All cases

Significant Vandalism in St. Michael Kirche

March 26, 2020, Germany

Between 6:00 and 7:20 pm on the evening of March 26th, an unknown perpetrator vandalized the St. Michael Kirche on Kämpenstraße in Versmold. A shelf with Easter candles was knocked over, and the candles were scattered throughout the church. A large glass sanctuary lamp with the eternal flame candle was destroyed and a microphone was torn out of the ambo. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Offensive Graffiti on Church Door in Poznań

March 25, 2020, Poland

The main entrance door of the church on Dąbrówki Street in Poznań was smeared by an unknown perpetrator during the night of March 24th to March 25th. An anarchist "A" symbol was sprayed on a pillar and the phrase "zdejmij suknię śmieciu" This roughly translates to: "take off your dress, punk" in blue paint was sprayed on the church. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft from Church in Mantes-La-Ville

March 23, 2020, France

While France is subject to lockdown measures related to the coronavirus, thieves stole three video projectors and the money collected during Masses from the safe in the church of Sacré-Cœur in Mantes-la-Ville on March 23rd.

Theft

Fire Set in Saint Anna Church

March 21, 2020, Germany

An unknown person set fire to the seat cushion of a wooden prayer bench in the Catholic Church of Saint Anna in Blieskastel-Biesingen. This incident happened between the evening of March 21st and the afternoon of March 22. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Nativity Figures Stolen from a Church

March 21, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators broke into the Evangelical church on the Ringstraße in Aldekerk, Kerken through a broken window between the evening of March 21st and the morning of the 22nd. They searched several cupboards and stole two nativity figures, before fleeing in an unknown direction. The police are investigating.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism of Church in Italy Despite Quarantine

March 20, 2020, Italy

The coronavirus quarantine did not prevent the vandalism of a church: during the night between March 20th and March 21st, the church of Santa Restituta in Sora was defaced with black and red spray paint.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Heavy Damage after Break-in at Schwalbach Church

March 19, 2020, Germany

At around two in the morning on February 19th, two perpetrators broke into a church in Schwalbach am Taunus and leaving at least 5,000 euros in damage. They destroyed a glass pane in the rear area, pried open the main entrance and broke open several doors and cupboards made out of wood and glass. It was unclear whether anything was stolen. A witness reported observing two men fleeing the church (about 1.70 meters tall, Mediterranean looking and darkly dressed). The police are investigating.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Saint-Laurent Church Stained Glass Windows Smashed

March 17, 2020, Belgium

On March 17th unknown people threw stones at the stained glass windows of the Saint-Laurent church in Piétrebais and broke them. According to reports, the church's windows have been targeted by vandals during the school holidays over the past four years, resulting in more than 16,000 euros in damage.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson at Historic Church of Saint-Apollinaire

March 16, 2020, France

On March 16th, unidentified perpetrators set fire to the church Saint-Apollinaire built in the 12th century in Meximieux in eastern France. The fire was extinguished by local firefighters and police arrested the arsonists, but still the church will be closed to the public until further notice.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Graffiti Sprayed on Göttschied Church Walls

March 15, 2020, Germany

During the night between March 15th and March 16th unknown perpetrators sprayed graffiti on the walls of the Protestant Abteikirche in Göttschied (Idar-Oberstein). Police are investigating

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of Virgin Mary Vandalized

March 11, 2020, Italy

The statue of the Virgin of the Church of Rio Salso in Tavullia was vandalized with a fake joint and cartridge taped on the figure's mouth and hand on March 11th.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism in Güthersloh Church

March 8, 2020, Germany

Alerted by loud noises coming from the St. Pankratius church, a witness discovered a vandalized entrance, a broken window, and that the altar cover and a tablecloth had been set on fire. A 62-year-old resident of Güthersloh, was considered a suspect.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Homeless Man Vandalized German Church

