According to figures published by Countryside Alliance, a total of 212 crimes were reported against churches in Devon and Cornwall over the last year, reported by Cornwall Live on October 30th. The request of the Freedom of Information Act was made to the Police, which revealed the target of churches for lead thefts, but also vandalism, violence, assault and burglary. The government made a commitment to protect places of worship with a crime action plan 2016-2020, which should provide security measures at places of worship vulnerable to hate crimes.
The Countryside Alliance has examined the number of crimes committed against churches or religious buildings, and released the numbers for the last 12 years. In the UK nationwide, 6,000 crime cases have been reported. In Cumbria, which is the fourth lowest country in terms of such crimes, 47 cases have been reported in one year. Last year the Countryside Alliance's also reported 20,000 crimes against churches and religious buildings in the UK in the lapse of 2 years.
On the grounds of a church in Derry, during the night of October 26th, a pile of rubbish was set on fire by unknown vandals causing damage to several windows of the church. The police is investigating.
The First Minister of Walse, Mark Drakeford announced a new lockdown from the 23rd of October to the 9th of November, which includes the closing of churches. Christian leaders have raised their voice against the regulations made by the Welsh Government. The Christian leaders argue that the regulations are severely interfering with the rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and worship, which are protected under Article 9 of the Human Rights Act.
As reported by Christian Concern on the 22nd of October, the BBC News Broadcast showed a biased TV Program on the issue of "Gay Conversion Therapy". On September 29th, BBC Northern Ireland featured only LGBT campaigners and gay-affirming psychologist and psychiatrists. The organization Core Issues Trust argued, that the program did not represent the real range of scientific opinions on the controversial topic. There were no interviews with people who had benefited from counseling interventions and left the LGBT lifestyle and also false reports were used without further investigations.
The Union of Clare Students (UCS) of the Cambridge Clare University are trying to remove the city councilor Kevin Price, for refusing to vote on a motion that contained a statement affirming that trans-women are women, trans-men are men and non-binary individuals are also non-binary. Price resigned his role to vote as a matter of conscience on the 22nd of October. The UCS considers Price "Unfit" and demand not only a safe environment for trans-people, but also that they feel "celebrated".
A new Bill is being passed rapidly in the United Kingdom, which would require extensive discussion on its moral standards. The Covert Human Intelligence Bill was presented on September 2020, and has already passed the first reading in the House of Lords (19.10.2020). It's regulations for the authorization of criminal activity for public bodies, like the police, to "prevent disorder" presents a threat to freedoms of speech and religion. The line is already very thin between "hate crimes" and "hate incidents" and the new Bill could give space to a targeted surveillance and use of executive power against Christians.
On October 18th, the Daily Mail wrote an article about the new "crime wave" against churches and cemeteries in England. The crimes include robbery, vandalism, personal attacks and rape. According to the Metropolitan Police around 1,106 crimes happened in religious locations, including 250 cases of violence against individuals, 273 burglaries, 188 arsons and criminal damage and 371 thefts.
On October 18th at night, a man was captured on video trying to rip off the Cross on the roof of the Chadwell Health Baptist Church in east London. The video footage then circulated on social media. He was also arrested by the police for suspicion of criminal damage. The cross was recovered, being now in police custody, it will be reinstalled soon. A witness told the Metro News, that the man looked angry and was muttering things about religion.
During the night of October 15th, a fire was set at the exterior wall and the windows of St. Paul's church in Quarndorn. The fire damaged the wall and windows but did not spread further. The police is asking for help. A 17-year-old teenager has been arrested as suspect.
In the early morning of October 15th, a rescue team was called because the St. Matthew's Church in Derby was burning. The facade and the shed of the church suffered most of the damage. There have been another three attacks with arson in Derby in October: On the church in Quarndorn and two schools, the police has not yet found any evidence that would link these cases. The police is investigating.
In the Year 2020 until now, 90 places of worship have been added to the "Historic England’s Heritage at Risk" register, while only 69 are being taken off. The organisation says this is a New trend they hope will not become the rule. Almost half of the churches are being added because of crimes and thefts of church roofs, which have increased in recent years.
