All cases

Statue of Sainte-Barbe Smashed

April 17, 2019, France

A statue of the patron saint of miners and firefighters was removed from its glass case in a square in front of a church in the small town of Belle-Roche (Cocheren) and smashed to the ground by unknown vandals.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Anti-Catholic Graffiti Sprayed on Galicia Church

April 14, 2019, Spain

On the morning of Palm Sunday, the priest and parishioners discovered graffiti sprayed on the outside of the Meside (Ourense) church. "Borregos" ("sheep"), "La religión es el opium del pueblo" ("Religion is the opiate of the people"), "Por la república" (For the republic"), a cross in a circle with a line through it, and leftist symbols were among the messages on the church.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Sacred Objects and Keys Stolen from Mödling Church

April 13, 2019, Austria

Unknown perpetrators stole a chalice, two ciboria, and a monstrance from the tabernacle, as well as all the keys in the sacristy from the parish church in Biedermannsdorf (district of Mödling) on ​​the evening of April 13th.

Theft

Pro-Life Student Group Challenges Student Union Ban

April 12, 2019, United Kingdom

In April 2018, the pro-life student university group Aberdeen Life Ethics Society submitted an application for affiliation to Aberdeen University's Societies Union (AUSA) but was denied due to AUSA's policy which required the union to give “no funding, facilitation, or platform” to any pro-life group and forbids the “unreasonable display” of pro-life material on campus. Aberdeen Life Ethics Society has taken legal action against the University and AUSA claiming unlawful discrimination and the violation of equality rights protected by UK law.

Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Vandalism in Nienborg Church

April 11, 2019, Germany

According to a police press release, unknown perpetrators set a brochure on fire and poured wax on an altar cloth in the church in Nienborg. An investigation was opened.

Tabernacle Broken and Hosts Stolen from Montluçon Church

April 9, 2019, France

When the sacristan came to close the church of Saint-Pierre in Montluçon on the evening of April 9th, he discovered that the tabernacle had been broken open and the ciborium containing consecrated hosts had been stolen. Monsignor Laurent Percerou, Bishop of Moulins said "This act, which touches us in the heart of our faith, is a terrible and dramatic act."

Desecration Theft

Cemetery Restoration Includes System to Obscure Christian Symbols

April 8, 2019, Italy

The municipal council of Pieve di Centro in Bologna approved a proposal to install a motorized curtain system in the unconsecrated cemetery chapel to temporarily cover Christian symbols and tombs inside the chapel during ceremonies for non-Christians. The decision generated controversy, with some commentators criticizing the lack of transparency about the project, noting that the public had not been consulted and that construction of another, non-denominational space had not been considered or discussed.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Fire Set in Doorway of Evangelical Church in Naples

April 8, 2019, Italy

In the early morning hours of April 8th, an unknown arsonist set fire to the door of the church of Nuova Pentecoste Gesù ritorna in Naples. Security cameras captured video of a man removing a bottle containing flammable liquid, sprinkling the liquid in front of the church door, and setting it on fire. The door and facade of the church were damaged, but the fire did not spread to the inside.

Hate Crime

Vandalism in Parish Hall

April 7, 2019, Germany

Vandals ransacked the restrooms in the parish hall of the Catholic church of St. Leodegar Oberschopfheim (Friesenheim) causing an estimated €5,000 in damage. Toilet bowls and the sink were smashed, stall doors pulled from their hinges, and glass from broken windows and bottles was scattered everywhere. Lighting along the passage between the church and the parish hall was also destroyed.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Repeated Vandalism in Coesfeld Church

April 5, 2019, Germany

There were several reported incidents of vandalism in and around St.-Johannes-Kirche in Bösensell in late March and early April. A windowpane was smashed and wax was poured on the altar and on the sanctuary (chancel) lamp. Lightning rods were torn from the facade of the church, and tools were used to try to break into the Poor Clares donation box. Brochures, prayer books, and tea lights were scattered around the church, including in the holy water basin. Glass bottles containing holy water were smashed to pieces.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church of Saint-Etienne Vandalized, Hosts Desecrated in the Vendée

April 4, 2019, France

According to a statement from the mayor of Bois-de-Céné, on April 4th vandals attempted to force open the wooden door of the tabernacle in the church of Saint-Etienne and when they were unsuccessful, they tore its bottom from the wall to take the consecrated hosts. The hosts were later found on the ground. The perpetrators, who the mayor said "it appears were teenagers" also stole holy water and urinated behind the organ. The municipality condemned the acts and filed a complaint with the police.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Priest Calls Church Rampage "Spiritual Anarchism"

