All cases

Repeated Damage and Vandalism in the Cathedral of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges

February 9, 2020, France

After two weeks of finding broken candles, altar cloths on the ground, urine sprayed here and there and feces left daily in the cathedral of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, the priest reported the incidents to the police and has considered closing the building to visitors during the day.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Broken Window in Church of St. Maxamilian Kolbe

February 9, 2020, Poland

In the early hours between the 8th and 9th of February, the church of St Maximilian Kolbe, in the town of Konin, Poland was vandalized by unknown perpetrators. Konin police spokesman Sebastian Wiśniewski confirmed that it appears that a glass window was broken intentionally and damage is estimated at 5000 zlotys (1170 Euros).

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Calls for Calm after Young Men Draped North African Flags from Church Roof

February 9, 2020, France

A priest filed a complaint against a group of individuals who hung the flags of Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco from the roof of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church in Albi during the afternoon of February 9th. The perpetrators had already removed the flags and fled the scene when the police arrived. While there was minimal damage, the priest said, "I consider this to be a serious fact, an act of distrust. It is an act of disrespect for the place of worship and for Christians. Some people were shocked."

Insult or Incitement

Arson in Oetwil am See Church

February 7, 2020, Switzerland

On February 7th, shortly before 5 a.m., heavy smoke came from the Kirche am Chilenrain in Oetwil am See. According to the Zurich cantonal police, the fire caused property damage of several hundred thousand francs. A 41-year-old was arrested on suspicion of setting the fire.

Hate Crime

All Scheduled UK Venues Cancel Franklin Graham Tour Events

February 6, 2020, United Kingdom

On January 24th, the ACC Liverpool Group announced that it would no longer hold the previously-scheduled Graham Tour Event due to objections from LGBT activists over Graham's past statements about homosexuality. Graham responded by saying “I’m not coming to the UK to speak against anybody, I’m coming to speak for everybody. The Gospel is inclusive. I'm not coming out of hate, I'm coming out of love.” As of February 11th, the other venues that cancelled events were: International Convention Centre Wales in Newport, Glasgow SEC, Sheffield Arena, Arena Birmingham, and Stadium Milton Keynes.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

"We Will Burn the Churches" Sprayed on Trento Church

February 2, 2020, Italy

At least a dozen young people gathered around the back of the church of San Pietro in Trento late on February 1st, yelling about using spray cans, After much commotion, the inscription "We will burn the churches" was painted on the wall of the church, along with other graffiti on a nearby building. Police will examine images from the security camera that was installed last year to identify the perpetrators.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Chapel Destroyed with Fire Extinguisher

January 22, 2020, Germany

On January 22nd, an unknown perpetrator destroyed the prayer room of the Christuskirche in Lüdenscheid using a fire extinguisher. He entered the chapel between 4:00 and 6:00 in the afternoon, when it was open to the general public, and sprayed the contents of the fire extinguisher all over the floor, walls, and furniture. The damage is estimated at approximately 500 euros. The local police are looking for witnesses to this incident, described as a "special case of senseless destructive rage."

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Wales: Parents Lose Right to Withdraw Children from Sex Ed

January 21, 2020, United Kingdom

Following plans first proposed in a government consultation last year, parents of children attending Welsh schools will no longer have a legal right to withdraw their children from compulsory relationships and sex education (RSE), as well as and religious education (RE) classes.

Freedom of Conscience Rights of Parents

"Parental Pin" Policy Prompts Legal Action and Debate in Spain

January 20, 2020, Spain

A new policy aimed at affirming parental authority in Spanish schools in Murcia has made national headlines in the country. The so-called 'Parental Pin' would oblige schools in the autonomous region of Murcia to seek the permission of parents for student participation in extra-curricular activities, including lessons and workshops on LGBT issues given by external speakers.

