place in the Armenian monastery of Sourp Magar in northern Cyprus, which was founded in the 11th century and has been empty since 1974. Although the rave party took place several weeks ago, it only became known this week through a video. The US Ambassador to Cyprus, Judith Garber, condemned the rave party: "The US Embassy strongly condemns the abuse of the Armenian Monastery of Saint Magar. Freedom of worship is a fundamental value and we join religious leaders in calling for all places of worship, whether in use or not, to be protected from abuse, vandalism and desecration."
An act of vandalism and property damage amounting to several thousand Euros, occurred at a church in Rheinstraße on 22 March. Unknown perpetrators broke into the unlocked place of worship and threw hymn books and brochures around. The church organ was also damaged. The police is investigating.
Unknown perpetrators rioted in St George's Church in Freistett and damaged the valuable organ. On 20 March, unknown persons entered the open church unnoticed and caused damage amounting to several thousand Euros. Individual church brochures, hymn books and pens were scattered on the floor, the lid from the baptismal font was placed on the altar, the permanent candles extinguished, electricity plugs pulled and the confirmation and baptism fish for good wishes torn. "The perpetrators have (also) wilfully damaged the organ," regretted the church's pastor. CCTV was now installed. The police are investigating.
During the night of March 19th, unknown persons attempted to set fire to the vestibule of the Protestant church in Glonn. According to the police, flyers and other informational leaflets were set on fire. The entrance door, a side table and a carpet were burnt, but the fire did not spread to the whole church. The caused property damage is estimated at about 2.500 Euros.
The wooden church in Titan, Bucharest was vandalised by a radical Left group during the night of March 18th. Volunteers from the congregation discovered the damage when they opened the church the next morning. The outside walls of the wooden church were tagged with inscriptions such as "BLM" and "Be Gay do crime", which also covered the icons. BLM is short for Black Lives Matter, the movement in the United States. According to spokesperson of the Romanian Patriarchate, Vasile Bănescus, the act is just the latest example in a long line of violent acts dictated and perpetuated by neo-Marxism.
Unknown perpetrators have vandalised the facade of the parish church in Kożuchów. A threatening slogan in Spanish was tagged on the wall "The only church that lights up is the one that burns". The perpetrators face a sentence of up to five years in prison for destroying property. The police is investigating.
On the evening of March 15th, unknown perpetrators broke into the Greek Orthodox Church of Gödöllő. The perpetrators then set fire to the pews and sprayed an icon with flammable material. Neighbours noticed the fire and immediately alerted the fire brigade. The parish priest described the vandalism as a clearly anti-Christian act and said that damage the vandals caused is estimated to be around 2.5 million HUF. The police is investigating.
On March 14th, unknown persons smashed a church window and knocked over a barrel of gravel in Bielefeld. Police officers were informed and found a broken window and an overturned barrel with gravel. According to current information, the window was broken with two beer bottles. The police is now looking for witnesses.
In the early hours of March 13th, vandals smeared gravestones at a cemetery in Cork. The perpetrators sprayed headstones at St Mary and St John Church in Ballincollig with grafitti. In addition, stones were moved and knocked over. Fianna Fáil councillor Colm Kelleher described the scenes at the cemetery as: "This is someone's family member and for their final resting place to be desecrated in a way like this, it is absolutely disgusting," he said. The police is investigating and confirmed to the Irish Examiner that no arrests have yet been made.
On March 10th, a group of anti-capitalist feminists sprayed the church of St. Leu-Saint-Gilles in Paris with the following inscriptions: "Nik tout", "Macron in the middle", "Prisons in flames", "anti-capitalist feminists" or "eat my period on your bolo noodle". The anarchist symbol (a circled A) has also been spray-painted on the walls. The Federation of Young Catholics FIDE commented on their Twitter account: "We will never be silent in the face of the attack, the desecration." This case is one in a series of increased vandalistic attacks against churches and Christian buildings in France.