March 23, 2019, Austria

Unknown perpetrators entered the parish church in Leoben sometime between 11am and 2pm on March 23rd and urinated on the altar, dumped out holy water, rearranged candlesticks and pews, tore the wiring for the sound system out of the wall, draped the pew cushions on top of the altar and laid the cordons on top of them. Fifty tea lights which had been placed next to a statue of the Virgin Mary were stolen and thrown into an empty fountain 100 meters from the church.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Report Calls Swedish Asylum Process for Converts a "Complete Lottery"

March 20, 2019, Sweden

A study analyzing the asylum claims from 2015-2018 of 619 Afghan converts to Christianity outlined serious shortcomings in the Swedish Migration Board's process. 68% of the converts were denied asylum on the grounds that their conversions were not deemed to be "genuine," despite all of them being baptized members of 76 churches in 64 locations across Sweden. The report noted that the Migration Board emphasized knowledge-based answers to questions and intellectual ability, rather than evidence of belief, religious practice, and involvement in church life.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion

UK Home Office Rejected Christian's Asylum Claim by Quoting Bible

March 19, 2019, United Kingdom

An Iranian man who converted to Christianity after discovering it was a peaceful religion in contrast to Islam had his asylum claim rejected by the Home Office on March 19th. In a rejection letter from the Home Office, passages with violent imagery from the Bible including Matthew, Revelation, and Exodus were used to argue that the claimant's claim about Christianity was false. “These examples are inconsistent with your claim that you converted to Christianity after discovering it is a ‘peaceful religion’ as opposed to Islam, which contained violence and rage,” the letter read. The Home Office later said the letter was "not in accordance with our policy approach to claims based on religious persecution" and agreed to reconsider the application.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Freedom of Religion

Arson Attempted Twice in Senigallia Cathedral

March 19, 2019, Italy

An unidentified person set fire to the altar tablecloth in the chapel near the cathedral entrance. At about 8:30 a.m. on March 19th, parishioners and a priest noticed flames and smoke coming from a chapel altar and immediately extinguished the fire. The priest then reviewed surveillance footage and observed a man entering the cathedral and setting fire to linens in a different part of the church, as well. The police were called and began an investigation, noting that there were signs of forced entry on several doors.

Desecration Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Fire Deliberately Set in Saint-Sulpice Church in Paris

March 17, 2019, France

On Sunday, March 17th, the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris had to be evacuated after a large fire broke out in the entryway. The large wooden door of the southern transept was engulfed in flames and severely damaged, as was the stained glass window above it. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to prevent it from spreading to the rest of the church. On March 18th, investigators announced that the fire was not accidental in origin, but had been deliberately started.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of Jesus Damaged by Vandals in Katowice

March 17, 2019, Poland

Sometime during the night of March 16th to 17th, unknown vandals damaged the crucifix outside the church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Koszutka, a district of Katowice (Najświętszego Serca Pana Jezusa w Koszutce). Reports indicate that stones were likely thrown at the statue of Jesus, breaking the legs and arms.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Desecration at Basilica in Charente-Maritime

March 16, 2019, France

The Basilica of Saint-Eutrope de Saintes in the Charente-Maritime department of southwestern France was desecrated on March 16th when consecrated hosts were stolen by unknown thieves. The diocese announced that a reparation Mass would be held.

Desecration Theft

Break-ins, Theft, and Desecration in Málaga Churches

March 14, 2019, Spain

The diocese of Málaga reported the theft of two ciboria containing consecrated hosts from la Iglesia de la Trinidad en Antequera on March 11th. In a statement, the diocese stressed that this was a "profanation of extreme gravity that deeply offends the Catholic faith." The vicar of the parish called on the thieves to "return the ciboria and repent for the theft." Two days later, in the early morning hours of March 13th, police noticed the entrance to the chapel of the Sagrada Familia in El Copo had been forced open and the sacristy had been damaged.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Offensive Messages Painted on Cathedral of Santiago

March 12, 2019, Spain

The Cathedral of Santiago was targeted by vandals during the early morning hours of March 12th. Messages sprayed in black paint on the facade and in various areas of the basilica ranged from anti-Church ("Yo no salí de tu costilla, tú saliste de mi coño" and "Machitos")" to anti-royal ("Guillotina Borbones"), and against the Santiago Abascal party ("Gritaremos hasta quedarnos sin Vox"). The cost to remove the graffiti is unknown, but could be in the tens of thousands of euros.

Violent Attacks against Pro-Life Prayer Vigils in Manchester and Nottingham

March 12, 2019, United Kingdom

Police began a public order offense investigation on March 12th in Manchester after an angry individual screamed obscenities at elderly members of the 40 Days for Life group and sent chairs and leaflets flying outside an abortion clinic. A day earlier, in Nottingham, three people praying outside a medical centre were accosted by a man who swore at them and threw a jug of lumpy yellow liquid at them. Police began an investigation for assault as well as a hate crime motivated by the victims' religious beliefs.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression Hate Crime

Priest Assaulted in Marseille

March 12, 2019, France

A Dominican priest was with a group of high school students giving coffee to a homeless person when he was grabbed by the throat from behind by a stranger. The man then released the priest and said "I will not shake your hand." The priest was unhurt but shocked by the incident. He reported the incident because he thought he had been targeted because of his religious dress.

