All cases

Destructive Church Theft in Siegen-Niederschelden.

April 11, 2022, Germany

Between Sunday the 10th of April and Tuesday the 12th, two churches were robbed in Siegen and Niederschelden. It was not known who did it but in both cases, the intruders gained access with force and once inside, searched through drawers and cupboards. The police were investigating the crime to see if anything was stolen and wanted witnesses.

Perpetrators Try to Stop Palm Sunday Procession in El Vendrell

April 11, 2022, Spain

Five young North Africans in El Vendrell were bothering people during a Palm Sunday procession in hopes that they could prevent the religious event from happening. The local police were notified of the attacks and arrested two 24-year-old individuals who were accused of an attack against the law. The police were searching for the other three.

Statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Smashed in Kietrz

April 11, 2022, Poland

A statue of the Virgin Mary, and another of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, were destroyed around the the 11th of April. They were from a chapel in Kietrz and Marek Czechowicz, who found them, said it appeared that the Statue of Mary was entirely smashed and that the other one had a brick thrown at it. The police began an investigation and the perpetrator could face up to 2 years in prison.

Finnish Prosecutors Appealed Päivi Räsänen Case

April 10, 2022, Finland

After the Helsinki District Court disregarded all charges against the Finnish politician Päivi Räsänen on March 30th, the prosecutor has filed an appeal. Räsänen said “I had hoped that the prosecutors would have settled for this ruling … [But] I am ready to defend freedom of speech and religion in all necessary courts, also in the European Court of Human Rights.” Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland was also prosecuted for distributing a pamphlet that Räsänen wrote regarding the Bible's views on gender and marriage.

Severe Vandalism at Poggio Torriana Church

April 10, 2022, Italy

Vandals destroyed multiple objects of the San Vicinio parish in Poggio Torriana on April 10th. They smashed heavy marble benches, broke some glass doors, and cut up several gutters reported parish priest Don Emanuele Giunchi. The church did not have the enough finances to pay for the replacement of the violently broken property which was probably done by people linked to some sect.

Priest and Parish People Attacked in Rome

April 9, 2022, Italy

Don Guido Panella, the priest at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Marsala, was physically and verbally attacked by a homeless woman on April 9th. Before this, a homeless man had entered the church and was yelling at everyone until the priest gave him a euro and he left. He then returned with two others, including the woman, and they began shouting at people and the woman even slapped the priest. Two police officers then arrived on the scene at which point the men left but the woman remained and was taken by the carabinieri.

Decorations in Tauberbischofsheim Stolen

April 9, 2022, Germany

Shortly before Easter, around the 9. April, decorations for the first communion were stolen in the Tauberbischofsheim church of St. Martin. Those attending the event were shocked when the decorations, which had been placed in front of the altar, were gone. The decorations had a symbolic value for the celebration and the parents were confused as why to these were taken.

Tabernacle Stolen from Church in Leipzig

April 8, 2022, Germany

The tabernacle was stolen from the Provost Church in Leipzig on April 8th. The shrine was found a short distance from the church with its lock damaged and some of the hosts within were missing or broken. The police were investigating the incident and the leader of the church, Gregor Giele, described the theft as a "bitter experience."

Man Plants Explosive Device during Mass in Toulouse

April 8, 2022, France

A man was arrested on April 8th for planting an explosive device at the Saint-Etienne cathedral in Toulouse during Mass. The man, who has a criminal record, dropped a package in front of the altar then pushed the sacristan, said something, and left. The explosive was never fired but the congregation was evacuated to make sure no one got injured.

Children: Church Pew Set on Fire in Aalen-Waldhausen

April 8, 2022, Germany

A pew in the St. Nicholas church in Aalen-Waldhausen was set on fire on April 8th. It was discovered by a 56-year-old woman who an hour and a half earlier saw three children about eight years old run out of the church. She extinguished the fire with a blanket so the fire brigade, which was notified by the sacristan, was thankfully not needed.

Statue of Bishop Vandalized in Marsala

April 8, 2022, Italy

The statue of Bishop Pascasino, located in front of the Maria Santissima Bambini church, was damaged by unknown vandals on April 8th. The head of the statue was struck with considerable force as it is split in two parts. The vandals also defaced the statue by placing a floor cleaning rag on top of the bishops head to further insult it. Giuseppe Giacalone, a lawyer who reported the act, said: "Believe me: there are no words or maybe there are and they are all full of anger, indignation, pain, dismay."

Cross Stolen from Church in Mainz

April 8, 2022, Germany

On Friday the 8th of April, a cross made of bronze was stolen from an Augustinian church in Mainz. A nun noticed that the cross was missing from the altar and, upon reviewing video, the police were able to recognize a 51 year old man who had previously stolen goods. They were then able to locate the cross, along with three alter candles, and return them to the church. The man was convicted of the theft.

