All cases

Statue of Christ Decapitated and Vandalized

June 5, 2020, Spain

In the early morning hours of June 4, unknown individuals assaulted the monument dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in La Roda de Andalucía and broke the face and hands of the image to pieces.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Catholic Seminary Defaced During "Black Lives Matter Vienna" Rally

June 5, 2020, Austria

A "Black Lives Matter Vienna" protest on June 5th led to anti-church demonstrations and vandalism at a seminary near the US embassy in Vienna-Alsergrund, according to the seminary director. The outer wall was extensively smeared with graffiti and defaced, and he reported the resulting financial damage to the police.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Saint-Joseph Parish Church Vandalized

June 4, 2020, France

At the end of the first week of June, broken glass was discovered in a corridor of the parish church of Schœneck caused by the throwing of a large stone of about one kilo against a church window. The projectile had been thrown from outside the church and loosened the metal frame of the masonry. In front of the entrance to the crypt, the impact of a projectile against a window pane caused a crack that spanned its entire length. Another window was broken in the sacristy. Additionally, the large metal entrance gate at the side of the grotto of the Virgin was damaged, and two crossbars were twisted and torn off.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Fire Set in Bockhorst Church

June 4, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators set fire to an altar cloth and an organ book in the Maria von der immerwährenden Hilfe (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) church in Bockhorst at around 5:00 p.m. on May 29th. The fire was extinguished promptly by the person who discovered the fire. Property damage of several thousand euros was incurred.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Large Altar Bible Stolen from Church

June 4, 2020, Germany

Unknown people stole a large altar bible with a golden cover from the Protestant church on Rüdesheimer Langstraße in Rüdesheim sometime between June 3rd and 4th.

Theft

Vandalism and Theft at the Church of Heuilley-Cotton

June 3, 2020, France

Between June 3rd and 4th, one or more people broke into the Saint-Loup church of Heuilley-Cotton to steal the "begging angel" (l'ange quêteur) donation box. It was found outside the church completely broken and emptied of its contents.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Four Graves, Including that of a Priest, Vandalized in Village Cemetery

May 27, 2020, France

Four graves in the village cemetery of Saint-Pierre-de-Rivière were damaged during the night between May 26th and 27th by unknown vandals. Among those graves was that of Emile Genès, who had returned his native village after a long priestly life in the Paris region.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Saint-Arthémy Church Vandalized in Coteaux-du-Blanzacais

May 24, 2020, France

The Saint-Arthémy de Blanzac church in the town of Coteaux-du-Blanzacais was the target of acts of vandalism over the weekend of May 23rd and 24th. 

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Alsace: Two Vandalized Churches in Munster

May 23, 2020, France

The Catholic and Protestant churches, an ambulance company, the railway station, two banks and a sports complex were vandalized on the night of 22nd to 23rd May in Munster in le Haut-Rhin. Tags such as "Anarchie vaincera" (Anarchy will win) and the number "666" spray-painted in color were found. These damaging acts shocked and dismayed the inhabitants of the peaceful little town nestled in the heart of the Hautes-Vosges mountains. The gendarmerie launched an appeal for witnesses to find the perpetrators.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Gironde: 55 Vandalized Graves in a Cemetery in Gujan-Mestras

May 21, 2020, France

Fifty-five graves in the church cemetery of Gujan-Mestras were damaged by vandals during the evening of May 21st. Crosses and crucifixes were broken, as well as plaques and flower pots. Police opened an investigation.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Calvary Destroyed in Assé-le-Béranger

May 20, 2020, France

A witness reported to the Observatoire de la Christianophobie on May 20 that the calvary erected in front of the Assé-le-Béranger town hall of Assé-le-Béranger had been broken by a sledgehammer. Some inhabitants of the small village of 450 people interviewed by the witness expressed shock over this act of vandalism which is estimated to have occurred in the previous two weeks.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Saint Boniface Statue Vandalized with Anti-Christian Graffiti

May 16, 2020, United Kingdom

Residents of Crediton (Devon) have expressed their disgust after the statue of St. Boniface was targeted by vandals. The graffiti, scrawled across the base of the statue, reads: "God is dead. Pagan justice."

