MP Pävi Räsänen is facing three criminal charges for alleged hate speech brought against her by the Finnish Prosecutor General. This is not the first time MP Räsänen is being investigated for hate speech by the police but the first time she is confronted with criminal charges. The medical doctor, mother of five, and grandmother of six is accused of having engaged in “hate speech” for publicly voicing her opinion on marriage and human sexuality in a 2004 pamphlet, for comments made on a 2018 TV show and, most recently, a tweet directed at her church leadership. The Prosecutor General considers that Räsänen's statements are likely to cause intolerance, contempt and hatred towards homosexuals. The charges will be heard later at the Helsinki District Court.
The priest's car, the church façade and the surveillance cameras of the church of Gussago, Franciacorta, were vandalised the night before 26 April. The perpetrators were a group of youths who had been celebrating frequently during services, next to the church the days before. After the parish priest Don Adriano Dabellani complained and called the carabinieri, vandalistic acts were perpetrated in the following nights, probably in revenge. The vandals wrote blasphemies on the priest's car, as well as on the façade of the church. Police are investigating.
On 19 April, in front of the Polish Church of the Assumption at 'Concorde' in Paris, the bust of St John Paul II was vandalised . An unknown perpetrator covered the bust with red paint. Father Paweł Witkowski mentioned the great merits and achievements of John Paul II, who "certainly did not deserve such treatment". The case is being investigated by the police.
For the second time in a month, the church of Lazzaretto in Golasecca has been vandalised. This time the perpetrators damaged the door and vandalised the interior. Unknown persons had already broken into the small sacred building on 21 March, at which time the parish priest had filed a complaint with the Carabinieri. The church of Saints Simon and Judas is located in the woods near the village. The police are investigating.
On the afternoon of 15 April, a fire was set at the door of the church of Saints Jacopo and Filippo in Montecatini Alto. The door was partially destroyed. The fire brigade and the Carabinieri intervened right away. So far, there seem to be no direct witnesses to the arson, which can be safely assumed. The police are investigating.
A woman vandalised sacred objects in the sanctuary of the Maxkirche in Düsseldorf between 12 and 16 April. The perpetrator threw candles and altar cloths on the floor. The congregation is shocked at the extent of the devastation. The city Deacon, Frank Heidkamp, said: "An adult woman threw candles, candlesticks, floral arrangements, altar cloths and sacrificial candles on the floor during normal opening hours last week and obviously caused this devastation with wanton intent." The case was recorded on a security camera and has already been handed over to the police, who is now investigating.
Vandals attacked the parish cemetery in Mosina during the night of 11 to 12 April. Broken candles and other damages were found. The case was also investigated by the police, who have already arrested one person. The city police also found a vandalised car in a nearby car park.
In Höxter, unknown perpetrators vandalised the church of St. Anna on 11 April. Inside the church they destroyed the ornamental organ pipes. The vandals also lit candles, spread matches on the floor and left two notes with inscriptions. The damage to property amounts to 1.000€. The incident was reported to the police.
After red-light parties with prostitutes were held in the Cassino cemetery, the local church officials felt compelled to return sanctity to the desecrated place and rededicate the cemetery. "This rite of reparation", the diocese said, "became necessary as a result of the recent judicial investigation of the management of the municipal cemetery, which revealed serious acts that qualify as desecration of the bodies. In the name of the Church and representing the entire community of Setina, we went to the cemetery, prayed for the deceased buried there and renewed the rite of blessing the cemetery as an act of reparation for the desecration and sacrilege committed."
A fire broke out in the empty church of St. Mary's Assumption in Gelsenkirchen on the evening of Easter Monday, 5 April. The fire brigade was on the scene with 80 emergency personnel. The fire started inside the building and had broken out into the sacristy. From there, the fire spread to the nave and smoke came out of the roof. While the cause of the fire was initially completely unclear, the police announced the following day that "deliberate arson is to be assumed".
On the night of Easter Sunday, thieves gained entry into the Église Saint-Joseph des Nations church in Paris. They escaped with the proceeds of the collection, two sacred vessels and a consecrated host. According to Aleteia, “the thieves took away the large chest containing the proceeds of Easter collections, three (empty) boxes and two ciboriums that they located by forcing the doors of the tabernacle. The hosts were found on the altar tablecloth, while the large host used for adoration was taken away by the vandals. The police are investigating.
On the night of Easter Sunday, April 4th, unknown perpetrators tagged the facade of the town parish church in Aichach with an insulting and stereotyping slogan. In the morning, the sacristan reported the damage to property to the police. The police are investigating.
In the days immediately before Easter, the parish of Saints Leo and Nicholas in the town of Scalo in the Gallo D'Oro area was targeted. During the night, unknown persons broke into the church through a smashed window and stole from the church interior only a few coins that were kept in the offertory. They also broke open a door and stole a loudspeaker. The police are investigating.