On 10 March, unknown perpetrators vandalised the cemetery of a church in Barnet, knocking over gravestones and breaking them apart. Now additional surveillance cameras are to be installed to deter future perpetrators. The police is investigating.
On the evening of March 9th, a masked vandal scrawled the words "won" and three sixes on the walls of the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Opole-Gosławice. The parish is asking for help in identifying the perpetrators and informs that it will hand the case over to the police.
MPs in Westminster Hall debated a petition calling for the criminalisation of "conversion therapy" in England and Wales on March 8th. The government has indicated that it considers "conversion therapy" to be extremism. Christians in the UK fear that the criminalisation could restrict religious freedom, which is why the Evangelical Alliance now wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, saying that the ban could "place church leaders at risk of prosecution" but also limit the freedom of people seeking pastoral advise in this matter. It is possible that the LGBT activists deliberately chose a small format in Westminster Hall to avoid opposition in parliament.
In reference to International Women's Day on 8 March, unknown perpetrators spray painted the main portal of the Catholic Church of St. Mary's Conception in Wuppertal, criticising the "patriarchal system" and the "unequal treatment of women". Some of the symbols used in the left-wing extremist scene are also found on house fronts and garages in the surroundings. Chaplain Tobias Menke of the Catholic parish community Wuppertaler Westen commented: "Since the wooden parts and fittings of our portal were also sprayed, the removal will be very costly." "This is quite massive damage to property." The police is investigating.
Last Friday, March 5th, unknown perpetrators vandalised a cemetery in Dryżykowa, Zawiercie. Decorative crosses from about 30 gravestones and images of Jesus Christ were stolen. According to the spokeswoman of the Zawiercie district police, they have received three reports of vandalism and theft so far. The police is investigating.
While supermarkets and hardware stores remained open under security measures during Easter, Christians in Ireland were unable to attend religious services for their biggest celebration, as churches, unlike public transport, were deemed dangerous. The restrictions on religious freedom adopted by the Irish government are those of the greatest magnitude compared to other European states. For violating the ban on worship or visiting churches, believers can be fined or imprisoned for up to six months. ADF International has now challenged the worship ban in court, following a successful challenge to a similar ban in Scotland.
On the evening of March 2nd, a group of youths attempted to break into the church and desecrate the shrine of Our Lady of Myślenice. After failing to do so, they began vandalising the area around the shrine and damaging the epitaph on the façade with a bottle, which was recorded by CCTV cameras. The spokesman for the Krakow Curia, Father Łukasz Michalczewski, explained that the attack was not random, as the perpetrators recorded the incident with a mobile phone. The case is being investigated by the police.
On the night of March 3rd, St Elisabeth's Church in Berlin-Schöneberg was attacked with paint for the third time by pro-choice activists. The perpetrators sprayed slogans with "My body, My choice" on the church walls to the right and left of the main portal. Although the perpetrators are not yet known, the attack is in line with two very similar attacks last year, after which there were letters of confession from a left-wing extremist pro-choice group. For this reason it is assumed that the same group is responsible for the crime occurring this year. The damage amounts to about 4000€, which the parish has to pay for itself. The police is investigating.
On the morning of March 1st, the Church of Sant'Agostino in Corleone was attacked by unknown vandals. The perpetrators set fire to the entrance door of the church. The fire brigade immediately intervened and extinguished the fire to prevent greater damage to the 15th century church. The police is investigating.
Unknown perpetrators stole two monstrances and a paten from the parish church of St. Konrad and Elisabeth in Freiburg during the night of February 26th. According to the police, the perpetrators broke open the outer door and got inside the church, where three religious objects, two valuable monstrances and a gold-plated paten, were stolen. The damage caused by the theft amounts to about 7,000 euros. According to Father Frank Prestel, the theft of the monstrances and the paten had damaged "the heart of the Eucharist" and the crime was part of a series of recent burglaries in churches in the area. The police is investigating.
