On the morning of March 1st, the Church of Sant'Agostino in Corleone was attacked by unknown vandals. The perpetrators set fire to the entrance door of the church. The fire brigade immediately intervened and extinguished the fire to prevent greater damage to the 15th century church. The police is investigating.
Recent figures show that Catholics are the most common victims of religious prejudice and hate crime in Scotland. 42% of religiously motivated hate crimes are perpetrated against Catholics, compared to 26% against Muslims and 10% against Protestants. In contrast, Scottish Government figures show that racially-motivated hate crimes have fallen by 20% between 2014-15 and 2019-20. At the same time, the hate crime rate against transgender persons doubled in number. Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie expressed that hate crime is an "under-reported offence", which means that victims "can be targeted on numerous occasions before they report to our officers".
The Spanish authorities still maintain severe restrictions on public meetings and also religious services. In late February it was officially announced that public marches with up to 500 participants will be allowed on the International Women's Day, March 8th, which was demanded by feminist groups. At the same time, restrictions have already been announced for Holy Week celebrations and other church-related festivals, on the grounds that Holy Week processions are riskier than Women's Day marches. Fr Francisco José Delgado criticised the official decisions, saying that they were not primarily a matter of health policy: "The Ministry of Health advises against these marches, showing this is more about the political confrontation between the political parties in the government than from a real concern for the health of the people, which has been missing in the decisions that have been made since the pandemic started".
"Buffer zones" around abortion clinics are to be introduced in Edinburgh to prohibit pro-life activists from standing and praying around the clinics. The buffer zones are initiated by a campaign of university students called "Back off Scotland", who got supported by the city council's policy committee. The campaign group repeatedly called for 150-meter "no protest zones" outside the entrance to Chalmers Street Sexual Health Centre after a survey showed that pro-life protests outside the clinic made the majority of women feel uncomfortable. The pro-life activists say their aim is to support women to make a different choice and the wrong allegations towards them are neither supported by Police Scotland, NHS Lothian nor the council itself.
After criticising the Irish government's plans to legalise euthanasia, Twitter has banned the Irish bishop Kevin Doran on February 20th. In his tweet, he spoke out about the Christian dignity in dying, paradoxically Twitter argues "he violated their rules by promoting (..) suicide or self-harm" because the tweet mentioned the term "Assisted Suicide" in it, which he opposes. According to writer David Quinn, Twitter has turned the bishop down on appeal.
Three years after the publication of the bestselling book "When Harry became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment" by Dr Ryan T. Anderson, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) in Washington, Amazon removed the book on gender ideology from its online store on February 20th. The book gives an accurate and accessible account of the scientific, medical, philosophical and legal debates surrounding the transgender phenomenon. Amazon has not notified the author or the publisher that the book has been removed, nor have Amazon representatives responded to any of their enquiries.
During the night of February 19th, unknown perpetrators sprayed red paint on the doors and walls of the historic St Augustine's Church in Wola, Warsaw. After the police started an investigation in which they also released a video showing the suspect, the police arrested two men in connection with the case.
In March 2019, Christian West End actress, Seyi Omooba, was removed from a leading role in a musical and dropped from her agency for a Facebook post about homosexuality citing the Bible over four years earlier. With representation by the Christian Legal Centre, she launched a legal challenge on September 30th against Leicester Curve Theatre and her agency, Global Artists, for breach of contract and anti-Christian discrimination.On November 25th, the judge rejected arguments from Seyi Omoobas lawyers that the theatre critic, Lloyd Evans should be allowed to give evidence in her claim. The trail of Omooba's religious discrimination and breach of contract claim is scheduled to run for 11 days next February. After the last ruling of the court she was offered a compensation which she reclined arguing that it was disproportional. In its latest decision the court ruled against the actress.
In February, Facebook permanently deleted the page of Core Issues Trust (CIT) on the grounds that the charity is in breach of its community standards. Since June 2020, LGBT activists have viciously attacked the site and refused to recognise people who previously identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. During this time, Facebook did not respond to the attacks against CIT and its employees, even though their personal safety was at risk. Now Dr. Mike Davidson, CEO of CIT, wrote a statement on the case in which he makes clear to continue to platform "the voices of those who with free conscience express the transformation they experience and the Christian convictions that are important to them and protected by Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights".
During the night of February 17th, unknown perpetrators destroyed the statue of the Virgin Mary in the parish of the first Martyrs of Poland, Czestochowa. The statue which represents the Virgin Mary had its hands cut off and the surrounding area vandalised, flowers and candles were scattered. According to the parish priest, Father Jasionek, the incident was not reported to the police: "I did not report it to the police because I think it is not a material loss but a moral loss and the police will not help us in this matter."
