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 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

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.

Equality Legislation in Malta Threatens Freedom of Religion; Conscience; Expression

July 22, 2020, Malta

Proposed Equality Bills 96 and 97 are ostensibly aimed at protecting an extensive group of people from discrimination and cover areas such as schools, public religious symbols, and services and employment. The Bills would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, religious belief, state of health, and other “protected characteristics.” However, many sectors of society, including educators, professionals, business owners, health workers, parents, faith-based groups, and believers are concerned about the laws' overreach.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws Rights of Parents

Church Site Vandalized Causing 5,000 Euros in Damage

July 21, 2020, Germany

On July 21st, unknown perpetrators vandalized the entire area surrounding the Protestant city church of Groß-Gerau. Yellow graffiti was sprayed on walls, wooden benches, a parking sign and wall pillars causing an estimated damage of 5,000 Euros. The police ares investigating the incident and asked the public for help identifying the vandals.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Suspicious Fire in Ligugé Abbey

July 21, 2020, France

A fire was discovered on July 20, 2020, just before midnight, in the building used as a laundry room at the Abbey Saint-Martin de Ligugé. According to firefighters, about 20 of the 100 m2 were destroyed. One person was detained and questioned. No charges have been announced.

Vandals Smashed Four Windows of the Church of Großweitzschen

July 20, 2020, Germany

An employee of the parish of the church of Großweitzschen discovered on July 21st that four stained glass panes of the door on the organ tempore had been smashed the day before. Reports indicate that this is not the first time the church has been the victim of vandalism.

Vandalism of Virgin Mary Statue in Alt-Schwallbach Chapel

July 20, 2020, Germany

Between July 19th and 20th an unknown perpetrator cut off and stole the hands of the statue of the Virgin Mary in a chapel in Alt-Schwallbach. Local Catholics are shocked, as the vandalism contains a mysterious detail, the vandal supposedly took the cut off hands with him/her, as they could not be found in- or outside the chapel. The police is investigating the case.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Anarchist Tags on the Church of Saint Clement in Nantes

July 19, 2020, France

On July 19th, just a day after the fire at the cathedral in Nantes, the priest of the Fraternité Saint-Pierre serving the Saint-Clément church in Nantes discovered anarchist tags sprayed on the front of the church.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism of Christ of Calvary on l’Île d’Arz

July 19, 2020, France

Unknown perpetrators broke the Christ of Calvary of Grèavo on the l’île d’Arz during the night of July 19th to 20th. The Christ figure was knocked off the large public crucifix and broken into several pieces. "A silly act, a sacrilege," reacts Christophe Stener, a local historian and resident. "Human stupidity has no limits. Whether one is a Christian or not, this act is revolting." The gendarmerie are investigating.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson Investigation after Fire Heavily Damaged Nantes Cathedral

July 18, 2020, France

In the early morning hours of July 18th, a fire began in the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral, in the heart of Nantes. Passers-by saw flames behind the rosette window of the cathedral and alerted emergency services a little before 8:00 am. When firefighters arrived, they discovered "a violent fire at the level of the organ located behind the rosette window." Upon further investigation, it appeared that the fire had started in three locations: one fire had started near the organ, while the other two were at the other end of the cathedral.

Satanists Suspected of Theft and Desecration in St. Johann Baptist Church in Krefeld

July 18, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators have stolen the golden door of the tabernacle, a monstrance stance and money from an donation box. The tabernacle door was forcefully torn out and the donation box vandalized and money stolen. The community of St. Johann Baptist Church suspects satanists to be the perpetrators, who use the stolen objects for satanic rituals, because the golden altar cross was not stolen, which speaks against just a monetary motivation.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church of the Beata Vergine del Soccorso Repeatedly Vandalized