Three unknown, alcoholised young Muslim men have disturbed the Easter Vigil service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church "Zum Heiligen Geist" in Nidda, Central Hesse. According to the church congregation, they repeatedly attacked worshippers (especially children and teenagers) and shouted "There is only one God, and that is Allah" and "Allah is the greatest". The unknown perpetrators had already insulted some of the worshippers outside the church and even filmed them. The perpetrators were asked to leave numerous times, also because they did not wear masks but refused to do so. The State Security Service has started an investigation for disturbing the exercise of religion.
On the 2nd of April posters explicitly attacking the Catholic Church and mocking the holy cross were hung on the door of the Polish House in Bydgoszcz. The Catholic House in Bydgoszcz, also called the Polish House, is a historic public building used as a place of activity by Catholic organisations and associations in Bydgoszcz. The unknown perpetrators also left the blasphemous inscription: "The secret of faith - cars and dollars". The holy cross, The incident was reported by the church authorities to the city police.
On charges of violating COVID-19 rules, police in the UK have interrupted up a Good Friday service celebrated at the Roman Catholic Christ the King Church in London. Police also threatened to fine each person sitting in the pews $280. According to the British Independent newspaper, churches are allowed to hold services during the lockdown in England with no limit on the number of parishioners as long as the congregation adheres to social distancing and wears masks. The church rejected the police claims, saying in a statement, "We believe, however, that the police brutally exceeded their powers by issuing their warrant for no good reason, as all government requirements were met."
Far-left groups in Poland are proud to show themselves profaning the Church of the Holy Saviour in the centre of Warsaw on social media. Local anarchists lit flares in front of the entrance to the temple and hung a banner with vulgar inscription on the scaffolding. The assault took place on the afternoon of March 31st. The far-left in Poland seems to enjoys an impunity. This is evidenced by the minimal reaction of the judiciary to the series of provocations, desecrations and attacks carried out against Catholic churches since October 2020. According to the TVP Info portal, the recent attack did not cause any material losses, and no one was physically harmed. Nevertheless, the series of incidents strongly accentuated the symbolic dimension of these acts.
On 31 March, unknown persons caused damage amounting to several thousand Euros at the Servite Church in Innsbruck. According to the police, the perpetrators destroyed several objects between 11.25 a.m. and 11.55 a.m. that day. They also contaminated the premises. The police are investigating.
On March 28th, the church of St. Peter in Linz was severely damaged by a fire. According to the church's parish priest, the fire was set inside a chapel near the wooden altar. Despite early attempts to extinguish the fire, the wooden altar was destroyed and a statue of the Virgin Mary was damaged. The next day the police reported that a book commemorating the dead, which was lying on a side table, had been purposefully set on fire. Since the fire did not pose a serious threat to any person, the police stated they would only investigating for damage to property. The damage amounts to around €80,000.
After a fire broke out at a church in Wokingham on 26 March, the police arrested a 28-year-old man suspected of arson. The police was called at around 3pm after the fire was reported.
One of the five chapels of the Church of the Crosses in Foggia was smeared with blue paint. One pillar was defaced with a phallic symbol, now covered by a white cloth. The other pillars were sprayed with conspicuous and incomprehensible signs. Other writings were found on the ground of the chapel and on the pavement. The police is investigating.
During the night of March 25th, several young people threw stones at Father Ioan's car. The car was parked in Via Melzi in Magenta, near the church of San Rocco, where the Orthodox community is based. There are yet no clear indicators for the motivation of this crime. The police is investigating.
Unknown perpetrators threw a flammable object through a smashed window of a side door into the St. Bernhard Church in Baden-Baden during the night of 25 March. According to the police, heavy smoke developed and spread into the church interior. In addition, the perpetrators smeared a two-by-two-metre sign on the side wall of the church, which, according to the parish priest's interpretation, could represent a Jewish Star of David. The police are investigating.
On March 23rd, the municipal police received a report that gravestones had been damaged at the cemetery in Olsztyn. A total of 201 graves were vandalised. A few hours after the report, the police arrested a 38-year-old man. The man confessed the crime of insulting a gravesite in connection with damage to property.
On 23 March, the caretaker of the Catholic church in Clarens discovered broken glass and noticed that the piece of cartilage of the parish's patron saint, Saint Theresa of Lisieux, had been stolen from a statue. The chairman of the parish council says: "Materially, there's a bit of a market for relics, but I'm more inclined to think it was sacrilege." The police is investigating.