March 7, 2020, Germany

During the night between March 6th and 7th, a man broke into the church of Ellenberg in Guxhagen and destroyed the inside of the church. The damage amounted to 10,000 euros. The rioter threw hymn books on the floor and damaged and knocked church pews over. Furthermore the painting above the pulpit was damaged with a pointed object and the carpet was ruined. The alleged perpetrator, a homeless 49-year-old man, was arrested on the morning of March 7th.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Bible set on fire in Krefeld Church

March 6, 2020, Germany

On March 6th, fires were set in the Catholic church Maria Waldrast in Krefeld. Between 10:00 and 6:00 p.m. someone set fire to a bible under a prayer bench in the nave of the church, as well as the paper displays in the entrance. The damage was minor. A week earlier, someone set a basket on fire in the church. The police began an investigation and sought witnesses.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Burglars Smash Stained Glass Window at Leicester Cathedral

March 4, 2020, United Kingdom

Sometime between 6 p.m. on March 4th and 7:20 a.m. on March 5th, burglars smashed a stained glass window in the chapel of Christ the King at the eastern end of Leicester Cathedral, next to the room where Richard III is buried at Leicester Cathedral.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson at Swiss Church

March 3, 2020, Switzerland

On the afternoon of March 3rd, an arson attack was committed in the Eusebiuskirche in Grenchen. Fortunately, the fire was discovered before major damage was caused. The police are looking for witnesses.

Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Orthodox Church on Lesvos Vandalized by Refugees

March 2, 2020, Greece

News reports indicate that the Greek Orthodox church of St. George was ransacked on March 2nd. According to witnesses, the vandalism was caused by refugees residing on the island. This news came as tensions ran high due to the arrival of hundreds of refugees and migrants after Turkey "opened the doors" for them to enter Europe.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

MP Interviewed by Police for Questioning Church Leadership

March 2, 2020, Finland

On March 2nd, member of the Finnish Parliament Päivi Räsänen faced a police interrogation because of a tweet she posted in June 2019. The tweet was directed at the leadership of her church and questioned its official sponsorship of the LGBT event “Pride 2019”, accompanied by an image of a bible text.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Collegiate Church Vandalized in Aveyron

February 25, 2020, France

On February 25th, an unknown person broke a door handle, attempted to force a display case, overturned statues, and broke the hands of the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in the collegiate church of Notre-Dame de Villefranche-de-Rouergue in Aveyron.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Surveillance System Installed in Church due to Vandalism

February 23, 2020, United Kingdom

Due to repeated vandalism, drug-dealing, and abuse of volunteers in the Holy Trinity Church in Exmouth, a surveillance system with seven cameras will be installed as a "necessary security measure."

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Charente-Maritime: the Church of Port-d'Envaux desecrated, vandalized, and looted

February 22, 2020, France

Parishioners discovered vandalism, desecration, and theft in the Saint-Saturnin-de-Séchaud church in Port d'Envaux on February 22nd. They found the door of the sacristy broken, the door of the tabernacle forced open, consecrated hosts stolen, and the altar of the Virgin Mary damaged. All objects of value were stolen from the sacristy.

Desecration Hate Crime Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Four Young Women Vandalized Church; Set Fire to the Altar

February 20, 2020, Spain

National Police reviewed the security cameras of the church of San Pedro de La Felguera to try to locate the four young women who caused at least 600 euros in damage inside the church on February 20th. Video recordings revealed that the young women entered the church, used and stole two of the microphones, sat on the altar, burned candles and set fire to books and the altar cloth.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Broken Church Windows In Dorchester

February 19, 2020, United Kingdom

On February 19th and February 21st an unknown person broke the rear windows of The Storehouse Church in Dorchester by throwing stones at them. The police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Christian Converts Must Prove Continued Faith or Face Deportation

February 16, 2020, Germany

"Kurosh," an Iranian convert to Christianity who received asylum in Germany four years ago, faced a 25,000 euro fine or a prison sentence if he did not respond to a lengthy series of questions about his faith from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). He was also required to provide a certificate from the pastor at his church to demonstrate his commitment to his faith. He reports that he provided all the information requested, but remains in fear that this will happen again. This is the BAMF "Revocation and Withdrawal Procedure."