July 16, 2020, Italy

The portico of the Church of Beata Vergine del Soccorso, known locally as La Rotonda, is often used as a meeting place for young people in the city of Rovigo, despite an ordinance against it. Several times in the weeks before July 16th, mostly young people illegally climbed onto the historic porch and vandalized it, with a least one of them being caught on security cameras using it as a toilet on May 30th. The local police began an investigation.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Anarchist Graffiti Targeting Church; City Hall in San Giorgio a Cremano

July 15, 2020, Italy

During the night of July 15th, vandals attacked various sites in the city of San Giorgio a Cremano near Naples, including the church of Santa Maria del Principio with graffiti. One tag on the church read "Fuoco al Vaticano." The city hall gate and the headquarters of some political movements were also targeted. The city's mayor, Giorgio Zinno, said the symbols and slogans demonstrated the vandals' anti-Catholic, anti-democratic, and anarchic ideology. The police are investing the case by analyzing the recordings of the public security cameras.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Three Vandalism Incidents at Cemetery of Lézignan-Corbières in July

July 15, 2020, France

On July 15th, 24th, and 27th the cemetery of Lézignan-Corbières was repeatedly vandalized and various objects were stolen, such as crucifixes, crosses, vases, flowers, decorations, and plaques, . Gravestone plaques were dismantled, damaged, and reassembled elsewhere, and objects were moved. The perpetrators also attempted to open several graves. A police investigation was opened and the cemetery was closed to allow investigators to collect evidence for their investigations.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

San Pietro Church in Canazza Vandalized with Paint Bomb for the 5th Time

July 13, 2020, Italy

On July 13th, a black paint bomb attack on the granite facade of San Pietro church occurred for the fifth time in two years. After a respite of a year, once again community members of the church again had to remove the damage using solvents to clean the oily back paint. This time, the vandals used twice as much paint than in previous assaults, making removal from the porous granite difficult.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of Virgin and Child Vandalized with Red Graffiti in Noirmoutier-en-l'Île

July 13, 2020, France

During the night of July 13th and 14th the Marian statue of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île was vandalized with obscene red graffiti. The monument to commemorate the end of a parish mission in 1949 had previously been restored after being decapitated in 2018.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Harassing Graffiti at Saint-Martin Basilica

July 12, 2020, France

During the night of July 11th, the outside walls of Saint-Martin Basilica in Tours were sprayed with offensive graffiti (a cruder version of "become lesbians"), as well as the familiar anarchic tag "ACAB". The graffiti is clearly visible at the entrance of the basilica and was probably intended for the Benedictine nuns of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre, who serve in the basilica. The police took photos and are investigating the case.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism and Attempted Theft at the Verbanella Church in Castelletto Ticino

July 8, 2020, Italy

On July 8th an act of vandalism and attempted theft was discovered in Castelletto Ticino in the Verbanella Church. One stained-glass window was smashed into pieces, which also caused a damage on a statue of St. Anthony of Padua that fell on the ground. The police are investigating the incident.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Desecration of Saint Silas Chapel in Lesvos with Obscene Graffiti

July 8, 2020, Greece

In the latest in a series of vandalism and desecration incidents, unidentified perpetrators invaded the Saint Silas Chapel on July 8th, where they desecrated the interior, smashed windows, and sprayed obscene graffiti on the outside walls. The graffiti showed a clear bias against the local residents by writing phrases such as "f&*k you" on the walls. Despite the repeated complaints of residents no further action has been taken.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Two Smashed Windows at Rodde Chapel

July 7, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators smashed two windows of the chapel of the Josefskirche in Rodde between July 5th and 7th causing at least 500 euros in damage. The police began an investigation.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Monstrance with Relic of Saint Leopold Stolen from Pilgrimage Church Maria Lanzendorf

July 5, 2020, Austria

Intruders stole a monstrance with a relic of St. Leopold III, the patron saint of Lower Austria, from the pilgrimage church Maria Lanzendorf, along with a second relic monstrance, as well as other liturgical objects such as chalices and incense boats. According to police reports, the crime was committed during the night of July 5th.