During the night of October 12th, the Port Erin Methodist Church in the Isle of Man was damaged by unknown vandals. The rear window was broken. The police is investigating and asking the residents for further information.
On October 8th two young men forcefully broke into St Gregory's Church in Kevindale by smashing a window of the side chapel. They were caught by the parish priest while they tried to set fire inside the church. The two also caused some other vandalism inside the church. The priest chased the two perpetrators down the road but did not catch them. The vandals broke in during ongoing preparations for a funeral. The community of the church was shocked and demands reparations. The police is investigating.
On October 7th, a 'buffer zone' was introduced outside the Marie Stopes Abortion Clinic in Manchester. According to the BBC, the people visiting the clinic felt harassed by the pro-life campaigners. On the other side, the campaigners assured the clinic to be peaceful and stand outside with banners. After the case in Fallowfield, Pro-Choice groups seek to get the same PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) for other abortion clinics.
On the week between 4th and 8th October at St Mary's Church in Preston, a significant amount of lead was stolen from the roof of the Church. This caused an external and internal damage to the building, as the rainwater could enter. The police are asking for witnesses and told the citizens to be vigilant. The sergeant, Brian Calver, said that they see an increase in this type of crime to churches in this time of year.
On October 5th, the St. Kevin's Church in Bargeddie was severely vandalized by unknown perpetrators. A Jesus statue was found with both arms broken off. The police is investigating.
On the early morning of the 3rd of October, a fire broke out in the St. Mary's Catholic Voluntary Academy. The firefighters spent most of the day tackling the fire. The Derby City Council was told that there was an alarm at 5am for a break-in, which confirms the case as an arson attack. The fire has devastated the school and the pupils will have to be sent to other schools while reconstruction begins.
The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Children (SPUC) and the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS) published a report called Free2Speak on September 28, which analyzed campus censorship in Scotland. Each university was scored according to their policies towards pro-life students, societies and outside speakers and the students' experiences. Both Edinburgh and Stirling university were marked as "fails" in the survey because their students' unions refused to affiliate pro-life societies.
On January 7th 2019, the Farmor's School in Fairford dismissed Mrs Kristie Higgs for committing gross misconduct. The school directive received a complaint about the teacher's posts on her private Facebook disagreeing with LGBT+ agenda (On the 26th October 2018). Mrs. Higgs appealed against the dismissal on January 14th 2019 for discrimination against her religious beliefs. The court concluded on September 25th, that her dismissal was not a discriminating act against her beliefs, but about "gross misconduct" understood by the school directive. During the whole process, Kristie Higgs received commentaries like "Keep your religion out of it" and was called a ‘Pro-Nazi right-wing extremist’. The court ruled against her, even though the government has restricted the Relationships and sex education (RSE) guidelines, to protect religious freedom and although the court acknowledged that Mrs. Higgs behavior was not homophobic or transphobic. Higgs is appealing the court decision.
In the last three years, there have been more than 400 attacks recorded against churches. In the last five years it sums up to 600 attacks in Northern Ireland. Most of the attacks happened in Belfast. Most of the incidents are attacks with paint bombs and graffitis, but also various forms of vandalism, arson attacks and general damage to church property are recorded.
On September 15th, the war memorial depicting Christ at St Saviour’s Church, was vandalized. It was the second time this year that the memorial was targeted, this time the lead was stolen. The directors of two rootfing companies offered to repair the damage for free.
Since the 8th of August, Pastor Josh Williamson and his wife experienced several threats and verbal abuse by the LGBT community, because of posting his belief about homosexuality on Facebook. Among them are the threats to burn his church, to perform sexual acts and protests in front of his church and physical assault. His image was also used on pornographic content and shared online, among other misleading information about him. In his conversation with the Police, Williamson was told to be careful not to break the law by insulting the LGBT community and being charged for hate speech. The threats towards him and his church were not investigated, neither the acts of defamation.
