All cases

St. Pantaleon Church in Cologne Threatened and Vandalized for Planing a Screening of a Pro-life Film

October 23, 2020, Germany

The wall of the St. Pantaleon church in Cologne was vandalized with pink graffiti by unknown pro-choice activists stating threats and symbols. It is assumed that this is linked to the churchs' announced screening of the feature film "Unplanned", a pro-life film. The vandalism happened during the night of October 23rd, which was the evening when "Youth for Life" wanted to screen the film in the parish hall. The threatening graffiti reads:" Abortion opponents we will get you all". The event was cancelled because of the current COVID-19 situation.

Freedom of Expression Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Wave of Attacks Against Churches in Poland by Feminist Group's After New Abortion Law Was Passed

October 22, 2020, Poland

On October 22nd, the polish Constitutional Tribunal decided that eugenic abortion is unconstitutional. This led to an outrage of the left-wing feminist organization "Women's Strike". among others, which started attacking churches across Poland and interrupting church services. The activists vandalized the facades of many religious buildings by tagging them with vulgar or insulting slogans. Among the attacked churches were the St. Magda Magdalena in Warsaw and the parish church St. Jakub in Warsaw, the St. Vincent de Paul church in Otwock and other Shrines and buildings. The police is investigating.

Defamation Desecration Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Religion Hate Crime Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping Vandalism (form of hate crime)

New Crime Wave Against Churches and Religious Buildings in England with an Average of 13 Incidents per Day

October 18, 2020, United Kingdom

On October 18th, the Daily Mail wrote an article about the new "crime wave" against churches and cemeteries in England. The crimes include robbery, vandalism, personal attacks and rape. According to the Metropolitan Police around 1,106 crimes happened in religious locations, including 250 cases of violence against individuals, 273 burglaries, 188 arsons and criminal damage and 371 thefts.

A Bust of Pius XI Torn Down on The Terrace of Pigazzano

October 18, 2020, Italy

On October 18th, a Bust of Pius XI was found torn down to the ground and severely damaged on the Terrazza di Pigazzano. The terrace, located in front of the Santa Maria Assunta Church, is closed since 2015 due to restoration works. The terrace has repeatedly been vandalized in the past. The bust is placed at the stairs leading to the Santa Maria Assunta Church, which is also got damaged. A group of young people was identified by the police.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

March for Life Interrupted by Counter-Demonstrators Insulting and Stereotyping Christians

October 17, 2020, Austria

On October 17th, counter-demonstrators interrupted the March for Life in Vienna by blocking streets, which led to serval changes of the originally planned route. The counter-demonstrators also verbally and physically insulted the participants of the march with vulgar expressions and gestures. They also held up highly insulting banners like:"If Mary would have aborted, we would have been spared of you." Additionally, the counter-demonstrators held up flags against homophobia, stereotyping Christians as homophobic, despite the fact that the march was not about LGBTQ+ issues but the protection of the unborn life.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Repeated Vandalism With Graffiti at Church of San Giacomo

October 17, 2020, Italy

The walls of the church of San Giacomo in Tarquinia was tagged with Graffiti the week before October 17th. On October 17th the church walls were tagged again expanding the vandalism. Mayor Giulivi of Tarquinia already ordered to clean the walls and called the incident an "uncivilized act against an entire community." He also want to install CCTV at the church for better surveillance.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Singer of March for Life Physically Attacked and Robbed

October 17, 2020, Austria

The singer Vero, a young Christian women, who sang at the March for Life in Vienna on October 17th, was physically attacked after her performance on stage. On her way home she went to pick up her bicycle and was harassed by two female antifa activists, who grabbed her bicycle and tried to steal it from her, the two perpetrators also kicked the singer's leg. They finally stole the bicycle, after a loud outcry to the surrounding police officers the two activists were caught and charged with theft and physical violence. The police has indicated that the prosecutor will bring this case forward, as a hate crime.

