All cases

MP Interviewed by Police for Questioning Church Leadership

March 2, 2020, Finland

On March 2nd, member of the Finnish Parliament Päivi Räsänen faced a police interrogation because of a tweet she posted in June 2019. The tweet was directed at the leadership of her church and questioned its official sponsorship of the LGBT event “Pride 2019”, accompanied by an image of a bible text.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Collegiate Church Vandalized in Aveyron

February 25, 2020, France

On February 25th, an unknown person broke a door handle, attempted to force a display case, overturned statues, and broke the hands of the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in the collegiate church of Notre-Dame de Villefranche-de-Rouergue in Aveyron.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Surveillance System Installed in Church due to Vandalism

February 23, 2020, United Kingdom

Due to repeated vandalism, drug-dealing, and abuse of volunteers in the Holy Trinity Church in Exmouth, a surveillance system with seven cameras will be installed as a "necessary security measure."

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Charente-Maritime: the Church of Port-d'Envaux desecrated, vandalized, and looted

February 22, 2020, France

Parishioners discovered vandalism, desecration, and theft in the Saint-Saturnin-de-Séchaud church in Port d'Envaux on February 22nd. They found the door of the sacristy broken, the door of the tabernacle forced open, consecrated hosts stolen, and the altar of the Virgin Mary damaged. All objects of value were stolen from the sacristy.

Desecration Hate Crime Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Four Young Women Vandalized Church; Set Fire to the Altar

February 20, 2020, Spain

National Police reviewed the security cameras of the church of San Pedro de La Felguera to try to locate the four young women who caused at least 600 euros in damage inside the church on February 20th. Video recordings revealed that the young women entered the church, used and stole two of the microphones, sat on the altar, burned candles and set fire to books and the altar cloth.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Broken Church Windows In Dorchester

February 19, 2020, United Kingdom

On February 19th and February 21st an unknown person broke the rear windows of The Storehouse Church in Dorchester by throwing stones at them. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Christian Converts Must Prove Continued Faith or Face Deportation

February 16, 2020, Germany

"Kurosh," an Iranian convert to Christianity who received asylum in Germany four years ago, faced a 25,000 euro fine or a prison sentence if he did not respond to a lengthy series of questions about his faith from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). He was also required to provide a certificate from the pastor at his church to demonstrate his commitment to his faith. He reports that he provided all the information requested, but remains in fear that this will happen again. This is the BAMF "Revocation and Withdrawal Procedure."

Access to Justice and Legal Services

Iranian Christian Convert Faces Deportation

February 16, 2020, United Kingdom

Reza Karkah, an Iranian Christian, faces the prospect of imprisonment, torture and separation from his wife and child after the UK Home Office rejected his application for asylum on the basis that he was ‘fabricating’ his Christian faith.

Access to Justice and Legal Services

Daily Damage in Cathedral Prompts Abbot of Saint-Dié to File Complaint

February 16, 2020, France

The abbot of Saint-Dié lodged a complaint following a series of degradations in his cathedral since the end of January. Incidents included candles being knocked over, fires being started, and excrement deposited in several places in the building. The mayor of the town responded by assigning two police officers to surveil the building.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism of Isle of Man Church

February 15, 2020, United Kingdom

Between the afternoon of February 15th and the morning of the 16th, an unknown person or group broke into and vandalized the Christ Church in Laxey. The incident disrupted the Sunday morning services. Police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)