On February 17th, three unknown young men tried so set fire to the Madonna delle Grazie church in Piedimonte Matese. The young men were supposedly noticed by a resident who immediately alerted the police. However, the vandals managed to escape. The case is being investigated by the police.
On February 16th unknown perpetrators attacked a catholic church in Sligo with red graffiti. The incident occurred after politician Tánaiste Leo Varadkar appeared on the Irish RTE programme "Prime Time" in which he claimed that dead babies were buried in a tank in Tuam. Varadkar referred to the mother and child home in Tuam that was run by the church and were it was recently discovered that mothers and babies have been severely abused and even a mass grave for babies were found. Sligo is about a 50-minute drive from Tuam. According to the Irish government, there is no evidence that babies are buried in a tank in Tuam. So far it is not known whether the two cases are related.
On the 2nd of February, the police in Poznan was called to a case of vandalism. The front doors to the Church of the Resurrection in the Wilda district was spray painted with anarchic symbols and threats. An unknown perpetrator wrote the vulgar slogan "Kler to hell" in white paint on the church door. The police is investigating.
During night of February 14th, unknown perpetrators wreaked devastation on the parish cemetry complex of St. Barbara's Church in Warsaw. Ten inverted crosses were painted on the church doors, pillars and memorial plaques on the church walls. Among other things, memorial plaques of Warsaw insurgents and former parish priests were vandalised. The police is investigating.
For being pro-life, almost one of four students have been "threatened, abused, alarmed or distressed" at their university. According to a survey by the national student pro-life group, the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS), nearly three quarters of pro-life students have been confronted with situations in seminars where they experienced a restriction in freedom of expression. APS Executive Director Madeline Page said: “These statistics are alarming, yet confirm what we already know – pro-life students are being marginalised and silenced at universities. Institutional policies which refuse to allow certain topics to be discussed don’t just damage free speech – they destroy a culture of tolerance and respect on campus, ruining the chance for all students to engage with people of diverse opinions and understandings."
In late January and early February, more than 10 residents of Rybna, Poland complained about the vandalization of crosses and grave monuments of their relatives. Several people found gravestones with broken and stolen crosses and figures of Christ that were torn off crosses and thrown away nearby. People started intervening and reported the matter to the municipality. It was later discovered that the damage was not reported to the police, because according to the municipality, they did not have a report on the matter.
In the beginning of February, police officers from Zgorzelec arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of destroying windows and a stained glass window in one of the churches in the district. Another act of vandalism of a church took place in the Wołów district. The perpetrator painted symbols on the walls of the church and on the front of the cross at the main gate, offensive to religious feelings . As a result of the investigation, police officers arrested a 22-year-old resident of the district.
On February 8th, radical feminist groups disrupted a solidarity rally, in front of the Polish embassy in Vienna, of the Platform for Christian Democracy. The Platform demands an end to the discrimination against people with disabilities and therefore wanted to demonstrate its support for the new amendment of the Polish abortion law, which denies abortion on the ground of eugenics. After interrupting the march, the perpetrators smeared the Platforms' office walls with radical feminists and insulting slogans, reading "fundamentalists abort them". The Platform filed a complaint at the police who is investigating.
On February 6th, vandals demolished the car of a priest of St James the Great Church in Crookston, Glasgow. In addition to a completely smashed windscreen the car's wing mirrors were also severely damaged. According to a post in the church's Facebook group 2-3 youths have been seen vandalising the car. The police is investigating.
On February 5th, unknown perpetrators destroyed the panels of the exhibition "John Paul II - Pope of Dialogue", prepared by the John Paul II Memorial Centre in Warsaw in cooperation with the Polish Embassy at the Basilica of St John the Baptist in Berlin. John Paul II's face was painted over with red paint. A red lightning bolt - the symbol of the so-called women's strike - was painted on the fence of the neighbouring headquarters of the papal nunciature. The police is investigating.
In 2019, the local authority of Pforzheim, Germany, prohibited the assemblies of the "40 Days for Life" group that was peacefully and silently praying in front of a pre-abortion advisory center. The group's concern is to pray for women struggling with abortion and for their unborn children. The legal human rights organization ADF International is now challenging the prohibition in court, in order to ensure that the group's fundamental rights to freedom of religion, assembly and speech will be reinstalled.