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Repeated Arson at Church An Maria Waldrast in Krefeld

May 16, 2020, Germany

On May 16th, unknown perpetrators set fire to the memorial altar in the church An Maria Waldrast in Krefeld. Previous arson attempts had been reported to the police in February and March 2020. The police are investigating and suspects an intentional arson. A volunteer at the church discovered the fire and was able to extinguish it with another witness. There was no damage and no one was injured.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft in the Cathedral of Wiener Neustadt

May 15, 2020, Austria

On the first day that the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown was lifted, unknown perpetrators gained access to the Cathedral of Wiener Neustadt on May 15th. They stole a statue known as the "Prager Jesulein," a Jesus statue with a golden crown from 1750, from the Trinity Altar. They then went on to the Mariazeller Altar on the opposite side and stole two crowns from a statue of Mary and Jesus. Both statues were placed inside of glass showcases. The theft did not cause much monetary loss, as the crowns were cheap replicas, but rather a cultural loss. This was not the first theft the church had to endure.

Theft

Two Brutal Thefts within 48 Hours in Two Churches in Freising

May 12, 2020, Germany

Twice within 48 hours in mid-May, unknown perpetrators committed burglaries in Freising churches. They gained access to the buildings in an extremely brutal manner and caused great damage - but the value of the loot is low, in one case nothing was stolen. In order to gain access to various rooms, the perpetrator(s) also destroyed several window panes, among other things. According to initial estimates, the resulting property damage amounts to around 5,000 euros, disproportionally outweighing the cost of the stolen objects.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Destruction of the Summit Crucifix of Pic Saint-Loup near Montpellier

May 10, 2020, France

Between the evening of May 9th and and the morning of May 10th, unidentified vandals cut down the emblematic summit crucifix of Pic Saint-Loup at its base. The iron cross overlooking Montpellier, which weighs 900 kg and is nearly ten meters high, was reportedly detached with a blowtorch or drills and left hanging over the 658 meters from the top of the peak. Inscriptions in red paint reading "Larcins des sorcières hérétiques" (crimes of heretical witches", "Le Pic Laïque" (the secular peak), and "Witch Power" (in English) were left on the pedestal. Police are investigating.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Parish Priest Fined for Celebrating Mass with Thirty People inside Church

May 10, 2020, Spain

On May 10th, municipal police fined the rector of Lloret for saying Mass with about thirty people inside the church. The priest, Martirià Brugada, however, defended his actions and, in fact, finished the Mass with the parishioners outside the church and the windows open.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Religion

Theft in the Coptic Orthodox Church St. Athanasius and St. Moritz in Münster-Sarmsheim

May 10, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators broke into the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Athanasius and St. Moriz. According to police reports on May 14th, the incident occurred on May 10th at about 1:30 pm. The police located marks on the front and back doors, where the perpetrators had tried to enter the church. Finally they smashed a roof window and climbed into the church. They ransacked all the rooms, damaged various objects and stole two incense burners.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Cornerstone Adoption and Fostering Service Seeks Judicial Review after Ofsted Downgrade

May 7, 2020, United Kingdom

The High Court in Leeds held a judicial review of the watchdog Ofsted’s actions against Cornerstone Adoption and Fostering Service in North East England on the 6th and 7th of May. The Christian fostering agency took the government regulator to court for downgrading Cornerstone’s fostering service from “Good” to “Requires Improvement.” 

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Salzburg Catholic Organization Targeted with "Pro Choice" Vandalism

May 5, 2020, Austria

The cars belonging to the Catholic initiative, HOME Mission Base Salzburg, were sprayed with "Pro Choice" and the windows were smashed by unknown vandals.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Wooden Cross in Church Courtyard Set on Fire

May 5, 2020, Germany

Unknown persons set fire to a three-meter-high wooden cross in the inner courtyard of the parish hall of the Catholic parish Edith Stein in Ludwigshafen during the night from May 4th to 5th. The main pillar was scorched by the fire. The police estimate the damage at 200 euros.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft of All Equipment for Online Church Service in Wermelskirchen

May 3, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators stole all of the technical equipment of the Protestant Free Church in Dabringhausen on May 4th, which was vital in times of COVID-19 in order to be able to provide Sunday service online to the church community. The police presumed that the perpetrator must have had a car to transport all of the equipment and probably let him- or herself lock in, in the church on the evening before because no indication for a break-in was found. It is difficult for the church to quickly organize and finance new equipment, so that the online-service is not stopped for too long and also the re-opening of the church for small groups is halted due to police investigations at the church venue.