Hate Crime Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson in Church of Quarndorn Caused Damage on Exterior Wall and Windows

October 15, 2020, United Kingdom

During the night of October 15th, a fire was set at the exterior wall and the windows of St. Paul's church in Quarndorn. The fire damaged the wall and windows but did not spread further. The police is asking for help. A 17-year-old teenager has been arrested as suspect.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Windows Smashed at Church in Kleinkahl

October 15, 2020, Germany

On October 15th, a church in Kleinkahl was vandalized during the week. An unknown perpetrator damaged one church window and another window at the rectory of the church throwing stones. The damage is approximately 300 euros. The police is looking for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft and Vandalism in Church of Coswig

October 15, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators forcefully broke into a Church in Coswig during the night of October 15th and stole two silver-plated candlesticks, which are estimated to have a value of 5.000 Euros. Apart from the theft the vandalism is estimated to have caused a damage of an additional 2.00 Euros. The police is investigating.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Student in Swedish School Asked to Remove Necklace with Cross for School Photo

October 9, 2020, Sweden

On October 9th, a 15-year-old boy was asked to remove his necklace with a cross on it for the school photo. The school is unknown to guarantee the anonimity of the boy. Other students at the school were allowed to wear their religious symbols during the photo was taken, like face or hair coverings according to the Muslim religion. The teenager was told, that the cross symbol could be offensive for other students. The headmaster of the school distanced himself from the incident and said the photographer had made a mistake.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

French Parliament Debates Extension of Abortion Time Limit and Elimination of Conscientious Objection Clause

October 8, 2020, France

On October 8th, MEPs have approved the first reading of the proposed changes in abortion law in France. They wish to extend the legal time limit for abortions from 12 to 14 weeks and to eliminate the clause for contentious objection, which allows gynaecologists and obstetricians to reject to perfom an abortion when they consider it murder, or for other moral reasons. The Prime Minister, the President and the Minister of Health object, that the discussion has been one-sided, and demand the recognition of the opinion from the national advisory committee on ethics.

Freedom of Conscience

Attempted Arson at St. Gregory's Church in Kevindale During Funeral Preparations

October 8, 2020, United Kingdom

On October 8th two young men forcefully broke into St Gregory's Church in Kevindale by smashing a window of the side chapel. They were caught by the parish priest while they tried to set fire inside the church. The two also caused some other vandalism inside the church. The priest chased the two perpetrators down the road but did not catch them. The vandals broke in during ongoing preparations for a funeral. The community of the church was shocked and demands reparations. The police is investigating.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

St. Kevin's Church Severely Vandalized

October 5, 2020, United Kingdom

On October 5th, the St. Kevin's Church in Bargeddie was severely vandalized by unknown perpetrators. A Jesus statue was found with both arms broken off. The police is investigating.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Threats Against Pro-Life Supporters and "March For Life" Banned in Switzerland 2019, 2020 and 2021

October 2, 2020, Switzerland

In the city of Zürich, the March for Life was opposed by extreme left activists, as it also occurred in Austria and Germany, which led the local government to ban the march. The march has already been banned in 2019 and also for 2020 and 2021 with no consistent reason. The official reason for the ban are safety concerns for the participants of the march, due to violent counter-protests and possible riots. As an alternative to the march, there would have been a smaller gathering of the pro-life supporters, but the Congress Center Winterthur, where the event would have taken place in a smaller form, has denied access. The organizers of the march announced that they will pursue legal action against this decision.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression

University of Edinburgh and University of Stirling Accused of Restricting Free Speech by Refusing to Affiliate Pro-Life Societies

September 28, 2020, United Kingdom

The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Children (SPUC) and the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS) published a report called Free2Speak on September 28, which analyzed campus censorship in Scotland. Each university was scored according to their policies towards pro-life students, societies and outside speakers and the students' experiences. Both Edinburgh and Stirling university were marked as "fails" in the survey because their students' unions refused to affiliate pro-life societies.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