Theft

Suspicious Fire in the Saint-Paul Church of Corbeil-Essonnes

July 4, 2020, France

On the 4th of July at 5 o'clock in the morning the St. Paul Church in Corbeil-Essonnes was reported to be burning. The entire roof, interior, and the sacristy of the church were completely destroyed. The police reported that the fire broke out due to a gas leak caused by squatters, but at least one local resident is skeptical about this explanation.

Suspicious Fire in Frensdorf Pilgrimage Church

July 4, 2020, Germany

Around 6:30 p.m. on July 4th, an employee who entered the pilgrimage church from the back, noticed heavy smoke and fire in the area of ​​a church pew. A candle on the knee pad in front of the bench had set fire to a nylon rope, then the pad caught fire and the flames spread to the entire bench. The woman managed to extinguish the burning seat and backrest; then she called the fire brigade. The Bamberg criminal police took over the further investigation into the cause of the fire which resulted in 2,000 euros in damage.

Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Severe Vandalism of 75kg Cross at Weiden Church

July 4, 2020, Germany

On July 4th, unknown perpetrator knocked over the 75 kilogram cast iron cross in front of the Heart of Jesus church (Herz Jesu Kirche) in the Upper Palatinate town of Weiden, according to police reports. The cross, which was broken off steel pins, suffered massive damage. Police began an investigation and called for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Life Sentence for IS Supporter's Bomb Plot on St. Paul's Cathedral

July 3, 2020, United Kingdom

On July 3rd, Muslim convert Safiyya Amira Shaikh was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 14 years in jail for plotting a bomb attack on St. Paul's Cathedral London and a suicide bomb attack on the nearby underground station. Shaikh admitted the crime and showed no remorse; she wanted to kill as many "kufars" (unbelievers) as possible.

Hate Crime

Man Arrested in Madrid after Shouting "I'm going to burn you all alive" during Mass

July 3, 2020, Spain

On July 3rd, Madrid's municipal police arrested a man after he burst into the San Ramón Nonato parish church in Puente de Vallecas, where a Mass was being celebrated, shouting "murderers, fags, and pedophiles! You should burn, I'm going to burn you all alive!"

Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Repeated Cases of Vandalism in Church of Bissendorf-Achelriede

July 2, 2020, Germany

In the three weeks between June 11th and July 2nd, the church of Bissendorf-Achelriede was vandalized three times by unknown perpetrators. The first two incidents happened at two buildings belonging to the church, eight windows were smashed and a wall sprayed with graffiti. The last incident occurred in the church and resulted in twenty-eight smashed windows, causing a total estimated damage of over thirteen thousand euros.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Sacred Heart Statue Unbolted and Stolen in Saint-Jean-Sart

July 2, 2020, Belgium

Between July 2nd and 3rd the newly-erected Sacred Heart of Jesus statue in the village of Saint-Jean-Sart was unbolted and stolen. The statue had been installed in the middle of June after extensive restoration by a community group. Local residents are shocked by the theft.

Theft

British MP Receives Death Threat after Voting against Abortion Law

June 30, 2020, United Kingdom

In June, a British MP received a death threat and other online abuse after voting in accordance with her pro-life convictions. Dr Lisa Cameron, SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, was sent the threat just days after voting against a pro-abortion bill, which limits support/protest near abortion clinics.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Suspected Arson at San Girolamo Church in Rimini

June 29, 2020, Italy

On June 29th, firefighters were called to the San Girolamo Church in the city of Rimini shortly after 3:30 in the afternoon. A pedestrian reported smoke emanating from the storage room of the church building where old furniture and plastic chairs formed the basis for the fire. Fortunately, the firefighting team was able to quell the blaze. A forensics team investigated whether the fire had been intentionally set, noting that nothing indicated that short circuits or similar faults were the cause of the fire.

Hate Crime Hate Incident

La Dominelais Church Ravaged by Fire

June 29, 2020, France

On Monday, June 29th a fire which began behind the altar of the church of La Dominelais, south of Rennes, caused significant damage. Smoke and heat blackened the walls of the building, which had been renovated some twenty years ago.