On January 22nd, an unknown perpetrator destroyed the prayer room of the Christuskirche in Lüdenscheid using a fire extinguisher. He entered the chapel between 4:00 and 6:00 in the afternoon, when it was open to the general public, and sprayed the contents of the fire extinguisher all over the floor, walls, and furniture. The damage is estimated at approximately 500 euros. The local police are looking for witnesses to this incident, described as a "special case of senseless destructive rage."
Civic group Protège ton église documented graffiti reading "FACHOS NOT WELCOME" sprayed on the church Saint Benoît au Mans during the weekend of January 19th.
Eight churches and two Catholic educational establishments were vandalized with graffiti in Bordeaux and Talence during the night between January 18th to 19th. The churches affected were: Notre-Dame, Saint-Eloi, Sainte-Croix, Sainte Eulalie, Saint-Seurin, Sacré-Coeur, and Saint-Paul in Bordeaux, the church of Notre-Dame de Talence and on the Catholic educational establishments of Albert le Grand and Saint-Genès in Bordeaux. The offensive tags, referring to pedophilia in the Church and to the bioethics bill, all had the same signature.
A bus filled with Catholics bound for Pontmain was prevented from leaving the diocesan house in Caen by approximately twenty masked people in black holding a banner and shooting paintball pellets at the windshield. A spokesman for the diocese explained that the protestors likely confused the pilgrimage bus for one bound for Paris for a Manif pour Tous demonstration. This was the second time in a few months that a pilgrimage bus was attacked after being mistaken for a Manif pour Tous bus.
Between January 16th and 18th, unidentified perpetrators destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary in a church in Ściegny and then in Wojanów, a roadside crucifix and figures of angels standing around the cross were destroyed beyond repair.
After a strong backlash against the France Inter radio station for airing of a song "Jésus est pédé" (an offensive pejorative for male homosexual), performed and written by Frédéric Fromet, both the singer and the station apologized to the LGBT community, despite the majority of complaints coming from Christian listeners.
Defense counsel for one of the three doctors on trial for unlawfully poisoning an autistic woman via euthanasia has admitted to searching the social media profiles of potential jurors to exclude "devout" Catholics. Walter Van Steenbrugge said he would be a "bad lawyer" if he did not exclude people who were "extremely Catholic," for example if they expressed a Marian devotion or had previously expressed the opinion that euthanasia is murder.
A 25-year-old man was arrested on January 14th for his participation in the vandalism of a Catholic church in Launaguet. According to reports, the Saint-Barthélemy church (Toulouse diocese) had been vandalized with Quaranic inscriptions in previous months.
Just before Christmas, the Catholic Church Kuthirt in Aarburg was forced to withdraw access to holy water in its basins following repeated acts of urination into the water. The deacon, Markus Stohldreier, expressed shock and disappointment at repeated attacks against the parish community."In my 36 years as a theologian, I have never experienced anything comparable." He added, "The perpetrators must have urinated in holy water in broad daylight," because the church is closed at night to prevent vandalism.
On January 14th, at the collège Marx-Dormoy, in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, a 12-year-old boy of Serbian origin was brutally attacked for not removing a chain necklace on which a cross hung under his clothes. The website Svi Sribi u Parizu (All Serbs in Paris) reported that the alleged attackers were five other 11-year-old pupils. When he refused to remove it, the alleged attackers surrounded him. One of the boys pushed him to the ground, and all of them started kicking him. The boy was beaten all over his body, resulting in serious injuries to his face and genitals. The attack ended when other pupils screamed for help.
On the morning of January 12, a 33-year-old man from Rhauderfehn with Ivorian nationality disrupted services in three churches in Rhauderfehn and Ostrhauderfehn by shouting and threatening the worshippers.
The religious crèche of the Saint-André church in Mont-Saint-Aignan, near Rouen, was vandalized on January 11, with the decorations overturned and the figures broken. The statue of the baby Jesus was decapitated. After expressing his sadness to the parish and to the parish priest, Monsignor Dominique Lebrun, Archbishop of Rouen, deplored the incident as an "offense against the Christian faith."
On the morning of January 9th, in the space of 45 minutes, five statues of the Virgin Mary, located in three different churches of Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques): Saint-Martin, Saint-Jacques and Notre-Dame, were destroyed. Similar vandalism continued in the churches of the Béarn communes of Lons, Artix, Denguin, and Mourenx, where, each time, a statue of the Virgin was destroyed. A 35-year-old man, described as homeless, was arrested in Mourenx at the end of the day and sent for psychiatric evaluation.