School Worker Lost Discrimination Case for Her Dismissal After Posting Christian Views on LGBT on Facebook

September 25, 2020, United Kingdom

On January 7th 2019, the Farmor's School in Fairford dismissed Mrs Kristie Higgs for committing gross misconduct. The school directive received a complaint about the teacher's posts on her private Facebook disagreeing with LGBT+ agenda (On the 26th October 2018). Mrs. Higgs appealed against the dismissal on January 14th 2019 for discrimination against her religious beliefs. The court concluded on September 25th, that her dismissal was not a discriminating act against her beliefs, but about "gross misconduct" understood by the school directive. During the whole process, Kristie Higgs received commentaries like "Keep your religion out of it" and was called a ‘Pro-Nazi right-wing extremist’. The court ruled against her, even though the government has restricted the Relationships and sex education (RSE) guidelines, to protect religious freedom and although the court acknowledged that Mrs. Higgs behavior was not homophobic or transphobic. Higgs is appealing the court decision.

Defamation Freedom of Expression

Pro-life Activists Forbidden to Stand in Front of Abortion Clinic in Utrecht

September 24, 2020, Netherlands

Pro-life activists of “Schreeuw om Leven”, who offer help to women in front of an abortion clinic in Utrecht, were required to stay in a buffer zone at a distance from the clinic. The Veiligheidsregio (Security Region) Utrecht referred public health and traffic safety as the reasons for the change in regulations, which was communicated on September 24th. As a consequence, the pro-life activists were severely restricted in offering support to visitors of the clinic.

Freedom of Association and Assembly

Increase in Vandalism Against Churches in Northern Ireland

September 16, 2020, United Kingdom

In the last three years, there have been more than 400 attacks recorded against churches. In the last five years it sums up to 600 attacks in Northern Ireland. Most of the attacks happened in Belfast. Most of the incidents are attacks with paint bombs and graffitis, but also various forms of vandalism, arson attacks and general damage to church property are recorded.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft from Catholic Church of St Anna

September 11, 2020, Germany

September 11th, between 12 and 19:30 hrs, a display case was broken open in the provost church of St. Anna in Schwerin. Unknown perpetrators stole the relic of Saint Ansgar. The perpetrators also broke open two alms boxes in the church. The total damage to property amounts to about 1,400 euros, but the value of the stolen relic has not been quantified. Police opened an investigation.

Theft

Inverted Yellow Cross Sprayed on the Door of La Antigua Church in Valladolid

September 10, 2020, Spain

A large inverted yellow cross was painted onto the main entrance door of La Antigua Church in Valladolid on September 10th. This is not the first time that the church was vandalized. The perpetrator remains unknown.

Defamation Vandalism (form of hate crime)

After Facebook Post Pastor Threatened by LGBT Activists with Arson and Physical Assault

September 8, 2020, United Kingdom

Since the 8th of August, Pastor Josh Williamson and his wife experienced several threats and verbal abuse by the LGBT community, because of posting his belief about homosexuality on Facebook. Among them are the threats to burn his church, to perform sexual acts and protests in front of his church and physical assault. His image was also used on pornographic content and shared online, among other misleading information about him. In his conversation with the Police, Williamson was told to be careful not to break the law by insulting the LGBT community and being charged for hate speech. The threats towards him and his church were not investigated, neither the acts of defamation.

Defamation Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Statue of the Virgin Mary Decapitated in Borgo Sabotino

September 7, 2020, Italy

During the night of September 7th unknown perpetrators decapitated the statue of the Virgin Mary, called "Madonnina" by locals, which is situated in Borgo Sabotino in the province of Latina. This was not the first time the statue was vandalized the parish SS Cuore di Gesù states, expressing its deep sorrow over this tragic incident.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church Walls Vandalized With Graffiti In Ixelles

September 6, 2020, Belgium

Graffiti was found on the walls of Sainte-Croix Church which is situated close to Flagey Square in Ixelles. Tags include the phrases "God is gay", "Je suis a transwoman" ("I am a trans woman"), as well as an inverted cross and the number "666".