On February 2nd, unknown persons tried to set fire to paper in the gallery of the church in Bischofsreut. This was discovered 3 days later, on February 5th, when unknown perpetrators set fire to the same place. This resulted in a minor damage of around 100 Euros. According to the police, between 2.15 and 3.15 p.m., the arsonist(s) were in the church and set fire to a sheet on the floor and several pieces of paper they had found in the building. Before any major damage was done, the perpetrators put out the fire with disinfectant.
January 31st , a church in the Derry County was vandalised and the police started an investigation. Sectarian slogans and initials of loyalist paramilitary organisations were written on the walls of St Mary's Church in Limavady. According to details provided by the police they were looking for a man during the week of February 7th, when they finally arrested him on that date.
On January 25th, unknown perpetrators attempted to set fire to the Saint-Paul Church located in the district of Mosson. The priest discovered thick smoke coming out of the worship room, which emerged from a wooden table. Ash was found on the table coming from a pile of papers, which indicates that the table was deliberately set on fire. Another indication for a case of arson is an obscene graffiti on a figure of Jesus Christ which was found on the walls of the building. Fire fighters were able to put out the fire but still damage was caused.
In the evening of January 22nd, two young perpetrators broke into the church of San Martino in Rezzato. The vandals completely destroyed the entrance door and pews. The police were informed and a charge was filed.
The interior of the Protestant Christ church in Radolfzell was heavily vandalized on January 22nd. The organ bench, the conductor's platform and a wrought-iron door were thrown from the gallery into the church hall. Parts of the sacristy and the kitchen in the parish hall were also destroyed. In addition, there was a fire set in the area of the lighting system, which the fire fighters were able to extinguish. The church had been cleared out due to renovation works and the front door had been left open so that people could say goodbye to the church in it's old form, the pastor explained. The 63-year-old perpetrator was arrested on the spot. The police started investigations for suspected arson and vandalism.
On January 21st, vandals destroyed an over 100-year-old chapel in Otwock. The statue of the Virgin Mary was torn off and stolen. Thanks to the efforts of some residents the chapel was renovated and a new statue bought. Because the owners of the chapel are unknown, the police did not take up any investigations.
On January the 20th, unknown perpetrators threw three Molotov cocktails at the church in Spånga. Windows were smashed, the entrance was damaged but no person was harmed during the attack. Pastor Jerker Alsterlund said, "We have no threat against us but it is a strong symbolic act." The police have cordoned off the area and are investigating for arson. Four days later on January 24th a second arson took place. A window was broken and a small fire with some smoke development was detected by a security company. The incident is currently classified as arson and the police is investigating whether there is a connection between the two attacks.
The historic cross of the Discalced Carmelite Order was removed by the city of Aguilar de la Frontera on January 19th. The decision to cut down the cross of the Fallen was backed by the Act on Historical Remembrance. The act is concerned with removing symbols of the Franco regime. The leftist mayor Carmen Flores explained that the local Andalusian legislation regulates the public display of elements that glorify Francism and that the opinion of the church is irrelevant. The Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers contested the city council's decision to remove the cross to the administrative court.
In the morning hours of January 19th, the ÖCV (Austrian Catholic Cartel Association) house was vandalized. A group of left-wing extremists entered the ÖCV house and smeared several signs in the entrance area with black paint. The plaque at the memorial for the victims and resistance fighters from the rank of the ÖCV was demolished with red paint and elsewhere anarchist symbols were left behind.
On January 18th, the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Kaźmierz was vandalized. Unknown perpetrators destroyed three stained glass windows in the church and smashed three windows in the sacristy. Priests and parishioners are very upset.
Christian prison chaplain Paul Song was suspended from work after he has made the incident when a group of Islamic extremists stormed a chapel gathering and hijacked his bible meeting public. After his Sunday Mail interview about the incident he was banned indefinitely from working in London jails. After being punished for whistleblowing and exposing the influence of Muslim gangs at HM Prison Brixton, he is taking legal actions. At the High Court hearing on January 12th the Lawyers will seek a judicial review of the decision.
The Holy Spirit Church in Vienna has to be completely renovated due to heavy sooting after a fire on January 9th. According to the Archdiocese of Vienna, the "fire event", reported to the police, could have been an arson attack. A box of cushions was burning, which caused a lot of soot. "We suspect that the cushions were set on fire. There are no candles near the scene of the fire and people usually don not smoke in a church." Michael Prüller, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Vienna stated. The church will remain closed indefinitely.
