All cases

Town Hall Members Forced to Fast During Ramadan

August 7, 2008, United Kingdom

The members of Tower Hamlets Council in East London received an email asking them to observe restrictions implemented during Ramadan. Among these measures, Town Hall meetings were reduced and prayers were included in the evening in observance of the "holy month".

Equality Freedom of Religion

Comedian Insults Pope

August 1, 2008, Italy

At a Rome rally a comedian insults pope saying in 20 years he would be in hell tormented by homosexual deamons.

Insult or Incitement

BBC Screens Show In Which Radical Christians Behead a Moderate Muslim

July 24, 2008, United Kingdom

„Bonekickers“, a BBC TV production which that claims to be fact –based ("History comes alive," says the promotional campaign) deals with a group of radical Christians whose goal is to clean England of immigrants.

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Schoolboys Forced to Pray to Allah

July 22, 2008, United Kingdom

Two pupils from Alsager High School in Cheshire were punished after they refused to pray to Allah. The 7-grade class kids were urged by their religious education teacher Alison Phillips to take part in a Muslim prayer. Prayer mats were given to them, and the pupils were told to kneel down following the Muslim ritual. They were also told to wear Muslim headwear during the lesson.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Police Officer Discriminated Against for Traditional Values

July 9, 2008, United Kingdom

PC Graham Cogman has taken his police force to an Employment Tribunal on grounds of harassment because of his traditional Christian values after a series of complaints and investigations suggesting he is ‘homophobic’ – something he strenuously denies. He says that the ‘over the top’ promotion of homosexual rights within Norfolk Police makes being a Christian policeman, or an officer with traditional family values, extremely difficult, unless a person is prepared to ignore his or her conscience.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Militant Equality Laws

Iris Robinson MP investigated by police for using the Bible’s language about homosexuality

June 30, 2008, United Kingdom

Police investigated Northern Ireland MP Iris Robinson for expressing her religious beliefs about homosexuality on a BBC radio show. Officers from the ‘serious crime branch’ of the Police Service of Northern Ireland held interviews about the incident.

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

TV Program Mocks Catholic Church

May 30, 2008, Spain

The Spanish TV channel "La Sexta" broadcasted the program “Salvados por la Iglesia” (Saved by the Church), hosted by Jordi Evole. Evole, knows as "el follonero" (the troublemaker), makes fun of the Pope for allegedly wearing Prada; the canonization process; and the Wednesday General Audience hosted by the Pope in the Vatican.

Negative Stereotyping

Abortion Supporters Disturb Church Service and Cause Turmoil

May 30, 2008, Spain

A group of women gathered in front of Santa María del Pi Church in Barcelona for a pro-choice manifestation. Five of them entered the Church, interrupted the service, and in front of the mass attendees chained themselves to one of the church altars for "free and unrestricted abortions".

Freedom of Religion Hate Incident

Vicar Beaten By Youth in ‘Faith Hate’ Attack

May 30, 2008, United Kingdom

A parish priest was beaten up by three youths who hurled religious abuse during the attack. The assault took place in the churchyard of St Matthew’s Church in Bethnal Green, East London. Reverend Kevin Scully was left with two black eyes and a cut nose, and only escaped more serious injury because a member of the public intervened.

Hate Crime

Sacrilegious Parade Takes Places in Anticipation of Corpus Christi Procession

May 28, 2008, Spain

The Toledo City Hall council representative in charge of community events, Carmen Jiménez Martín, authorized a profane parade the day before of the traditional and highly celebrated Corpus Christi procession. The theater company Morboria used grotesque characters and dressed them in religious gowns; women dressed as prostitutes were marching next to other participants dressed as saints; and a puppet represented the Virgin Mary. Sacred symbols were part of the profane decoration.

Insult or Incitement Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Formal Complaint for Government Participation in Catholic Funeral of Former President

May 20, 2008, Spain

Representatives of the United Left (Izquierda Unida Republicana) of Asturias released a public announcement where they condemned the participation of civil servants in the funeral in Madrid by „not being able to distinguish public functions from private life.“ They requested that a laity protocol be applied in the future.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Atheist Complaint Against Catholic Service Announcements at Barajas Airport

May 20, 2008, Spain

The International Atheist Federation complained to President Rodriguez Zapatero requesting the immediate ending of the announcement of Roman Catholic services at Barajas airport, in Madrid.

Freedom of Religion

Education Minister's Coming Guidelines May Ban Students from Wearing Crucifixes

May 16, 2008, Ireland

Education Minister Caitriona Ruane, a member of the Sinn Fein Party, is importing school uniform policies from London which led to schools being able to ban students from wearing crucifixes and Sikh religious bangles.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Christian Youth Festival violently disturbed by Anti-Christian Forces

May 4, 2008, Germany

The Christian Youth Festival “Christival” experienced tremendous opposition on site. 15.000 peaceful youth disturb by socalled “anti-sexistic alliance” under the name of “No Christival” shouting slogans such as “Masturbation instead of Evangelization” or “Never again Jesus”.

Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Socialist Party Initiative Aims to Change The Name of Pius XII Street in Sevilla

April 25, 2008, Spain

The City Hall of Sevilla, run by the PSOE socialist party, has announced its intention to change the names of some streets associated with Franco and his regime. The proposal is a consequence of the Historical Memory Law that allows the removal of names and signs related to Franco's times. One of them is now considered to be Pope Pius XII and a street named after him. In the PSOE words, the Pope is a "francoist character", well-known as the "Nazi Pope".

Defamation Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

BBC Screens Anti-Christian Series

April 24, 2008, United Kingdom

EastEnders, a BBC soap opera based on the life of Lucas Aaron Johnson, a pastor played by Don Giler, portrays Johnson as a twisted Christian preacher with strong religious convictions committing terrible crimes. The executive producer Diederick Santer said about the character: "Lucas is doing the Lord's work".

Negative Stereotyping

Pro-Life Politician Pelted with Bottles and Eggs

April 2, 2008, Italy

An Italian pro-life politician was pelted with eggs and bottles during an April 2 campaign appearance in Bologna. At least 15 people were injured.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Church Service Stormed, Pastor Beaten

April 2, 2008, Russia

Pentecostal service stormed by perpetrators, pastor beaten, parishioners threatened with pistols held to their heads.

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

Socialist Pupils Association Encourages Members to Vandalize Churches

March 20, 2008, Austria

In a newsletter Austrian "Aktion Kritischer Schüler" (Socialist Pupils Association) encourages members to take the occasion of the international day against racism (March 21st) to vandalize churches.

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

Christian Youth Festival in Germany Under Attack

March 19, 2008, Germany

January/March 2008: “Christival” – a large Christian youth festival is protested by “anti-sexistic forces” due to its “conservative” contents such as its opositon to pre-marital sex and abortion. Organisers currently discuss with police how to protect participants and the festival.

Hate Incident