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Cemetery and Village Hall Vandalized in Saint-Urbain

August 29, 2020, France

During the night from August 29th to 30th, the cemetery and the village hall in Saint-Urbain (département de Finistère) were vandalized. Several crosses on private tombstones were broken, ornamental shells were taken off a monument dedicated to war victims in the community, and windows of the village hall Ti-Kreisker were smashed. Plougastel police began an investigation.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson in the Church of San Gaspare del Bufalo in Albano Laziale

August 21, 2020, Italy

On August 21st the door of the church of San Gaspare del Bufalo in Albano Laziale was first drenched with gasoline and then purposefully set on fire. The church is a dearly held place of worship for many pilgrims, who come to the church every year, as well as for the locals. The priest of the parish and one candidate for the major's office of the city see a clear indication of bias, as the damage was intended to be devastating. They both do not perceive this attack, as a form of vandalism but of brutal arson and destruction. It is also speculated that the crime was instigated by satanist groups but the police is currently investigating in all directions.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Chapel of Santo Stefano Desecrated by Vandals

August 11, 2020, Italy

A small chapel in the hamlet of Montesardo in Alessandria was vandalized by unknown people. They used spray paint to write vulgar and blasphemous phrases and images such as "Fck church, Fck God" and an anarchist symbol. A Mass of Reparation was held.

Insult or Incitement Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Eglise Saint-Pierre Vandalized and Desecrated

August 11, 2020, France

During the night of 10-11 August, unknown perpetrators broke into the church of Saint-Pierre de Montendre. The large central crucifix was discovered smashed on the ground. Father Bergson Julien was shocked: "I went to open the church at 8.45 this Tuesday morning and found the large cross with Christ in terracotta on the floor, broken vases on the altar, and the tabernacle had disappeared". The tabernacle was later found, but the ciborium and lunula with consecrated hosts it contained were missing.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Increasing Attacks on German Street Preacher

August 10, 2020, Germany

Street preacher Henning Heinrich Westrup reported that attacks against him increased in July. He calls on people to repent and follow Jesus Christ in the pedestrian zones in Bielefeld, Dortmund and Gütersloh, among others. He reported that attacks against him by people who reject his message have increased. He said he experienced insults, vulgarities, and threats -- along with an assault in July.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Hate Crime

Satanic Motivated Profanation of 63 tombs in Lannemezan

August 9, 2020, France

During the night of August 9th, 63 tombs were vandalized and desecrated in the Lannemezan cemetery in the Hautes-Pyrénées region. Broken crosses and upside down plaques were discovered by family members. The police was alerted by the neighbors who heard the loud noise. A week later, the two young perpetrators were arrested and sentenced to 18 and 12 months in prison. According to their testimony the vandalism was driven by satanic motivations.

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

Christ Decapitated on Wayside Crucifix in Durlangen

August 5, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators decapitated a statue of Christ on a large wayside cross standing in Durlangen. The police are uncertain when the incident occurred and have not identified the perpetrators. Damage is estimated to be around 2,000 Euros.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism of Christ Statue in Velbert

August 5, 2020, Germany

Red paint was discovered sprayed on a statue of Christ on the Cross in front of the Kirche St. Joseph in Velbert on August 5, 2020.

Vandalism and Theft in Pavignano Parish House

August 3, 2020, Italy

Unknown perpetrator(s) ransacked two rooms in the parish house of Pavignano, cut open mattresses and stole two TVs and an image of the Virgin Mary. The inside of the rooms left an image of complete destruction. The police opened an investigation and suspected a person from the Biella region to be the perpetrator, as the same person is suspected to have vandalized the church walls with insulting inscriptions against the police only a few days earlier.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Under Investigation: Fire Severely Damages the 13th Century Church of San Martín de Plasencia

August 2, 2020, Spain

A large fire caused serious damage during the night of August 2nd inside the iglesia de San Martín de Plasencia, the oldest in the city, and affected a valuable altarpiece by the painter Luis de Morales 'El Divino' from the 16th century and which presides over the main nave.

