Matthew Grech, a 33-year-old charity worker from Malta had a first trial on February 3, after being charged with allegedly promoting 'conversion practices.' The allegations came after Matthew held an online interview with PMnews Malta in which he shared his testimony of becoming a Christian. He talked about his past, saying that he identified as gay in the past and used to be confused regarding his sexuality. Although he never promoted "conversion therapies", the police have pressed criminal charges against him.
On January 31, it was reported that the Russian invaders have fired on a Church belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate in the town of Oleshky. The attack happened while a funeral was taking place, in which collaborate Zhuravko was being buried. The number of casualties after the incident is still under investigation.
On the afternoon of January 28., a perpetrator sprayed a red swastika symbol on the entrance door of the St. Wendelin Church in Neuses. It was reported that the act of vandalism was discovered right after the mass around 6:15 p.m.. The number 187 was also found next to it. An employee who takes care of the church, Klaus Schmitt, has removed the spray paint off from the wall.
On 25 January in the evening, a jihadist terror attack targeting two Catholic churches took place in Algeciras, Spain. Y. K., a 25-year-old Moroccan, has been arrested as the sole perpetrator of the attack, which he executed with a machete. An altar server was killed, and at least four persons are injured, including a priest in serious condition. Several witnesses indicate that he conducted the attack while shouting "Allah is great" and "death to Christians".
On the 25th of January, unknown perpetrators damaged the confessional chairs of a church with cigarette buds. The police have described the damages located in Saalfelden, Austria as willful damage to numerous pews. The investigation is still ongoing to find out the perpetrator(s).
Between the 17. and the 25. of January, three Parisian churches have been attacked with arson by unknown perpetrators. Several fires have caused shock and sadness among parishioners in Paris. The last attack was on the Church of Saint-Laurent in the 10th district on the 24th. According to the findings, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the left side of the door.
The Bundesplatz in Bern was filled with 500 wooden crosses, 1,000 roses, and a long list of names of victims of religious persecution on the 9. July. This was organized by the Working Group for Religious Freedom of the Swiss Evangelical Alliance SEA. They want to show solidarity with the more than 5,000 Christians worldwide who die because of their faith. And they warn that the number of people persecuted for their faith across different religions is increasing. Still, the organizers want to also communicate hope for the future.
In the light of the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia, experts and human rights activists are concerned for religious freedom. They fear religious minorities will face the same human rights violations as in Russian controlled areas. Religious groups suffer discrimination in Crimea and the pro-Russian controlled areas of Luhansk and Donetsk.
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Hate Crimes against Christians in Europe increased by 70%