All cases

Defense Lawyer Wants "Devout" Catholics Excluded from Euthanasia Trial

January 14, 2020, Belgium

Defense counsel for one of the three doctors on trial for unlawfully poisoning an autistic woman via euthanasia has admitted to searching the social media profiles of potential jurors to exclude "devout" Catholics. Walter Van Steenbrugge said he would be a "bad lawyer" if he did not exclude people who were "extremely Catholic," for example if they expressed a Marian devotion or had previously expressed the opinion that euthanasia is murder.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Man Arrested for Vandalism of Launaguet Church

January 14, 2020, France

A 25-year-old man was arrested on January 14th for his participation in the vandalism of a Catholic church in Launaguet. According to reports, the Saint-Barthélemy church (Toulouse diocese) had been vandalized with Quaranic inscriptions in previous months.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Crèche Vandalized Near Rouen

January 11, 2020, France

The religious crèche of the Saint-André church in Mont-Saint-Aignan, near Rouen, was vandalized on January 11, with the decorations overturned and the figures broken. The statue of the baby Jesus was decapitated. After expressing his sadness to the parish and to the parish priest, Monsignor Dominique Lebrun, Archbishop of Rouen, deplored the incident as an "offense against the Christian faith."

Two Nativity Scenes Burnt in Ivrea

January 4, 2020, Italy

Police in Ivrea (near Turin) identified a 46-year-old woman suspected of setting fire to two church nativity scenes: one in the church of San Maurizio and the second in the church of San Salvatore on January 4th. She faces a complaint for damage. The fires not only destroyed the two nativity scenes with plastic statuettes, but in the Church of San Maurizio the fire practically incinerated a painting by Tullio Alemanni, "The Baptism of Jesus," which was located above the baptismal font next to the crèche, in addition to a fresco, also by Alemanni, positioned between the crèche and the baptismal font.

Hate Crime

Statue of Virgin Mary Stolen from Saint-Étienne-du-Grès Church

January 2, 2020, France

A statue of the Virgin Mary was stolen from the church of Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption in the town of Saint-Étienne-du-Grès on January 2, 2020.

Theft

Nativity Scene Repeatedly Vandalized in Alice Castello

January 1, 2020, Italy

The nativity scene installed by Alice Castello volunteers was repeatedly vandalized at the end of December and into the new year, with the figures broken and some of the statues beheaded. This was the third year in a row that this installation was attacked by vandals.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Jesus Statue Beheaded in the Crèche of Caprino Veronese

December 31, 2019, Italy

Parishioners at the New Year's Day Mass learned from the priest that the statue of Jesus was no longer in the cradle in the nativity scene in Piazza San Marco in Caprino Veronese because it had been decapitated the night before.

Nativity Scene Dismantled Early Due to Repeated Vandalism

December 30, 2019, Italy

Volunteers from the volunteer association Pro Loco of Robbiate were forced to take down the nativity installation prematurely due to repeated vandalism. Vandalism included detaching wooden planks from the hut, dismantling pieces of the roof, and throwing away ornaments and furnishings. The display was dismantled on December 29th instead of January 6th.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Four Teenagers Vandalized Christ Child Statue in Nativity Scene

December 29, 2019, Italy

Four teenaged boys were identified and referred to the Public Prosecutor at the Juvenile Court of Bresci on allegations that they vandalized the statue of the Christ child in the nativity scene in the piazza outside the basilica in San Benedetto Po. The day after the incident, police found the head and torso of the statue hanging on an iron pole on the opposite side of the piazza. Evidence collected led the police to the four perpetrators, described as Muslims, born in Italy, of Moroccan descent. They reportedly admitted their involvement in the incident.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of Christ Child Hanged in Mogliano Veneto

December 29, 2019, Italy

The statue of the Christ child was discovered removed from the nativity scene in Piazza Berto in Mogliano and hung above the ground with an electric cable around its neck. Plastic cups littered the ground of the crèche.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Christ Child Statue Taken from Crèche; Thrown to the Ground

December 28, 2019, Italy

The resin figure of Jesus was taken out of the public nativity scene in Parè di Conegliano during the night between December 27th and 28th and thrown to the ground nearby by unknown vandals. Other figures in the scene were toppled and the cradle was stolen.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Elaborate Nativity Scene Damaged by Vandals

December 26, 2019, Italy

The nativity scene in Valgiano, which was nine meters wide and 8 meters high, with an area of ​​over 30 square meters, most of which is occupied by water, including a central lake, a smaller body of water, and waterfalls was vandalized on December 26th. Unknown perpetrators threw detergent into the water, which may have reacted with chlorine, creating a sea of ​​foam and a pungent smell.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church Crèche Vandalized Three Times Around Christmas

December 25, 2019, France

The nativity scene installed in front of the Notre-Dame church of Dijon was vandalized with litter and garbage bags three times between December 20th and 25th.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Thieves Stole Baby Jesus Statue and Crib on Christmas Day

December 25, 2019, Italy

Thieves removed the handmade statue of the Jesus child and wooden cradle on Christmas day at the Don Angelo Frare park near the parish church in Mosnigo.

Theft

Ourense Nativity Scene Vandalized Three Times Leading up to Christmas

December 24, 2019, Spain

A nativity scene in the city of Ourense was damaged on the morning of December 20th, the Christ child figure was stolen and arms broken on December 23rd, and after being recovered and installed again on December 24th, the figure was stolen again on Christmas Day.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Children's Crèche Scene Destroyed by Vandals

December 24, 2019, Italy

During night between December 23 and 24, unidentified vandals entered a park while it was closed and destroyed some of the polystyrene figures in a nativity scene made by elementary school children.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Nativity Scene Vandalized on Christmas Eve

December 24, 2019, Italy

Residents in Ossi, a town a few kilometers from Sassari (Sardinia), woke on Christmas day to discover that the crèche installed by a local group (Pro Loco), in collaboration with the municipal administration, had been vandalized on the town's main street. The statues were torn up, dragged, and abandoned on the street.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Christ Statue Stolen from Crib; Beheaded and Abandoned in Cemetery

December 24, 2019, Italy

A statue of the Christ child, placed in the manger of the nativity scene in front of the parish church of Arbus, in southern Sardinia, was beheaded by vandals. The head was left in front of the municipal cemetery. After it was found, the head was glued back on to the body, but the local community was shocked.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arsonists Target Set of Live Nativity Performance

December 24, 2019, Italy

At 10:15 p.m. on December 24th, unknown arsonists set fire to the roof of the set of a live nativity performance in Revine. The scene, made with wooden planks and poles and covered with reeds that volunteers had recovered a few days earlier from nearby lakes, was located in the churchyard of the church of San Matteo. A bottle of alcohol and a pair of building site gloves, tools used by arsonists to set the fire, were found on the ground. Two teams of firefighters from Vittorio Veneto rushed to the scene and managed to tame the fire before it could affect the wooden structure.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Municipal Crèche and Christmas Decorations in Saint-Éloy-des-Mines Vandalized

December 18, 2019, France

During the night from the 17th to 18th of December, the crèche installed on Place Charles-de-Gaulle and Christmas decorations at the town hall were destroyed. The heads of the life-sized figures representing Mary, Joseph and two wise men were cut off, and arms torn off. Garlands and fir trees in front of the town hall were damaged or stolen. “We are still in a Judeo-Christian country," said the mayor, "we can believe it or not, it remains deplorable to attack a crèche and decorations. We do that for the children... they were shocked this morning seeing all this damage."

Vandalism (form of hate crime)