All cases

Birmingham Street Preacher Awarded £4,250 in Damages After Being Wrongly Arrested and Handcuffed by Police

September 1, 2008, United Kingdom

In summer 2008 Anthony Rollins, a street preacher in Birmingham, was arrested after expressing the Bible’s teaching on same-sex relationships. On December 8th 2010, he was awarded £4,250 in damages.

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Franciscan Monks Cruely Beaten

August 28, 2008, Italy

Unidentified hooded men attacked four Franciscan monks in their monastary in Turin. All four were hospitalized.

Hate Crime

Town Hall Members Forced to Fast During Ramadan

August 7, 2008, United Kingdom

The members of Tower Hamlets Council in East London received an email asking them to observe restrictions implemented during Ramadan. Among these measures, Town Hall meetings were reduced and prayers were included in the evening in observance of the "holy month".

Equality Freedom of Religion

Comedian Insults Pope

August 1, 2008, Italy

At a Rome rally a comedian insults pope saying in 20 years he would be in hell tormented by homosexual deamons.

Insult or Incitement

BBC Screens Show In Which Radical Christians Behead a Moderate Muslim

July 24, 2008, United Kingdom

„Bonekickers“, a BBC TV production which that claims to be fact –based ("History comes alive," says the promotional campaign) deals with a group of radical Christians whose goal is to clean England of immigrants.

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Schoolboys Forced to Pray to Allah

July 22, 2008, United Kingdom

Two pupils from Alsager High School in Cheshire were punished after they refused to pray to Allah. The 7-grade class kids were urged by their religious education teacher Alison Phillips to take part in a Muslim prayer. Prayer mats were given to them, and the pupils were told to kneel down following the Muslim ritual. They were also told to wear Muslim headwear during the lesson.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Police Officer Discriminated Against for Traditional Values

July 9, 2008, United Kingdom

PC Graham Cogman has taken his police force to an Employment Tribunal on grounds of harassment because of his traditional Christian values after a series of complaints and investigations suggesting he is ‘homophobic’ – something he strenuously denies. He says that the ‘over the top’ promotion of homosexual rights within Norfolk Police makes being a Christian policeman, or an officer with traditional family values, extremely difficult, unless a person is prepared to ignore his or her conscience.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Militant Equality Laws

Iris Robinson MP investigated by police for using the Bible’s language about homosexuality

June 30, 2008, United Kingdom

Police investigated Northern Ireland MP Iris Robinson for expressing her religious beliefs about homosexuality on a BBC radio show. Officers from the ‘serious crime branch’ of the Police Service of Northern Ireland held interviews about the incident.

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

TV Program Mocks Catholic Church

May 30, 2008, Spain

The Spanish TV channel "La Sexta" broadcasted the program “Salvados por la Iglesia” (Saved by the Church), hosted by Jordi Evole. Evole, knows as "el follonero" (the troublemaker), makes fun of the Pope for allegedly wearing Prada; the canonization process; and the Wednesday General Audience hosted by the Pope in the Vatican.

Negative Stereotyping

Abortion Supporters Disturb Church Service and Cause Turmoil

May 30, 2008, Spain

A group of women gathered in front of Santa María del Pi Church in Barcelona for a pro-choice manifestation. Five of them entered the Church, interrupted the service, and in front of the mass attendees chained themselves to one of the church altars for "free and unrestricted abortions".

Freedom of Religion Hate Incident

Vicar Beaten By Youth in ‘Faith Hate’ Attack

May 30, 2008, United Kingdom

A parish priest was beaten up by three youths who hurled religious abuse during the attack. The assault took place in the churchyard of St Matthew’s Church in Bethnal Green, East London. Reverend Kevin Scully was left with two black eyes and a cut nose, and only escaped more serious injury because a member of the public intervened.

Hate Crime

Sacrilegious Parade Takes Places in Anticipation of Corpus Christi Procession

May 28, 2008, Spain

The Toledo City Hall council representative in charge of community events, Carmen Jiménez Martín, authorized a profane parade the day before of the traditional and highly celebrated Corpus Christi procession. The theater company Morboria used grotesque characters and dressed them in religious gowns; women dressed as prostitutes were marching next to other participants dressed as saints; and a puppet represented the Virgin Mary. Sacred symbols were part of the profane decoration.