The St. Lukas Church in Leipzig was vandalized with paint and stones by left extremists. The portal image was damaged with paint bags and windows were smashed with stones. On January 6th, the left extremist platformed indymedia, which is monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, claimed to be the originator of the attack in an online letter. It stated: "Assembly for Moria - Smash Christian-White Europe. We attacked a Lutheran church in Leipzig to start our Monday campaign for Moria. We attacked with stones and paint". The case and the validity of the letter will be further investigated.
On New Year's Eve, around 20-30 adolescents had gathered in Vienna, attacking shops, apartment balconies and other facilities on a public square with explosive pyrotechnical supplies. They also poured a diesel-gasoline mixture over a Christmas tree. Several trash cans flew against windows damaging the surrounding shop windows. "A Christmas tree has no place in a Muslim district, said one of the rioters," a member of the emergency services stated. The rioting mob also attacked the police officers by throwing firecrackers at them and shouting "Allahu Akbar"slogans. Four people were arrested immediately and the local government initiated a new security strategy for the area.
An employment tribunal told on December 16th, that a CEO was exposed to bullying, hostility and harassment because of his christian view on same-sex marriage. Kenneth Ferguson files his former employer, the Robertson Trust for unlawful termination, discrimination and religious harassment. He claims that the Trust's chair, Shonaig Macpherson, became "incandescent with anger" after she found out that the Stirling Free church was hiring a Trust property. Mr Ferguson is an elder and treasurer of the Stirling Free church, which is opposing same-sex marriage and abortion.
An investigation was initiated after seven priest of Vaucluse received personal letters with the words "Allah Akbar". It was announced on December 9th by the gendermerie, which speaks of a case "taken very seriously". Handwritten letters were personally addressed and sent to the parish where the seven African priests live.
On December 7th, the UK shadow minister for faiths, Janet Daby, has resigned from her position. This was due to her statement, regarding the right of registrars to refuse same-sex marriages without being terminated. Janet Daby said that registrars who had a religious objection to same-sex marriage should not be forced to conduct them, as well as someone who has objections to abortions is not forced to carry them out. She sincerely apologized for her misjudged comments, and decided to resign as Shadow Faith Minister.
On December 7th, the nativity scene that is placed every year in the Eguzki square in Berriozar became the target of vandalism. Almost all figures were split in half and destroyed by unknown perpetrators. The figures are made out of wood and were freshly painted this year, which means that the budget for the new restoration is very small.
On December 7th, four christian preachers, known as 'the Bristol Four', are accusing the Avon and Somerset Police for their brutal arrest. Mike Overd, Don Karns, Mike Stockwell and AJ Clarke have made considerable claims against the police. The case raises important concerns about the right to freedom of speech, and the freedom of Christian preachers in the UK to express their religious beliefs and have the right to gather in public.
On December 12th the ancient church in a village in Derbyshire was on fire. The Fire and Rescue Service of Derbyshire stated that by the time they reached the church, the fire had already caused significant structural damage. A 16-year-old Teenager has been arrested on suspicion of arson. The police is investigating.
The Berlin church district Tempelhof-Schöneberg has become the target of right-wing extremist "online attacks". These kind of attacks via the Internet are known as zoom bombings. During the online broadcasting of the service on December 3rd, unconstitutional signs and threats were shown and anti-Semitic statements were made. The attackers additionally made an attempt to include their own films and material. All incidents were reported to the State Security Department, which is investigating.
On December 1st, Scotland's Justice Secretary has affirmed that regarding to SNP's hate crime bill, one could be prosecuted for stating that men cannot be woman. The Hate Crime and Public Order Bill (Scotland) was intended to criminalize expressions and attitudes perceived as "abusive" and aimed at "inciting hatred" against particular groups. However, in return it restricts freedom of speech and lacks it's sufficient protection.
On November 29th, the Council of State in Francerejects the 30-person limit for religious celebrations. The government's restriction was found to be "disproportionate". In the next three days a new system must be implemented that is more in line with the right to freedom of religion and worship.
On November 28th, unknown perpetrators tagged a staircase of a Viennese municipal building with threats. The words "Death to Christians", "the house will soon belong to us and than the whole world" and glorifications of the Islamist terror attack in Vienna were smeared on the walls. Moreover, the graffitis said: May "Allah" have "mercy" on the 20-year-old assassin who murdered four people on November 2nd. The police was informed and a complaint was filed. The LVT (State Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Fight against Terrorism) has started investigations.
On November 26th the Pro Femina consulting center in Munich was the target of a paint attack. After the growing political pressure on Pro Femina in the last few weeks, the office building was smeared with pink paint. On the opposite side of the street, posters were hung up with the slogans: "Decriminalize abortion", "My body, my choice" or "Kill fetuses". The police have been informed and a criminal complaint has been filed.