Freedom of Conscience Rights of Parents

Antifascist Grafitti on Le Mans Church

January 19, 2020, France

Civic group Protège ton église documented graffiti reading "FACHOS NOT WELCOME" sprayed on the church Saint Benoît au Mans during the weekend of January 19th.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Eight Churches and Two Schools Hit By Vandalism in Bordeaux over Weekend

January 19, 2020, France

Eight churches and two Catholic educational establishments were vandalized with graffiti in Bordeaux and Talence during the night between January 18th to 19th. The churches affected were: Notre-Dame, Saint-Eloi, Sainte-Croix, Sainte Eulalie, Saint-Seurin, Sacré-Coeur, and Saint-Paul in Bordeaux, the church of Notre-Dame de Talence and on the Catholic educational establishments of Albert le Grand and Saint-Genès in Bordeaux. The offensive tags, referring to pedophilia in the Church and to the bioethics bill, all had the same signature.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Bus Filled with Catholic Pilgrims Attacked by Masked Protesters

January 19, 2020, France

A bus filled with Catholics bound for Pontmain was prevented from leaving the diocesan house in Caen by approximately twenty masked people in black holding a banner and shooting paintball pellets at the windshield. A spokesman for the diocese explained that the protestors likely confused the pilgrimage bus for one bound for Paris for a Manif pour Tous demonstration. This was the second time in a few months that a pilgrimage bus was attacked after being mistaken for a Manif pour Tous bus.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Insult or Incitement

Statue of Virgin Mary and Roadside Crucifix Destroyed in Southern Poland

January 17, 2020, Poland

Between January 16th and 18th, unidentified perpetrators destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary in a church in Ściegny and then in Wojanów, a roadside crucifix and figures of angels standing around the cross were destroyed beyond repair.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

French Satirist and Radio Station Apologized to LGBT Community, Not Christians

January 15, 2020, France

After a strong backlash against the France Inter radio station for airing of a song "Jésus est pédé" (an offensive pejorative for male homosexual), performed and written by Frédéric Fromet, both the singer and the station apologized to the LGBT community, despite the majority of complaints coming from Christian listeners.

Insult or Incitement

Defense Lawyer Wants "Devout" Catholics Excluded from Euthanasia Trial

January 14, 2020, Belgium

Defense counsel for one of the three doctors on trial for unlawfully poisoning an autistic woman via euthanasia has admitted to searching the social media profiles of potential jurors to exclude "devout" Catholics. Walter Van Steenbrugge said he would be a "bad lawyer" if he did not exclude people who were "extremely Catholic," for example if they expressed a Marian devotion or had previously expressed the opinion that euthanasia is murder.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Man Arrested for Vandalism of Launaguet Church

January 14, 2020, France

A 25-year-old man was arrested on January 14th for his participation in the vandalism of a Catholic church in Launaguet. According to reports, the Saint-Barthélemy church (Toulouse diocese) had been vandalized with Quaranic inscriptions in previous months.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Unknown Individuals Repeatedly Urinate in Church Holy Water

January 14, 2020, Switzerland

Just before Christmas, the Catholic Church Guthirt in Aarburg was forced to withdraw access to holy water in its basins following repeated acts of urination into the water. The deacon, Markus Stohldreier, expressed shock and disappointment at repeated attacks against the parish community."In my 36 years as a theologian, I have never experienced anything comparable." He added, "The perpetrators must have urinated in holy water in broad daylight," because the church is closed at night to prevent vandalism.

Freedom of Religion Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

12-Year-Old Boy Attacked at Paris School for Wearing Cross

January 14, 2020, France

On January 14th, at the collège Marx-Dormoy, in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, a 12-year-old boy of Serbian origin was brutally attacked for not removing a chain necklace on which a cross hung under his clothes. The website Svi Sribi u Parizu (All Serbs in Paris) reported that the alleged attackers were five other 11-year-old pupils. When he refused to remove it, the alleged attackers surrounded him. One of the boys pushed him to the ground, and all of them started kicking him. The boy was beaten all over his body, resulting in serious injuries to his face and genitals. The attack ended when other pupils screamed for help.