Hate Crime Hate Incident

Police Investigate Series of Thefts from Churches in Vienne

March 12, 2019, France

Churches in the region of Vienne were the victims of theft from February 27th to March 12th. A ciborium was stolen from the church of Naintré, candlesticks were stolen from a church in Dangé-Saint-Romain, three chalices and two ciboriums were stolen from a church in L'Isle-Jourdain, and liturgical objects were stolen from churches in Saint-Julien-l'Ars, Morthemer, Chauvigny, and Lussac-les-Chateaux. Police investigated whether these thefts were the work of an organized gang.

Theft

Strasbourg Church Ransacked

March 11, 2019, France

When the priest arrived at the church of Saint-Louis-de-la-Robertsau to prepare for the evening Mass, he discovered two fire extinguishers lying on the ground outside the church. When he entered, he found that they had been emptied, with the foam covering the pews and the walls. He then noticed that wax had been spilled on the altar and the Easter candle and wooden statue of Saint Joseph had been knocked over. The altar cloths were ripped, the crown detached from a statue of Christ, and a basin thrown into a confessional. Two weeks after the incident, authorities arrested five teenagers for the act.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church in Rivas Vaciamadrid Sprayed with Graffiti

March 8, 2019, Spain

La Iglesia de Santa Mónica de Rivas Vaciamadrid was vandalized by a radical feminist group with the phrases "Iglesia = muerte” (Church = death), “Muerte al patriarcado” (Death to the patriarchy), and “Pecadora y orgullosa” (Sinner and proud).

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

International Women's Day Strikers Disrupted Press Conference at Archdiocese

March 8, 2019, Spain

More than a dozen strikers disrupted a press conference on the XXIV edición de Las Edades del Hombre at the Archdiocese of Vallodolid, throwing pamphlets and, using megaphones, shouted slogans against religion in education and in favor of abortion.

Insult or Incitement

Pro-Abortion Banner Hung by Feminist Activists at Concathedral of Logroño

March 8, 2019, Spain

A banner reading "Os beberéis la sangre de nuestros abortos" ("You will drink the blood of our abortions") was discovered hanging on the gate in front of the Concatedral de Santa María de la Redonda in Logroño.

Insult or Incitement Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Robbery and Desecration in Charente Church

March 8, 2019, France

Sometime in the morning of March 8th, between the opening of the church at 8:55 and the first Mass at 9:55, the ciborium containing consecrated hosts and a chalice were stolen from the sacristy cupboard in the church of Saint-Barthélémy in Confolens, Charente. This was the eighth church in the Charente region hit by theft and vandalism since last February.

Desecration Theft

Theft of Liturgical Objects and Desecration at Saint-Maxime Church

March 8, 2019, France

A second church in Confolens (Charente) was the victim of burglary on March 8th. The priest discovered on March 9th that the church of Sainte-Maxime had been robbed the day before, at around the same time liturgical objects had been stolen from the church of Saint-Barthélémy in Confolens. Thieves stole two chalices, three ciboriums, one of which contained consecrated hosts and was taken from the tabernacle, a large candlestick, and the ornately-embroidered altar linen from Sainte-Maxime. The priest filed a complaint and estimates a loss of tens of thousands of euros.

Desecration Theft

Three Churches in La Coruña Painted with Feminist Graffiti

March 7, 2019, Spain

During the "8M" feminist demonstrations, churches in the Castrense, San Jorge, and the church of Santo Tomás were all targeted with graffiti such as "Libres y combativas, 8M," "La iglesia que más ilumina es la que más arde" (The church that illuminates the most is the one that burns the most), and "Pederastas."

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church in Alsace Tagged with Satanic Graffiti; Windows Broken

March 6, 2019, France

Parishioners of the Catholic church of Reichstett (Bas-Rhin) discovered that one of the century-old stained glass windows, as well as all of the windows of the adjoining restrooms. "666" and "Satan" were found sprayed on the walls. The town's mayor called it an attack on religious freedom.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Anarchist and Communist Graffiti on Public Cross

March 5, 2019, Spain

A purple anarchist "A" symbol and a hammer and sickle were sprayed on la Cruz de los Caídos de Revilla de Camargo (Cantabria) by unknown vandals.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Protestant Church Vandalized in Neuwiller-lès-Saverne (Alsace)

March 5, 2019, France

Vases were broken, papers scattered, and the contents of a garbage bag including soiled diapers was spilled on and around the altar of the church of Neuwiller-lès-Saverne, according to Christian Albecker, president of l'UEPAL (Union of Protestant Churches of Alsace and Lorraine).