The Christ child figure was stolen on Christmas Eve from the nativity in the church of San Giovanni Battista in Fabriano (Ancona). Volunteers purchased a new figure to replace it. The new figure was then stolen from the San Filippo church around Epiphany, but returned a few days later.
Police in Ivrea (near Turin) identified a 46-year-old woman suspected of setting fire to two church nativity scenes: one in the church of San Maurizio and the second in the church of San Salvatore on January 4th. She faces a complaint for damage. The fires not only destroyed the two nativity scenes with plastic statuettes, but in the Church of San Maurizio the fire practically incinerated a painting by Tullio Alemanni, "The Baptism of Jesus," which was located above the baptismal font next to the crèche, in addition to a fresco, also by Alemanni, positioned between the crèche and the baptismal font.
The parish of Sacro Cuore in Trapani reported the theft of the Christ figure from the nativity scene in the church on January 4th.
A statue of the Virgin Mary was stolen from the church of Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption in the town of Saint-Étienne-du-Grès on January 2, 2020.
The nativity scene installed by Alice Castello volunteers was repeatedly vandalized at the end of December and into the new year, with the figures broken and some of the statues beheaded. This was the third year in a row that this installation was attacked by vandals.
Inhabitants of Pedemonte were shocked to discover that the figure of the baby Jesus in the nativity scene erected in the Piazza San Rocco church square was burnt on New Year's Eve. Only the charred remains of the figure were left inside the blackened wooden cradle.
Parishioners at the New Year's Day Mass learned from the priest that the statue of Jesus was no longer in the cradle in the nativity scene in Piazza San Marco in Caprino Veronese because it had been decapitated the night before.
Statues in the nativity scene in Piazza della Libertà, Lizzanello (Lecce) were vandalized by unknown perpetrators during the night of December 31st. The faces of several of the handmade statues were smashed.
On New Year's Eve, a man riding a bicycle was filmed by security cameras stopping at the crèche in Lecce's Piazza Duomo and stealing the Christ child figure.
Volunteers from the volunteer association Pro Loco of Robbiate were forced to take down the nativity installation prematurely due to repeated vandalism. Vandalism included detaching wooden planks from the hut, dismantling pieces of the roof, and throwing away ornaments and furnishings. The display was dismantled on December 29th instead of January 6th.
Four teenaged boys were identified and referred to the Public Prosecutor at the Juvenile Court of Bresci on allegations that they vandalized the statue of the Christ child in the nativity scene in the piazza outside the basilica in San Benedetto Po. The day after the incident, police found the head and torso of the statue hanging on an iron pole on the opposite side of the piazza. Evidence collected led the police to the four perpetrators, described as Muslims, born in Italy, of Moroccan descent. They reportedly admitted their involvement in the incident.
The statue of the Christ child was discovered removed from the nativity scene in Piazza Berto in Mogliano and hung above the ground with an electric cable around its neck. Plastic cups littered the ground of the crèche.
The electrical materials used for a live nativity performance in Canosa di Puglia were stolen on December 29th by unknown thieves.
The resin figure of Jesus was taken out of the public nativity scene in Parè di Conegliano during the night between December 27th and 28th and thrown to the ground nearby by unknown vandals. Other figures in the scene were toppled and the cradle was stolen.
On December 27th an anonymous group attacked the independent evangelical church TOS Ministries Tübingen in southern Germany. Several masked people simultaneously set a minibus owned by the church on fire and sprayed the entry area of the church with purple paint. According to the police, the attack resulted in damage of 40,000 euros. A group calling itself a "Feminist Autonomous Cell" (“Feministische Autonome Zelle” FAZ) claimed responsibility for the attack a few days later in an online letter.
The nativity scene in Valgiano, which was nine meters wide and 8 meters high, with an area of over 30 square meters, most of which is occupied by water, including a central lake, a smaller body of water, and waterfalls was vandalized on December 26th. Unknown perpetrators threw detergent into the water, which may have reacted with chlorine, creating a sea of foam and a pungent smell.
The nativity scene installed in front of the Notre-Dame church of Dijon was vandalized with litter and garbage bags three times between December 20th and 25th.
Thieves removed the handmade statue of the Jesus child and wooden cradle on Christmas day at the Don Angelo Frare park near the parish church in Mosnigo.
A nativity scene in the city of Ourense was damaged on the morning of December 20th, the Christ child figure was stolen and arms broken on December 23rd, and after being recovered and installed again on December 24th, the figure was stolen again on Christmas Day.
During night between December 23 and 24, unidentified vandals entered a park while it was closed and destroyed some of the polystyrene figures in a nativity scene made by elementary school children.