Vandalism of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Gallipoli

August 1, 2020, Italy

During the night of August 1st vandals toppled over and smashed a stone holy water stoup in the small arena where religious masses are celebrated outdoors in the summer at the church of the Chiesa della Beata Vergine Maria Regina in Baia Verde di Gallipoli. The priest of the parish, Don Salvatore Leopizzi was immediately informed and saddened by the incident, which was not the first one to happen in his church. A police report was filed.

Under Investigation: Fire in Front of Church Saint Maximin in Wülfrath

August 1, 2020, Germany

In the early morning hours of August 1st, the Wülfrath fire brigade was called because of a fire on the premises of Saint Maximin Catholic Church endangering the church building, which is currently under construction. The fire was contained after 45 minutes and did not cause any damage to the church. The cause of the fire is unknown and arson has not been ruled out. The police are investigating.

Window Facade of Saint-Paul Church in Saint-Nazaire Damaged

July 31, 2020, France

During the night of July 31st the window facade of Saint Paul Church in Saint-Nazaire was severely damaged, apparently collateral damage of a wider outbreak of gun violence occurring throughout the city. Despite the extensive damage the church community gathered to celebrate Mass on Saturday evening.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism and Theft in Two Schwieberdingen Churches

July 31, 2020, Germany

During the night of July 31st, an unknown perpetrator gained access to the Protestant Georgskirche in Schwieberdingen through the sacristy, stole an antique chalice, and went on to smash a crystal window of the main building of the church. Only a few days earlier, the Catholic Church of St. Peter and Paul had been attacked. An unknown person broke open the offertory box as well as the cash box of the prayer candles and stole the small amount of cash contained in it. A police spokeswoman said that no clues to the perpetrator have been found so far. However, she said, one could assume a possible connection between the two crimes.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Politically-Motivated Vandalism of Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth

July 28, 2020, France

On the morning of July 28th parishioners discovered graffiti sprayed on the walls of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth in Vaison-la-Romaine. One tag read "vaut mieux une paire de mères qu’un père de merde" ("better a pair of mothers than a shitty father"). On another side of the cathedral, the word "sorcellerie" ("witchcraft") was painted. The vandalism appeared a day after Monsignor Cattenoz, Archbishop of Avignon, wrote an open letter to the deputies and senators of Vaucluse as well as to the local press denouncing the pending bioethics legislation in France. In his letter (in full below), he noted that if the law passes, "a woman will be able to give one of her fertilized oocytes to her partner, it will be implanted in her uterus so that they will both be mothers, erasing any reference to the importance of a father ... for the growth and life of a child."

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Activists Hang Rainbow Flag and Anarchist Bandana on Statue of Christ in front of Warsaw Basilica

July 28, 2020, Poland

During the night of July 28th activists from the self-described "anarchist-queer" community launched what they termed a "rainbow assault" across Warsaw. They placed a rainbow flag on the statue of Jesus Christ carrying the Cross in front of the Basilica and attached a purple anarchist bandana over Christ's face. Several of Warsaw's other famous monuments were similarly targeted. The activists left cards with a "manifesto" beginning with the phrases "This is an assault! It's a rainbow. It's an attack! We've decided to act." The message went on to say their provocative actions would continue until Polish society accepted them.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Religious Symbols

Theft and Vandalism in a Cemetery in Thionville

July 27, 2020, France

Between the 26th and 27th of July, about 21 bronze statuettes of Christ or the Virgin Mary were torn off and stolen from the Saint-François de Thionville communal cemetery (Moselle). Official said this was "a targeted, premeditated and large-scale operation."

