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.