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.