All cases

Monstrance with Relic of Saint Leopold Stolen from Pilgrimage Church Maria Lanzendorf

July 5, 2020, Austria

Intruders stole a monstrance with a relic of St. Leopold III, the patron saint of Lower Austria, from the pilgrimage church Maria Lanzendorf, along with a second relic monstrance, as well as other liturgical objects such as chalices and incense boats. According to police reports, the crime was committed during the night of July 5th.

Theft

Severe Vandalism of 75kg Cross at Wieden Church

July 4, 2020, Germany

On July 4th, unknown perpetrator knocked over the 75 kilogram cast iron cross in front of the Heart of Jesus church (Herz Jesu Kirche) in the Upper Palatinate town of Weiden, according to police reports. The cross, which was broken off steel pins, suffered massive damage. Police began an investigation and called for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Repeated Cases of Vandalism in Church of Bissendorf-Achelriede

July 2, 2020, Germany

In the three weeks between June 11th and July 2nd, the church of Bissendorf-Achelriede was vandalized three times by unknown perpetrators. The first two incidents happened at two buildings belonging to the church, eight windows were smashed and a wall sprayed with graffiti. The last incident occurred in the church and resulted in twenty-eight smashed windows, causing a total estimated damage of over thirteen thousand euros.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Suspected Arson at San Girolamo Church in Rimini

June 29, 2020, Italy

On June 29th, firefighters were called to the San Girolamo Church in the city of Rimini shortly after 3:30 in the afternoon. A pedestrian reported smoke emanating from the storage room of the church building where old furniture and plastic chairs formed the basis for the fire. Fortunately, the firefighting team was able to quell the blaze. A forensics team investigated whether the fire had been intentionally set, noting that nothing indicated that short circuits or similar faults were the cause of the fire.

Hate Crime Hate Incident

Repeated Acts of Vandalism and Theft in Bergamo Church

June 27, 2020, Italy

In the week before June 27th, the church of Sant’Andrea in Bergamo was the victim of two crimes. The first incident was the vandalism of the liturgical chair which was discovered upside down in the middle of the church and wet with what the priest suspected was urine. The second incident was the theft of the offerings, accomplished by severely damaging the valuable offering boxes. This series of events led to the closure of the church except for Sunday Mass, until funds have been raised to install comprehensive security measures.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Robbers Cause €100 in Damage to Steal €5 from Sulzbach Church

June 26, 2020, Germany

Police report that between June 26th and June 28th unknown perpetrators stole money from the offering box of the evangelical Church of Sulzbach. While the damage to the church property was estimated to be one hundred euros, the thieves fled with five euros.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of Saint Junípero Serra Vandalized with "Racist"

June 22, 2020, Spain

The statue of the Mallorcan friar and saint Junípero Serra in Palma which stands in front of the central convent of Sant Francesc, was vandalized on June 22nd. The word 'racist' was smeared on the base of the monument, and the saint's image was also stained with red paint. The statue was attacked after the Podemos councilor in the Palma City Council, Sonia Vivas, mayor of Social Justice, Feminism and LGTBI, noted the statue of the eighteenth-century Franciscan friar had been attacked in California, USA. She suggested the statue of the saint should be thrown away "peacefully, "calling the saint a symbol of the "oligarchy".

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

‘Black Madonna’ in Breda defaced

June 22, 2020, Netherlands

On June 22nd, vandals defaced the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa and painted the letters "BLM" at the base in a park chapel in Breda. The image of Our Lady, which is revered by Poles and also known as the 'Black Madonna', was erected in the park in 1954 in thanksgiving for the city’s liberation from the Nazis.

Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft from Bühl Church

June 19, 2020, Germany

A thief caused nearly €200 in damage when he violently tore the offertory box affixed to a table in the Catholic church in Bühl on June 19th. Reports indicate the box only contained a few euros. The Bühl police began an investigation.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism with Excrement in the Capuchin Church in Spoleto

June 14, 2020, Italy

The small church of the Minori Cappuccini di Spoleto was discovered vandalized with human excrement on June 14th, the feast of Corpus Christi. The excrement was scattered in several places in the church, including the chapel of the Madonna, on the entrance threshold, and on door handles.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statues Beheaded in Chapel Sculpture Garden

June 14, 2020, Belgium

The statue of Saint Anthony in the De Kluize sanctuary in Knutsegem in Velzeke and the statue of Julius Caesar on Romeins Plein were vandalized on the weekend of June 14. Their names were sprayed with graffiti. Additionally, all the statues in the sanctuary sculpture garden behind the chapel of Saint Anthony were beheaded.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

The Head of Saint Arnould Detached and Thrown in Ravine

June 14, 2020, Belgium

The head of the statue of Saint Arnould, patron saint of brewers, erected in Bouillon (province of Luxembourg), was unscrewed and thrown into a ravine during the night between June 13th and 14th. It was badly damaged but not destroyed because vegetation in the ravine broke its fall. A complaint was filed and Bouillon Mayor Patrick Adam was confident the perpetrators would be caught: “Thanks to the cameras that are installed by the municipality and thanks to those of the private ones, we will be able to recover images. We do not want this act to go unpunished.”

Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Attempted Arson at Rennes Cathedral

June 12, 2020, France

During the night from the 11th to 12th of June, Rennes firefighters intervened to extinguish an intentionally-set fire in front of a door of the Saint-Pierre cathedral in Rennes. A trash bin, placed just in front of the door located at the back of the building, on Rue Saint-Sauveur, was set on fire. According to the first impressions from the investigation, this was a voluntary act because the bin was brought from an adjacent street and deliberately placed outside the door.

Hate Crime

Graves Vandalized in Eure

June 11, 2020, France

Maintenance workers in a small municipal cemetery in the town of Lieurey discovered that dozen ancient graves had been vandalized. Several of the gravestones had been smashed, and on others, just the crosses were destroyed. According to the police in charge of the investigation, the incident dates back to the end of May or the beginning of June.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft and Desecration of the Eucharist in Molfetta

June 11, 2020, Italy

The parish priest of San Gennaro in Molfetta, Don Sergio Vitulano, reported that on the morning of June 12th he had noticed the number of consecrated hosts was significantly reduced compared to those placed in the ciborium during the Mass of the previous day. He also reported finding a consecrated host on the ground. The security camera footage revealed that a recognizable woman, observed in the area in the previous days, had entered the church and had taken numerous consecrated Hosts from the tabernacle by hurriedly putting them in her pocket and leaving the church.

Desecration Theft

Statue of Christ Decapitated and Vandalized

June 5, 2020, Spain

In the early morning hours of June 4, unknown individuals assaulted the monument dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in La Roda de Andalucía and broke the face and hands of the image to pieces.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Saint-Joseph Parish Church Vandalized

June 4, 2020, France

At the end of the first week of June, broken glass was discovered in a corridor of the parish church of Schœneck caused by the throwing of a large stone of about one kilo against a church window. The projectile had been thrown from outside the church and loosened the metal frame of the masonry. In front of the entrance to the crypt, the impact of a projectile against a window pane caused a crack that spanned its entire length. Another window was broken in the sacristy. Additionally, the large metal entrance gate at the side of the grotto of the Virgin was damaged, and two crossbars were twisted and torn off.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism and Theft at the Church of Heuilley-Cotton

June 3, 2020, France

Between June 3rd and 4th, one or more people broke into the Saint-Loup church of Heuilley-Cotton to steal the "begging angel" (l'ange quêteur) donation box. It was found outside the church completely broken and emptied of its contents.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Four Graves, Including that of a Priest, Vandalized in Village Cemetery

May 27, 2020, France

Four graves in the village cemetery of Saint-Pierre-de-Rivière were damaged during the night between May 26th and 27th by unknown vandals. Among those graves was that of Emile Genès, who had returned his native village after a long priestly life in the Paris region.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Saint-Arthémy Church Vandalized in Coteaux-du-Blanzacais

May 24, 2020, France

The Saint-Arthémy de Blanzac church in the town of Coteaux-du-Blanzacais was the target of acts of vandalism over the weekend of May 23rd and 24th. 

Vandalism (form of hate crime)