During an attack in August, one member of staff at a church in Cheshire was bitten and forcefully and inappropriately touched in his private area by an unknown perpetrator. According to a report by the Countryside Alliance the assault was one of 66 crimes to take place in churches in Cheshire. After several complaints, that too little has been done to raise awareness about crimes at churches, an investigation started.
Between the night of 7th to 8th August, the windows of the Methodist Church in Staveley were attacked. Small holes were found in the windows. The size indicates that a sort of weapon was used, and witnesses reported sounds of gunfire. Similar holes were also found in the stained-glass windows at St. John the Baptist Church.The Police are investigating.
Two Christian organizations that help people “who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression,” have been notified by Barclays Bank that their accounts would be closed. The move by the bank followed a social media campaign demanding that the bank end its professional relationship with Core Issues Trust (CIT) and The International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice (IFTCC), accusing both groups of promoting “conversion therapy.” In recent weeks, the UK government has pledged to ban "conversion therapy." The charities' head, Mike Davidson, disputes the use of the term: “The term ‘conversion therapy’ is being used as a catch-all phrase designed to discredit any help that people may provide to those with mixed sexual attractions who prefer their heterosexual side. This could include a listening ear, formal counselling or spiritual support.”
The Scottish Justice Committee has proposed a new hate crime bill, which extends the current hate crime law covering race, to include other "protected characteristics" such as religion, sexual orientation, and transgender identity. Christian and secular groups have criticized the bill as too broad and subjective, potentially interfering with freedom of speech and worship. The Parliament has accepted to re-draft the Bill, to protect Freedom of Speech. The new amendment should be known in December 2020.
The Parliament of Northern Ireland passed a new marriage law for same-sex couples, which has two implications for the church and Christian business owners. The law prohibits private business to deny service to same-sex couples arguing for freedom of conscience. Additionally, the new legislation allows same-sex couples of faith to have religious wedding ceremonies in church or other religious settings if all parties agree.
On July 3rd, Muslim convert Safiyya Amira Shaikh was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 14 years in jail for plotting a bomb attack on St. Paul's Cathedral London and a suicide bomb attack on the nearby underground station. Shaikh admitted the crime and showed no remorse; she wanted to kill as many "kufars" (unbelievers) as possible.
Church leaders launched legal action against the UK government for unnecessary and bizarre Covid-19 Regulations against Churches. Bans with threat of criminal sanctions were imposed on churches while businesses and restaurants were trusted to take their own decisions. Christian leaders find a total lack of understanding on the part of the Government for matters related to religion and Christianity.
In June, a British MP received a death threat and other online abuse after voting in accordance with her pro-life convictions. Dr Lisa Cameron, SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, was sent the threat just days after voting against a pro-abortion bill, which limits support/protest near abortion clinics.
Despite the opposition by the Stormont Assembly, Parliament of Northern Ireland, the House of Lords in the UK backed the abortion regulations for Northern Ireland, which were made on the time when the Assembly had collapsed. The regulations permit abortions up to birth in cases of severe non-fatal disability, such as the Down-syndrome. Lord Shinkwin, a Peer in the House of Lords, who also has a disability asked how they could deny life to a human being diagnosed with a non-fatal disability.
On 22nd May, lightning technicians had to visit the Trinity Church in Yarm Road, Stockton, because the lights were not working. Vandals had smashed the church lights, raided it, and put fire to the room, where the tools were stored.
After repeated vandalism at St. Mary Magdalene Church in New Milton, the Church will install CCTV Cameras along with the reparation of their windows. In the past, a thanksgiving memorial service was interrupted by teenagers banging on the windows and a stone was thrown through a car's rear window when the teenagers were confronted.
Residents of Crediton (Devon) have expressed their disgust after the statue of St. Boniface was targeted by vandals. The graffiti, scrawled across the base of the statue, reads: "God is dead. Pagan justice."