Recent figures show that Catholics are the most common victims of religious prejudice and hate crime in Scotland. 42% of religiously motivated hate crimes are perpetrated against Catholics, compared to 26% against Muslims and 10% against Protestants. In contrast, Scottish Government figures show that racially-motivated hate crimes have fallen by 20% between 2014-15 and 2019-20. At the same time, the hate crime rate against transgender persons doubled in number. Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie expressed that hate crime is an "under-reported offence", which means that victims "can be targeted on numerous occasions before they report to our officers".
On February 26th, three youths vandalised the Church of Our Lady of Fatima in Aranova. The three perpetrators entered the church, set fire to the canopy and damaged the lectern. Local politicians described this as a very serious act that desecrated a sacred place of great value for all people who profess the Catholic faith and all those who believe in freedom of worship.
The Spanish authorities still maintain severe restrictions on public meetings and also religious services. In late February it was officially announced that public marches with up to 500 participants will be allowed on the International Women's Day, March 8th, which was demanded by feminist groups. At the same time, restrictions have already been announced for Holy Week celebrations and other church-related festivals, on the grounds that Holy Week processions are riskier than Women's Day marches. Fr Francisco José Delgado criticised the official decisions, saying that they were not primarily a matter of health policy: "The Ministry of Health advises against these marches, showing this is more about the political confrontation between the political parties in the government than from a real concern for the health of the people, which has been missing in the decisions that have been made since the pandemic started".
Richard Page, NHS director and judge, has lost his appeal after being dismissed and now wants to take his case to the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal had ruled last Friday that his dismissals were lawful after Page said in a television interview in 2016 that children grow up best with a mother and a father. At the time, Page, who is now 74 and from Kent, was presiding over an adoption case and said he was discriminated against because of his Christian beliefs on parenthood. Since then, he has been fighting decisions to remove him from his positions and is supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC).
"Buffer zones" around abortion clinics are to be introduced in Edinburgh to prohibit pro-life activists from standing and praying around the clinics. The buffer zones are initiated by a campaign of university students called "Back off Scotland", who got supported by the city council's policy committee. The campaign group repeatedly called for 150-meter "no protest zones" outside the entrance to Chalmers Street Sexual Health Centre after a survey showed that pro-life protests outside the clinic made the majority of women feel uncomfortable. The pro-life activists say their aim is to support women to make a different choice and the wrong allegations towards them are neither supported by Police Scotland, NHS Lothian nor the council itself.
The chapel of the former Jesuit college Saint-Joseph in Lille, which dates back to the 19th century but was not classified as a historical monument, was demolished on 24 February. Previously, the association 'Urgences Patrimoine' had appealed against the decision before the Lille Administrative Court, but was not successful. The chapel is part of a complex that is to be completely redesigned as part of a campus project led by Junia, a major engineering school and member of the university. It envisages 40,000 m2 of teaching space, including 22,000 new rooms and an investment of almost 128 million euros. As part of this, the chapel, which is desanctified, had to be demolished.
After criticising the Irish government's plans to legalise euthanasia, Twitter has banned the Irish bishop Kevin Doran on February 20th. In his tweet, he spoke out about the Christian dignity in dying, paradoxically Twitter argues "he violated their rules by promoting (..) suicide or self-harm" because the tweet mentioned the term "Assisted Suicide" in it, which he opposes. According to writer David Quinn, Twitter has turned the bishop down on appeal.
Three years after the publication of the bestselling book "When Harry became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment" by Dr Ryan T. Anderson, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) in Washington, Amazon removed the book on gender ideology from its online store on February 20th. The book gives an accurate and accessible account of the scientific, medical, philosophical and legal debates surrounding the transgender phenomenon. Amazon has not notified the author or the publisher that the book has been removed, nor have Amazon representatives responded to any of their enquiries.
During the night of February 19th, unknown perpetrators sprayed red paint on the doors and walls of the historic St Augustine's Church in Wola, Warsaw. After the police started an investigation in which they also released a video showing the suspect, the police arrested two men in connection with the case.