Hate Crime

Catholic Speaker Cancelled at Irish Schools

January 12, 2020, Ireland

Four talks by US Catholic speaker Jason Evert were cancelled due to pressure by campus LGBT groups and media reports referring to the well-known chastity speaker as "homophobic and anti-contraceptive." Presentations at two Dublin colleges, a Catholic conference called ‘Ignite 2020,’ and a talk at hotel were cancelled. According to reports, the University College Dublin LGBT Society called on the university authorities to stop Mr Evert from speaking, saying in a statement that his proposed visit to the university was “putting the safety of UCD’s LGBTQ+ community at risk” and his words could have “lasting and damaging effects on the mental wellbeing of LGHBTQ+ students.”

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Man Disrupted Three Church Services; Shouted Threats and "Allahu Akbar"

January 12, 2020, Germany

On the morning of January 12, a 33-year-old man from Rhauderfehn with Ivorian nationality disrupted services in three churches in Rhauderfehn and Ostrhauderfehn by shouting and threatening the worshippers.

Insult or Incitement

Man Arrested for Setting Fire at Bayonne Church

January 11, 2020, France

A man suspected of committing the January 11th arson attack on the Saint-Esprit church in Bayonne was arrested the following day. Investigators were able to quickly determine that the fire had been deliberately set and video surveillance images made it possible to identify the suspect who was seen in the images leaving the church a few minutes before the first smoke was visible. The fire, which left no one injured, was brought under control by the firefighters but the suffered extreme smoke damage. 

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Crèche Vandalized Near Rouen

January 11, 2020, France

The religious crèche of the Saint-André church in Mont-Saint-Aignan, near Rouen, was vandalized on January 11, with the decorations overturned and the figures broken. The statue of the baby Jesus was decapitated. After expressing his sadness to the parish and to the parish priest, Monsignor Dominique Lebrun, Archbishop of Rouen, deplored the incident as an "offense against the Christian faith."

Baby Jesus Stolen from Crèche in Lüneburg

January 11, 2020, Germany

The Lüneburg police opened an investigation into the theft of the Jesus figure from the church on Friedenstrasse between January 10th and 11th.

Theft

Vandalism and Theft in Borgolavezzaro Church

January 10, 2020, Italy

Just before 4 pm on January 10th, at least three men entered the church of Santi Bartolomeo e Gaudenzio and broke through the thick glass case of the shrine carved out of a side altar containing the containing the urn of Santa Giuliana, patron saint of the town. Using a crowbar, the thieves also broke the glass of the urn and stole a rosary crown, a gold crucifix, rings, and other valuables worn by the patron saint's mannequin. The figure's left hand was the most damaged, with two destroyed wax fingers.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Paint Attack on Catholic Church in Berlin

January 9, 2020, Germany

During the night between the 8th and 9th of January 2020 unknown perpetrators vandalized the historic building of St. Elisabeth-Kirche in Berlin-Schöneberg with black and white paint, sprayed the words “Pro Choice” on its entrance doors together with other unidentifiable symbols and glued the parish hall doors closed. A purported confession letter was later posted on the extreme left platform de.indymedia.org, naming a Berlin feminist/left-wing radical alliance as responsible for the vandalism.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Nine Statues of the Virgin Mary Attacked in Less than Four Hours in Pyrenees

January 9, 2020, France

On the morning of January 9th, in the space of 45 minutes, five statues of the Virgin Mary, located in three different churches of Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques): Saint-Martin, Saint-Jacques and Notre-Dame, were destroyed. Similar vandalism continued in the churches of the Béarn communes of Lons, Artix, Denguin, and Mourenx, where, each time, a statue of the Virgin was destroyed. A 35-year-old man, described as homeless, was arrested in Mourenx at the end of the day and sent for psychiatric evaluation.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Christ Figures Stolen Twice in Two Weeks in Fabriano

January 7, 2020, Italy

The Christ child figure was stolen on Christmas Eve from the nativity in the church of San Giovanni Battista in Fabriano (Ancona). Volunteers purchased a new figure to replace it. The new figure was then stolen from the San Filippo church around Epiphany, but returned a few days later.