On the night of Friday 15th to Saturday, St. Mary Catholic Church in Ahoghill was attacked with paint thrown in front of the church and across the door. The police is treating the incident as a hate crime.
The High Court in Leeds held a judicial review of the watchdog Ofsted’s actions against Cornerstone Adoption and Fostering Service in North East England on the 6th and 7th of May. The Christian fostering agency took the government regulator to court for downgrading Cornerstone’s fostering service from “Good” to “Requires Improvement.”
On 7th May in Glasgow, a 53-year-old man smashed the window of a church. The police captured and arrested the man for vandalism attack labelled as "motivated by prejudice".
On 6th May, a judge ruled that the display of abortion images was a visual equivalent of "shouting into a person's face", and was, therefore, right to ban it. The pro-life organizer Mr. Hacking was given a community protection notice forbidding him the display of large photos of a fetus. The reasons were that people felt distressed and emotionally, mentally or even physically harmed through the images of the aborted fetus. Mr. Hacking said, that the real victim isn't the viewer who is negatively impacted by the visualization, but rather the unborn child.
On Saturday 25th April, unknown perpetrators set fire to the historic Leicester city center All Saints Church, which was hosting a virtual Van Gogh exhibition. The motives remain unclear whether this was an act of vandalism or an attempt to steal a painting of the artist. The fire alarm raised in the morning. A large wooden door at a side entrance was badly damaged.
On the night of Friday 24th April, thieves broke into St. Andrew's Church in Congresbury and stole two characters from its Christmas nativity display, Jesus and Mary and damaged wooden crosses. In addition, they snatched one of the three Kings, an ox, and the manager of baby Jesus. They also stole donations and several smaller figures from another nativity set. The thieves were captured on a neighbour's camera, and the incident was reported to the police.
Arson attack took place in the St. James’ Church in Southhampton. The fire is believed to have started in a toilet area inside the church between 9pm and 8am between the 15th and the 16th of April. After smoke was seen out of a window at around 10.37 o’clock, the firefighters came and put the fire down. The foyer was also full of smoke.
Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, wrote to all Church of England clergy and volunteer hospital chaplains warning them not to minister to any sick or dying hospital patients showing symptoms of the Corona virus. The intention of this effective ban is to reduce the risk of spreading the infection. However, according to Christian Today reporting on 9 April 2020: “The guidance applies only to temporary volunteer chaplains. Full-time NHS chaplains are permitted to continue ministering face to face”.
The Church of St. Edward was found vandalized with graffiti on the 7th April. The Priest of the Church, Father Callum Brown, expressed his concern.
In October 2019, the American restaurant Chick-fil-A signed a six-month lease and opened a franchise in The Oracle shopping center in Reading. LGBT protesters promptly began a "Get the Chick Out" boycott campaign, due to the company's previous support of a Christian charity which opposed same-sex marriage. The company indicated that the closure was part of its strategy of opening "pilot license locations“ with limited menus in partnership with local organizations to test the waters while expanding.
A nurse in Glasgow, was met with the words "f****** Catholic," from the woman she was trying to help. The incident happened at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and was heard of in the Glasgow Sheriff Court.
Between 4:00 pm on Wednesday and 8.20 am on Thursday, an unknown perpetrator broke into the popular All Saints Church and damaged the interior. Crockery was broken, a leaflet table was turned over, and bandages from a first-aid box were laying all over the floor.
The Parents of the 13-year-old girl accused the school of allowing mentoring sessions with the Head of the LGBT group, trained by Eikon Organization. The girl showed no signs of gender dysphoria until September 2019, and was comfortable in her body. By November, she had cut her hair and said she identified as a boy. In the school, she was then called by male pronouns and allowed to use men’s bathroom. The parents were not informed about the identity change of their child, until they accidently found out in a meeting. The teaching assistant also gave the teenager a YouTube website of a trans activist, where he showed his mastectomy scars and told how well the operation had gone. The girl was then sent to a psychologist, who also didn't approve the mentoring of the school.