Police call Skegness Church Fire Arson

March 5, 2019, United Kingdom

St. Matthew's Church was badly damaged by a fire in the early morning hours of March 5th. The Lincolnshire police said it was intentionally set and treated it as an arson investigation. It appears the fire began in the shed adjacent to the church, and was one of several fires set in the town that evening.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Sex Education Guidelines May Interfere with Parents' Rights

March 4, 2019, United Kingdom

New "relationships and sex education" (RSE) guidance published on February 25th requires schools to teach primary and secondary school children about LGBT relationships and may not permit parents to opt-out. Parents of primary school children are permitted to withdraw their children from the sex education component of RSE, but the relationships component would be mandatory.

Rights of Parents

Organ and Stained Glass Windows Heavily Damaged at the Basilica of Saint-Denis

March 3, 2019, France

The organist of the Basilica Saint-Denis discovered that the doors of the 200-year-old organ had been broken and two stained glass windows had been smashed.

Vandals Broke Marble Railing in Gijón Church

March 2, 2019, Spain

During the day of March 2nd, unknown perpetrators entered the church of San José in Gijón and tipped over a heavy marble railing, breaking the structure.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Public Crucifix Vandalized in Carinthia

March 2, 2019, Austria

An arm from the Christ figure in a countryside crucifix was broken off by unknown vandals. Police are investigating.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church in Hochheim Vandalized

February 27, 2019, Germany

Three years after the arson in a confessional in the church St. Peter and Paul in Hochheim, one or more unidentified perpetrators damaged several hymnals, tore pages from the Gospel book on the side altar, and smashed the Easter candle. The stand containing religious literature was destroyed and holy water was dumped out.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Dublin Church Crypt Desecrated

February 25, 2019, Ireland

Vandals stole the head from an 800-year-old mummified body, known as “The Crusader” from the crypt of St. Michan's Church in Dublin. The crypt was badly damaged and several of the mummies, including the 400 year old remains of a nun, were desecrated in the incident.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Satanic Desecration in Chapels Near Franciscan Monastery in Katowice

February 23, 2019, Poland

Four rosary chapels in the calvary of Panevnicka in Katowice were desecrated by vandals who painted Satanic slogans and pentagrams on the doors and walls, as well as obscene drawings of male genitalia on the statues of holy figures including Jesus. Police as well as parishioners began a search for the perpetrators.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Street Preacher Arrested to "Prevent Breach of the Peace"

February 23, 2019, United Kingdom

An elderly man preaching at the Southgate Underground Station was arrested by London police after he refused to leave the area, telling him he was "disturbing people's days" and needed to go away. The police seized the man's Bible despite his pleas not to take it.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression

Christ Figure Beheaded in Saint-Gilles Church

February 23, 2019, France

On February 23rd, the bas-relief on the altar of the Saint-Gilles church in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie was vandalized, with the Christ figure beheaded.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson Confirmed in Hellenthal Church Fire

February 21, 2019, Germany

Over 120 firefighters worked for hours to extinguish a fire at the Evangelischen Kirche in Hellenthal on February 21st. The fire began in the half-timbered church annex and spread to the roof of 18th century church. A firewall prevented further damage to the church itself, and the nave and valuable church books were saved. Police estimated damage at several hundred thousand euros and confirmed on February 26, 2019 that the cause of the fire was arson and have continued their investigation.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism at Montevaccino Church

February 19, 2019, Italy

Paving stones were thrown at the windows of the nave of the church of San Leonardo, a crucifix on nearby private property was destroyed, and the lantern for the memorial to the fallen of all wars was smashed.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Historic Church Sprayed with Graffiti

February 19, 2019, Italy

The 12th century church of Santi Pietro e Paolo Castello Roganzuolo (Treviso) was marred with tags of marijuana leaves, insults to police, and the names of Italian hip-hop artists in green spray paint on the outer walls.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Exclusion Zone Legislation Passed in Ireland

February 18, 2019, Ireland

At a meeting of Louth County Council on February 18, 2019, a motion to prohibit any pro-life vigils within 500 meters of a hospital or clinic that provides abortion services was passed by a majority vote. Health Minister Simon Harris has called for such exclusion zones throughout Ireland.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression

Vandals Leave Alvito Church without Electricity

February 17, 2019, Italy

Using super glue, unidentified vandals damaged the wires in the electrical meter in the Chiesa di San Simeone Profeta, leaving the church without power and stopping the historic bell tower clock that had recently been restored.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Iraqi Christian Attacked in Berlin for Christian Tattoo

February 16, 2019, Germany

A man in Berlin-Neukölln was beaten and threatened with a knife because of his Christian tattoo. The 27-year-old Christian from Iraq was approached by two men and asked about his religious tattoo. They also and demanded that he give a donation to a beggar. When he refused, the men punched him in the face, according to police. When the attacker pulled out a knife, the victim and his companion escaped into a shop and called the police. The police arrested a 24-year old Muslim man. The investigation continues.

