All cases

(Scotland) Word "Lord" Removed from Prayer as Offensive

November 15, 2007, United Kingdom

The word "Lord" was removed from a primary school grace before meals after one parent complained the mention was offensive. Contrary complaints of other parents lead to a subsequent reinstatement of the term.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Law Upheld which Interferes with Church Affairs

November 14, 2007, Czech Republic

The Czech Constitutional Court dismissed the proposal by a group of senators to abolish a controversial amendment to the church law that churches say limits their rights.

Freedom of Religion

Blasphemous Images in Weekly Magazine

November 13, 2007, Belgium

"Humo", a Belgian Dutch-speaking weekly that is known for its liberal and satirical opinions, published a representation of a man urinating in a chalice with the accompanying text: "And Jesus changed wine into urine". Our sources report that this was not the first time "Humo" published blasphemous representations.

Defamation Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Report of Think Tank Suggests to Downgrade Christmas

November 1, 2007, United Kingdom

Christmas should be downgraded in favour of festivals from other religions to improve race relations, says a report of the Institute for Public Policy Research, a Labour Think Tank.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Syriac Priest Abducted

November 1, 2007, Turkey

A priest from the Syriac Christian community has been kidnapped in southeast Turkey.

Hate Crime

Ringing of Church Bells Prohibited

November 1, 2007, Netherlands

Local authorities prohibited the ringing of church bells for noise reasons in Tilburg, Holland. A court verdict annihilated the decision in November.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Catholic Airport Worker Suspended for Displaying a Picture of Jesus

October 10, 2007, United Kingdom

Manchester, England - A Catholic airport worker was suspended for displaying an image of Jesus on a staff room wall after a Muslim colleague made a complaint against him.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Christian Foster Parents Forced to Retire From Fostering Children

October 10, 2007, United Kingdom

A Christian couple was being forced to retire from fostering needy children on conscientious grounds after the local council imposed rules requiring them to discuss homosexuality with the children.

Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws

Students of non-Islamic religions discriminated against in Turkey

October 1, 2007, Turkey

The European Court for Human Rights requested Turkey to bring its education system and domestic legislation into line with Article 2 of Protocol 1 to the ECHR. What triggered this decision was the discovery that religious culture and ethics classes, mandatory in primary and secondary schools, provided exclusively specific instruction in the guiding principles of the Muslim faith and its rites.

Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion

Blasphemous and Hurtful Art Funded by and Displayed on Ibiza

September 30, 2007, Spain

The art exhibition "Vamos a Ibiza" (Let's go to Ibiza) by artist Ivo Hendriks shows John Paul II having passive homosexual sex, and Jesus Christ on the way of the cross while a character – half man, half woman - holds a penis to his mouth. The exhibition was authorized and funded by the Ibiza local authorities, and it took place inside the former L'Hospitalet church.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Defaming Art Funded by and Displayed in Madrid

September 26, 2007, Spain

Madrid City Hall and Madrid Community co-sponsored a comic exhibition which shows the Pope consuming pornography, having sex with nuns, and sheep, produced by Italian artist Federico Solmi. Madrid’s mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón is the chairman of the exhibition. The general coordinator, Armando Unsaín, said that "it might be possible that the content of the exhibition offended a minority, but no further consideration should be given to the complaints. We live in a democratic society, and the Church has not been unpolluted to deserve no criticisms."

Defamation Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Verbal Assult Reported in Hungary

September 14, 2007, Hungary

The Holy See reported one case of verbal assault in Hungary on 14 September 2007.

Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Anti-Christian Exhibition With Public Funding

September 13, 2007, Spain

The exhibit attacks monotheism, and blames it for all wars; extols the divine Elvis Presley as the new atheist god; and traces a parallel between totalitarianism (Communism, Nazism, etc) and its leaders (Stalin, Mao, Kim II Sung, Mussolini, Hitler) and the hierarchy of the Church.

Defamation Negative Stereotyping

Violence and Damages to Orthodox Church

August 20, 2007, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Four unidentified people allegedly broke into the Orthodox Church in a mixed settlement in Bugojno. They set a table and the priests’ robes on fire, and proceeded to desecrate the church. Two individuals were prosecuted for the latter event and sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment with a two-year suspended sentence. The Bugojno Municipal Assembly agreed to compensate the Church for the damage and installed video surveillance.

Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Desecration of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Békéscsaba

July 27, 2007, Hungary

The Romanian Orthodox church in Békéscsaba suffered an arson attack in the evening of July 24 by unknown people.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Orthodox Churches Attacked by Molotov Cocktails or Stoned

July 20, 2007, Bosnia and Herzegovina

On July 20th, in Kozarac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Orthodox Church was stoned and the windows of the church were broken. In another incident on October 19th, a Serbian Orthodox church in Gjilan/Gnjilane was attacked with Molotov cocktails, but the interior of the church was not damaged.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Gay Parade Supporters and Participants Mock Christian Beliefs

June 30, 2007, Spain

Before and during the Gay Pride Parade Christianity was mocked by Spanish actors Pablo Puyol, Carlos Fuentes, Mariola Fuentes and Pepón Nieto who addressed the gay community encouraging them to "do as much as possible to gain eternal damnation", and "to got a step further on the way to hell". Participants wore bishops' outfits and carried anti-Christian signs.

Insult or Incitement Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Police Investigate Leaflet Advertising Church’s Easter Services

June 22, 2007, United Kingdom

Church worker Julian Hurst, was handing out invitations for his church's Easter service. Police seized the literature after complaint by homosexual man that church should not be allowed to advertise.

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Public Funds for Blasphemous Book

May 31, 2007, Spain

The regional governming authority of Extremadura funded with public funds the book „Sanctorum e In Breedin“ containing photographs displaying pornographic images together with Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, and other Catholic sacred symbols. St. Roque is shown having an erection while holding his dog; Archangel Gabriel's picture displays the angel in sexual climax; extrements are shown over the chalice in substitution of Holy Communion; Jesus Christ is depicted as a transsexual; San Juan de la Cruz is shown having oral sex; and so on.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Blasphemious and Hurtful Art Funded by and Displayed in Valencia

May 31, 2007, Spain

"Art" in Valencia: Piece "Jaula de Canarios" (Canaries Cage) shows an image of God covered with birds excrement. Another piece shows nuns dancing with members of the military force; and another one displays Jesus and the Virgin Mary being "cooked" in a pan. Sacred images have been beheaded, and the original heads replaced with Disney's characters.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Traditional Patronal Festival Stripped of Original Christian Meaning

May 26, 2007, Spain

Representatives of Esquerra Unida and ERPV at the Sueca City Hall, Valencia, decided to suppress the religious connotation of the traditional festival that honors the Virgin of Sales. The proposal seeks to strip it of any religious meaning disregarding its Catholic origins. The representatives decided to run the festival under a new dedication, the "Rice Festival".

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Three Christians, Employees of a Christian Publishing, Tortured, Stabbed and Killed

April 18, 2007, Turkey

Three Christians tortured, stabbed, and killed in Turkey. Four of the five men detained, confessed having committed the crime for nationalist and religious reasons.

Hate Crime

Bishop in Court for Criticing Homosexual Behaviour

April 15, 2007, Belgium

In April 2007 André-Mutien Léonard, then the Roman Catholic bishop of Namur gave an interview in the weekly magazine Télé Moustique, where he was asked his opinion on homosexuality. In his answer he referred to Sigmund Freud and deduced that homosexuality was essentially psychological in nature. The court cleared the bishop - but the fact that he went through trial is of great concern.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Catholic Church Forced to Withdraw from Adoption

April 1, 2007, United Kingdom

New gay rights law forces the Catholic Church to pull out of offering adoption services in the UK.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws

Church Attacked in Kosovo

March 30, 2007, Kosovo

In Dean/Decane, Kosovo, the wall of one of the Serbian-Orthodox church’s most revered sites, a 14th-century monastery, was damaged by an anti-tank missile. On 4 May, the Kosovo police service said they had identified a suspect, but no arrest was made.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Community Metal Cross Broken and Dragged Away

March 30, 2007, Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Prozor, Bosnia and Herzegovina, four people broke down a metal cross that belonged to the Catholic community from a nearby village, and dragged it a few hundred meters away. The four defendants signed a plea agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office in Mostar, admitting their guilt. Three defendants were sentenced to two months’ imprisonment with a probation period of one year, and one defendant got a sentence of three months’ imprisonment.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Regulations Barring Religious Schools from Teaching against Homosexuality

March 22, 2007, United Kingdom

Regulations Barring Religious Schools from Teaching Against Homosexuality Approved Sexual Orientation Regulations Pass House of Lords. Concerned Christians prayed outside of the Houses of Parliament.