When Alina Dulgheriu got pregnant she received help from a now-banned pro-life group in front of an abortion centre. She now fights against a Public Protection Order (PSPO), which prohibits any kind of pro-life activity including peaceful protests, the offer of counseling and silent prayer within 100-meters around an abortion facility in the London Borough of Ealing. But the British Supreme Court has now announced that it will not hear appeal on clinic buffer zone. She is now considering all her options including an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Sometime between 6 p.m. on March 4th and 7:20 a.m. on March 5th, burglars smashed a stained glass window in the chapel of Christ the King at the eastern end of Leicester Cathedral, next to the room where Richard III is buried at Leicester Cathedral.
Due to repeated vandalism, drug-dealing, and abuse of volunteers in the Holy Trinity Church in Exmouth, a surveillance system with seven cameras will be installed as a "necessary security measure."
On February 19th and February 21st an unknown person broke the rear windows of The Storehouse Church in Dorchester by throwing stones at them. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.
On February 18th, an unknown person placed traffic cones on a soldier´s grave inside the churchyard of Saint Helen church in Northwick. The traffic cones have been removed from the grave.
Reza Karkah, an Iranian Christian, faces the prospect of imprisonment, torture and separation from his wife and child after the UK Home Office rejected his application for asylum on the basis that he was ‘fabricating’ his Christian faith.
Between the afternoon of February 15th and the morning of the 16th, an unknown person or group broke into and vandalized the Christ Church in Laxey. The incident disrupted the Sunday morning services. Police are investigating and searching for witnesses.
During the night between the 15th and 16th of February, an unknown perpetrator threw a paint bomb at St. MacNissi's Parish Church in Larne. The police treated the incident as a sectarian hate crime as they investigated and searched for witnesses.
On January 24th, the ACC Liverpool Group announced that it would no longer hold the previously-scheduled Graham Tour Event due to objections from LGBT activists over Graham's past statements about homosexuality. Graham responded by saying “I’m not coming to the UK to speak against anybody, I’m coming to speak for everybody. The Gospel is inclusive. I'm not coming out of hate, I'm coming out of love.” As of February 11th, the other venues that cancelled events were: International Convention Centre Wales in Newport, Glasgow SEC, Sheffield Arena, Arena Birmingham, and Stadium Milton Keynes.
The relic of British Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890), canonised only last October, was stolen from his chapel in Birmingham. “Sadly, the only piece of bone thought to have been St John Henry’s was stolen from its casket in the Newman Shrine,” read a notice in the Oratory’s February newsletter. The Fathers have appealed for anyone who had seen any suspicious activity to come forward.
Judge Brian Doyle, the President of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales, has re-opened an investigation into Employment Judge Martin Kurrein’s conduct during the high-profile trial of Sarah Kuteh in 2017, following a Christian Legal Centre (CLC) complaint.
On the 27th January, the investigation of the judge Martin Kurrein for anti-christian bias has been re-opened. The judge approved the dismissal of the nurse Sara Kuteh for talking about her faith to her patients. The trial of Mrs.Kuteh took place in 2017, where the judge was accused of having a hostile treatment to Mrs. Kuteh and her representative and dramatically reduced the time of procedure.
On the 25th January, a discussion started after Harry Miller, an ex-policeman, was called by the Humberside Police to check about some complaints about his posts on Twitter. In one Tweet he questioned if transgender women would be real women. The police officer had to "check the thinking", although he had committed no crime. After being reported as a "hate incident", Miller sued the police for breaching free speech. The court declared the intervention of the police "unlawful" in February.
Following plans first proposed in a government consultation last year, parents of children attending Welsh schools will no longer have a legal right to withdraw their children from compulsory relationships and sex education (RSE), as well as and religious education (RE) classes.
On December 18th, a judge in an employment tribunal ruled against Maya Forstater, a tax expert at the Centre for Global Development, who defended her right to say on social media that men cannot become ‘women’ by undergoing gender reassignment treatment. Employment Judge Taylor ruled that her belief that biological sex cannot be changed “did not have the protected characteristic of a philosophical belief.” She had tweeted that “men cannot change into women” as part of an argument about the government’s proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. This was not deemed a "protected belief" under the Equality Act 2010.
