All cases

Text Book Promotes Religious Discrimination

December 31, 2008, Turkey

A mandatory school text book on the History of Turkish Republican Reforms and Atatürkism for 13-year-old students encourages religious discrimination in Turkey. The book explains missionary activity “as a threat to national unity," annihilating national and cultural values through converting people to another religion.

Negative Stereotyping Rights of Parents

Overview of 266 Cases of Anti-Christian Vandalism in 2008

December 31, 2008, France

According to the French Internal Affairs Department 266 acts of vandalism targeted Christian sites in 2008. Please find a list of examples here.

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

Evangelicals Defamed by Government Agency

December 29, 2008, Germany

The governmental agency ‘Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung’ (Federal Central Unit of Political Education) defames evangelicals as hostile to constitution.

Negative Stereotyping

(/Scotland) Kirk Minister Battered on Christmas Day

December 25, 2008, United Kingdom

A Church of Scotland minister was attacked by a gang of youths on Christmas Day. Reverend Gordon MacKenzie was taking a walk when he was jumped on from behind by a trio of youths he had just passed. He was knocked to the ground by blows about the head and body, then kicked and punched as he was lying on the floor. Revd MacKenzie required hospital treatment for a broken nose, a broken tooth and various injuries to the hand, face and body.

Hate Crime

Christmas References Banned in Oxford

December 24, 2008, United Kingdom

References to Christmas were banned in Oxford and Christmas festivities renamed "Winter Light celebrations" to be "more inclusive. Protests come from Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Church Set On Fire for the Third Time in Hamburg

December 21, 2008, Germany

Offenders set fire to a church; the third one in two months. The sacristy of the church St. Bernard was completely burned out.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Aramaic Christians Under Great Pressure

December 19, 2008, Turkey

Aramaic Lawyer David Gelen reveals in an interview with German daily, "Die Welt," the pressures Turkish authorities have placed on the Christian Aramaic minorities.

Equality Freedom of Religion

Fire Set in Catholic Church

December 11, 2008, Belgium

A Greek-Melkite parish was set on fire the night of Friday 12 December. Pastor could quickly contain and limit the damage.

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

Muslim Converts to Christianity Live in Fear

December 2, 2008, International

Several reports prove fear of Muslim converts to Christianity in Europe.

Freedom of Religion

Court Orders the Removal of Crucifixes from a School

November 27, 2008, Spain

The European Public Laity Association (Asociación Estatal Europa Laica) has requested a court order to remove crucifixes and religious symbols from Macías Picavea school in Valladolid. The Administrative Tribunal 2 of Valladolid agreed with the plaintiffs, and issued an order to take away every religious symbol from classrooms and common-use rooms. The Tribunal said that religious symbols violated the fundamental rights of equality and freedom of conscience as enshrined in articles 14 and 16.1 of the Spanish Constitution. The Tribunal has not made any mention to the fact that religious symbols placed outside a church also have a civil, historic, and cultural value.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

(Michigan) Gays Storm Church

November 12, 2008, United States

A band of about 30 gays stormed a church in Lansing, Michigan. shouting “Jesus was a homo”, etc. The church was vandalized, obscenities were shouted and worshippers were confronted.

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

No Plaque for Catholic Saint on House of Birth

November 1, 2008, Spain

Saint Maravillas de Jesus was born in a house which is now the local Spanish parliament of Valladoid. A plaque with a commemorative inscription was declined on behalf of left wing parties.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Militant Equality Laws

Two Jesuit Priests in Moscow Found Brutally Murdered in their Apartment

October 28, 2008, Russia

Two Jesuit priests were murdered brutally in Moscow. Jesuit Fathers Otto Messmer, 47, and Victor Betancourt, 42, were found dead late Oct. 28 in their Moscow apartment.

Hate Crime

Religion Professor Under Cancer Therapy Suffers Discrimination

October 18, 2008, Spain

Francisco Javier Romero, a religion professor in Sevilla on sick leave because of cancer treatment, claimed discrimination with regard to finding a substitute teacher by a more difficult procedure. When he asked why he was given a different treatment respect to other professors on sick leave, he was told "because you are a Catholic Religion teacher".

Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

New Law Curbs Religious Elements in Schools

October 15, 2008, Sweden

(2008/2009) Sweden curbs the influence of religion in private confessional schools in a move to "prevent the spread of fundamentalism". Law entered into force in the beginning of 2009.

Rights of Parents

(Internet) Host Desecration Videos Online

September 30, 2008, International

Several videos have been put online showing the Eucharistic Host, most sacred for Catholics, being desecrated by being stepped on, burned, stapled, smoked and nailed to a stick. After severe protests, YouTube removed the videos on Oct 2nd.

Desecration Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Counterdemonstrations Disturbed Silent pro Life Vigil in Berlin

September 30, 2008, Germany

People with pro life convictions from all over Germany met on September 20th for a manifestation in Berlin. Their silent manifestation was interrupted by about 50 demonstrators throwing confetti unto them and chanting slogans such as: “If Mary had had an abortion, we would have been spared you guys!”, and “Communism instead of Jesus Christ”. During a religious service, two women denuded themselves and showed on the upper parts of their bodies a reversed cross.

Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Christians Arrested During Prayer

September 27, 2008, Turkey

Soldiers arrested a priest and more than 20 Christians in a Turkish Province during prayer. The Christian community wanted to hold a religious service in this region. When the Christians started to distribute sweets to the children and Bibles to the adults the security forces intervened and arrested them.

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

Writer and BBC Guest is Not Longer Welcome by the Media Corporation

September 25, 2008, United Kingdom

Rev Graham P Taylor, author of the best-seller Shadowmancer, sometimes called the new C. S. Lewis, said the BBC does not welcome him anymore because he could be seen as promoting Christianity. Taylor, a parish priest who signed a £3.5 million contract to publish Shadowmancer claims that the relationship with the BBC went well "until they realised that there were religious allegories in my stories".

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Pro Choice Poster Calls for Violence against Catholics and Pro Lifers

September 23, 2008, Austria

Posters were placed illegally all over the city of Salzburg calling for violence against people praying in front of an abortion clinic. The posters displayed a panda kicking Andreas Laun, the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Salzburg. In bold letters the posters stated: “Kick opponents of abortion (off the sidewalk)”.

Hate Crime Insult or Incitement