All cases

Monstrance with Relic of Saint Leopold Stolen from Pilgrimage Church Maria Lanzendorf

July 5, 2020, Austria

Intruders stole a monstrance with a relic of St. Leopold III, the patron saint of Lower Austria, from the pilgrimage church Maria Lanzendorf, along with a second relic monstrance, as well as other liturgical objects such as chalices and incense boats. According to police reports, the crime was committed during the night of July 5th.

Theft

Severe Vandalism of 75kg Cross at Wieden Church

July 4, 2020, Germany

On July 4th, unknown perpetrator knocked over the 75 kilogram cast iron cross in front of the Heart of Jesus church (Herz Jesu Kirche) in the Upper Palatinate town of Weiden, according to police reports. The cross, which was broken off steel pins, suffered massive damage. Police began an investigation and called for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Repeated Cases of Vandalism in Church of Bissendorf-Achelriede

July 2, 2020, Germany

In the three weeks between June 11th and July 2nd, the church of Bissendorf-Achelriede was vandalized three times by unknown perpetrators. The first two incidents happened at two buildings belonging to the church, eight windows were smashed and a wall sprayed with graffiti. The last incident occurred in the church and resulted in twenty-eight smashed windows, causing a total estimated damage of over thirteen thousand euros.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Suspected Arson at San Girolamo Church in Rimini

June 29, 2020, Italy

On June 29th, firefighters were called to the San Girolamo Church in the city of Rimini shortly after 3:30 in the afternoon. A pedestrian reported smoke emanating from the storage room of the church building where old furniture and plastic chairs formed the basis for the fire. Fortunately, the firefighting team was able to quell the blaze. A forensics team investigated whether the fire had been intentionally set, noting that nothing indicated that short circuits or similar faults were the cause of the fire.

Hate Crime Hate Incident

Repeated Acts of Vandalism and Theft in Bergamo Church

June 27, 2020, Italy

In the week before June 27th, the church of Sant’Andrea in Bergamo was the victim of two crimes. The first incident was the vandalism of the liturgical chair which was discovered upside down in the middle of the church and wet with what the priest suspected was urine. The second incident was the theft of the offerings, accomplished by severely damaging the valuable offering boxes. This series of events led to the closure of the church except for Sunday Mass, until funds have been raised to install comprehensive security measures.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Robbers Cause €100 in Damage to Steal €5 from Sulzbach Church

June 26, 2020, Germany

Police report that between June 26th and June 28th unknown perpetrators stole money from the offering box of the evangelical Church of Sulzbach. While the damage to the church property was estimated to be one hundred euros, the thieves fled with five euros.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of Saint Junípero Serra Vandalized with "Racist"

June 22, 2020, Spain

The statue of the Mallorcan friar and saint Junípero Serra in Palma which stands in front of the central convent of Sant Francesc, was vandalized on June 22nd. The word 'racist' was smeared on the base of the monument, and the saint's image was also stained with red paint. The statue was attacked after the Podemos councilor in the Palma City Council, Sonia Vivas, mayor of Social Justice, Feminism and LGTBI, noted the statue of the eighteenth-century Franciscan friar had been attacked in California, USA. She suggested the statue of the saint should be thrown away "peacefully, "calling the saint a symbol of the "oligarchy".

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

‘Black Madonna’ in Breda defaced

June 22, 2020, Netherlands

On June 22nd, vandals defaced the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa and painted the letters "BLM" at the base in a park chapel in Breda. The image of Our Lady, which is revered by Poles and also known as the 'Black Madonna', was erected in the park in 1954 in thanksgiving for the city’s liberation from the Nazis.

Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft from Bühl Church

June 19, 2020, Germany

A thief caused nearly €200 in damage when he violently tore the offertory box affixed to a table in the Catholic church in Bühl on June 19th. Reports indicate the box only contained a few euros. The Bühl police began an investigation.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism with Excrement in the Capuchin Church in Spoleto

June 14, 2020, Italy

The small church of the Minori Cappuccini di Spoleto was discovered vandalized with human excrement on June 14th, the feast of Corpus Christi. The excrement was scattered in several places in the church, including the chapel of the Madonna, on the entrance threshold, and on door handles.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statues Beheaded in Chapel Sculpture Garden

June 14, 2020, Belgium

The statue of Saint Anthony in the De Kluize sanctuary in Knutsegem in Velzeke and the statue of Julius Caesar on Romeins Plein were vandalized on the weekend of June 14. Their names were sprayed with graffiti. Additionally, all the statues in the sanctuary sculpture garden behind the chapel of Saint Anthony were beheaded.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

The Head of Saint Arnould Detached and Thrown in Ravine

June 14, 2020, Belgium

The head of the statue of Saint Arnould, patron saint of brewers, erected in Bouillon (province of Luxembourg), was unscrewed and thrown into a ravine during the night between June 13th and 14th. It was badly damaged but not destroyed because vegetation in the ravine broke its fall. A complaint was filed and Bouillon Mayor Patrick Adam was confident the perpetrators would be caught: “Thanks to the cameras that are installed by the municipality and thanks to those of the private ones, we will be able to recover images. We do not want this act to go unpunished.”

Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Attempted Arson at Rennes Cathedral

June 12, 2020, France

During the night from the 11th to 12th of June, Rennes firefighters intervened to extinguish an intentionally-set fire in front of a door of the Saint-Pierre cathedral in Rennes. A trash bin, placed just in front of the door located at the back of the building, on Rue Saint-Sauveur, was set on fire. According to the first impressions from the investigation, this was a voluntary act because the bin was brought from an adjacent street and deliberately placed outside the door.

Hate Crime

Graves Vandalized in Eure

June 11, 2020, France

Maintenance workers in a small municipal cemetery in the town of Lieurey discovered that dozen ancient graves had been vandalized. Several of the gravestones had been smashed, and on others, just the crosses were destroyed. According to the police in charge of the investigation, the incident dates back to the end of May or the beginning of June.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft and Desecration of the Eucharist in Molfetta

June 11, 2020, Italy

The parish priest of San Gennaro in Molfetta, Don Sergio Vitulano, reported that on the morning of June 12th he had noticed the number of consecrated hosts was significantly reduced compared to those placed in the ciborium during the Mass of the previous day. He also reported finding a consecrated host on the ground. The security camera footage revealed that a recognizable woman, observed in the area in the previous days, had entered the church and had taken numerous consecrated Hosts from the tabernacle by hurriedly putting them in her pocket and leaving the church.

Desecration Theft

Statue of Christ Decapitated and Vandalized

June 5, 2020, Spain

In the early morning hours of June 4, unknown individuals assaulted the monument dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in La Roda de Andalucía and broke the face and hands of the image to pieces.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Saint-Joseph Parish Church Vandalized

June 4, 2020, France

At the end of the first week of June, broken glass was discovered in a corridor of the parish church of Schœneck caused by the throwing of a large stone of about one kilo against a church window. The projectile had been thrown from outside the church and loosened the metal frame of the masonry. In front of the entrance to the crypt, the impact of a projectile against a window pane caused a crack that spanned its entire length. Another window was broken in the sacristy. Additionally, the large metal entrance gate at the side of the grotto of the Virgin was damaged, and two crossbars were twisted and torn off.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism and Theft at the Church of Heuilley-Cotton

June 3, 2020, France

Between June 3rd and 4th, one or more people broke into the Saint-Loup church of Heuilley-Cotton to steal the "begging angel" (l'ange quêteur) donation box. It was found outside the church completely broken and emptied of its contents.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Four Graves, Including that of a Priest, Vandalized in Village Cemetery

May 27, 2020, France

Four graves in the village cemetery of Saint-Pierre-de-Rivière were damaged during the night between May 26th and 27th by unknown vandals. Among those graves was that of Emile Genès, who had returned his native village after a long priestly life in the Paris region.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Saint-Arthémy Church Vandalized in Coteaux-du-Blanzacais

May 24, 2020, France

The Saint-Arthémy de Blanzac church in the town of Coteaux-du-Blanzacais was the target of acts of vandalism over the weekend of May 23rd and 24th. 

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Alsace: Two Vandalized Churches in Munster

May 23, 2020, France

The Catholic and Protestant churches, an ambulance company, the railway station, two banks and a sports complex were vandalized on the night of 22nd to 23rd May in Munster in le Haut-Rhin. Tags such as "Anarchie vaincera" (Anarchy will win) and the number "666" spray-painted in color were found. These damaging acts shocked and dismayed the inhabitants of the peaceful little town nestled in the heart of the Hautes-Vosges mountains. The gendarmerie launched an appeal for witnesses to find the perpetrators.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Gironde: 55 Vandalized Graves in a Cemetery in Gujan-Mestras

May 21, 2020, France

Fifty-five graves in the church cemetery of Gujan-Mestras were damaged by vandals during the evening of May 21st. Crosses and crucifixes were broken, as well as plaques and flower pots. Police opened an investigation.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Calvary Destroyed in Assé-le-Béranger

May 20, 2020, France

A witness reported to the Observatoire de la Christianophobie on May 20 that the calvary erected in front of the Assé-le-Béranger town hall of Assé-le-Béranger had been broken by a sledgehammer. Some inhabitants of the small village of 450 people interviewed by the witness expressed shock over this act of vandalism which is estimated to have occurred in the previous two weeks.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Saint Boniface Statue Vandalized with Anti-Christian Graffiti

May 16, 2020, United Kingdom

Residents of Crediton (Devon) have expressed their disgust after the statue of St. Boniface was targeted by vandals. The graffiti, scrawled across the base of the statue, reads: "God is dead. Pagan justice."