A line of Christmas cards produced by British card company 'Love Layla' caused controversy for including messages mocking some of the deeply held beliefs of the Christian faith. The cards included taglines which call into question the Virgin Mary's miraculous conception, and which refer to Jesus as "a bloke that wore socks with sandals." Speaking to the Daily Mirror, James Mildred, for Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) said, "A lot of Christians will be deeply offended by this sort of thing...It highlights a fundamental hypocrisy that Christianity is seen as fair game to mock, disparage and insult."
A Christian pastor and school caretaker, who received abuse and threats for a June 2019 tweet about LGBTQ Pride has taken legal action against the school which he felt forced to leave. His case was heard on Court on January 2022.
A High Court judge ruled in favor of an exclusion zone around a school in Birmingham permanent, preventing parents from protesting outside the grounds against the "No Outsiders" primary school programme that teaches about LGBT relationships. Many parents and activists claim the programme contradicts their faith and is not "age appropriate." A temporary exclusion zone was first imposed by the courts in the summer after months of protests outside Anderton Park Primary School by mostly Muslim parents. Birmingham City Council claimed that the order was sought from the courts over safety concerns.
An atheist couple who launched a High Court challenge because they feel their children are being religiously "indoctrinated" during assemblies have won their judicial review claim. The Burford primary school in the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire is one of 33 schools of the Church of England's Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST). Although parents were already entitled to withdraw their children from assemblies, even in church-run schools, The Harrises have argued that the school must provide an "inclusive assembly as a meaningful alternative for pupils withdrawn from Christian worship," rather than simply supervision of the children.
A Catholic Liberal Democrat who was the prospective candidate for Stoke-on-Trent South in the upcoming election was abruptly deselected on the basis that his "values" were not in line with the party. Thirty-six hours after Robert Flello was chosen as the Lib Dem candidate, the party announced in a press release that his candidacy had been revoked. The former Labour MP's views on abortion and marriage were not a secret, as he had been a member of parliament for 12 years.
11-12 November 2019. Church Warden left "in tears" after rocks damaged historic details of multiple windows at St Thomas' Church, Worcester.
Dr David Mackereth has been an A&E doctor for more than 25 years. The Christian lost his job at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for refusing to identify his clients by their chosen gender instead of their biological sex. He stated that the usage of 'transgender pronouns' would go against his conscience as both, a doctor and a Bible-believing Christian. Supported by the legal team of Christian Concern, he took his case to court.
A Christian doctor has lost an employment tribunal case, where he alleged that the Department of Work and Pensions breached his freedom of thought, conscience and religion pursuant to the Equality Act. Disability assessor, Dr. David Mackereth claimed discrimination on part of the Department of Work and Pensions for failing to accommodate his refusal to use pronouns which did not correspond with the biological sex of clients. In its decision, the panel stated that Dr. Mackereth's belief that "the Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female" was "incompatible with human dignity."
Northern Ireland Minister received correspondence from more than 700 medical practitioners calling for conscience protections which would allow Christians and conscientious objectors within the profession the statutory right to refuse to participate in abortions.
Over the last few months, a church in Abertridwr, Wales endured repeated acts of vandalism, resulting in fears that it will have to close to public visits during the week. Damage included a stolen collection box, a damaged and defaced historic visitors book, in use since the 1940s, a flagstone outside the church was removed, and fire extinguishers were sprayed inside the church, causing both damage and financial burden.
The Carnwadric Church, home to the Rainbow Centre and Carnwadric Win Project, in Scotland was ravaged on August 20th. The church door was found burst open on the next morning. The vandals stole cash boxes and laptops, knocked cabinets over, broke windows, tore TV`s off the walls and wrote the letters "AYT" (maybe a mark of a local young team) on the walls.