Theft

Afghan Asylum Seeker Arrested after Threatening to "Slit Christians' Throats"

April 26, 2020, Belgium

A Muslim migrant from Afghanistan was arrested on April 26th after he made serious threats against the employees of the asylum center in Helchteren. The 24-year-old man also said he wanted to 'slit Christians' throats' and would blow himself up to kill as many Christians as possible. The police had responded to the center earlier in the week when the man refused to wash his hands in compliance with the coronavirus regulations, claiming that there was alcohol in the soap and therefore he would not use it during Ramadan. That incident escalated when the man began coughing and spitting at people around him.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Village Church Vandalized in Northern France

April 23, 2020, France

The village church of Saint-Remy in Marly-Gomont was found vandalized on April 23rd despite a coronavirus lockdown confining people to their homes.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Decapitation of Marian Statue in Sumène

April 23, 2020, France

Unknown perpetrators decapitated a Marian Statue in Sumène on June 23rd. The attack was allegedly made with a stone that was found next to the statue along with the cut off head. The mayor of the city, Ghislain Pallier, already filled a complaint.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Attack on Church in Lesvos

April 14, 2020, Greece

The small church of Agia Aikaterini, which is located on the road leading to the Moria refugee camp in Lesvos, was the target of unknown vandals who caused extensive damage in early April.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Religious Freedom Observatory Denounces Cancellation of Masses

April 13, 2020, Spain

The president of the Observatory for Religious Freedom and Conscience (OLRC) sent a letter to the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, asking for "explanations" and showing her "discomfort" about the suspension of Masses in the course of their celebration that has taken place in different parts of Spain during Lent and Holy Week.

Freedom of Religion

Vejleå Church in Ishøj Vandalized with Islamist Graffiti

April 12, 2020, Denmark

On April 12th, the Vejleå Church in Ishøj was vandalized with phrases such as, "We conquer Denmark," and, in Arabic, "There is no God but Allah."

Insult or Incitement Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church of England Clergy Banned by Bishop from Ministering to Sick and Dying

April 9, 2020, United Kingdom

Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, wrote to all Church of England clergy and volunteer hospital chaplains warning them not to minister to any sick or dying hospital patients showing symptoms of the Corona virus. The intention of this effective ban is to reduce the risk of spreading the infection. However, according to Christian Today reporting on 9 April 2020: “The guidance applies only to temporary volunteer chaplains. Full-time NHS chaplains are permitted to continue ministering face to face”.

Attempted Arson and Vandalism at Christchurch in Graz-Eggenberg

April 8, 2020, Austria

An unknown perpetrator smashed the window of Christ Church in Graz with a stone and then set newspapers on fire and threw them inside the church through the smashed window. Fortunately, the burning newspapers did not cause a fire inside the church. Witnesses saw the incident and reported it to the police, who asked for help in finding the perpetrator.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Model Of Basilica Of San Simplicio Di Olbia Vandalized

April 5, 2020, Italy

The model of the basilica of San Simplicio in Olbia, a meticulous reconstruction and a symbol of the city, was damaged by vandals. Unknown perpetrators broke the roof and the top of the facade. This incident occurred while the city was on lock-down due to the corona virus. It was not the first time the monument had been vandalized.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Parish Offices of the Church of Amabilina Vandalized

April 4, 2020, Italy

Unknown intruders vandalized the parish offices of the San Giovanni Maria Vianney of Amabilina church in Marsala. The printer and the drawer of the photocopier were opened and the electrical wire was cut. Nothing was stolen because money and valuables had been removed while the church remains closed due to corona virus precautions.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Golden Cross Stolen from Osnabrück Chruch

April 3, 2020, Germany

Sometime during Holy Week unknown perpetrators broke open a glass case in the St. Joseph Church in the Miquelstraße in Osnabrück and stole a golden cross. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Theft