Insult or Incitement Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Formal Complaint for Government Participation in Catholic Funeral of Former President

May 20, 2008, Spain

Representatives of the United Left (Izquierda Unida Republicana) of Asturias released a public announcement where they condemned the participation of civil servants in the funeral in Madrid by „not being able to distinguish public functions from private life.“ They requested that a laity protocol be applied in the future.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Atheist Complaint Against Catholic Service Announcements at Barajas Airport

May 20, 2008, Spain

The International Atheist Federation complained to President Rodriguez Zapatero requesting the immediate ending of the announcement of Roman Catholic services at Barajas airport, in Madrid.

Freedom of Religion

Education Minister's Coming Guidelines May Ban Students from Wearing Crucifixes

May 16, 2008, Ireland

Education Minister Caitriona Ruane, a member of the Sinn Fein Party, is importing school uniform policies from London which led to schools being able to ban students from wearing crucifixes and Sikh religious bangles.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Christian Youth Festival violently disturbed by Anti-Christian Forces

May 4, 2008, Germany

The Christian Youth Festival “Christival” experienced tremendous opposition on site. 15.000 peaceful youth disturb by socalled “anti-sexistic alliance” under the name of “No Christival” shouting slogans such as “Masturbation instead of Evangelization” or “Never again Jesus”.

Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Socialist Party Initiative Aims to Change The Name of Pius XII Street in Sevilla

April 25, 2008, Spain

The City Hall of Sevilla, run by the PSOE socialist party, has announced its intention to change the names of some streets associated with Franco and his regime. The proposal is a consequence of the Historical Memory Law that allows the removal of names and signs related to Franco's times. One of them is now considered to be Pope Pius XII and a street named after him. In the PSOE words, the Pope is a "francoist character", well-known as the "Nazi Pope".

Defamation Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

BBC Screens Anti-Christian Series

April 24, 2008, United Kingdom

EastEnders, a BBC soap opera based on the life of Lucas Aaron Johnson, a pastor played by Don Giler, portrays Johnson as a twisted Christian preacher with strong religious convictions committing terrible crimes. The executive producer Diederick Santer said about the character: "Lucas is doing the Lord's work".

Negative Stereotyping

Pro-Life Politician Pelted with Bottles and Eggs

April 2, 2008, Italy

An Italian pro-life politician was pelted with eggs and bottles during an April 2 campaign appearance in Bologna. At least 15 people were injured.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Church Service Stormed, Pastor Beaten

April 2, 2008, Russia

Pentecostal service stormed by perpetrators, pastor beaten, parishioners threatened with pistols held to their heads.

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

Socialist Pupils Association Encourages Members to Vandalize Churches

March 20, 2008, Austria

In a newsletter Austrian "Aktion Kritischer Schüler" (Socialist Pupils Association) encourages members to take the occasion of the international day against racism (March 21st) to vandalize churches.

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

Christian Youth Festival in Germany Under Attack

March 19, 2008, Germany

January/March 2008: “Christival” – a large Christian youth festival is protested by “anti-sexistic forces” due to its “conservative” contents such as its opositon to pre-marital sex and abortion. Organisers currently discuss with police how to protect participants and the festival.

Hate Incident

University Bans Ethics Seminar Due to Christian Contents

March 18, 2008, Germany

The Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich withdraws recognition from "Management Ethics on a Christian Foundation" seminar because of its Christian content. It is said to violate “political correctness” and to have too little reference to the curriculum of business and administration ethics.

Anglican Priest Beaten up in 'Faith Hate' Incident

March 17, 2008, United Kingdom

Anglican priest, Canon Michael Ainsworth, beaten up and insulted in 'faith hate' incident in his own churchyard by Asian youths.

