All cases

Equality Legislation in Malta Threatens Freedom of Religion; Conscience; Expression

July 22, 2020, Malta

Proposed Equality Bills 96 and 97 are ostensibly aimed at protecting an extensive group of people from discrimination and cover areas such as schools, public religious symbols, and services and employment. The Bills would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, religious belief, state of health, and other “protected characteristics.” However, many sectors of society, including educators, professionals, business owners, health workers, parents, faith-based groups, and believers are concerned about the laws' overreach.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws Rights of Parents

Church Site Vandalized Causing 5,000 Euros in Damage

July 21, 2020, Germany

On July 21st, unknown perpetrators vandalized the entire area surrounding the Protestant city church of Groß-Gerau. Yellow graffiti was sprayed on walls, wooden benches, a parking sign and wall pillars causing an estimated damage of 5,000 Euros. The police ares investigating the incident and asked the public for help identifying the vandals.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Suspicious Fire in Ligugé Abbey

July 21, 2020, France

A fire was discovered on July 20, 2020, just before midnight, in the building used as a laundry room at the Abbey Saint-Martin de Ligugé. According to firefighters, about 20 of the 100 m2 were destroyed. One person was detained and questioned. No charges have been announced.

Vandals Smashed Four Windows of the Church of Großweitzschen

July 20, 2020, Germany

An employee of the parish of the church of Großweitzschen discovered on July 21st that four stained glass panes of the door on the organ tempore had been smashed the day before. Reports indicate that this is not the first time the church has been the victim of vandalism.

Vandalism of Virgin Mary Statue in Alt-Schwallbach Chapel

July 20, 2020, Germany

Between July 19th and 20th an unknown perpetrator cut off and stole the hands of the statue of the Virgin Mary in a chapel in Alt-Schwallbach. Local Catholics are shocked, as the vandalism contains a mysterious detail, the vandal supposedly took the cut off hands with him/her, as they could not be found in- or outside the chapel. The police is investigating the case.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Anarchist Tags on the Church of Saint Clement in Nantes

July 19, 2020, France

On July 19th, just a day after the fire at the cathedral in Nantes, the priest of the Fraternité Saint-Pierre serving the Saint-Clément church in Nantes discovered anarchist tags sprayed on the front of the church.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism of Christ of Calvary on l’Île d’Arz

July 19, 2020, France

Unknown perpetrators broke the Christ of Calvary of Grèavo on the l’île d’Arz during the night of July 19th to 20th. The Christ figure was knocked off the large public crucifix and broken into several pieces. "A silly act, a sacrilege," reacts Christophe Stener, a local historian and resident. "Human stupidity has no limits. Whether one is a Christian or not, this act is revolting." The gendarmerie are investigating.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson Investigation after Fire Heavily Damaged Nantes Cathedral

July 18, 2020, France

In the early morning hours of July 18th, a fire began in the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral, in the heart of Nantes. Passers-by saw flames behind the rosette window of the cathedral and alerted emergency services a little before 8:00 am. When firefighters arrived, they discovered "a violent fire at the level of the organ located behind the rosette window." Upon further investigation, it appeared that the fire had started in three locations: one fire had started near the organ, while the other two were at the other end of the cathedral.

Church of the Beata Vergine del Soccorso Repeatedly Vandalized

July 16, 2020, Italy

The portico of the Church of Beata Vergine del Soccorso, known locally as La Rotonda, is often used as a meeting place for young people in the city of Rovigo, despite an ordinance against it. Several times in the weeks before July 16th, mostly young people illegally climbed onto the historic porch and vandalized it, with a least one of them being caught on security cameras using it as a toilet on May 30th. The local police began an investigation.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Anarchist Graffiti Targeting Church; City Hall in San Giorgio a Cremano