Access to Justice and Legal Services

Iranian Christian Convert Faces Deportation

February 16, 2020, United Kingdom

Reza Karkah, an Iranian Christian, faces the prospect of imprisonment, torture and separation from his wife and child after the UK Home Office rejected his application for asylum on the basis that he was ‘fabricating’ his Christian faith.

Access to Justice and Legal Services

Daily Damage in Cathedral Prompts Abbot of Saint-Dié to File Complaint

February 16, 2020, France

The abbot of Saint-Dié lodged a complaint following a series of degradations in his cathedral since the end of January. Incidents included candles being knocked over, fires being started, and excrement deposited in several places in the building. The mayor of the town responded by assigning two police officers to surveil the building.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism of Isle of Man Church

February 15, 2020, United Kingdom

Between the afternoon of February 15th and the morning of the 16th, an unknown person or group broke into and vandalized the Christ Church in Laxey. The incident disrupted the Sunday morning services. Police are investigating and searching for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Paint Bomb Thrown at Catholic Church in Larne

February 15, 2020, United Kingdom

During the night between the 15th and 16th of February, an unknown perpetrator threw a paint bomb at St. MacNissi's Parish Church in Larne. The police treated the incident as a sectarian hate crime as they investigated and searched for witnesses.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

"Carnival" Replaced by "Fancy-Dress Party" in Netherlands Public School

February 14, 2020, Netherlands

A primary school in Zevenaar renamed its traditional Carnival celebration as a "fancy dress party" on the initiative of the parents' association. They claimed that Carnival, originally a Catholic festival, would not suit the public nature of the primary school.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Violent Burglary in Saint-Charbel Monastery

February 13, 2020, Belgium

Three masked individuals armed with a crowbar burst into the Saint-Charbel Monastery in Ophain-Bois-Seigneur-Isaac between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. on February 13th. The intruders detained a monk and forced him to open various doors, including those of a parish office and furniture containing offerings. The identity of the perpetrators and extent of the loss have not been determined. The monastery, run by the Lebanese Maronite Order, is home to refugees hosted by the monks.

Hate Crime Theft

29-Year-Old Man Confessed to Damaging Roadside Shrines

February 12, 2020, Poland

A 29-year-old man who confessed to damaging roadside shrines in Jacinki, Kościernica and Szczeglino between February 12th and 13th faces up to two years in prison. "He confessed to committing these acts. He couldn't explain why he destroyed the shrines," the press officer of the Koszalin police said, noting that statues of the Virgin Mary were destroyed and crosses were broken.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Repeated Damage and Vandalism in the Cathedral of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges

February 9, 2020, France

After two weeks of finding broken candles, altar cloths on the ground, urine sprayed here and there and feces left daily in the cathedral of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, the priest reported the incidents to the police and has considered closing the building to visitors during the day.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Broken Window in Church of St. Maxamilian Kolbe

February 9, 2020, Poland

In the early hours between the 8th and 9th of February, the church of St Maximilian Kolbe, in the town of Konin, Poland was vandalized by unknown perpetrators. Konin police spokesman Sebastian Wiśniewski confirmed that it appears that a glass window was broken intentionally and damage is estimated at 5000 zlotys (1170 Euros).

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Calls for Calm after Young Men Draped North African Flags from Church Roof

February 9, 2020, France

A priest filed a complaint against a group of individuals who hung the flags of Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco from the roof of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church in Albi during the afternoon of February 9th. The perpetrators had already removed the flags and fled the scene when the police arrived. While there was minimal damage, the priest said, "I consider this to be a serious fact, an act of distrust. It is an act of disrespect for the place of worship and for Christians. Some people were shocked."

Insult or Incitement

Arson in Oetwil am See Church

February 7, 2020, Switzerland

On February 7th, shortly before 5 a.m., heavy smoke came from the Kirche am Chilenrain in Oetwil am See. According to the Zurich cantonal police, the fire caused property damage of several hundred thousand francs. A 41-year-old was arrested on suspicion of setting the fire.