Church in Halstenbek Ransacked

April 8, 2022, Germany

The Redeemer church of Halstenbek was the victim of a targeted attack on April 8th that left the church a mess. The rioters destroyed alter candles, scattered sand in the worship place, burned pages of the Bible, and took metal letters from the "song display." Due to the severity of the act, police were investigating and wanted witnesses who might be able to give them information about who committed the crime.

Twitter Bans Spanish Deputy for Writing "Amen" in Support of the Holy Week

April 8, 2022, Spain

Twitter censored the deputy of the VOX party in Spain, Víctor Manuel Sánchez del Real, for writing "Amen" and the cry "Long live Christ the King", in support of the Holy Week. The social network considered that the deputy's publications did not comply with Twitter's rules, by "publishing private information" and demanded that he deleted it in order to unlock his account.

Priest Robbed during Service in Warsaw

April 7, 2022, Poland

A priest in Białołęka, Warsaw, was robbed while celebrating mass in an in an act that showed complete disrespect for the religious events of the church. On April 7th, a man and woman entered the church during the service and took the priest's phone. After being contacted, the thieves agreed to return the phone but only for a sum of money. The priest contacted the police who were investigating the crime.

Church of San Gottardo Tagged with Obscene Symbols

April 7, 2022, Italy

The church of San Gottardo in Vittorio Veneto has been once again vandalized in an attack that was described as blasphemous and brutal. The incident was reported on the 7th of April. Unknown perpetrators inscribed Insults and phallic symbols in black on the walls of the sacred temple. Due to the lack of surveillance cameras, those who did it will be hard to find but after this act, the Municipality was considering putting some in.

Update: Two Men Arrested for Theft and Vandalism of Several Churches in Paris

April 6, 2022, France

Two men were taken into custody by the police on April 6th as they were expected to have committed multiple thefts and sacrilegious acts at Catholic churches in the Paris region. The churches included the Saint-Pierre Church in Bondy and the church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois in Romainville, in which the tabernacle and consecrated hosts were vandalized, as well as thefts in the Grenoble Cathedral, and churches located in Val-de-Marne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Paris. The total damage amounted to several tens of thousand of euros.

Orthodox Church in Strasbourg Tagged with Letter Z

April 6, 2022, Germany

The letter Z was painted several times on the entrance of the Russian Orthodox Church in Strasbourg on April 6th. This letter is a symbol that has been associated with the Russian Army and the attack was obviously hateful. A complaint has been filed and the parish commented: "We mourn what is happening and wish a quick return of peace to Ukrainian land."

Spanish PSOE Law Criminalizes Pro-Life Prayer Groups Outside Abortion Facilities

April 6, 2022, Spain

On the 6th of April, the Spanish Senate approved an alteration to the Penal Code, in order to "punish the harassment and intimidation of anti-abortion activists of women who go to clinics to voluntarily interrupt their pregnancy". This modification, which could lead to 3 months up to 1 year of imprisonment, was endorsed by the Socialist Party of Pedro Sánchez, the Prime Minister. It was approved by Congress and enters into force when published in the Official State Gazette.

DIY Abortion Pills Violate Parental Rights in England

April 5, 2022, United Kingdom

New DIY abortion laws in the UK, allow for women to have an abortion without seeing a medical professional; but, by simple talking, and then ordering pills over the phone. This raised serious concern for the health of women and the possibility for minors to abort without properly consulting a professional or their parents before starting something that could traumatize their lives. Parental rights are violated in this case, which is especially problematic for Christian parents who would not agree with their child taking such actions.

All Saints Church in Holbeach Vandalised

April 5, 2022, United Kingdom

Youth have been asked to show more respect to the All Saints Church in Holbeach, after they tore lead off its roof and threw marrows at its doors on April 5th. This was the second time this has happened in a month and the acts forced Mick Boylan, the church warden, to consider reducing the hours the church is open to hopefully prevent the crime. He said "They don’t have respect for anything. What do the parents think they are doing?”

Russian Troops Commit Sacrilege at Chernihiv Cemetery in Ukraine

April 5, 2022, Ukraine

Russian troops vandalised a large cemetery near Mariupol on March 4th by repeatedly driving over crosses and tombstones with tanks. The necropolis is one of the largest in Europe and those who witnessed the event called it sacrilege. The cemetery was entirely destroyed in this unnecessary, sacrilegious, and inhumane destruction.

Statue of Madonna of Fatima Stolen from Cerreto Guidi Church

April 5, 2022, Italy

A meter-high painted wooden statue of the Madonna of Fatima, along with a small crucifix, was stolen from the Church of the Company in Cerreto Guidi. The sacrilegious theft happened Tuesday, April 7th and greatly upset the people of the town. The statue was of "great emotional value" to the town said archpriest, Father Alessandro Locatelli, and "the Christian people of Cerreto have been deprived of a dear image." The incident was reported to the local police station.