On August 11th around 22:00 unknown perpetrators threw two large stones through the windows of the church hall at the Holy Trinity church in Kimberley. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.
Six windows were smashed and mysterious graffiti reading "BEAST" was written on the wall of St. Oswald's Roman Catholic Presbytery in Old Swan (Liverpool). Police began an investigation.
A Christian patient’s request to have Sunday worship services at a medium secure mental health unit in East London have finally been granted after a year-long legal battle with the NHS on the grounds of religious discrimination. As a result of his weekly requests falling on deaf ears, Freddie O'Neil turned to the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) for support. A pre-action letter was then sent to the East London Foundation Trust in October 2018 stating that, as a Christian, Freddie needed to attend Sunday Christian services each week as well as receiving Holy Communion. After a year, and further threats of legal action, the Centre finally began offering weekly Sunday Christian services on Sunday 7 July 2019.
On July 12th, firefighters were called to a fire at St. Margaret's Ruined Church in Hopton after a motorbike was set on fire underneath the 13th century building. While the incident was ruled an arson by officials, the investigation was closed in October due to lack of evidence.
Red "satanic crosses" were sprayed on graves and a church door and the words "God does not love you" were left on a wall at St Andrews Church in Evesham.
Around the 19th June, four arson attacks occurred in East London. On the 18th of June, the front door of the St. John's Church was set on fire. On the 19th June, the Baptist Church in Leytonstone has been attacked. In a Church in Ramsay Road was the same scene as in the Baptist Church at night of the same day, the church had two arson attacks and was severely damaged. On the 20th June, the police were called to a fire in St Matthew's Church, West Ham. On each church, graffiti was found on the main door with occult symbols and messages including pentagrams, spirals, the number 666 and the word "hell”. On June 25th, a 27-year-old was arrested for suspicion of the arson along with other criminal acts.
The doors of four churches in East London have been nearly destroyed by criminal attacks. Within two days vandals set fires at the outside of four church doors, including one where a children's playgroup was taking place. Occult symbols and messages like pentagrams, spirals, the number "666" and the word "hell" were written in the doors of each of the four churches. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.
Scottish local councils ask for more power to introduce buffer zones around abortion clinics where they see fit without having to appeal to the UK government for permission. This call follows "intimidating" anti-abortion protests outside Glasgow, Larbert and Edinburgh clinics. However, buffer zones such as those would restrict anyone from certain actions such as praying, calmly talking to women about abortion and make them a criminal offense.
Police investigated an arson attack on the Holy Family Catholic Church in Ballymagroarty (Northern Ireland). An outbuilding next to the church was set on fire at around 10:30pm on May 24th. 20 firefighters battled the blaze which spread to the church roof and were able to contain it before it spread to the chapel or parochial house. The parochial house was evacuated. The fire service reported that CCTV cameras filmed two people setting the fire.
Legal proceedings were launched in the High Court against Richmond Council to challenge a controversial Public Space Protection Order (“PSPO”) around an abortion clinic on Rosslyn Road that makes it a criminal offense to, among other things, pray or have conversations about abortion. The legal challenge has been brought by Justyna Pasek, who has personally supported women visiting the abortion clinic in Richmond for over five years, offering them alternatives to abortion.
Sarah Kuteh loses case at Court of Appeal.
In the latest in a series of vandalism incidents at the St John the Evangelist church in Copthorne, the Victorian gate memorial to World War I veterans in the churchyard was kicked in and broken. The Churchwarden reported that this was the latest in a string of incidents at the village church. Police are investigating.
On Saturday, April 27, anti-Catholic graffiti (“F*** the Pope”) was found spray-painted on a bus shelter outside Holy Family Catholic Church in Mossend. On Monday, April 29, vandals entered St. Simon Catholic Church in Glasgow, the main place of worship for the city's Polish community, and attacked the sanctuary, breaking a statue, overturning candles and a shrine to Our Lady of Częstochowa.