In March 2019, Christian West End actress, Seyi Omooba, was removed from a leading role in a musical and dropped from her agency for a Facebook post about homosexuality citing the Bible over four years earlier. With representation by the Christian Legal Centre, she launched a legal challenge on September 30th against Leicester Curve Theatre and her agency, Global Artists, for breach of contract and anti-Christian discrimination.On November 25th, the judge rejected arguments from Seyi Omoobas lawyers that the theatre critic, Lloyd Evans should be allowed to give evidence in her claim. The trail of Omooba's religious discrimination and breach of contract claim is scheduled to run for 11 days next February. After the last ruling of the court she was offered a compensation which she reclined arguing that it was disproportional. In its latest decision the court ruled against the actress.
In February, Facebook permanently deleted the page of Core Issues Trust (CIT) on the grounds that the charity is in breach of its community standards. Since June 2020, LGBT activists have viciously attacked the site and refused to recognise people who previously identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. During this time, Facebook did not respond to the attacks against CIT and its employees, even though their personal safety was at risk. Now Dr. Mike Davidson, CEO of CIT, wrote a statement on the case in which he makes clear to continue to platform "the voices of those who with free conscience express the transformation they experience and the Christian convictions that are important to them and protected by Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights".
During the night of February 17th, unknown perpetrators destroyed the statue of the Virgin Mary in the parish of the first Martyrs of Poland, Czestochowa. The statue which represents the Virgin Mary had its hands cut off and the surrounding area vandalised, flowers and candles were scattered. According to the parish priest, Father Jasionek, the incident was not reported to the police: "I did not report it to the police because I think it is not a material loss but a moral loss and the police will not help us in this matter."
On February 17th, three unknown young men tried so set fire to the Madonna delle Grazie church in Piedimonte Matese. The young men were supposedly noticed by a resident who immediately alerted the police. However, the vandals managed to escape. The case is being investigated by the police.
On February 16th unknown perpetrators attacked a catholic church in Sligo with red graffiti. The incident occurred after politician Tánaiste Leo Varadkar appeared on the Irish RTE programme "Prime Time" in which he claimed that dead babies were buried in a tank in Tuam. Varadkar referred to the mother and child home in Tuam that was run by the church and were it was recently discovered that mothers and babies have been severely abused and even a mass grave for babies were found. Sligo is about a 50-minute drive from Tuam. According to the Irish government, there is no evidence that babies are buried in a tank in Tuam. So far it is not known whether the two cases are related.
On February 17th, the police invaded the New Life Full Gospel Church in the Belarusian capital Minsk. The operation was recorded on video by members of the parish, and there is also footage from the security cameras. Pastor Vyacheslav Goncharenko had not allowed the police and court officials to enter, so the police broke the locks forcefully. The city administration of Minsk, after the church's territory was annexed by the city of Minsk, had already issued an eviction order for 31th December, which the parish apparently did not comply with. The leaders of the Full Gospel Union, the Union of Baptists and the Pentecostal Association of Churches in Belarus defended the New Life Church in a joint statement on the 19th of February.
On the 2nd of February, the police in Poznan was called to a case of vandalism. The front doors to the Church of the Resurrection in the Wilda district was spray painted with anarchic symbols and threats. An unknown perpetrator wrote the vulgar slogan "Kler to hell" in white paint on the church door. The police is investigating.
During night of February 14th, unknown perpetrators wreaked devastation on the parish cemetry complex of St. Barbara's Church in Warsaw. Ten inverted crosses were painted on the church doors, pillars and memorial plaques on the church walls. Among other things, memorial plaques of Warsaw insurgents and former parish priests were vandalised. The police is investigating.
For being pro-life, almost one of four students have been "threatened, abused, alarmed or distressed" at their university. According to a survey by the national student pro-life group, the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS), nearly three quarters of pro-life students have been confronted with situations in seminars where they experienced a restriction in freedom of expression. APS Executive Director Madeline Page said: “These statistics are alarming, yet confirm what we already know – pro-life students are being marginalised and silenced at universities. Institutional policies which refuse to allow certain topics to be discussed don’t just damage free speech – they destroy a culture of tolerance and respect on campus, ruining the chance for all students to engage with people of diverse opinions and understandings."