Theft

Live Nativity Play Parody on TV Sparks Outrage

January 5, 2020, Spain

Although it was intended to be "funny," the performance shown on the "Viva la vida" television program on the afternoon of January 5th was offensive and disrespectful to viewers. Taking advantage of the fact that that afternoon the typical Three Kings' parade was taking place, the program chose to parody the scene, using their presenters as protagonists. "Shameful" and "it is a lack of respect and humiliation" and "I am a Muslim, but this seems disrespectful to me, it is not necessary to play with the beliefs of Christians to try to be a trending topic" were some of the phrases that appeared on Twitter after "Viva la Vida" published an image of the performance.

Third Suspicious Fire in 18 Months at Syrian Orthodox Church

January 5, 2020, Sweden

On January 5th a fire was discovered in the meeting room of Syrian Orthodox St. Maria’s Church in Norrköping. After firefighters extinguished the fire, investigators classified it as arson. Just a month before, on December 3rd 2019 a similar incident occurred when someone poured gasoline outside the church and lit it. Those two fires were not the first time the building fell victim to a suspected arson attack. In August 2018 police investigated another case. The church assembly has been discussing plans enhance security, including enlisting volunteers take turns guarding the church at night to complement the police patrols and security cameras.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Two Nativity Scenes Burnt in Ivrea

January 4, 2020, Italy

Police in Ivrea (near Turin) identified a 46-year-old woman suspected of setting fire to two church nativity scenes: one in the church of San Maurizio and the second in the church of San Salvatore on January 4th. She faces a complaint for damage. The fires not only destroyed the two nativity scenes with plastic statuettes, but in the Church of San Maurizio the fire practically incinerated a painting by Tullio Alemanni, "The Baptism of Jesus," which was located above the baptismal font next to the crèche, in addition to a fresco, also by Alemanni, positioned between the crèche and the baptismal font.

Hate Crime

Baby Jesus Figure Stolen from Church Crèche

January 4, 2020, Italy

The parish of Sacro Cuore in Trapani reported the theft of the Christ figure from the nativity scene in the church on January 4th.

Theft

Statue of Virgin Mary Stolen from Saint-Étienne-du-Grès Church

January 2, 2020, France

A statue of the Virgin Mary was stolen from the church of Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption in the town of Saint-Étienne-du-Grès on January 2, 2020.

Theft

Nativity Scene Repeatedly Vandalized in Alice Castello

January 1, 2020, Italy

The nativity scene installed by Alice Castello volunteers was repeatedly vandalized at the end of December and into the new year, with the figures broken and some of the statues beheaded. This was the third year in a row that this installation was attacked by vandals.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Infant Jesus and Cradle Burnt in Manger Scene

January 1, 2020, Italy

Inhabitants of Pedemonte were shocked to discover that the figure of the baby Jesus in the nativity scene erected in the Piazza San Rocco church square was burnt on New Year's Eve. Only the charred remains of the figure were left inside the blackened wooden cradle.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Extremists Set Fire to Christian Journalist’s Car in Berlin

December 31, 2019, Germany

On December 31st German pro-life journalist Gunnar Schupelius’s car was destroyed in an arson attack for which the so-called “Autonomous Feminist Cell” claimed responsibility.

Hate Crime

Jesus Statue Beheaded in the Crèche of Caprino Veronese

December 31, 2019, Italy

Parishioners at the New Year's Day Mass learned from the priest that the statue of Jesus was no longer in the cradle in the nativity scene in Piazza San Marco in Caprino Veronese because it had been decapitated the night before.

Christmas Figures Broken by Vandals on New Year's Eve

December 31, 2019, Italy

Statues in the nativity scene in Piazza della Libertà, Lizzanello (Lecce) were vandalized by unknown perpetrators during the night of December 31st. The faces of several of the handmade statues were smashed.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Christ Figure Stolen from Nativity on New Year's Eve

December 31, 2019, Italy

On New Year's Eve, a man riding a bicycle was filmed by security cameras stopping at the crèche in Lecce's Piazza Duomo and stealing the Christ child figure.