Residents in Ossi, a town a few kilometers from Sassari (Sardinia), woke on Christmas day to discover that the crèche installed by a local group (Pro Loco), in collaboration with the municipal administration, had been vandalized on the town's main street. The statues were torn up, dragged, and abandoned on the street.
A statue of the Christ child, placed in the manger of the nativity scene in front of the parish church of Arbus, in southern Sardinia, was beheaded by vandals. The head was left in front of the municipal cemetery. After it was found, the head was glued back on to the body, but the local community was shocked.
At 10:15 p.m. on December 24th, unknown arsonists set fire to the roof of the set of a live nativity performance in Revine. The scene, made with wooden planks and poles and covered with reeds that volunteers had recovered a few days earlier from nearby lakes, was located in the churchyard of the church of San Matteo. A bottle of alcohol and a pair of building site gloves, tools used by arsonists to set the fire, were found on the ground. Two teams of firefighters from Vittorio Veneto rushed to the scene and managed to tame the fire before it could affect the wooden structure.
Mario Seghezzi, the mayor of Martinengo, reported on Facebook that vandals destroyed the nativity scene installed near the parish church: “I am truly sorry for the vile act that took place on Christmas Eve. An act that hurts the serenity, magic, and warmth of Christmas." Because the vandalism was recorded by video surveillance cameras, the mayor expressed hope that the three identified vandals would repair the damage.
During the night from the 17th to 18th of December, the crèche installed on Place Charles-de-Gaulle and Christmas decorations at the town hall were destroyed. The heads of the life-sized figures representing Mary, Joseph and two wise men were cut off, and arms torn off. Garlands and fir trees in front of the town hall were damaged or stolen. “We are still in a Judeo-Christian country," said the mayor, "we can believe it or not, it remains deplorable to attack a crèche and decorations. We do that for the children... they were shocked this morning seeing all this damage."
In Saint-Just-en-Bas (Loire), 300 m² of the roof of the local church went up in flames on Sunday, December 15, during the morning Mass. An official of the commune sounded the alert when he saw an unusual smoke coming from the nave. The church was evacuated and no casualties were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
On December 14th, unknown vandals beheaded the statue of St. Joseph, placed the ox and the donkey figures in an obscene position, and threw litter inside the small nativity scene installed by municipal volunteers in Angolo Terme .
Video surveillance captured the images of two sets of vandals attacking the nativity scene installed in the Lecce Piazza Duomo during the early morning hours (1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.) of December 12th.
A few weeks after four churches around Munich were painted with leftist slogans, the Salesianum, a Catholic youth center run by the religious community of Don Bosco, was vandalized with swastikas, SS runes, and "Widerstand Süd," a neo-Nazi network. According to reports, the location was likely not chosen by chance, because the Salesianum also looks after underage refugees.
The windows of St. Peter's Church in Hüsten in Germany were damaged by vandals who were caught throwing stones. After witnesses heard the sound of stones hitting the church, police patrol cars caught the perpetrators. An investigation continues
The outer walls of the parish of Sant'Agostino in Bisceglie were vandalized with spray-painted graffiti during the night between the 8th and 9th of December. According to the parish priest, this is not the first time he has had to go to the police to file a complaint. "I have been asking for help to find a solution for 5 years," he explained.
A line of Christmas cards produced by British card company 'Love Layla' caused controversy for including messages mocking some of the deeply held beliefs of the Christian faith. The cards included taglines which call into question the Virgin Mary's miraculous conception, and which refer to Jesus as "a bloke that wore socks with sandals." Speaking to the Daily Mirror, James Mildred, for Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) said, "A lot of Christians will be deeply offended by this sort of thing...It highlights a fundamental hypocrisy that Christianity is seen as fair game to mock, disparage and insult."
During the night of December 7th (the night before they were to be displayed), unknown vandals damaged the nativity figures in Palau. The town's inhabitants, along with the artist Mario Spano, known as Marieddu, who spent months making them by hand, were dismayed by the act.
Police suspect leftist activists were responsible for the vandalism of four Munich-area churches that left parishioners outraged and dismayed. Slogans such as "Burn the churches down" and "Neither God nor master - destroy the patriarchy" were painted on the entrances of the churches resulting in thousands of euros in damage.
Crucifixes and a fountain from a chapel in Alpbach. A gilded statue of the Virgin Mary from the parish church in Kufstein. A baroque monstrance from a church in Pfaffstätten, host bowls in Biedermannsdorf -- these are just a few examples of sacred art objects that were stolen from Austrian churches in 2019.
A drunk man was arrested by Lyon police for setting fire to a garbage can placed against the door of the Saint-Georges church. The fire caused extensive to the door and smoke damage inside the church.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution which calls "for an end to violations against the freedom of Christians and other religious minorities to worship."