Hate Crime

All Scheduled UK Venues Cancel Franklin Graham Tour Events

February 6, 2020, United Kingdom

On January 24th, the ACC Liverpool Group announced that it would no longer hold the previously-scheduled Graham Tour Event due to objections from LGBT activists over Graham's past statements about homosexuality. Graham responded by saying “I’m not coming to the UK to speak against anybody, I’m coming to speak for everybody. The Gospel is inclusive. I'm not coming out of hate, I'm coming out of love.” As of February 11th, the other venues that cancelled events were: International Convention Centre Wales in Newport, Glasgow SEC, Sheffield Arena, Arena Birmingham, and Stadium Milton Keynes.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

"We Will Burn the Churches" Sprayed on Trento Church

February 2, 2020, Italy

At least a dozen young people gathered around the back of the church of San Pietro in Trento late on February 1st, yelling about using spray cans, After much commotion, the inscription "We will burn the churches" was painted on the wall of the church, along with other graffiti on a nearby building. Police will examine images from the security camera that was installed last year to identify the perpetrators.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Desecration of Tabernacle and Theft in Carrión de los Céspedes

January 29, 2020, Spain

Just two days after the desecration and theft from the chapel of the Clinical Hospital of Valencia, a group of thieves attacked the parish of Carrión de los Céspedes in Seville, stealing several religious objects and the gold crowns of the two figures of the Virgin of the Rosary and the Child Jesus that were prepared for a procession on February 1st for the 400th anniversary of the Brotherhood of the Rosary of Carrión.

Desecration Hate Crime Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Employment Tribunal Judge Investigated after Sarah Kuteh Trial

January 27, 2020, United Kingdom

Judge Brian Doyle, the President of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales, has re-opened an investigation into Employment Judge Martin Kurrein’s conduct during the high-profile trial of Sarah Kuteh in 2017, following a Christian Legal Centre (CLC) complaint.

Consecrated Hosts Stolen from Chapel Moments Before Mass

January 26, 2020, Spain

On January 26th, moments before the celebration of the evening Mass, unknown perpetrators removed the monstrance holding the consecrated host, a pyx (a small round container holding a consecrated host), and a ciborium with fifty consecrated hosts inside from the tabernacle of the Chapel of the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valencia. The monstrance was later found in the chapel's confessional and dozens of consecrated hosts were discovered scattered on the street.

Desecration Hate Crime Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Chapel Destroyed with Fire Extinguisher

January 22, 2020, Germany

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."

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Wales: Parents Lose Right to Withdraw Children from Sex Ed

January 21, 2020, United Kingdom

Following plans first proposed in a government consultation last year, parents of children attending Welsh schools will no longer have a legal right to withdraw their children from compulsory relationships and sex education (RSE), as well as and religious education (RE) classes.

Freedom of Conscience Rights of Parents

"Parental Pin" Policy Prompts Legal Action and Debate in Spain

January 20, 2020, Spain

A new policy aimed at affirming parental authority in Spanish schools in Murcia has made national headlines in the country. The so-called 'Parental Pin' would oblige schools in the autonomous region of Murcia to seek the permission of parents for student participation in extra-curricular activities, including lessons and workshops on LGBT issues given by external speakers.

Freedom of Conscience Rights of Parents

Antifascist Grafitti on Le Mans Church

January 19, 2020, France

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.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Eight Churches and Two Schools Hit By Vandalism in Bordeaux over Weekend

January 19, 2020, France

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.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Bus Filled with Catholic Pilgrims Attacked by Masked Protesters

January 19, 2020, France

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.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Insult or Incitement

Statue of Virgin Mary and Roadside Crucifix Destroyed in Southern Poland

January 17, 2020, Poland

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

French Satirist and Radio Station Apologized to LGBT Community, Not Christians

January 15, 2020, France

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.

Insult or Incitement

Defense Lawyer Wants "Devout" Catholics Excluded from Euthanasia Trial

January 14, 2020, Belgium

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.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Man Arrested for Vandalism of Launaguet Church

January 14, 2020, France

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.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)