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Repeated Vandalism of Virgin and Child Statue in Noirmoutier-en-l'Île

July 27, 2020, France

Unknown perpetrators vandalized the statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus during the night of July 27th for the third time -- this time, decapitating the head of the Christ child. In 2018, vandals beheaded both figures on the statue; and in mid-July, (see link below) the pedestal of the statue was vandalized with graffiti.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

UPDATE: Volunteer Charged with Nantes Arson

July 26, 2020, France

On Sunday, July 26th, the diocesan volunteer who had been questioned and released last week was indicted for the arson of the Nantes cathedral and placed in pre-trial detention.

Vandalism of Church, Cemetery, and Morgue in Günzkofen

July 26, 2020, Germany

During the night of Sunday 26th unknown perpetrators severely vandalized the cemetery of the St. Jakobus church and and the enclosed morgue. According to police, the perpetrators broke several windows of the church and the morgue at the cemetery in Günzkofen with grave decorations. In addition, they also tampered with several graves, causing total damage of about 1,000 euros.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism with Satanic Inscriptions Found on Church Doors in Goleszów

July 26, 2020, Poland

"666," a pentagram, an inverted cross, and the phrase "Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer" were painted on the door of the church in Goleszów by unknown perpetrators. The graffiti was noticed on the morning of July 26th by the priest who came to prepare the church for Mass. The police filed a report in this case and are investigating.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Barclays Bank and Online Platforms Closed Christian Charities' Accounts

July 25, 2020, United Kingdom

Two Christian organizations that help people “who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression,” have been notified by Barclays Bank that their accounts would be closed. The move by the bank followed a social media campaign demanding that the bank end its professional relationship with Core Issues Trust (CIT) and The International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice (IFTCC), accusing both groups of promoting “conversion therapy.” In recent weeks, the UK government has pledged to ban "conversion therapy." The charities' head, Mike Davidson, disputes the use of the term: “The term ‘conversion therapy’ is being used as a catch-all phrase designed to discredit any help that people may provide to those with mixed sexual attractions who prefer their heterosexual side. This could include a listening ear, formal counselling or spiritual support.”

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Vandalism of Wayside Cross in Bining

July 25, 2020, France

On July 25th, one of the wayside crosses in Bining (Moselle) was toppled over and smashed. The police are investigating and looking for possible witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Six Stained Glass Windows Smashed in Nîmes Church

July 24, 2020, France

Shortly before midnight on July 24th, a drunken man attacked the Saint-Baudile church in Nîmes, breaking six stained glass windows using a steel bar nearly two meters long. The man, known to the police, was arrested after being caught in the act.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Proposed Scottish Hate Crime Bill Threatens Freedom of Speech and Worship

July 23, 2020, United Kingdom

The Scottish Justice Committee has proposed a new hate crime bill, which extends the current hate crime law covering race, to include other "protected characteristics" such as religion, sexual orientation, and transgender identity. Christian and secular groups have criticized the bill as too broad and subjective, potentially interfering with freedom of speech and worship.

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

Fires Set in Tyrol Church; Witnesses Sought by Police

July 23, 2020, Austria

Would-be arsonists started a fire in the parish church in Waidring (Kitzbühel district) on July 23rd. According to police, between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., unknown perpetrators distributed and lit several matchboxes, matches, and candles on the church pews. In addition, they tried to set fire to a hymn book, presumably using matches. Around 5:15 p.m., a witness noticed the smell of fire in the church, but the fire had already gone out. There was a similar incident on Monday, July 20th: according to investigators, burning ignition wicks had been placed on the kneelers of the church pews.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Swastikas, Blasphemies, and Anti-Salvini Graffiti on Asola Church

July 23, 2020, Italy

The parishioners of the church San Rocco in Asola discovered vandalism on the outside wall of the church, after they left Mass on the morning of July 24th. Unknown perpetrators painted black graffiti on the wall with a swastika symbol, blasphemous phrases, and anti-Salvini insults. The police and the priest of the church were immediately informed and the police filled a report.