Window Smashed at Protestant Church

April 1, 2020, Germany

An unknown person smashed a window of the evangelischen Gemeinde Mainz-Laubenheim with a stone between April 1st and 2nd. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Fire at Catholic Church in Rohrbach

March 29, 2020, Germany

Sunday afternoon unknown perpetrators set fire to the catholic church in the Sudetenstraße in Rohrbach. A stacks of newspapers caught fire at the rear entrance of the church. The firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, so only the church walls and the door were slightly affected. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Polish Village Shocked over Vandalism in Cemetery

March 28, 2020, Poland

During the night between the 28th and 29th of March unknown people vandalized several tombstones, knocked over plaques and crosses, and broke many candles in the parish cemetery in Wysoka, despite the corona virus lockdown measures in Poland. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism at St. Remigius Church

March 28, 2020, Germany

On the afternoon of March 28th, an unknown perpetrator broke into and damaged the organ case of the church Saint Remigius in Ingelheim. Furthermore, one page of the Gospel book, which has been laid out and opened, was set on fire. Just before this criminal incident a witness noticed a "strange" man, who pretended to want to play something on the organ. The police are investigating and searching for more witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft of Statue of the Virgin Mary in Dorsten

March 27, 2020, Germany

On March 25th a statue of the Virgin Mary was stolen from the St. Antonius church in Dorsten. CCTV captured a couple entering the church and stealing the relic. The police is investigating and asking the public for help to find the statue, as it has a high ideational value for the parish.

Religious Symbols Theft

Significant Vandalism in St. Michael Kirche

March 26, 2020, Germany

Between 6:00 and 7:20 pm on the evening of March 26th, an unknown perpetrator vandalized the St. Michael Kirche on Kämpenstraße in Versmold. A shelf with Easter candles was knocked over, and the candles were scattered throughout the church. A large glass sanctuary lamp with the eternal flame candle was destroyed and a microphone was torn out of the ambo. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Offensive Graffiti on Church Door in Poznań

March 25, 2020, Poland

The main entrance door of the church on Dąbrówki Street in Poznań was smeared by an unknown perpetrator during the night of March 24th to March 25th. An anarchist "A" symbol was sprayed on a pillar and the phrase "zdejmij suknię śmieciu" This roughly translates to: "take off your dress, punk" in blue paint was sprayed on the church. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft from Church in Mantes-La-Ville

March 23, 2020, France

While France is subject to lockdown measures related to the coronavirus, thieves stole three video projectors and the money collected during Masses from the safe in the church of Sacré-Cœur in Mantes-la-Ville on March 23rd.

Theft

Fire Set in Saint Anna Church

March 21, 2020, Germany

An unknown person set fire to the seat cushion of a wooden prayer bench in the Catholic Church of Saint Anna in Blieskastel-Biesingen. This incident happened between the evening of March 21st and the afternoon of March 22. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Nativity Figures Stolen from a Church

March 21, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators broke into the Evangelical church on the Ringstraße in Aldekerk, Kerken through a broken window between the evening of March 21st and the morning of the 22nd. They searched several cupboards and stole two nativity figures, before fleeing in an unknown direction. The police are investigating.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

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)

Chick-fil-A Closes its Reading restaurant

March 20, 2020, United Kingdom

In October 2019, the American restaurant Chick-fil-A signed a six-month lease and opened a franchise in The Oracle shopping center in Reading. LGBT protesters promptly began a "Get the Chick Out" boycott campaign, due to the company's previous support of a Christian charity which opposed same-sex marriage. The company indicated that the closure was part of its strategy of opening "pilot license locations“ with limited menus in partnership with local organizations to test the waters while expanding.  

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

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)

Man Arrested for Norway Church Fires

March 19, 2020, Norway

Police arrested and charged a man in his 20s for a church fire in Dombås and attempted arson at a church in Sel. The man admitted criminal charges. "He has stated as a reason for the actions that he was angry and cursed because [he heard that] a Norwegian man set fire to the Koran without the police having done anything about it," Hedmarken district court wrote in the ruling.

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)