Young-Ai Park was publicly displaying prints of Bible verses on the walls of her restaurant in Berlin. She was accused of "hate speech" and subjected to a police search and a fine. On November 25th a court in Berlin has upheld the restaurants owner's right to freedom of religion and speech and found the search warrant issued by the district court unlawful.
On November 24th, Pope Francis beatified 127 Catholics who were killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in the 20th century. At the same time the hashtag demanding Catholic priests to be burned alive became a trend on Twitter. Tweets with the hashtag #FuegoAlClero, which means "Burn the Clergy" were permitted by Twitter. Some of those tweets included pictures of priests with their heads in flames and others labeled priests as "pedophiles" and "thieves". Although Twitter's current user policy states that the promotion of violence on the basis of religious affiliation is not allowed, these pictures of priests in flames were not removed until the 25th of November.
On November 25th, the Bremen District Court sentenced the protestant Pastor Olaf Latzel for hate speech. He had made several strongly derogatory statements about homosexuality based on his understanding of the Bible, for which he repeatedly apologised. The pastor has been sentenced to a fine of 8.100 Euro. According to the court, he had incited hatred against homosexuals and intersexuals. Olaf Latzel announced he will not accept the sentence. His lawyer demands an acquittal.
On November 11th, the diocese of Segovia reported an act of vandalism against its heritage. Unknown perpetrators smeared the pedestal of a cross next to the door of the parish in Valseca. This is the third act of vandalism against the ecclesiastical patrimony in the last few days.
An unknown perpetrator defecated into the baptismal font of the St. George's church in Saerbeck on January 24th. In doing so, the perpetrator had himself photographed by two others who accompanied him, according to the church's surveillance video. After a complaint by the parish, the police is investigating for disturbance of religious peace. The parish is especially shocked, because of the targeted attack, which was not only a disregard of religious feelings.
According to a new survey more than a quarter of students in the UK, 'self-censor' their opinions. They are afraid that their views will collide with the values promoted by the university. 40 percent do not express their opinion because they fear it could ruin their careers. Another sign of a free speech crisis is that 27 percent of students have stated they actively 'hidden' their opinions and further 40 percent restrained their views on ethical or religious affairs. The survey - conducted by Survation on behalf of ADF International, a faith-based legal advocacy organization - discovered that 36 percent, which is more than a third of students have legal opinions which would be considered as unacceptable by their student union. Free speech campaigners linked the dynamics on some campuses to 'Moist re-education campus', which are dominated by 'woke 'orthodoxy' and only the most liberal and Left-wing views are tolerated.
On November 21st, unknown perpetrators destroyed the "Wyszyński and Wojtyla grammar of life" exhibition displayed on the fence of the St. Jozafat's church in Rejowiec. The exhibition showed photographs and quotations regarding certain values and concepts which form "the grammar of life", the basis of individuals and entire communities. The incident was reported to the police who is investigating.
Between September 1st and September 20th the primary incident happened at the St Giles' Church in Alderton. Followed by an incident on October 28th at Holy Cross in Sherston. The St Mary's Church in Luckington was twice victim of an assault. First between October 29th and November 6th, and secondly between November 18th and 21st. The leaded windows have been severely damaged and caused a financial damage of several thousand Pounds. .
On November 19th an extension of the Protestant Markus Church in Breda was damaged by fireworks. The blast had the force of a hand grenade. It destroyed the facade, blew off doors and broke a number of windows. During the explosion people were inside the church but fortunately in a room on the other side of the building, and no one was injured. Due to the destruction of the outer walls of the extension, a potential risk of collapse was caused. The police is investigating.
On November 17th unknown perpetrators broke into the church in Kuckum. It was the second time the church was broken into and various liturgical objects were stolen. A local community offered 1000 Euros as a reward for the replacement of the objects, including the stolen monstrance.
Unknown perpetrators vandalized a monument of John Paul II. The figure of the Polish Pope was smeared with red lightning paint, on September 11th. The sign has recently become a symbol of the women's strike, a social rebellion group against the tightening of the abortion ban.
Unknown perpetrators devastated three figures of praying Fatima Children on November 16th in Mogilno. The vandals used paving stones to smash the figure. One head and two arms were broken off the statues. The caused damage is estimated to be 1.000 PLN. According to the press officer of the District Police Headquater, the police is investigating in this case for offending religious feelings, which is punishable by up to two years imprisonment.