Hate Crime

Two Churches in Ávila Vandalized with Graffiti

February 10, 2019, Spain

"The church that illuminates is the one that burns" and other anarchist and feminist slogans and symbols were painted on two churches in small towns in Ávila. The Diocese of Ávila denounced the acts as attacks not only on the heritage of the small towns, but against mutual respect and religious freedom. A complaint was filed with the police.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Tabernacle Overthrown in Maisons-Laffitte Church

February 10, 2019, France

In the late afternoon of February 10th, the priest of Saint-Nicolas de Maisons-Laffitte discovered that the church's tabernacle had been thrown to the ground. The police arrested a 35-year-old man who confessed.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Dijon Church Desecrated

February 9, 2019, France

On February 9th, the church of Notre-Dame de Dijon was desecrated by unidentified perpetrators. The tabernacle was opened, consecrated hosts were scattered, the altar cloth stained, and a missal was torn. A Mass of Reparation was held by the Archbishop.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Thefts from Four Churches in Baden-Württemberg Region in Three Days

February 8, 2019, Germany

Between February 6th and 8th, four churches in the Baden-Württemberg region were victims of theft from offertory boxes: two churches in Rheinhausen, a church in Sasbach, and a church in Wyhl. Police are investigating.

Theft

Christian Cemetery Vandalized in Kamień Krajeński

February 6, 2019, Poland

The local cemetery in Kamień Krajeński was devastated by vandals sometime between January 29th and February 6th. Nine tombstones were damaged, crosses were overturned, vases for flowers destroyed, and the arm of a statue of Christ was broken off the grave of a deceased priest. The priest of the local church said it was desecration of a place of worship. Police were alerted and began an investigation.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Police Investigate Severe Desecration at Notre-Dame des Enfants in Nîmes

February 5, 2019, France

The prosecutor's office in Nîmes opened an investigation after severe desecration was discovered in the church of Notre-Dame des Enfants. A cross was drawn on a wall with excrement on which pieces of consecrated hosts were stuck. The tabernacle was broken and other consecrated hosts were destroyed.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Fire Set in Lavaur Cathedral; Crucified Christ Figure Vandalized

February 5, 2019, France

On the evening of February 5th, a strong smell of smoke alerted the secretary of the parish of Lavaur to a fire in the cathedral. When the firefighters arrived, only the altar cloth and the crèche had been consumed, but a cross was on the ground, along with a broken candle. The arm of Christ on a cross had also been twisted.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Roadside Crucifix Vandalized in Hautes-Pyrénées

February 5, 2019, France

A wooden crucifix located between Hèches and Avezac-Prat-Lahitte, in the municipality of Labastide, was discovered vandalized on February 5th. The perpetrators cut the cross one meter off the ground and left it there. When it fell, the Christ figure's arm was broken. The mayor ordered an investigation.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Saint-Nicolas Church in Houilles Vandalized 3 Times in 7 days

February 4, 2019, France

On January 29th, a Christ figure carrying a cross was thrown to the ground in the choir of the church of Saint-Nicolas. A few days later, on February 1st, the arms from the figure were broken. On February 4th, a statue of the Virgin and Child was attacked and shattered on the ground.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft from Talmont Church

February 3, 2019, France

The tabernacle was broken and the ciborium containing consecrated hosts was stolen from the church of Saint-Pierre de Talmont (Vendée) on February 3rd.

Desecration Theft

Consecrated Hosts Thrown inside Tabernacle; Ciborium Stolen

February 3, 2019, France

Before Sunday Mass on February 3rd, it was discovered that someone had broken into the tabernacle in the chapel of Sainte-Anne in Notre-Dame-et-Saint Junien Church in Lusignan, scattered the hosts, and stolen the ciborium where the hosts were stored. The police were called and began an investigation.

Desecration Theft

Churches in the Vendée Repeated Targets of Vandalism

February 3, 2019, France

Over the course of several months, statues have been pushed to the ground and broken into a thousand pieces, stones have been thrown at the stained glass windows, and the stoups and Christmas crèches have been damaged in two churches, Saint-Gilles and Sainte-Croix, in the parish of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie in the Vendée. Similar damage has occurred in the neighboring town of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church Vandalized in Kaiserslautern

February 2, 2019, Germany

The church "Am Heiligenhäuschen" was smeared with paint by unknown vandals late in the evening of February 2nd. Police are investigating.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Catholic School Vandalized with Graffiti

January 31, 2019, Spain

The exterior wall of the colegio de la Trinidad in Vistalegre was painted with vulgar anti-church graffiti. This school, whose interior houses a chapel, belongs to the Diocesan Teaching Foundation of Santos Mártires de Córdoba.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Religiously-Motivated Murder of Christian Iraqi in Salzgitter

January 27, 2019, Germany

A 33-year-old Syrian man was arrested for the murder of his sister's lover, a 25-year-old Christian Iraqi. The prosecutor said the background of the crime may have been that the victim and accused belong to different religions and probable motive was that the accused, a Muslim, did not approve of his sister living with an "infidel."