Freedom of Religion

Turkish-Origin Youth Gang Bullies Protestant Parish

March 21, 2007, Germany

A Turkish youth disturbed Protestant church services for weeks at a time by making noise in front of church windows in Oberstenfeld (Baden-Wurttemberg).

Hate Incident

Catalog Containing Anti-Christian and Hurtful Images Funded by City

March 15, 2007, Spain

The City Hall of Leida issued with public funds a catalog in support of a cartoon exhibition showing the evolution of homosexuals groups over the time. The catalog contained pornographic drawings were mixed with Christians symbols; (an artwork of Nazario Luque Vera). The mayor of Leida, Xavier Sàez, was requested to apologize and to stop the further distribution of the catalog but denied any wrongdoing.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Negative Stereotyping

Orthodox Churches in Process of Rebuilding Vandalized and Robbed in Kosovo-Metohija

January 30, 2007, Kosovo

A roof surface of almost 50 square meters of lead roofing was stolen from the Serbian Orthodox Church consecrated to Our Lady in Prizren which is in process of rebuilding after the devastation of Albanian mass riots in 2004.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Religion Teacher Mobbed At Madrid High School

January 26, 2007, Spain

Fernando Perez Crespo, teacher of religion at Carlos III High School, filed a formal complaint for mobbing. For the last four years, the schedule for his class had not been respected by the school authorities, parents who had requested religious instruction discovered that their children had been enrolled in other courses instead of Perez Crespo's religion class. At times Mr. Perez Crespo was compelled to use the school bathrooms or the smoking room to for teaching.

Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion

Girl Banned From Wearing Cross at School

January 10, 2007, United Kingdom

A British schoolgirl has been barred from wearing a crucifix necklace in class, the Daily Mail reported.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Christian Prayers Replaced By Quiet Moment

January 1, 2007, United Kingdom

Totnes Town Council replaced Christian prayers at the start of its meeting with a moment of silence.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Overview of Anti-Christian Vandalism in 2006

December 31, 2006, France

Acording to National Sources, 172 acts of vandalism against all religions have occured in France in 2006. A large number of those were perpetrated against Christian places of worship. Please find in the following an exemplary list of indicidents.

Desecration Hate Incident Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Repeated Attacks Against the Orthodox Church in Kosovo

December 31, 2006, Kosovo

Christian sites, ministres and believers have been targeted by various attacks in Kosovo during the year 2006. Here is a non-exhaustive list of these actions:

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Scottish Registrars Blackmailed for Rejecting Same-Sex Unions

December 30, 2006, United Kingdom

The Western Isles Council´s registrars have received hate mail and death threats because they refused, on moral grounds, to conduct civil partnership ceremonies. The registrars said that same sex unions would be conducted in fulfilment of the law, but no wedding-alike ceremony would be provided. Gay groups fired back indicating they would follow a human rights suit against the council to ensure gay couples on the Isles the same „rights“ as those elsewhere.

Freedom of Conscience Hate Incident

Madrid Restaurant Fined for Refusing to Host Gay Wedding Reception

December 29, 2006, Spain

The La Favorita restaurant in Madrid has been fined 12,000 € by the City Hall for refusing to serve a gay wedding party, according to the El Mundo newspaper. The council considers that the owners have committed a ‘serious infraction’ and is guilty of discrimination.

Freedom of Conscience Militant Equality Laws

Christmas Mass Interrupted in Montpellier

December 25, 2006, France

The bishop of Montpellier, Mgr Thomazeau, was celebrating midnight Christmas Mass in his cathedral when he was interrupted by ten individuals who entered uttering insults, yelling, and manifesting in various ways their hostility to the Christian faith; some were naked to accentuate the provocation. The police had to intervene in order to drive them out. The mayor showed great indignation and the faithful were very shocked by such behavior.

Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Orthodox Priest Was Killed With His Family

December 2, 2006, Russia

The priest Andrei Nikolaev, his wife and three children have died after their house was set on fire in the village Pryamukhino, Tver region. This was not the first time someone tried to disserve the family or the church. Several months before the accident, the priest informed police and asked for help and protection. He even addressed the media for help but nobody answered. The killer doused the house with gasoline and set on fire.

Hate Crime

Church Targeted by Molotov Cocktails

November 4, 2006, Turkey

The Odemis Love Protestant Church in Odemis, near Izmir, was attacked with Molotov cocktails. The church, where the pastor and his family lived, had been the target of stone-throwing and harassment in the months prior to the event.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Catholic School Vandalized in Pozuelo de Alarcon

October 31, 2006, Spain

The Catholic School Monte Tabor was vandalized just a few days before its inauguration in September 2006. Early in the morning, wearing gloves, four youths broke into the school and caused significant damage to the establishment, estimated in the amount of 20,000 Euro. Doors, windows, desks, and chairs were destroyed, and the walls painted with anti-Catholic expressions, as well as attacks to the PP, the PSOE political opponents.

Freedom of Religion Hate Crime

Gay Association Demeans Bible in Ad

October 18, 2006, United Kingdom

Gay Police Association places ad in The Independent with a photograph of a bible next to a pool of blood.

Defamation Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Tourism Office Suggests to “Avoid Religious Symbols in Holiday Apartments”

October 17, 2006, Austria

According to the reports of www.kath.net, the business manager of the Office of Tourism in the municipality of Schruns/Tschagguns in Southern Tyrol, Manuel Bitschnau, asked landlords of 300 holiday apartments to remove religious symbols. This was done in the course of a program of “improvement” in the tourism sector. The reason he gave: people of religions other than Christian could feel offended.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Official Seat of Ecumenical Patriarchate Attacked by Grenade

October 6, 2006, Turkey

The official seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate suffered an attack in Istanbul on October 6th and was damaged by a grenade.

Hate Crime

Creationism Debate comes with Defamation of Christians

October 2, 2006, Germany

Wolfgang Baake, general secretary of Christian Media Association (Christlichen Medienverbundes KEP) Germany, calls the reporting and public discussion of evolution vs. intelligent design vs. creationism “defamation” of Christians.

Defamation Negative Stereotyping

(BBC) Internal Memo Admits Anti-Christian Bias

October 1, 2006, International

The British Broadcasting Corporation has admitted to a marked bias against Christianity among the network’s executives and key anchors.

Defamation Negative Stereotyping

Blasphemous Theater Play “La Revelación” Performed in Different Spanish Theaters

September 30, 2006, Spain

Stage play “The Revelation” of author Leo Bassi ridicules the Christian faith, by portraying God as illogical and blood thirsty, believers as cruel, and the Church as power hungry.

Defamation Negative Stereotyping

Catholic Church Targeted by Government Representatives

September 18, 2006, Spain

In July 2005 the Spanish Socialist Youth political wing (JSE) has requested the government to appoint a commission to review the agreements between Spain and the Holy See. The JSE General Secretary and speaker, Herick Campos, emphasized the need to put the Catholic Church "in its place, without any privileges because the Catholic hierarchy has abused of its condition of majority to influence government affairs, specially in issues related to education and finance". This was supported by government leaders in 2006.

Freedom of Religion

Paint Bomb Attack on Pope’s Birthplace

September 10, 2006, Germany

One day before the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. in his hometown Marktl (Bavaria), unknown perpetrators threw two paint bombs unto the front of his birthplace at about 5 o’clock in the morning. The building had just been completely renovated. After the attack, the lower part of the facade had to be completely redone. The perpetrators were not found.

Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Birth Place of Pope Benedict XVI Vandalized

September 10, 2006, Germany

On Sept 10th, unknown perperators vandalized the birth place of Josef Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, in Marktl in Germany, by throwing colour on the newly restaurated front walls.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)