Molotov cocktail Thrown at Church in Muri-Gümligen

April 5, 2022, Switzerland

The Reformed Church in Muri-Gümligen was attacked with a Molotov cocktail on the night of April 6th. No one was injured but the property damage was high. The intent of the attack is somewhat unclear but since the church was lit up with blue and yellow lights, an anti-Ukraine motive was suggested. Whatever the case, a religious sight that is sacred to many was subjected to a hateful act.

"Death to Churches" Written on Church in Murcia

April 5, 2022, Spain

The Spanish police posted on Twitter that they identified the perpetrators who vandalised the parish centre in the Saint John district in Murcia. This was communicated on the 5th of April, together with a picture of the crime that shows the inscription "Muerte a las Iglesias" (Death to Churches) in red paint. After searching the vehicle of the perpetrators, they located spray paint cans of the same colour as the graffiti.

Arson at Church in Trinità

April 4, 2022, Italy

On April 4th, the Madonnina Church in Trinità was once again vandalised. This time, unknown perpetrators entered the church and set the prayer sheets and offering box alight. In the past, the church has been tagged with graffiti and a nearby bench was defaced. The mayor Ernesta Zucco said: “I wonder what they can have against this modest church. I have no more words but these facts cry out for justice. We really can't take it anymore."

Church in Zell Vandalised

April 4, 2022, Austria

The Evangelical church in Zell was vandalised by strangers on April 4th. A large window was smashed by an object of considerable size and shingles were torn off the façade. The Church filled a complaint and the police began an investigation with the hope that some DNA would be left on the shingles.

Church of Sant'Eligio Set Alight

April 4, 2022, Italy

The façade of the Church of Sant'Eligio in Napoli was once again scarred by fire on April 4th, less than three months since it happened last. The monumental sight, which youth set fire to, dates back to 1270 and would have experience even worse damage had a fire extinguisher not been nearby. These repeated acts of arson show the youths contempt for the church and its Christian practices.

Severe Damage to Putbus Church During Burglary

April 4, 2022, Germany

One or more perpetrators forced their way into the Putbus castle church on April 4th. Although only a double digit amount of money was stolen, about 3,000 euros of property damage was caused when they broke through multiple doors and roughly searched cupboards. An investigation was started by the police into this vandalistic theft.

Church in Vojvodina Vandalised With Threatening Graffiti

April 4, 2022, Serbia

A church in Novi-Banovitsa in Vojvodina, northern Serbia, was vandalised on 4 August. Unknown persons drew a line in orange paint around the Church of St Basil of Ostrog, built in neo-Byzantine style in 1991, and wrote the word "skulls" in Serbian on the bins at the entrance.

2 Churches Vandalized in Sprowston

April 3, 2022, United Kingdom

St. Mary and St. Margaret's Church in Sprowston were victims of vandalistic attacks on April 3rd. Police were investigating the act in which the intruders threw toys at the spotlight in the nave, broke eggs inside the building, smashed the organ, and tried to start a fire.

Two Churches Attacked with Eggs and Vandalism in Sprowston

April 3, 2022, United Kingdom

St. Mary and St. Margaret's Church in Sprowston were victims of vandalistic attacks on April 3rd. Police were investigating the act in which the intruders threw toys at the spotlight in the nave, broke eggs inside the building, smashed the organ, and tried to start a fire.

Serial Church Thief Caught in Pontine

April 3, 2022, Italy

A 51 year old man has been arrested for repeated thefts of churches since February, in the area of Pontine. He was caught red handed by the Carabinieri of the Minturno station as he was trying to open the offering box in the San Biagio church which he had stolen from previously. His wife was also charged for assisting him in their repeated and disrespectful thefts from Christian churches.

Window Smashed in Niederselters Church by Teenagers

April 3, 2022, Germany

A window, of a church in Niederselters, was smashed by two teenagers who were throwing snowballs at it on April 4th. The damage caused was around 1.000 euros and the police began looking for the perpetrators who were suspected to be boys between 15 and 17 years old.

Church in Messina Graffitied

April 2, 2022, Italy

The outer wall of the church of Santa Lucia Vergine e Martire in Messina, was covered with graffiti on March 2nd. Most of the inscriptions targeted the police but a religious sight was used to carry out the offence. Father Giovanni Loppolo was happy to tell how the youth of the church had initiated the restoration project.

Window of Church in Weingarten Broken

April 2, 2022, Germany

The windows of the Protestant church in Weingarten were smashed on April 2nd, causing 1,500 Euros worth of damage. The perpetrator was unknown but police investigated the incident and were looking for witnesses. A Facebook user commented on the incident: "People experience in such a place unique moments of life, joy, care, comfort, silence, protection, community, a connection to the Creator since time immemorial. People respect this place regardless of their faith and worldview."