Hate Crime

Diocesan House of Grenoble Hit with Graffiti; Windows and Doors Damaged

January 19, 2019, France

On the 14th of January, the Diocesan House of Grenoble hosted a pro-life event which drew a few hundred protesters. Between the 14th and 19th of January, graffiti was sprayed on the outer walls of the house and then between January 19th and 21st, its glass windows and doors were smashed.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

St Simeonis Vandalized for Second Time in Two Months

January 17, 2019, Germany

A window in the back of the Evangelical church of St. Simeon in Minden was smashed during the night of January 17th by unknown perpetrators.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

St. Jacques Church in Grenoble Destroyed by Fire

January 16, 2019, France

The church, whose frame was made of wood, was completely destroyed in a fire during the night of January 16th to 17th. When the firefighters arrived on site at 2:30 am, the church was already totally engulfed, and they could only prevent the flames from spreading to neighboring buildings. A hundred people had to be evacuated. The investigation indicated that the fire had started with a short circuit in the electrical system, however, an anarcho-libertarian blog post claimed responsibility.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Private Catholic School Sprayed with Graffiti

January 16, 2019, Spain

The exterior wall of the colegio de Santa Victoria of the Madres Escolapias, a private Catholic school, was spray painted with phrases such as "Death to Fascism," "School is Jail," as well as an 'anarcho-feminist' symbol.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Attempted Robbery and Fire in Two Bas-Rhin Churches

January 14, 2019, France

During the afternoon of January 14th, police were called to the church of Saint-Georges after the priest discovered that unknown individuals had tried to break into the donation trunks and attempted to force open the door to the sacristy where objects of worship are stored. An hour later, police and firefighters were called to a fire at the Sainte-Foy church nearby. Police opened an investigation to determine if the two events in Sélestat (Alsace) were connected.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

UK Court agrees to hear Challenge to Ban on Pro-Life Prayer Outside Abortion Center

January 11, 2019, United Kingdom

A British court has ruled that a pro-life activist may challenge a legal decision banning prayer and support for women in crisis pregnancies outside a Marie Stopes clinic.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression

Molotov Cocktail Thrown at Church

January 10, 2019, Italy

"The true martyrs are in the sea" was painted on the wall of the church of San Rocco in Rovereto as the signature of the vandals who threw an incendiary device at the church, setting fire to the door. The attack appears to have been in response to a controversial nativity scene set up to "raise awareness of the tragedy of abortion which condemns children to a real martyrdom."

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

UK Deported Pakistani Christian Threatened by Islamic Extremists

January 9, 2019, United Kingdom

Asher Samson, a Pakistani Christian who fought to stay in the UK after allegedly being beaten and repeatedly threatened with execution by Islamic extremists in Pakistan, was deported back to Pakistan on January 9th. Samson, backed by thousands of Christians, attempted to persuade the UK government to allow him to stay after being threatened with execution by Islamic extremists in his home country.

Access to Justice and Legal Services

Two Telephone Bomb Threats against Vienna Cathedral in a Week

December 29, 2018, Austria

St. Stephen's Cathedral had to be evacuated twice in one week after anonymous telephone bomb threats by were received.

Hate Crime

Anarchist Group Targeted Church with Explosive Device in Athens

December 28, 2018, Greece

On December 28th, a police officer and the church caretaker were injured when a small explosive device went off outside the Church of St. Dionysios in the Kolonaki neighborhood of Athens shortly before the Divine Liturgy was scheduled to begin. On January 19th, the anarchist group "the Iconoclastic Sect" claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hate Crime

Burglaries in Two Churches in Freren Cause Property Damage of 9,000 Euros

December 28, 2018, Germany

Unknown perpetrators broke into a Catholic church and an Evangelical church in Freren, stealing small amounts of money from donation boxes, but causing about 9,000 euros in damage.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Monks Brutally Attacked during Robbery

December 27, 2018, Austria

Six monks were attacked, gagged, and bound during the course of a robbery at the monastery of Maria Immaculata in Vienna on December 27th. Several of the victims were seriously injured and police began a large-scale investigation.