On April 27th anti-Catholic graffiti saying "F*** the Pope" was sprayed on a bus station outside the Holy Family Catholic Church in Mossed. Only two days later unknown perpetrators broke into the St. Simon Catholic Church in Glasgow, overturned candles and a shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa and broke the statue. Although only 15 percent of the Scottish population are Catholics, they suffer 57 percent of all religion-motivated hate crimes in Scotland.
Large rocks were thrown through the windows of the Elim Pentecostal Church on the High Road sometime following the Easter Sunday service. Two stained glass windows and two double-glazed side windows were destroyed. Damage is estimated at £2,000. Pastor Clifford Bedeau reported that it was the first act of vandalism at the church in 15 years.
Kristie Higgs, a Christian school worker will challenge a Gloucestershire school academy’s decision to dismiss her for gross misconduct. She was dismissed after she shared two posts on her Facebook page in October 2018 that raised concerns about Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at another school in the same village - her child’s Church of England primary school. Higgs was told following an investigation and a six hour hearing that she would be dismissed without notice for gross misconduct.
In April 2018, the pro-life student university group Aberdeen Life Ethics Society submitted an application for affiliation to Aberdeen University's Societies Union (AUSA) but was denied due to AUSA's policy which required the union to give “no funding, facilitation, or platform” to any pro-life group and forbids the “unreasonable display” of pro-life material on campus. Aberdeen Life Ethics Society has taken legal action against the University and AUSA claiming unlawful discrimination and the violation of equality rights protected by UK law.
An Iranian man who converted to Christianity after discovering it was a peaceful religion in contrast to Islam had his asylum claim rejected by the Home Office on March 19th. In a rejection letter from the Home Office, passages with violent imagery from the Bible including Matthew, Revelation, and Exodus were used to argue that the claimant's claim about Christianity was false. “These examples are inconsistent with your claim that you converted to Christianity after discovering it is a ‘peaceful religion’ as opposed to Islam, which contained violence and rage,” the letter read. The Home Office later said the letter was "not in accordance with our policy approach to claims based on religious persecution" and agreed to reconsider the application.
Caroline Farrow, a Catholic journalist, was investigated under the "malicious communications act" after the founder of a transgender charity accused her of misgendering her daughter in a tweet. Farrow said it is her religious belief that a person cannot change sex.
During the Court of Appeal hearing in the case of Felix Ngole, the University of Sheffield graduate student in social work who was dismissed from the program after he expressed his Christian views about marriage on Facebook, counsel for the university said no social worker should be allowed to express such views.
Police began a public order offense investigation on March 12th in Manchester after an angry individual screamed obscenities at elderly members of the 40 Days for Life group and sent chairs and leaflets flying outside an abortion clinic. A day earlier, in Nottingham, three people praying outside a medical centre were accosted by a man who swore at them and threw a jug of lumpy yellow liquid at them. Police began an investigation for assault as well as a hate crime motivated by the victims' religious beliefs.
St. Matthew's Church was badly damaged by a fire in the early morning hours of March 5th. The Lincolnshire police said it was intentionally set and treated it as an arson investigation. It appears the fire began in the shed adjacent to the church, and was one of several fires set in the town that evening.
New "relationships and sex education" (RSE) guidance published on February 25th requires schools to teach primary and secondary school children about LGBT relationships and may not permit parents to opt-out. Parents of primary school children are permitted to withdraw their children from the sex education component of RSE, but the relationships component would be mandatory.
On February 24th, swastikas, names, and arrows were discovered scratched on the stonework of the 800-year old Cathedral of Brechin in Angus, Scotland. A few days later, vandals carved "F*** you Jesus" on the building. Police opened an investigation and a group of juvenile girls were suspected to be responsible for the acts which were described by a church elder as "totally repulsive."
An elderly man preaching at the Southgate Underground Station was arrested by London police after he refused to leave the area, telling him he was "disturbing people's days" and needed to go away. The police seized the man's Bible despite his pleas not to take it.
West Midlands police investigated handwritten letters threatening petrol bomb attacks and mass stabbings sent to fifteen churches in the UK from November to January.