All cases

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