All cases

Sidewalk Counsellors Violently Harrassed

November 27, 2007, Austria

Prolife sidewalk counsellors praying in front of an abortion clinic were violently harrassed and sexually assaulted by people allegedly hired by the owner of the clinic, Dr. Christian Fiala, in Vienna, Austria.

Hate Crime Insult or Incitement

Clown Interrupted Mass and Destroyed Baptismal Font

November 22, 2007, Spain

A 36 year old man, wearing a clown costume, entered into the Corpus Christi Parish in Granada during mass and interrupted it. Right after, he destroyed the Baptismal Font with a wrench. The media reported that regulars to the parish had noticed the aggressor in the adjacent areas of the church in the days before the attack.

Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Biennale of Contemporary Art Displays Profaned Jesus Crucified Hanging from Lingerie

November 22, 2007, Spain

The Sevilla Biennale of Contemporary Art presented an artwork of German-born Josephine Meckseper intended to merge the concepts of sex and the religious symbolism of Holy Week. Meckseper displays Jesus Christ hanging from lingerie. Christians were offended, but Pablo Suarez, the Museums General Director in Andalucia highlighted freedom of expression without censorship. The Biennale is mostly funded with taxpayers' money.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Religious Activity Under Requirement of Government Permit Limits Small Christian Communities

November 18, 2007, Spain

The Parliament of Catalonia has passed a new law that increases the power of the government over religious organizations. Catholic and Evangelical churches, among others, have raised some concerns about the role of the state regulating activities that belong, originally, to religious organization. Under the new law, and from now on, a permit issued by the local City Hall is needed to carry out any religious activity, and the permit could be denied for security and health issues.

Freedom of Religion

(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)