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Destruction of the Summit Crucifix of Pic Saint-Loup near Montpellier

May 10, 2020, France

Between the evening of May 9th and and the morning of May 10th, unidentified vandals cut down the emblematic summit crucifix of Pic Saint-Loup at its base. The iron cross overlooking Montpellier, which weighs 900 kg and is nearly ten meters high, was reportedly detached with a blowtorch or drills and left hanging over the 658 meters from the top of the peak. Inscriptions in red paint reading "Larcins des sorcières hérétiques" (crimes of heretical witches", "Le Pic Laïque" (the secular peak), and "Witch Power" (in English) were left on the pedestal. Police are investigating.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Parish Priest Fined for Celebrating Mass with Thirty People inside Church

May 10, 2020, Spain

On May 10th, municipal police fined the rector of Lloret for saying Mass with about thirty people inside the church. The priest, Martirià Brugada, however, defended his actions and, in fact, finished the Mass with the parishioners outside the church and the windows open.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Religion

Cornerstone Adoption and Fostering Service Seeks Judicial Review after Ofsted Downgrade

May 7, 2020, United Kingdom

The High Court in Leeds held a judicial review of the watchdog Ofsted’s actions against Cornerstone Adoption and Fostering Service in North East England on the 6th and 7th of May. The Christian fostering agency took the government regulator to court for downgrading Cornerstone’s fostering service from “Good” to “Requires Improvement.” 

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Salzburg Catholic Organization Targeted with "Pro Choice" Vandalism

May 5, 2020, Austria

The cars belonging to the Catholic initiative, HOME Mission Base Salzburg, were sprayed with "Pro Choice" and the windows were smashed by unknown vandals.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Wooden Cross in Church Courtyard Set on Fire

May 5, 2020, Germany

Unknown persons set fire to a three-meter-high wooden cross in the inner courtyard of the parish hall of the Catholic parish Edith Stein in Ludwigshafen during the night from May 4th to 5th. The main pillar was scorched by the fire. The police estimate the damage at 200 euros.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Village Church Vandalized in Northern France

April 23, 2020, France

The village church of Saint-Remy in Marly-Gomont was found vandalized on April 23rd despite a coronavirus lockdown confining people to their homes.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Attack on Church in Lesvos

April 14, 2020, Greece

The small church of Agia Aikaterini, which is located on the road leading to the Moria refugee camp in Lesvos, was the target of unknown vandals who caused extensive damage in early April.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vejleå Church in Ishøj Vandalized with Islamist Graffiti

April 12, 2020, Denmark

On April 12th, the Vejleå Church in Ishøj was vandalized with phrases such as, "We conquer Denmark," and, in Arabic, "There is no God but Allah."

Insult or Incitement Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Model Of Basilica Of San Simplicio Di Olbia Vandalized

April 5, 2020, Italy

The model of the basilica of San Simplicio in Olbia, a meticulous reconstruction and a symbol of the city, was damaged by vandals. Unknown perpetrators broke the roof and the top of the facade. This incident occurred while the city was on lock-down due to the corona virus. It was not the first time the monument had been vandalized.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Parish Offices of the Church of Amabilina Vandalized

April 4, 2020, Italy

Unknown intruders vandalized the parish offices of the San Giovanni Maria Vianney of Amabilina church in Marsala. The printer and the drawer of the photocopier were opened and the electrical wire was cut. Nothing was stolen because money and valuables had been removed while the church remains closed due to corona virus precautions.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Window Smashed at Protestant Church

April 1, 2020, Germany

An unknown person smashed a window of the evangelischen Gemeinde Mainz-Laubenheim with a stone between April 1st and 2nd. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Polish Village Shocked over Vandalism in Cemetery

March 28, 2020, Poland

During the night between the 28th and 29th of March unknown people vandalized several tombstones, knocked over plaques and crosses, and broke many candles in the parish cemetery in Wysoka, despite the corona virus lockdown measures in Poland. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Significant Vandalism in St. Michael Kirche