Hate Crime Theft

Man Arrested for Destruction in Church

December 22, 2018, Germany

A 19-year-old man was arrested after causing severe damage to the Apostelkirche in Kaiserslautern on the night of December 22nd. The accused destroyed three glass windows and sprayed the contents of a fire extinguisher in the church. When the police attempted to calm the man, he threatened the officers.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Fire and Vandalism in Trier Abbey and Church

December 18, 2018, Germany

Intruders entered the Benedictine abbey of St. Matthias through a window during the night of December 18th and ransacked several rooms and the adjacent church, breaking sacred objects, overturning furniture, and setting fire to songbooks and other papers. Police estimated the damage to be in the thousands of euros.

Hate Crime Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Strasbourg Christmas Market Shooting Declared Terrorism

December 11, 2018, France

Prosecutors announced that the attack on a busy Strasbourg Christmas market was an act of terrorism, committed by an Islamist extremist who had previously pledged alliance to ISIL. During the attack, the suspect shouted "Allahu Akbar." Security experts have said that the Christmas market was likely targeted both because it was crowded and its connection to Christianity and Christian symbolism. In response to the deadly attack, other Christmas markets across France implemented extra security measures.

Hate Crime

Shopping Mall Refused to Display Nativity but Advertised Christmas Market

December 5, 2018, United Kingdom

The Thistles Shopping Centre in Stirling, Scotland refused requests from the Legion of St. Mary's Association to display a nativity scene in the mall, saying they "pride themselves on religious neutrality." Despite this official position, the mall heavily advertised a "Christmas Market."

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

UK Home Office Admits Reason for Underrepresentation of Christian Refugees

December 5, 2018, United Kingdom

Christian refugees from the Middle East are widely underrepresented in the United Kingdom. In 2017, 4,832 Syrians were accepted to the UK, however, only 11 were Christians. The Home Office has acknowledged that Christian refugees in the Middle East are “reluctant” to enter the UNHCR refugee camp system, but refuses to state this is because of persecution.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

French Mayor Fights State Over Nativity Scene

December 4, 2018, France

For the second year in a row, Mayor Robert Ménard, former journalist for Reporters Without Borders, installed a nativity scene in the courtyard of the town hall of Béziers. The French government filed a complaint for its removal in the administrative court, claiming the installation violated the law of 1905 on the separation of Church and State.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Doctors Claim their Concerns about Abortion Legislation in Ireland Not Taken Seriously

December 3, 2018, Ireland

Dozens of its members stormed out of the "Extraordinary General Meeting" of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) concerning the Irish abortion bill on December 2nd. The members protested that their concerns and objections were not taken seriously and the ICGP “refused to accept members’ motions from the floor.” The spokesperson for the group of approximately 80 doctors, Dr Andrew O'Regan, told the media: "We feel disrespected and not listened to by our own college board."

Freedom of Conscience

Church Cellar Deliberately Flooded by Vandals

December 2, 2018, Germany

During an advent concert in the parish church of Claußnitz on Sunday, December 2, unknown people turned on a faucet in the boiler room and flooded the cellar with it. "The boiler was totally under water," said Pastor Christian Schmidt. When the damage was discovered, the fire brigade and police were alerted. Two firefighters pumped the approximately 60 centimeters high water out of the basement. The police estimated the damage to be several thousand euros.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Protests Against Polish Radio Maryja on its Anniversary

December 1, 2018, Poland

As Radio Maryja listeners gathered in Toruń to celebrate the radio station's 27th anniversary, a protest against public funding of the station took place a few kilometers away. Organized by a Polish secularist association, a small group protested at the monument of Nicolaus Copernicus.

Statue of Saint Anne Decapitated in Ille-et-Vilaine

December 1, 2018, France

A statuette of St. Anne with the Virgin Mary in a niche above a first floor window of a private home was removed and beheaded by an unknown vandal during the night of December 1st. The head was placed in front of the doorway of the home.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Anti-Discrimination Law Expanded in Switzerland

November 28, 2018, Switzerland

The Swiss Ständerat (Council of States) passed a law on November 28th adding discrimination based on sexual orientation to the existing criminal law prohibiting discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or religion. A broader version of the legislation, which included "gender identity" was passed by the Nationalrat (National Council) in October. Critics of the law noted that it could restrict freedom of expression and conscience, particularly for those who hold a traditional view of sexuality and marriage. Those who violate the law could face a prison sentence of up to three years.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Militant Equality Laws

Vulgar Graffiti Sprayed On The Facade Of Church

November 28, 2018, Spain

The parish of San Isidro de la Estación in Cártama, as well as the entrances to the parish hall and the office of Caritas, were spray painted with obscene images and phrases during the night of November 28th. The graffiti outraged the whole town and local police began an official investigation.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Pro-Life Student Group Banned at University in Scotland