In late January and early February, more than 10 residents of Rybna, Poland complained about the vandalization of crosses and grave monuments of their relatives. Several people found gravestones with broken and stolen crosses and figures of Christ that were torn off crosses and thrown away nearby. People started intervening and reported the matter to the municipality. It was later discovered that the damage was not reported to the police, because according to the municipality, they did not have a report on the matter.
In the beginning of February, police officers from Zgorzelec arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of destroying windows and a stained glass window in one of the churches in the district. Another act of vandalism of a church took place in the Wołów district. The perpetrator painted symbols on the walls of the church and on the front of the cross at the main gate, offensive to religious feelings . As a result of the investigation, police officers arrested a 22-year-old resident of the district.
On the night of February 10th, unknown perpetrators attacked the St. Joseph church on Karmeliterplatz in Vienna with paint and plaster. The doors of the church were splashed with white paint and the staircase below splashed with liquid plaster. This was not the first attack of this kind against the church, as the church has repeatedly been the victim of vandalism since November 2020.
On February 8th, radical feminist groups disrupted a solidarity rally, in front of the Polish embassy in Vienna, of the Platform for Christian Democracy. The Platform demands an end to the discrimination against people with disabilities and therefore wanted to demonstrate its support for the new amendment of the Polish abortion law, which denies abortion on the ground of eugenics. After interrupting the march, the perpetrators smeared the Platforms' office walls with radical feminists and insulting slogans, reading "fundamentalists abort them". The Platform filed a complaint at the police who is investigating.
Between 6-7 February, unknown perpetrators broke into St Peter's Church in Wentworth, St Michael and All Angels Church in Chettisham, St Mary's Church in Ely and St Andrew's Church in Witchford, smashing stained glass windows and breaking vases. Michael Ritcher, churchwarden of Chettisham Parish, said, "They broke two windows to get in - one in the vestry and another in the main church. They've done quite a bit of damage." The police is investigating.
On February 6th, vandals demolished the car of a priest of St James the Great Church in Crookston, Glasgow. In addition to a completely smashed windscreen the car's wing mirrors were also severely damaged. According to a post in the church's Facebook group 2-3 youths have been seen vandalising the car. The police is investigating.
On February 5th, unknown perpetrators destroyed the panels of the exhibition "John Paul II - Pope of Dialogue", prepared by the John Paul II Memorial Centre in Warsaw in cooperation with the Polish Embassy at the Basilica of St John the Baptist in Berlin. John Paul II's face was painted over with red paint. A red lightning bolt - the symbol of the so-called women's strike - was painted on the fence of the neighbouring headquarters of the papal nunciature. The police is investigating.
In 2019, the local authority of Pforzheim, Germany, prohibited the assemblies of the "40 Days for Life" group that was peacefully and silently praying in front of a pre-abortion advisory center. The group's concern is to pray for women struggling with abortion and for their unborn children. The legal human rights organization ADF International is now challenging the prohibition in court, in order to ensure that the group's fundamental rights to freedom of religion, assembly and speech will be reinstalled.
On February 2nd vandals smeared the walls of the church in Oborniki. The graffiti contained slogans like "Blood on my hands" and accusations against the priest of the parish Father Rydzyk. The local police is investigating and trying to identify the perpetrator(s) by analyzing the surveillance recordings.
On February 2nd, unknown persons tried to set fire to paper in the gallery of the church in Bischofsreut. This was discovered 3 days later, on February 5th, when unknown perpetrators set fire to the same place. This resulted in a minor damage of around 100 Euros. According to the police, between 2.15 and 3.15 p.m., the arsonist(s) were in the church and set fire to a sheet on the floor and several pieces of paper they had found in the building. Before any major damage was done, the perpetrators put out the fire with disinfectant.