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.

"Fake Mass" Filmed and Vandalism in Maccagno

July 21, 2020, Italy

The police of Maccagno suspect a small group of young people to have entered the church of Our Lady of the Point through a half-opened door during the night of July 21st. They took liturgical vestments from the sacristy and climbed onto the altar to "celebrate Mass" on it. The vandals later moved to the shore of the lake where they, after drinking bottles of beer, left the empty beer carton on the head of the statue of the Virgin Mary. Videos of the "fake Mass" appeared on social media and the police began an investigation.

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

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)

Statue of the Virgin Mary Decapitated in Montaud

July 20, 2020, France

Unknown perpetrators decapitated a statue of the Virgin Mary in Montaud, an important monument for the local community with valuable symbolism. The mayor of the city Joel Raymond discovered the damage and filed a complaint.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Abbess of German Benedictine Convent Charged for Granting Church Asylum

July 20, 2020, Germany

The abbess of the German Benedictine convent Maria Frieden in Kirchschletten faced criminal charges for granting church asylum. The trial against Mother Mechthild Thürmer before the Bamberg District Court was scheduled for July 31. The abbess of the monastery in Upper Franconia had taken in an Eritrean woman in fall of 2018, who was to be deported to Italy. She disputed a penalty order for "aiding and abetting an illegal stay", combined with a fine of 2,500 euros, arguing for freedom of conscience.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Religion

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)

Armed Man Yelling "Allahu Akbar" Heading Toward Church Stopped by Motorist

July 19, 2020, France

A 38-year-old motorist stopped a man who was heading towards a church in Blanc-Mesnil, armed with a loaded machine gun, shouting "Allahu akbar." 

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)

Window Front of Church in Bad Soden Smashed by Vandals

July 19, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators destroyed the glass front of a church in Bad Soden on July 19th. The vandals smashed the glass panes of the Catholic Church in Salinenstraße, causing property damage amounting to several thousand euros. The police are investigating and asked for witness statements.

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.

Theft and Vandalism of Tabernacle in San Giovanni Church

July 18, 2020, Italy

During the night of July 18th unknown vandals smashed the tabernacle under the image of Mary in the side altar of San Giovanni church in Trieste. Additionally, two valuable brass candlesticks were stolen. Don Sergio Fransin discovered the vandalism and theft and immediately reported the crime to the police.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Satanists Suspected of Theft and Desecration in St. Johann Baptist Church in Krefeld

July 18, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators have stolen the golden door of the tabernacle, a monstrance stance and money from an donation box. The tabernacle door was forcefully torn out and the donation box vandalized and money stolen. The community of St. Johann Baptist Church suspects satanists to be the perpetrators, who use the stolen objects for satanic rituals, because the golden altar cross was not stolen, which speaks against just a monetary motivation.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue Of Virgin Mary Mutilated at the Miraculous Spring of Our Lady of Banneux

July 17, 2020, Belgium

Pilgrams to the miraculous spring of our Lady of Banneux discovered the severe mutilation of the statue of the Virgin Mary, which is situated above the spring. It is speculated that the vandalism took place in the week before July 17th. The face of the statue has been particularly mutilated therefore, the statue was replaced by an exact replica.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

New Same-Sex Marriage Law in Northern Ireland Threatens Freedom of Conscience

July 17, 2020, United Kingdom

The Parliament of Northern Ireland passed a new marriage law for same-sex couples, which has two implications for the church and Christian business owners. The law prohibits private business to deny service to same-sex couples arguing for freedom of conscience. Additionally, the new legislation allows same-sex couples of faith to have religious wedding ceremonies in church or other religious settings if all parties agree.