November 27, 2018, United Kingdom

The Aberdeen University Students' Association (Ausa) prevented the affiliation of the Aberdeen Life Ethics Society, a pro-life student group. This means that the group would not be recognized as an official club of the University and thus would not be eligible to receive any funding for their events. The Ausa has an explicit pro-choice policy supporting "free, safe and legal access to abortion." The Life Ethics Society challenged the ban and accused the Ausa of censorship.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly

22 Statues on the Avenue of Saints Destroyed

November 25, 2018, Poland

Just three weeks after the the new "Avenue of Saints" in front of the Matki Bożej Śnieżnej Church in Zarzecze was unveiled, 22 of the 23 statues were broken by vandals on November 25th. Only the figure of St. Paul was unharmed. The figures in the Avenue of Saints were dedicated on November 11th on the 100th anniversary of regaining independence by Poland "as an expression of gratitude and an invitation to the saints to our future and our nation," said parish priest Jan Rokosz. 

Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

"The Mafia never loses" - Ancient Church Vandalized with Graffiti

November 25, 2018, Italy

"The Mafia never loses" (“La mafia non perde mai”) and other graffiti were discovered by the volunteers of the "San Cataldo Baia della Legalità" association in an ancient church by the bay in Terrasini.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Historic Cornwall Church the Target of Arson

November 24, 2018, United Kingdom

Firefighters were called to St Mary’s Church in Penzance at around 4am in the early hours of November 24th by the key holder and his wife after the alarm sounded. A bin had been placed in front of the church door and set on fire. Witnesses reported that the fire nearly spread into the interior of the church. Police were given the CCTV footage and began an investigation. Damages are estimated at up to £10,000. 

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson in Funeral Chapel

November 21, 2018, Germany

Unknown persons set fire to two benches in the altar room of the funeral chapel in Treysa on November 21st. The benches in the interior of the church were set on fire with paper waste and presumably fire accelerators. The fire caused considerable soot damage, but the building remained intact. The damage was estimated at 500 euros.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

War Memorial and Church Defaced in Scotland

November 17, 2018, United Kingdom

A church and war memorial were hit by vandals sometime on the 17th of November in Coatbridge. The graffiti included Republican slogans like "RIRA" (Real Irish Republican Army). The incident happened just a week after Armistice Day - the day the Allies and Germany signed the peace treaty ending the First World War.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Persistent Littering and Vandalism in front of Cosenza Church

November 17, 2018, Italy

For years, the piazza and steps in front of the church of Santa Teresa in Cosenza has been littered with bottles, glasses, vomit and urine by young people who congregate there in the evenings and on weekends. However, as parishioners stepped past all of the litter and excrement to attend Mass on the weekend of November 17th, they were greeted with a new insult: the steps to the church were defaced with graffiti.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Miniature Model of Church Destroyed and Offertory Box Looted

November 15, 2018, Germany

A wooden model of the small parish church in Bräunlingen was returned to its place next to the church altar after the damage caused by vandals had been repaired. A few days later, it was hit again by vandalism. The bottom plate of the model was forcibly torn open, the wood was shattered in the back, and part of the electronics were exposed. The offertory box on which the small church stands was looted, leaving only a few coins. Additionally the smaller of the two church towers, which was completely replaced in the past repair, was damaged again.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Prosecutors Believe Hague Stabbing in May Targeted Christians and Jews

November 14, 2018, Netherlands

New information from the prosecutor's office indicates that Malek F., a Syrian asylum seeker charged with 3 counts of attempted murder for stabbings in The Hague on May 5, 2018, was specifically searching for “Christian and Jewish kuffars," Arabic for non-believers. In a recorded conversation with his mother from prison, he said they were similar to “animals or retarded people” and that he was a "soldier of Allah."

Hate Crime

Evangelical Church Vandalized

November 14, 2018, Germany

The Evangelical church of St. Simeonis in Minden was vandalized during the night on the 11th of November when unknown persons sprayed the southern church door and a wall with graffiti. In 2017, a precious 19th century window was destroyed.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft and Desecration of Madrid Church

November 13, 2018, Spain

On the 13th of November intruders broke into the church of Nuestra Señora de Madrid, desecrated the tabernacle, stole a ciborium, a small monstrance, and other objects from the parish office. The Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Carlos Osoro, expressed his pain, his prayers, and his condemnation for this desecration to the whole parish community and will soon hold an act of reparation in the church. The police began an investigation.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Thousands of Euros in Damage Caused by Rocks Thrown at Church Windows

November 13, 2018, Germany

On four afternoons in a row, between November 13th and November 17th, unknown perpetrators threw rocks at the stained glass windows of the church of St. Stephanus in Grevenbroich-Elsen. "In total there are 27 holes up to a diameter of ten centimeters and cracks [in the windows]," according to Gerd Reibel, Deputy Chairman of the Church Council. "We estimate the total amount of the damage to be between 3,000 and 4,000 euros," he said. The parish filed a police complaint.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)