March 26, 2020, Germany

Between 6:00 and 7:20 pm on the evening of March 26th, an unknown perpetrator vandalized the St. Michael Kirche on Kämpenstraße in Versmold. A shelf with Easter candles was knocked over, and the candles were scattered throughout the church. A large glass sanctuary lamp with the eternal flame candle was destroyed and a microphone was torn out of the ambo. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Offensive Graffiti on Church Door in Poznań

March 25, 2020, Poland

The main entrance door of the church on Dąbrówki Street in Poznań was smeared by an unknown perpetrator during the night of March 24th to March 25th. An anarchist "A" symbol was sprayed on a pillar and the phrase "zdejmij suknię śmieciu" This roughly translates to: "take off your dress, punk" in blue paint was sprayed on the church. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft from Church in Mantes-La-Ville

March 23, 2020, France

While France is subject to lockdown measures related to the coronavirus, thieves stole three video projectors and the money collected during Masses from the safe in the church of Sacré-Cœur in Mantes-la-Ville on March 23rd.

Theft

Fire Set in Saint Anna Church

March 21, 2020, Germany

An unknown person set fire to the seat cushion of a wooden prayer bench in the Catholic Church of Saint Anna in Blieskastel-Biesingen. This incident happened between the evening of March 21st and the afternoon of March 22. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Nativity Figures Stolen from a Church

March 21, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators broke into the Evangelical church on the Ringstraße in Aldekerk, Kerken through a broken window between the evening of March 21st and the morning of the 22nd. They searched several cupboards and stole two nativity figures, before fleeing in an unknown direction. The police are investigating.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism of Church in Italy Despite Quarantine

March 20, 2020, Italy

The coronavirus quarantine did not prevent the vandalism of a church: during the night between March 20th and March 21st, the church of Santa Restituta in Sora was defaced with black and red spray paint.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Chick-fil-A Closes its Reading restaurant

March 20, 2020, United Kingdom

In October 2019, the American restaurant Chick-fil-A signed a six-month lease and opened a franchise in The Oracle shopping center in Reading. LGBT protesters promptly began a "Get the Chick Out" boycott campaign, due to the company's previous support of a Christian charity which opposed same-sex marriage. The company indicated that the closure was part of its strategy of opening "pilot license locations“ with limited menus in partnership with local organizations to test the waters while expanding.  

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Heavy Damage after Break-in at Schwalbach Church

March 19, 2020, Germany

At around two in the morning on February 19th, two perpetrators broke into a church in Schwalbach am Taunus and leaving at least 5,000 euros in damage. They destroyed a glass pane in the rear area, pried open the main entrance and broke open several doors and cupboards made out of wood and glass. It was unclear whether anything was stolen. A witness reported observing two men fleeing the church (about 1.70 meters tall, Mediterranean looking and darkly dressed). The police are investigating.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Man Arrested for Norway Church Fires

March 19, 2020, Norway

Police arrested and charged a man in his 20s for a church fire in Dombås and attempted arson at a church in Sel. The man admitted criminal charges. "He has stated as a reason for the actions that he was angry and cursed because [he heard that] a Norwegian man set fire to the Koran without the police having done anything about it," Hedmarken district court wrote in the ruling.

Hate Crime

Saint-Laurent Church Stained Glass Windows Smashed

March 17, 2020, Belgium

On March 17th unknown people threw stones at the stained glass windows of the Saint-Laurent church in Piétrebais and broke them. According to reports, the church's windows have been targeted by vandals during the school holidays over the past four years, resulting in more than 16,000 euros in damage.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson at Historic Church of Saint-Apollinaire

March 16, 2020, France

On March 16th, unidentified perpetrators set fire to the church Saint-Apollinaire built in the 12th century in Meximieux in eastern France. The fire was extinguished by local firefighters and police arrested the arsonists, but still the church will be closed to the public until further notice.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Graffiti Sprayed on Göttschied Church Walls

March 15, 2020, Germany

During the night between March 15th and March 16th unknown perpetrators sprayed graffiti on the walls of the Protestant Abteikirche in Göttschied (Idar-Oberstein). Police are investigating

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of Virgin Mary Vandalized

March 11, 2020, Italy

The statue of the Virgin of the Church of Rio Salso in Tavullia was vandalized with a fake joint and cartridge taped on the figure's mouth and hand on March 11th.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism in Güthersloh Church

March 8, 2020, Germany

Alerted by loud noises coming from the St. Pankratius church, a witness discovered a vandalized entrance, a broken window, and that the altar cover and a tablecloth had been set on fire. A 62-year-old resident of Güthersloh, was considered a suspect.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)