All cases

Vandalism of Church in Italy Despite Quarantine

March 20, 2020, Italy

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

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Heavy Damage after Break-in at Schwalbach Church

March 19, 2020, Germany

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

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Saint-Laurent Church Stained Glass Windows Smashed

March 17, 2020, Belgium

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

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson at Historic Church of Saint-Apollinaire

March 16, 2020, France

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

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Graffiti Sprayed on Göttschied Church Walls

March 15, 2020, Germany

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

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of Virgin Mary Vandalized

March 11, 2020, Italy

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

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism in Güthersloh Church

March 8, 2020, Germany

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

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Homeless Man Vandalized German Church

March 7, 2020, Germany

During the night between March 6th and 7th, a man broke into the church of Ellenberg in Guxhagen and destroyed the inside of the church. The damage amounted to 10,000 euros. The rioter threw hymn books on the floor and damaged and knocked church pews over. Furthermore the painting above the pulpit was damaged with a pointed object and the carpet was ruined. The alleged perpetrator, a homeless 49-year-old man, was arrested on the morning of March 7th.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Bible set on fire in Krefeld Church

March 6, 2020, Germany

On March 6th, fires were set in the Catholic church Maria Waldrast in Krefeld. Between 10:00 and 6:00 p.m. someone set fire to a bible under a prayer bench in the nave of the church, as well as the paper displays in the entrance. The damage was minor. A week earlier, someone set a basket on fire in the church. The police began an investigation and sought witnesses.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Burglars Smash Stained Glass Window at Leicester Cathedral

March 4, 2020, United Kingdom

Sometime between 6 p.m. on March 4th and 7:20 a.m. on March 5th, burglars smashed a stained glass window in the chapel of Christ the King at the eastern end of Leicester Cathedral, next to the room where Richard III is buried at Leicester Cathedral.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson at Swiss Church

March 3, 2020, Switzerland

On the afternoon of March 3rd, an arson attack was committed in the Eusebiuskirche in Grenchen. Fortunately, the fire was discovered before major damage was caused. The police are looking for witnesses.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Orthodox Church on Lesvos Vandalized by Refugees

March 2, 2020, Greece

News reports indicate that the Greek Orthodox church of St. George was ransacked on March 2nd. According to witnesses, the vandalism was caused by refugees residing on the island. This news came as tensions ran high due to the arrival of hundreds of refugees and migrants after Turkey "opened the doors" for them to enter Europe.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

MP Interviewed by Police for Questioning Church Leadership

March 2, 2020, Finland

On March 2nd, member of the Finnish Parliament Päivi Räsänen faced a police interrogation because of a tweet she posted in June 2019. The tweet was directed at the leadership of her church and questioned its official sponsorship of the LGBT event “Pride 2019”, accompanied by an image of a bible text.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Collegiate Church Vandalized in Aveyron

February 25, 2020, France

On February 25th, an unknown person broke a door handle, attempted to force a display case, overturned statues, and broke the hands of the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in the collegiate church of Notre-Dame de Villefranche-de-Rouergue in Aveyron.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Surveillance System Installed in Church due to Vandalism

February 23, 2020, United Kingdom

Due to repeated vandalism, drug-dealing, and abuse of volunteers in the Holy Trinity Church in Exmouth, a surveillance system with seven cameras will be installed as a "necessary security measure."

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Charente-Maritime: the Church of Port-d'Envaux desecrated, vandalized, and looted

February 22, 2020, France

Parishioners discovered vandalism, desecration, and theft in the Saint-Saturnin-de-Séchaud church in Port d'Envaux on February 22nd. They found the door of the sacristy broken, the door of the tabernacle forced open, consecrated hosts stolen, and the altar of the Virgin Mary damaged. All objects of value were stolen from the sacristy.

Desecration Hate Crime Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Four Young Women Vandalized Church; Set Fire to the Altar

February 20, 2020, Spain

National Police reviewed the security cameras of the church of San Pedro de La Felguera to try to locate the four young women who caused at least 600 euros in damage inside the church on February 20th. Video recordings revealed that the young women entered the church, used and stole two of the microphones, sat on the altar, burned candles and set fire to books and the altar cloth.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Broken Church Windows In Dorchester

February 19, 2020, United Kingdom

On February 19th and February 21st an unknown person broke the rear windows of The Storehouse Church in Dorchester by throwing stones at them. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Christian Converts Must Prove Continued Faith or Face Deportation

February 16, 2020, Germany

"Kurosh," an Iranian convert to Christianity who received asylum in Germany four years ago, faced a 25,000 euro fine or a prison sentence if he did not respond to a lengthy series of questions about his faith from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). He was also required to provide a certificate from the pastor at his church to demonstrate his commitment to his faith. He reports that he provided all the information requested, but remains in fear that this will happen again. This is the BAMF "Revocation and Withdrawal Procedure."

Access to Justice and Legal Services

Iranian Christian Convert Faces Deportation

February 16, 2020, United Kingdom

Reza Karkah, an Iranian Christian, faces the prospect of imprisonment, torture and separation from his wife and child after the UK Home Office rejected his application for asylum on the basis that he was ‘fabricating’ his Christian faith.

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