On November 15th the St. Jan Kanty church in Warsaw was smeared with accusations and the lightning symbol. The symbol is known as the sing of the women's strike. The parish was target by activists connected to the women's strike group before. After attempts of breaking into the church during holy mass, the parishioners took action themselves and hired a security guard.
On November 15th, a bench and a granite fountain were damaged right in front of church Sant'Ambrogio in Buddusò. This act of vandalism, right in front of the church, led to an outrage across the entire town.
Priest Don Mirco Bianchi of the Church in Villamarina wrote on his Facebook page on November 14th, that his church had been destroyed and several things were stolen. He did not post photos or report to the police. It looks like the priest has had several problems with vandalism and threats in the past, due to his moral teachings and posts on Facebook. Some people consider the posts of the Father as a provocation.
On November 13th unknown perpetrators vandalized the church of Ruoti. The walls of the local section of the Democratic Party and the Parrish Building were marked with Swastikas, Celtic crosses and offensive writings. In particular, near the rectory, the phrases "Infamous Priest", "No to pedophilia" and a cross was smeared on two doors and a wall.The incident was reported to the police, who is investigating.
The Church of St. Christ the King in Gothenburg was vandalized and devastated on November 13th. The unknown perpetrators destroyed the altar and threw the candlesticks, vestments and tablecloth on the ground. The pastor, Tobias Unnerstal, believes that the act was intentionally symbolic, trying to show an "eternal Good Friday". They also scattered the songbooks and used the fire extinguisher for the candles inside the chapel. In the same church, the crucifix was already stolen a week before. The police has been informed and they started an investigation.
On the 13th of November, unknown perpetrators started a fire on the altar of the Catholic Church in Wolfach. Investigations show that they might have used matches and a candle from the church. The incident was discovered by a couple who went to visit the church and extinguished the fire and informed the police. The caused damage is estimated to be around 600 Euros.
In Castrovillari, unknown vandals vandalized the chapel of the Madonna dell'Idria during the days before the 12th of November. The vandals smeared the altar with spray paint and the paintings above the altar, they also tagged the walls and some statues. The community was shocked at the sight of the images that circulated on the internet.
An unknown vandal smeared the outside wall of the parish cemetery in Legionowo with an insult to the PiS party and the symbol of the "Women's Strike" organization,the incident occurred on November 12th. It is unknown if the case was reported to the police.
On November 13th unknown perpetrators vandalized three chapels at the cementery in Vroonstalledries in Wondelgem.The police was informed by the secretary of the Church Council, who is calling for the installation of cameras to deter vandals.
On the 10th of November, the Parliament of Norway has extended the hate-speech law to transgender and bisexual people, or generally "sexual orientation". People that are found guilty of hate speech could face up to one year in jail for private remarks and up to three years for public comments. This law could be conflicting with the freedom of speech for Christians, who preach the teachings of the bible.
Mary Douglas, a Christian councillor at Wiltshire, was forced to step down from her role in November 2019, as she expressed her disapproval of the use of public funds to promote the "gay pride" event, as she did not agree with this "ideology and worldview". Accused of homophobia, she had to leave her role, but after an investigation the Wiltshire Council reversed the decision. The council admitted that her removal was an infringement of her "right to freedom of expression".
A gigantic banner from the "Women's Strike" movement was hung on a cross at the top of Mount Giewont in Zakopane. The photos taken with a drone were posted on the Facebook site of the Women's Strike organization on the 8th of November. The pictures show the several-meter-long cross covered by the banner stating: "domestic violence is not a tradition". The perpetrators had to climb the historic structure, which is forbidden.
During the time of November 8th and 12th, unknown thieves broke-in into the St. Christopherus church in Rüsselsheim and caused a damage of around 15.000 Euros. The perpetrators stole the 60 kg handmade tabernacle, made of gold-plated brass. Around a hundred sacred hosts were inside the tabernacle. The thieves took another bowl with hosts and stole several hundred euros from the offerings. The police report did not mention the theft of the consecrated hosts, which are most valuable to the believers, but is investigating the incident.
Unknown perpetrators branded a Swastika and SS Rune symbol into the wooden door of the protestant church in the district of Podelwitz. The incident happened on November 8th. The police is investigating. The caused damaged is estimated to be some hundred Euros.
On November 7th, vandals sprayed the "Women's Strike" symbols on the facade of the parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in the small town of Krępa Kościelna. The prosecutor's office in Leipzig investigated the damage caused to the historic monument and the offence of religious feelings. The police already identified the perpetrators.