Theft

Nativity Scene Dismantled Early Due to Repeated Vandalism

December 30, 2019, Italy

Volunteers from the volunteer association Pro Loco of Robbiate were forced to take down the nativity installation prematurely due to repeated vandalism. Vandalism included detaching wooden planks from the hut, dismantling pieces of the roof, and throwing away ornaments and furnishings. The display was dismantled on December 29th instead of January 6th.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Four Teenagers Vandalized Christ Child Statue in Nativity Scene

December 29, 2019, Italy

Four teenaged boys were identified and referred to the Public Prosecutor at the Juvenile Court of Bresci on allegations that they vandalized the statue of the Christ child in the nativity scene in the piazza outside the basilica in San Benedetto Po. The day after the incident, police found the head and torso of the statue hanging on an iron pole on the opposite side of the piazza. Evidence collected led the police to the four perpetrators, described as Muslims, born in Italy, of Moroccan descent. They reportedly admitted their involvement in the incident.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of Christ Child Hanged in Mogliano Veneto

December 29, 2019, Italy

The statue of the Christ child was discovered removed from the nativity scene in Piazza Berto in Mogliano and hung above the ground with an electric cable around its neck. Plastic cups littered the ground of the crèche.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Electrical Equipment Stolen from Live Nativity Set

December 29, 2019, Italy

The electrical materials used for a live nativity performance in Canosa di Puglia were stolen on December 29th by unknown thieves.

Theft

Christ Child Statue Taken from Crèche; Thrown to the Ground

December 28, 2019, Italy

The resin figure of Jesus was taken out of the public nativity scene in Parè di Conegliano during the night between December 27th and 28th and thrown to the ground nearby by unknown vandals. Other figures in the scene were toppled and the cradle was stolen.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Paint and Fire Attack on Evangelical Church in Germany

December 27, 2019, Germany

On December 27th an anonymous group attacked the independent evangelical church TOS Ministries Tübingen in southern Germany. Several masked people simultaneously set a minibus owned by the church on fire and sprayed the entry area of the church with purple paint. According to the police, the attack resulted in damage of 40,000 euros. A group calling itself a "Feminist Autonomous Cell" (“Feministische Autonome Zelle” FAZ) claimed responsibility for the attack a few days later in an online letter.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Elaborate Nativity Scene Damaged by Vandals

December 26, 2019, Italy

The nativity scene in Valgiano, which was nine meters wide and 8 meters high, with an area of ​​over 30 square meters, most of which is occupied by water, including a central lake, a smaller body of water, and waterfalls was vandalized on December 26th. Unknown perpetrators threw detergent into the water, which may have reacted with chlorine, creating a sea of ​​foam and a pungent smell.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church Crèche Vandalized Three Times Around Christmas

December 25, 2019, France

The nativity scene installed in front of the Notre-Dame church of Dijon was vandalized with litter and garbage bags three times between December 20th and 25th.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Thieves Stole Baby Jesus Statue and Crib on Christmas Day

December 25, 2019, Italy

Thieves removed the handmade statue of the Jesus child and wooden cradle on Christmas day at the Don Angelo Frare park near the parish church in Mosnigo.

Theft

Ourense Nativity Scene Vandalized Three Times Leading up to Christmas

December 24, 2019, Spain

A nativity scene in the city of Ourense was damaged on the morning of December 20th, the Christ child figure was stolen and arms broken on December 23rd, and after being recovered and installed again on December 24th, the figure was stolen again on Christmas Day.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Children's Crèche Scene Destroyed by Vandals

December 24, 2019, Italy

During night between December 23 and 24, unidentified vandals entered a park while it was closed and destroyed some of the polystyrene figures in a nativity scene made by elementary school children.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Nativity Scene Vandalized on Christmas Eve

December 24, 2019, Italy

Residents in Ossi, a town a few kilometers from Sassari (Sardinia), woke on Christmas day to discover that the crèche installed by a local group (Pro Loco), in collaboration with the municipal administration, had been vandalized on the town's main street. The statues were torn up, dragged, and abandoned on the street.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)