July 15, 2020, Italy

During the night of July 15th, vandals attacked various sites in the city of San Giorgio a Cremano near Naples, including the church of Santa Maria del Principio with graffiti. One tag on the church read "Fuoco al Vaticano." The city hall gate and the headquarters of some political movements were also targeted. The city's mayor, Giorgio Zinno, said the symbols and slogans demonstrated the vandals' anti-Catholic, anti-democratic, and anarchic ideology. The police are investing the case by analyzing the recordings of the public security cameras.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Three Vandalism Incidents at Cemetery of Lézignan-Corbières in July

July 15, 2020, France

On July 15th, 24th, and 27th the cemetery of Lézignan-Corbières was repeatedly vandalized and various objects were stolen, such as crucifixes, crosses, vases, flowers, decorations, and plaques, . Gravestone plaques were dismantled, damaged, and reassembled elsewhere, and objects were moved. The perpetrators also attempted to open several graves. A police investigation was opened and the cemetery was closed to allow investigators to collect evidence for their investigations.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

San Pietro Church in Canazza Vandalized with Paint Bomb for the 5th Time

July 13, 2020, Italy

On July 13th, a black paint bomb attack on the granite facade of San Pietro church occurred for the fifth time in two years. After a respite of a year, once again community members of the church again had to remove the damage using solvents to clean the oily back paint. This time, the vandals used twice as much paint than in previous assaults, making removal from the porous granite difficult.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of Virgin and Child Vandalized with Red Graffiti in Noirmoutier-en-l'Île

July 13, 2020, France

During the night of July 13th and 14th the Marian statue of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île was vandalized with obscene red graffiti. The monument to commemorate the end of a parish mission in 1949 had previously been restored after being decapitated in 2018.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Harassing Graffiti at Saint-Martin Basilica

July 12, 2020, France

During the night of July 11th, the outside walls of Saint-Martin Basilica in Tours were sprayed with offensive graffiti (a cruder version of "become lesbians"), as well as the familiar anarchic tag "ACAB". The graffiti is clearly visible at the entrance of the basilica and was probably intended for the Benedictine nuns of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre, who serve in the basilica. The police took photos and are investigating the case.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism and Attempted Theft at the Verbanella Church in Castelletto Ticino

July 8, 2020, Italy

On July 8th an act of vandalism and attempted theft was discovered in Castelletto Ticino in the Verbanella Church. One stained-glass window was smashed into pieces, which also caused a damage on a statue of St. Anthony of Padua that fell on the ground. The police are investigating the incident.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Desecration of Saint Silas Chapel in Lesvos with Obscene Graffiti

July 8, 2020, Greece

In the latest in a series of vandalism and desecration incidents, unidentified perpetrators invaded the Saint Silas Chapel on July 8th, where they desecrated the interior, smashed windows, and sprayed obscene graffiti on the outside walls. The graffiti showed a clear bias against the local residents by writing phrases such as "f&*k you" on the walls. Despite the repeated complaints of residents no further action has been taken.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Two Smashed Windows at Rodde Chapel

July 7, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators smashed two windows of the chapel of the Josefskirche in Rodde between July 5th and 7th causing at least 500 euros in damage. The police began an investigation.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

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

Suspicious Fire in the Saint-Paul Church of Corbeil-Essonnes

July 4, 2020, France

On the 4th of July at 5 o'clock in the morning the St. Paul Church in Corbeil-Essonnes was reported to be burning. The entire roof, interior, and the sacristy of the church were completely destroyed. The police reported that the fire broke out due to a gas leak caused by squatters, but at least one local resident is skeptical about this explanation.

Suspicious Fire in Frensdorf Pilgrimage Church

July 4, 2020, Germany

Around 6:30 p.m. on July 4th, an employee who entered the pilgrimage church from the back, noticed heavy smoke and fire in the area of ​​a church pew. A candle on the knee pad in front of the bench had set fire to a nylon rope, then the pad caught fire and the flames spread to the entire bench. The woman managed to extinguish the burning seat and backrest; then she called the fire brigade. The Bamberg criminal police took over the further investigation into the cause of the fire which resulted in 2,000 euros in damage.

Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)