The devastation of cemeteries in France is an unfortunate ongoing phenomenon. This includes crosses being knocked over, slabs and monuments destroyed, tombs are looted or profaned and symbols and "anti-christian" tags are also common. Dr. Pierre Vermeren, a historian of the Sorbonne University, remarks the increase of these acts in the last 20 years in an interview on November 6th. France has 40,000 active cemeteries. In 2019 alone 1,052 of them were vandalized, explains Dr. Vermeren.
On November 6th, the gate of the St. Andrew's Church in Vienna was smeared by unknown perpetrators with an anti-Christian inscription: "Christians into hell". According to "Heute" Newspaper, there was a signature from "Antifa 24", an organization that doesn't exist anymore. The spokesman of the police, Markus Dittrich, said that the perpetrator will be charged with serious damage to property and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution is leading an investigation. This occurred in the same week as the terror-attack in Vienna, were four innocent people were killed by a perpetrator pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.
Unknown perpetrators smeared the St. Pankratius Church on Burgdorf between November 6th and November 9th. They left tags on various spots of the facade with a waterproof pen and destroyed a glass element of one of the windows. The police was notified and has estimated a property damage of around 500 Euros. The police is investigating.
The Priory of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X in Dijon was tagged with red paint and signed by Antifa. This happened during the night of November 6th. The same act was perpetrated a year ago.
Unknown perpetrators smashed one of the stained-glass windows, as reported by Il Sicilia, from the Capuchin Church of Caltagirone during the night of November 5th. The vandals entered the ruins of the adjacent agricultural institute and raided the Church. The mayor already contacted the police.
A 50-year-old Iranian has dealt with hostility for 16 years, since he converted to Christianity from Islam. He fled from Iran, where he was threatened with death by his family and ended up in Barcelona, where he was helped by an evangelical church. His asylum has been rejected three times and now he lives in an unregulated situation since 2018. The hostility and violence towards his Christian faith has also continued in Barcelona, by other Iranians. He tells his story in an interview published on November 5th.
In Vigano, vandals left insulting tags on the walls of the St. Vincent Church, which has just been renovated. The incident happened on November 5th, probably around the curfew time. The writing is anti-Covid and also talks about smoking drugs. The Mayor, Fabio Bertarini was very upset and is thinking about to establish even stricter measures.
Due to repeated acts of vandalism on the grounds of the Monastery and Dutch Reformed Church in Ter Apel, cameras will be installed on one of the entrances to the Monastery, as reported on the 4th of November. The Museum director of the Monastery, Margriet van Klinken explains that the door has been damaged several times. She says that vandals go and hang out by the porch, which is a quiet place and out of sight at night, leaving the door damaged and garbage outside. The police is investigating.
The second Lockdown in France restricts people to only leave their homes for essential work or medical reasons. Schools and churches remain open but masses are not allowed to take place after the 1st of November. A group of Bishops and several other religious movements have appealed to the Council of State for the allowance of communal services of 90 minutes. This appeal was rejected on the 7th of November, but Vincent Neymon, President of the French Bishop's Conference will continue to seek an agreement.
Between November 3rd and 5th, the Notre-Dame Church in Carentan was vandalized. A historic painting representing Louis XIII from 1817 was tored open with a knife. A complaint was filed to the police.
Unknown perpetrators sprayed the main entrance of the Jena Peace Church with a total of four graffiti in between November 2nd and 3rd. According to the police, these graffiti thematize the current events in Vienna. In addition, the perpetrators screwed the main entrance door shut and stuck an unknown substance on it before they were able to escape undetected. The police is investigating the case.
A statue of the Virgin Mary, a replica of the Grotto of Lourdes, was found beheaded on November 2nd in Montpezat-de-Quercy. The investigations showed that the perpetrators also threw stones at the statue, causing the destruction. The mayor and the priests have reported the act to the police.
In response to the rising number of Covid-19 infections, most European countries have started to announce a new lockdown entering into force in November. The new measures led to a continuing of the discussion about the relevance of the church and the understanding of Freedom of Religion in various countries. After the first lockdown, a number of courts were held discussing the matter of Freedom of Religion, which is reflected in the diversity of new approaches amon European states. France, Belgium, Great Britain and Ireland have banned the celebration of masses, which has stirred up criticism from the churches, demanding proof of the necessity for these measures. Austria, Germany and Spain, as other countries like Poland, did not declare a stop of religious services, arguing that religious freedom is among the essential freedoms to be protected in a liberal democratic society. In these countries the criticism mostly comes from secular societies, claiming that religion is a private issue and should not be given priority over cultural or leisure activities. In Italy the allowance of masses depends on the cities, other European countries allow services although with very strong restrictions.