On March 22, the chapel of the Saint-Louis Hospital in La Rochelle got severely vandalised and desecrated. "When I knelt down at the altar to begin my prayer, I noticed that something was wrong," explained the chaplain. He noticed that the altar cloths were stained with a yellow liquid and that in front of one of the side chapels an imposing plaster statue of Christ was "pulverised". Matches and a cigarette butts that were found at the scene indicate that the perpetrators tried to set fire to the chapel. The police is investigating.
A Catholic priest in Ireland has been fined 500 Euros because he did not close the doors to his church while we was celebrating mass, so people would not be able join the church service. Due to government health measures, public religious services in the country have been suspended since 7 October 2020. In a parish newsletter, Father P.J. Hughes wrote: “Next Sunday marks the journey of Holy Week. It is hard to believe that for a second year people cannot come to take part in the ceremonies of Holy Week. Despite the size of the church and the holy place that it is because of the presence of Jesus in the Holy Tabernacle, the church has been deemed a hot spot for the spread of the virus by the gardaí.”
During the night of March 20th, unknown perpetrators smashed a window of the Church of Santa Maria della Speranza in Catanzaro by throwing stones against it. According to Mayor Sergio Abraham, the vandalism "strikes directly at the heart of the neighbourhood church, which is a landmark for all residents". The police is investigating.
Unknown persons destroyed windows at the Sacred Heart Church in Singen probably on the weekend of 19-21 March. Since the windows are leaded glass windows, the destruction causes much more financial damage than normal windows. According to the church's pastor, the vandalism is not an isolated case, as the church has been the victim of repeated attacks recently. The police is investigating.
On march 20th, two perpetrators vandalised the interior of a small church in the Saint Isidore district, they also stole several consecrated objects. A few hours later the police arrested the perpetrators with the help of public video recordings. Another incident occurred in parallel at the Basilica of Notre Dame, the church where three Christians were killed by an Islamic Terrorist in October 2020. During this incident a perpetrator, who was later identified and arrested by the police, had praised the terrorist massacre during holy mass.
On 20 March, a rave party took place in the Armenian monastery of Sourp Magar in northern Cyprus, which was founded in the 11th century and has been empty since 1974. Although the rave party took place several weeks ago, it only became known this week through a video. The US Ambassador to Cyprus, Judith Garber, condemned the rave party: "The US Embassy strongly condemns the abuse of the Armenian Monastery of Saint Magar. Freedom of worship is a fundamental value and we join religious leaders in calling for all places of worship, whether in use or not, to be protected from abuse, vandalism and desecration."
An act of vandalism and property damage amounting to several thousand Euros, occurred at a church in Rheinstraße on 22 March. Unknown perpetrators broke into the unlocked place of worship and threw hymn books and brochures around. The church organ was also damaged. The police is investigating.
Unknown perpetrators rioted in St George's Church in Freistett and damaged the valuable organ. On 20 March, unknown persons entered the open church unnoticed and caused damage amounting to several thousand Euros. Individual church brochures, hymn books and pens were scattered on the floor, the lid from the baptismal font was placed on the altar, the permanent candles extinguished, electricity plugs pulled and the confirmation and baptism fish for good wishes torn. "The perpetrators have (also) wilfully damaged the organ," regretted the church's pastor. CCTV was now installed. The police are investigating.
During the night of March 19th, unknown persons attempted to set fire to the vestibule of the Protestant church in Glonn. According to the police, flyers and other informational leaflets were set on fire. The entrance door, a side table and a carpet were burnt, but the fire did not spread to the whole church. The caused property damage is estimated at about 2.500 Euros.
The wooden church in Titan, Bucharest was vandalised by a radical Left group during the night of March 18th. Volunteers from the congregation discovered the damage when they opened the church the next morning. The outside walls of the wooden church were tagged with inscriptions such as "BLM" and "Be Gay do crime", which also covered the icons. BLM is short for Black Lives Matter, the movement in the United States. According to spokesperson of the Romanian Patriarchate, Vasile Bănescus, the act is just the latest example in a long line of violent acts dictated and perpetuated by neo-Marxism.
Unknown perpetrators have vandalised the facade of the parish church in Kożuchów. A threatening slogan in Spanish was tagged on the wall "The only church that lights up is the one that burns". The perpetrators face a sentence of up to five years in prison for destroying property. The police is investigating.
On the evening of March 15th, unknown perpetrators broke into the Greek Orthodox Church of Gödöllő. The perpetrators then set fire to the pews and sprayed an icon with flammable material. Neighbours noticed the fire and immediately alerted the fire brigade. The parish priest described the vandalism as a clearly anti-Christian act and said that damage the vandals caused is estimated to be around 2.5 million HUF. The police is investigating.
On March 14th, unknown persons smashed a church window and knocked over a barrel of gravel in Bielefeld. Police officers were informed and found a broken window and an overturned barrel with gravel. According to current information, the window was broken with two beer bottles. The police is now looking for witnesses.