Hate Crime

Catholic Bishop Before Parliament for Insisting on Crucifixes in Every Classroom and Truly Catholic Sex-Ed

March 14, 2008, United Kingdom

The Catholic Bishop of Lancaster UK today gave a spirited response to accusations by secularist MPs in a Commons Committee who accused him of trying to establish religious "fundamentalism" in his schools. Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue told the Committee that schools in his diocese should see it as their prime duty to teach the Catholic faith and to evangelise and that this constituted neither "proselytism" nor "fundamentalism".

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Spanish Officials’ Discourse Shows Increasing Hostility Against Christians

February 29, 2008, Spain

The Observatory for the Freedom of Religion and Conscience (OLRC) issued a report quoting “100 reasons to be alert” about the attacks against Christianity by Spanish officials. The author affirms that the increasing hostility against Christians aims to eliminate religious expressions from the public square.

Defamation Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Police Tell Christians: "You can’t Preach here, this is a Muslim Area"

February 28, 2008, United Kingdom

A police community support officer (PCSO) told two church workers in Birmingham, “You can’t preach here, this is a Muslim area”. The incident happened as Arthur Cunningham and Joseph Abraham handed out Christian tracts on Alum Rock Road.

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Christian Magistrate Loses Conscientious Objection Appeal

February 26, 2008, United Kingdom

A Christian magistrate lost his second and final appeal in a suit in which he claimed his employer had discriminated against him because of his religious conviction that adoptive children ought not to be placed with homosexuals.

Freedom of Conscience

Anglican Bishop Fined £47,345 and Sent to "Re-Education" in Gay Employment Case

February 12, 2008, United Kingdom

The Anglican bishop of Hereford has been ordered by a court to undergo "equal opportunities training" and pay a fine of £47,345.00, the equivalent of about Euro 63,540.00, for refusing to hire an active homosexual for a position of trust with young people. The ruling also stated that Hereford diocese staff "involved in recruitment should receive equal opportunities training". "The respondents discriminated against the claimant on the grounds of sexual orientation," said the ruling from the Cardiff Employment Tribunal.

Freedom of Religion

Council of Devon Revokes Civil Ceremonies License of Christian Earl Due to Refusal to Host Gay Ceremonies

February 7, 2008, United Kingdom

As a result of refusing by the Earl of Devon to allow a homosexual couple to hold a civil partnership ceremony, the local Council revoked the licence for hosting all civil ceremonies in the Castle. The Earl of Devon is a devout Christian, who lives with his family in the event location at stake in Powderham Castle.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Militant Equality Laws

(Internet) Anti-Christian Games Available on the Internet

January 28, 2008, Italy

Molleindustra, Italian artists and engineers, designes video games fostering hatred of Christians and religion in general. User says: Religious hate has never been so much fun.

Defamation Insult or Incitement

Pope's Visit to University Cancelled

January 17, 2008, Italy

Pope's visit to University La Sapienzia was cancelled because of anti-Catholic protests and false accusations that the Pope is not supportive of scientific discovery

Freedom of Expression

Socialists Attack Catholic Church in Wake of Pro-Family Demonstration

January 12, 2008, Spain

Spanish socialists lashing out at the Catholic Church, accusing it of hypocrisy and of attempting to intervene in the political process.

Insult or Incitement

Priest Given Suspended Sentence for Loud Bell

January 11, 2008, Greece

A Greek Orthodox priest was given a suspended 70-day sentence after residents complained he rang his church bell too loudly and too often.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Gallery Offends Christians

January 6, 2008, United Kingdom

The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead displays statue of Christ with erect penis by gay Chinese-born artist Koh.

Defamation Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Roman Catholic Priests Beaten and Robbed

January 5, 2008, Austria

In Austria two individual incidents were reported in January in which a Roman Catholic Parish Priest was attacked, brutally beaten and robbed. It is unknown if the perpetrators picked the priests as victims on grounds of their faith.

Hate Crime

(Internet) Pledge Demeans Cross

January 3, 2008, International

On a website for pledge exchange a members offers the following: "I will post the next public person to bang on about "Christianophobia" a couple of planks of wood and a packet of nails but only if 20 other people will do the same."