Freedom of Conscience

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)

Monument of St. John Paul II vandalized in Parisian Church

July 16, 2020, France

A bust of John Paul II, situated next to the entrance of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, because the permission to build it on the square in front of the church was denied, was severely vandalized by unknown perpetrators. Although the street of Saint Hornore has surveillance, the case has not been reported to the police yet by the parish.

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)

Theft of Relics in the Church of Honfleur

July 15, 2020, France

On July 15th the church of Saint-Léonard was a victim of theft. Parish priest Pascal Marie discovered that the contents of four relics were stolen. One relic is of special value, as it enshrines the bones of Saint Boniface, which are said to date back to the 8th century. The case was reported to the police. The estimation of the damage is difficult to evaluate because only the bones were stolen and the other valuable objects left behind.

Theft 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)

Chuch St. Joseph in Holz Vandalized

July 10, 2020, Germany

In the night of July 10th unknown perpetrators forcibly opened the door of the Holzan church of St. Joseph and tore a plant and its roots out of a pot. The perpetrators then threw the plant in front of the church. The police opened an investigation.

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)

Severe Vandalism of 75kg Cross at Weiden 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)

Life Sentence for IS Supporter's Bomb Plot on St. Paul's Cathedral

July 3, 2020, United Kingdom

On July 3rd, Muslim convert Safiyya Amira Shaikh was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 14 years in jail for plotting a bomb attack on St. Paul's Cathedral London and a suicide bomb attack on the nearby underground station. Shaikh admitted the crime and showed no remorse; she wanted to kill as many "kufars" (unbelievers) as possible.

Hate Crime

Severe Vandalism of Paintings in the Church Saint-Pierre d’Auxerre

July 3, 2020, France

On July 3rd, a Facebook page posted photos of paintings in the Church Saint-Pierre d’Auxerre that had been severely vandalized.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Man Arrested in Madrid after Shouting "I'm going to burn you all alive" during Mass

July 3, 2020, Spain

On July 3rd, Madrid's municipal police arrested a man after he burst into the San Ramón Nonato parish church in Puente de Vallecas, where a Mass was being celebrated, shouting "murderers, fags, and pedophiles! You should burn, I'm going to burn you all alive!"

Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

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)

Sacred Heart Statue Unbolted and Stolen in Saint-Jean-Sart

July 2, 2020, Belgium

Between July 2nd and 3rd the newly-erected Sacred Heart of Jesus statue in the village of Saint-Jean-Sart was unbolted and stolen. The statue had been installed in the middle of June after extensive restoration by a community group. Local residents are shocked by the theft.

Theft

British MP Receives Death Threat after Voting against Abortion Law

June 30, 2020, United Kingdom

In June, a British MP received a death threat and other online abuse after voting in accordance with her pro-life convictions. Dr Lisa Cameron, SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, was sent the threat just days after voting against a pro-abortion bill, which limits support/protest near abortion clinics.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

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

La Dominelais Church Ravaged by Fire

June 29, 2020, France

On Monday, June 29th a fire which began behind the altar of the church of La Dominelais, south of Rennes, caused significant damage. Smoke and heat blackened the walls of the building, which had been renovated some twenty years ago.

Church Fire in Réaumont Investigated

June 29, 2020, France

Shortly before 7 p.m. on June 29th, the fire brigade was dispatched to a fire in the Réaumont church. The firefighters were able to contain the damage of the fire to the sacristy. The fire produced high volumes of smoke, which caused most of the damage in the sacristy. Fortunately the rest of the church remained intact and no sacred objects were damaged. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the gendarmerie.

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)

Disturbance in the Church of Oppau in Ludwigshafen Suspect Fled

June 23, 2020, Germany

On June 23rd, the priest of the Catholic church in the Oppau district of Lugwigshafen heard a loud noise inside the church around 12:30 p.m. While investing the noise, he discovered a young man fleeing and found several objects in the church toppled over. The damage caused is estimated to be around 500 euros. The police are investigating.

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)