In the early hours of March 13th, vandals smeared gravestones at a cemetery in Cork. The perpetrators sprayed headstones at St Mary and St John Church in Ballincollig with grafitti. In addition, stones were moved and knocked over. Fianna Fáil councillor Colm Kelleher described the scenes at the cemetery as: "This is someone's family member and for their final resting place to be desecrated in a way like this, it is absolutely disgusting," he said. The police is investigating and confirmed to the Irish Examiner that no arrests have yet been made.
On March 10th, a group of anti-capitalist feminists sprayed the church of St. Leu-Saint-Gilles in Paris with the following inscriptions: "Nik tout", "Macron in the middle", "Prisons in flames", "anti-capitalist feminists" or "eat my period on your bolo noodle". The anarchist symbol (a circled A) has also been spray-painted on the walls. The Federation of Young Catholics FIDE commented on their Twitter account: "We will never be silent in the face of the attack, the desecration." This case is one in a series of increased vandalistic attacks against churches and Christian buildings in France.
On 10 March, unknown perpetrators vandalised the cemetery of a church in Barnet, knocking over gravestones and breaking them apart. Now additional surveillance cameras are to be installed to deter future perpetrators. The police is investigating.
On the evening of March 9th, a masked vandal scrawled the words "won" and three sixes on the walls of the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Opole-Gosławice. The parish is asking for help in identifying the perpetrators and informs that it will hand the case over to the police.
MPs in Westminster Hall debated a petition calling for the criminalisation of "conversion therapy" in England and Wales on March 8th. The government has indicated that it considers "conversion therapy" to be extremism. Christians in the UK fear that the criminalisation could restrict religious freedom, which is why the Evangelical Alliance now wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, saying that the ban could "place church leaders at risk of prosecution" but also limit the freedom of people seeking pastoral advise in this matter. It is possible that the LGBT activists deliberately chose a small format in Westminster Hall to avoid opposition in parliament.
In reference to International Women's Day on 8 March, unknown perpetrators spray painted the main portal of the Catholic Church of St. Mary's Conception in Wuppertal, criticising the "patriarchal system" and the "unequal treatment of women". Some of the symbols used in the left-wing extremist scene are also found on house fronts and garages in the surroundings. Chaplain Tobias Menke of the Catholic parish community Wuppertaler Westen commented: "Since the wooden parts and fittings of our portal were also sprayed, the removal will be very costly." "This is quite massive damage to property." The police is investigating.
Last Friday, March 5th, unknown perpetrators vandalised a cemetery in Dryżykowa, Zawiercie. Decorative crosses from about 30 gravestones and images of Jesus Christ were stolen. According to the spokeswoman of the Zawiercie district police, they have received three reports of vandalism and theft so far. The police is investigating.
While supermarkets and hardware stores remained open under security measures during Easter, Christians in Ireland were unable to attend religious services for their biggest celebration, as churches, unlike public transport, were deemed dangerous. The restrictions on religious freedom adopted by the Irish government are those of the greatest magnitude compared to other European states. For violating the ban on worship or visiting churches, believers can be fined or imprisoned for up to six months. ADF International has now challenged the worship ban in court, following a successful challenge to a similar ban in Scotland.
On the evening of March 2nd, a group of youths attempted to break into the church and desecrate the shrine of Our Lady of Myślenice. After failing to do so, they began vandalising the area around the shrine and damaging the epitaph on the façade with a bottle, which was recorded by CCTV cameras. The spokesman for the Krakow Curia, Father Łukasz Michalczewski, explained that the attack was not random, as the perpetrators recorded the incident with a mobile phone. The case is being investigated by the police.
On the night of March 3rd, St Elisabeth's Church in Berlin-Schöneberg was attacked with paint for the third time by pro-choice activists. The perpetrators sprayed slogans with "My body, My choice" on the church walls to the right and left of the main portal. Although the perpetrators are not yet known, the attack is in line with two very similar attacks last year, after which there were letters of confession from a left-wing extremist pro-choice group. For this reason it is assumed that the same group is responsible for the crime occurring this year. The damage amounts to about 4000€, which the parish has to pay for itself. The police is investigating.
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.
Unknown perpetrators stole two monstrances and a paten from the parish church of St. Konrad and Elisabeth in Freiburg during the night of February 26th. According to the police, the perpetrators broke open the outer door and got inside the church, where three religious objects, two valuable monstrances and a gold-plated paten, were stolen. The damage caused by the theft amounts to about 7,000 euros. According to Father Frank Prestel, the theft of the monstrances and the paten had damaged "the heart of the Eucharist" and the crime was part of a series of recent burglaries in churches in the area. The police is investigating.