On February 2nd, unknown persons set fire to the pedestal of the statue of San Vincenzo next to the San Vincenzo Church. San Vincenzo is the patron saint of the San Vincenzo Church in Cremnago. Some of the parish members saw the flames and other witnesses say they saw some boys running away from the church at the time of the crime. The damage to the statue, which was immediately taken to the sacristy, is fortunately not severe. After the incident the church decided to close its doors for a couple of days and only reopen during liturgical celebrations.
On February 1st, unknown perpetrators damaged a church window in Schweinheim. Several thousands of Euros of damage are expected. Police is investigating.
On January 31st, a break-in at the St Thomas's Church in Dudley in the Black Country has left the church unable to play music at funerals. There were no historical items taken from the church, but a computer tablet was stolen that implied that the church would no be able to amplify voices or play recorded music at funerals. The police is investigating.
January 31st , a church in the Derry County was vandalised and the police started an investigation. Sectarian slogans and initials of loyalist paramilitary organisations were written on the walls of St Mary's Church in Limavady. According to details provided by the police they were looking for a man during the week of February 7th, when they finally arrested him on that date.
On January 31st, the St Mary's Church in Limavady was target of a hate crime. Vandals sprayed the acronyms "UVP" and "UFF" onto the church walls on Irish Green Street and moreover damaged a statue. The Ulster Freedom Fighter (UFF) is known to be a cover name for the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), an umbrella group of various loyalist groups. The UFF is suspected to have killed more than 250 people.
On January 30th, after finishing restoration works of several months, the restorers of the San Vittore Martire Church in Arcisate discovered a graffiti on the side wall of the church. Additionally, the vandals urinated on the church wall and in the corners. The work was halted for two days over the weekend, but it is likely that these acts took place the night before the weekend because the plaster was still fresh. Measures must now be taken to restore it.
On January 25th, unknown perpetrators attempted to set fire to the Saint-Paul Church located in the district of Mosson. The priest discovered thick smoke coming out of the worship room, which emerged from a wooden table. Ash was found on the table coming from a pile of papers, which indicates that the table was deliberately set on fire. Another indication for a case of arson is an obscene graffiti on a figure of Jesus Christ which was found on the walls of the building. Fire fighters were able to put out the fire but still damage was caused.
On January 25th, a priest became suspicious, as he found cheques from other parishes in his collection box. Therefore he viewed church CCTV footage and saw a man using a hooked piece of wire to remove envelopes containing cash from a collection box. The police arrested a man for questioning about a series of thefts from churches in east Cork, which involved thousands of Euros in cash being stolen out of collection boxes.
On January 24th, the church of Castillo Guarga, in the municipal park of Sabiñánigo was yet again a target of an act of vandalism. The 12th century romanesque window of the church was covered with graffiti. The graffiti has to be removed by a specific cleaning company with special cleaning products due to the porous wall. The police is searching for the unknown perpetrators.
In the evening of January 22nd, two young perpetrators broke into the church of San Martino in Rezzato. The vandals completely destroyed the entrance door and pews. The police were informed and a charge was filed.
The interior of the Protestant Christ church in Radolfzell was heavily vandalized on January 22nd. The organ bench, the conductor's platform and a wrought-iron door were thrown from the gallery into the church hall. Parts of the sacristy and the kitchen in the parish hall were also destroyed. In addition, there was a fire set in the area of the lighting system, which the fire fighters were able to extinguish. The church had been cleared out due to renovation works and the front door had been left open so that people could say goodbye to the church in it's old form, the pastor explained. The 63-year-old perpetrator was arrested on the spot. The police started investigations for suspected arson and vandalism.
On January 4th, Boris Johnson initiated another lockdown for England. Nevertheless, the churches remained open arguing to safeguard religious freedom and acknowledge its importance, as human right. At the same time in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon presented her independent course for legal restrictions and announced that churches will be closed, not regarding religious freedom but rather treating it as a mere activity.