In Dormagen, the Baptist Church has had several incidents of vandalism, including the one lately on November 1st. The Pastor, Roger Bahr, found the garbage cans in the inner courtyard of the church overturned, spreading the garbage all over the courtyard and the sidewlak lights were kicked. He explains that this is not an isolated incident, and he deals with such acts for several years already. In other cases, vandals have carried benches way, damaged lamps and climbed onto the roof. Pastor Bahr is worried about the need to hire a security guard, which would mean further costs. The incident was reported to the police (again).
In the UK, a new lockdown was declared, which closes bars, restaurants and non-essential retail businesses. Churches are also ordered to cease gatherings and worship services. Leaders from different churches signed a pre-action letter to the government to take back the ban on worship services. As the government didn't respond, they now have launched a legal challenge led by Pastor Ade Omooba MBE and with support of the Christian Legal Center.
During the night of November 1st, unknown thieves broke into the sacristy of the Schönberg church. The worth of the stolen devotional objects like goblets, incense burners, chalices, monstrances and wooden figures sums up to about 20,000 Euros. The police is investigating the incident and the course of events.
A theft in the church of Saint Germain and Saint Eloi in Nogent took place in the week of November 1st. The church was not only looted but also vandalized. All metal objects and the consecrated hosts were stolen. A mass for reparation is to be held.
Unknown vandals sprayed a vulgar tag on the wall of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Cemetery of Nowy Sacz on October 31st. The police is investigating and evaluating an estimate of the damage.
In the Cemetery of the Victims of World War II in Gdansk, unknown perpetrators desecrated a cross on October 31st. On one side of the Cross the vandals wrote "Women's Hell" and "Kill a Priest" with white paint, and on the other side the cross was tagged with an insult against the PiS party. The incident was reported to the police.
The protestors against the new Abortion Law in Poland have until now vandalized and disrupted several religious places and monuments. They are also putting masks on Mary's face or an asterix above her head, which refer to the insult "Jebác PiS". The councillor of the PiS, Dariusz Matecki, denounced these incidents on his Twitter account on October 31st, also referring to the insults and violent acts against the church and the authorities.
In Graz, a catholic nun was attacked in a bus by a 19-year-old man from Afghanistan on October 31st. The 76-year-old nun was on a bus, when she was slapped on her ear by the perpetrator, who tried to flee. The slap was so hard that the hearing aid of the woman fell out, fortunately she did not suffer any injuries. The police arrested the man with the help of the surveillance camera footage of the bus.
Unknown perpetratros vandalized a monument for unborn children at the cemetery of Brzezówka in Cieszyn, during the night of October 31st. Black paint was poured over the monument. The local authorities reported the case to the police from Cieszyn.
On the night of October 31st, the Church of Our Lady and St. Michael in Blachownia was tagged with spray-paint by unknown perpetrators. They left five vulgar slogans, anti-church and anti-government tags. On top of that, someone cut the padlocks from the cemetery, which remained closed. The acts were reported to the police, who is running an investigation.
On October 30th the protests and acts of vandalism against the Church continue in Poland. In one incident protesters even acted violently. Two young girls entered the Church "Christ the Savior" in Gdańsk during Communion and disturbed it and were escorted away by a man. This caused a violent reaction and the young women tried to run back in to the church, being forced to stay outside, one of them hit a man on the head with her phone and shouted profanities. According to the witnesses, the other woman tried to kick a man and threatened him with a knife.
During the night of October 30th, unknown vandals entered the courtyard of the parish church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin in Chrzastawa Wielka and destroyed the statues of Our Lady of Fatima and other Saints. The police was informed and the parish informed. The police arrested a 46-year-old perpetrator on the next day.
The parish of Ciechanow reported on October 30th, that posters were hung on the door of the church of St. Joseph. Slogans saying "If the altar boys got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament", "My sisters are not incubators", "You have blood on your hands", "Abortion without borders" and "Choice is not compulsion" were displayed together with the symbol of a lightning, which is the "Women's Strike" symbol. The same attacks took place in the cities of Plock, Gostynin and Dzierzenin.
According to figures published by Countryside Alliance, a total of 212 crimes were reported against churches in Devon and Cornwall over the last year, reported by Cornwall Live on October 30th. The request of the Freedom of Information Act was made to the Police, which revealed the target of churches for lead thefts, but also vandalism, violence, assault and burglary. The government made a commitment to protect places of worship with a crime action plan 2016-2020, which should provide security measures at places of worship vulnerable to hate crimes.