Drunk Russian Man Hits Ukrainian Catholic Priest in Hamburg

April 2, 2022, Germany

An intoxicated Russian man has physically attacked the pastor of a Ukrainian Catholic parish in Hamburg on the 2nd of April. According to the report, the man rang de door of the church, and after the priest opened it, he pushed the priest and hit him in the upper body. The priest was able to force the man out of the building and called the police. The Russian man also damaged a fence and a flower bed and stayed sitting on a bench until the police came.

Theft of Religious Objects in Rouillé Church

April 2, 2022, France

It was only noticed on April 2nd that objects of worship had been stolen from the church in Rouillé, Vienne. The last event there was on March 19th so the theft of ciboriums, chalices, and patens, which had all been locked in the sacristy, could have happened any time. This was one of many similar thefts that have recently happened in the area so churches are considering options to prevent such acts in the future.

100 Candles Stolen from three Holzland Churches

April 2, 2022, Germany

Three Holzland churches near Steinkirchen were targeted by theft in April. About 100 hand-decorated candles were stolen, which would have been used for charitable donations. The community of the churches was very disappointed by this act.

Pro-Life Catholics Praying Outside Abortion Facilities Faced Abuse

April 2, 2022, Spain

On the 2nd of April, young people and families were harassed by activists and feminists, while praying outside the Askabide abortion clinic in San Sebastian. They were praying the rosary on their knees, with a megaphone, under the motto "praying is not a crime" and carried a cross and an image of the Virgin. Tensions started to build up as protesters began harassing, censoring, and insulting the pro-life group. The police from Ertzaintza had to intervene in order to prevent attacks against the people praying.

Orthodox Priest Kidnapped in Cherkassya

April 1, 2022, Ukraine

A priest from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate was kidnapped by unknown persons in the Cherkassya region of Ukraine. A video showed that people broke into the service, and violently took the pastor. Those who tried to stop the kidnappers were also violently dealt with. The exact date of this incident and the well-being of the pastor was unknown but it was thought to have happened in Smela. This showed a continued attack on the Ukrainian Orthodox church.

Rampage in Dreis-Brück Church

April 1, 2022, Germany

Perpetrators, whose identity is not known, vandalized the parish church in Dreis-Brück on April 1st. They distributed, what was thought to be alcohol, in the gallery, and the tablecloth on the altar was burnt. The police were looking for clues as to who could have done it.

Stones Thrown at Image of Christ in Via Merlo

March 31, 2022, Italy

Stones were thrown at a picture of Christ in Via Merlo in what could only be described as a hateful act. The incident happened on March 31st and resulted in the glass that was covering the picture getting broken. The vandals also stole candles and flowers and left inscriptions around the sight.

Religious Paintings Stolen in Marian San Nicola Church

March 31, 2022, Italy

Two religious paintings and tens of euros were stolen from the Santissima Annunziata church in Marian San Nicola on March 31st. The money was from the offertory which got damaged during the theft. Don Saji, the parish priest, reported the incident to the carabinieri who were investigating it.

Update: Conversion Therapy Ban in UK No Longer Covers Transgender People

March 31, 2022, United Kingdom

Boris Johnson announced on March 31st that the so-called conversion therapy ban in the UK would no longer cover transgender people but only gay or bisexual people. This was a change from what had been announced a few hours earlier which was that the ban would be dropped entirely and non-legislative methods would be explored. Despite the entire ban not being dropped, this was still good news for the Christian community as this potential legislation would make it difficult if not impossible, for parents and teachers to encourage their children to adopt the Bibles views on gender and marriage.

Sacred Objects Stolen from Gleschendorf Church

March 30, 2022, Germany

During the night on March 30th, the Gleschendorf Church was robbed by unknown persons. The perpetrators stole valuable communion objects including a 300 year old baptismal bowl. This unfortunate event demonstrated a disrespect for the church and its proceedings.

Church in Satrup Graffitied

March 30, 2022, Germany

The Laurentius Church in Satrup was vandalized with paint on March 30th. The façade was covered with phrases written in black paint which expressed contempt for the church and now have to be taken off by a specialist company.

Russian Occupied Crimea Orders Law to ban Ukrainian Orthodox Church

March 30, 2022, Russian occupied Crimea

Law makers were ordered, by Sergei Aksyonov head of Russian-controlled Crimea, to draft a law banning the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Black Sea Peninsula. The working list was planned to be finished by the end of the week, at which point, it would be adopted by parliament. This reflected the tension which existed for a number of years in the Orthodox Church, but saw a resent rise as the war developed.

Update: Finnish Court Upholds Free Speech in Major Trial

March 30, 2022, Finland

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

Sacred Relic Stolen from Church in Brianza

March 30, 2022, Italy

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