On January 21st, vandals destroyed an over 100-year-old chapel in Otwock. The statue of the Virgin Mary was torn off and stolen. Thanks to the efforts of some residents the chapel was renovated and a new statue bought. Because the owners of the chapel are unknown, the police did not take up any investigations.
On January the 20th, unknown perpetrators threw three Molotov cocktails at the church in Spånga. Windows were smashed, the entrance was damaged but no person was harmed during the attack. Pastor Jerker Alsterlund said, "We have no threat against us but it is a strong symbolic act." The police have cordoned off the area and are investigating for arson. Four days later on January 24th a second arson took place. A window was broken and a small fire with some smoke development was detected by a security company. The incident is currently classified as arson and the police is investigating whether there is a connection between the two attacks.
The historic cross of the Discalced Carmelite Order was removed by the city of Aguilar de la Frontera on January 19th. The decision to cut down the cross of the Fallen was backed by the Act on Historical Remembrance. The act is concerned with removing symbols of the Franco regime. The leftist mayor Carmen Flores explained that the local Andalusian legislation regulates the public display of elements that glorify Francism and that the opinion of the church is irrelevant. The Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers contested the city council's decision to remove the cross to the administrative court.
In the morning hours of January 19th, the ÖCV (Austrian Catholic Cartel Association) house was vandalized. A group of left-wing extremists entered the ÖCV house and smeared several signs in the entrance area with black paint. The plaque at the memorial for the victims and resistance fighters from the rank of the ÖCV was demolished with red paint and elsewhere anarchist symbols were left behind.
On January 18th, police forces were called to the local cemetery of Saint-Jeand'Assé were at least 25 graves have been desecrated. Crosses and crucifixes were broken, objects has been displaced and even two false graves were created with vandalized and broken objects, stolen from other graves. A complaint was filed by the mayor and the police is investigating.
On January 18th, the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Kaźmierz was vandalized. Unknown perpetrators destroyed three stained glass windows in the church and smashed three windows in the sacristy. Priests and parishioners are very upset.
On November 6th, a middle aged man identified as RS fell into a coma after a heart attack left him with a severe and permanent brain damage. The man's wife and children supported the decision to turn off his life support system so he could die while receiving palliative care. The University Hospital Plymouth in the UK successfully applied for a permission to do so at the court. The patient's mother and sister argued that as a practicing Catholic, the man would refuse to be taken off life support because of his faith. They also claimed in an appeal to an English court, that the man's condition had improved and presented video footage take with a cell phone, showing the patient blinking and crying while they were in the room. The appeal was rejected by the English court and the European Court of Human Rights.
Christian prison chaplain Paul Song was suspended from work after he has made the incident when a group of Islamic extremists stormed a chapel gathering and hijacked his bible meeting public. After his Sunday Mail interview about the incident he was banned indefinitely from working in London jails. After being punished for whistleblowing and exposing the influence of Muslim gangs at HM Prison Brixton, he is taking legal actions. At the High Court hearing on January 12th the Lawyers will seek a judicial review of the decision.
The Holy Spirit Church in Vienna has to be completely renovated due to heavy sooting after a fire on January 9th. According to the Archdiocese of Vienna, the "fire event", reported to the police, could have been an arson attack. A box of cushions was burning, which caused a lot of soot. "We suspect that the cushions were set on fire. There are no candles near the scene of the fire and people usually don not smoke in a church." Michael Prüller, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Vienna stated. The church will remain closed indefinitely.
The St. Lukas Church in Leipzig was vandalized with paint and stones by left extremists. The portal image was damaged with paint bags and windows were smashed with stones. On January 6th, the left extremist platformed indymedia, which is monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, claimed to be the originator of the attack in an online letter. It stated: "Assembly for Moria - Smash Christian-White Europe. We attacked a Lutheran church in Leipzig to start our Monday campaign for Moria. We attacked with stones and paint". The case and the validity of the letter will be further investigated.