All cases

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 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 is already investigating. They suspect 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.