Insult or Incitement

Christianophobic TV Series

January 1, 2008, Turkey

Most expensive Turkish TV series ever produced now shown in cinemas. The "bad guy" is Christian.

Negative Stereotyping

Countless Vandal Attacks Against Churches

January 1, 2008, United Kingdom

In 2007 one out of every three Anglican churches suffered a vandal attack at some point during the year. Theft, arson and malicious damage is a problem for churches. Claims cost £1.8 million in total, a significant amount for petty crime. The average cost of these claims was around £900. These statistics don’t even take into account the smaller attacks which churches don’t report to their insurer because the damage is minor. It is therefore likely that many more thousands of churches suffer malicious damage every year.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Overview of Anti-Christian Vandalism in France in 2007

December 31, 2007, France

Many acts of vandalism have occured in France in 2007. Please find here a list of examples of various incidents against Christian sites.

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

Attack on Orthodox Priest Foiled by Police

December 30, 2007, Turkey

An attack on an Orthodox priest was foiled by Turkish police. The suspect confessed that he had been influenced by the portrayal of Christian missionaries in the TV series “The Valley of the Wolves”, where young Turkish people were depicted as being deceived and bribed for converting to Christianity.

Hate Crime

Fire Set to Catholic Chapel

December 24, 2007, Russia

Intentional fire was set at a Catholic chapel in the Cossack village of Leningradskaya, the Krasnodar Region. The motivation of the attack and its perpetrators remain unknown but it could be religious hate.

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

Christian Symbols Targeted rather than Religious Symbols in General

December 18, 2007, International

The war on Christian Christmas symbols wages in many countries. Interestingly, it seems not to be about religion in general. It seems to be against Christian symbols. Find here a collection of cases from the United States.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

War on Christmas and Its Symbols

December 17, 2007, United States

Catholic League in the U.S. collected several instances of where Christmas symbols were banned, removed or mistreated in the United States. In Europe, similar instances took place.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Catholic Priest Attacked and Stabbed

December 17, 2007, Turkey

A Catholic priest was hospitalized Sunday after being stabbed, the latest in a string of attacks on Christians in Turkey. Police said they had detained the suspected attacker.

Hate Crime

(Internet) Hate CD Sold on Ebay

November 27, 2007, International

German "Black Attakk" CEO Karsten Jakob sells four CDs on Ebay which contain hateful language against Christ.

Defamation Insult or Incitement

Sidewalk Counsellors Violently Harrassed

November 27, 2007, Austria

Prolife sidewalk counsellors praying in front of an abortion clinic were violently harrassed and sexually assaulted by people allegedly hired by the owner of the clinic, Dr. Christian Fiala, in Vienna, Austria.

Hate Crime Insult or Incitement

Clown Interrupted Mass and Destroyed Baptismal Font

November 22, 2007, Spain

A 36 year old man, wearing a clown costume, entered into the Corpus Christi Parish in Granada during mass and interrupted it. Right after, he destroyed the Baptismal Font with a wrench. The media reported that regulars to the parish had noticed the aggressor in the adjacent areas of the church in the days before the attack.

Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Biennale of Contemporary Art Displays Profaned Jesus Crucified Hanging from Lingerie

November 22, 2007, Spain

The Sevilla Biennale of Contemporary Art presented an artwork of German-born Josephine Meckseper intended to merge the concepts of sex and the religious symbolism of Holy Week. Meckseper displays Jesus Christ hanging from lingerie. Christians were offended, but Pablo Suarez, the Museums General Director in Andalucia highlighted freedom of expression without censorship. The Biennale is mostly funded with taxpayers' money.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Religious Activity Under Requirement of Government Permit Limits Small Christian Communities

November 18, 2007, Spain

The Parliament of Catalonia has passed a new law that increases the power of the government over religious organizations. Catholic and Evangelical churches, among others, have raised some concerns about the role of the state regulating activities that belong, originally, to religious organization. Under the new law, and from now on, a permit issued by the local City Hall is needed to carry out any religious activity, and the permit could be denied for security and health issues.

Freedom of Religion