All cases

Abortion Supporters Disturb Church Service and Cause Turmoil

May 30, 2008, Spain

A group of women gathered in front of Santa María del Pi Church in Barcelona for a pro-choice manifestation. Five of them entered the Church, interrupted the service, and in front of the mass attendees chained themselves to one of the church altars for "free and unrestricted abortions".

Freedom of Religion Hate Incident

Vicar Beaten By Youth in ‘Faith Hate’ Attack

May 30, 2008, United Kingdom

A parish priest was beaten up by three youths who hurled religious abuse during the attack. The assault took place in the churchyard of St Matthew’s Church in Bethnal Green, East London. Reverend Kevin Scully was left with two black eyes and a cut nose, and only escaped more serious injury because a member of the public intervened.

Hate Crime

Sacrilegious Parade Takes Places in Anticipation of Corpus Christi Procession

May 28, 2008, Spain

The Toledo City Hall council representative in charge of community events, Carmen Jiménez Martín, authorized a profane parade the day before of the traditional and highly celebrated Corpus Christi procession. The theater company Morboria used grotesque characters and dressed them in religious gowns; women dressed as prostitutes were marching next to other participants dressed as saints; and a puppet represented the Virgin Mary. Sacred symbols were part of the profane decoration.

Insult or Incitement Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Formal Complaint for Government Participation in Catholic Funeral of Former President

May 20, 2008, Spain

Representatives of the United Left (Izquierda Unida Republicana) of Asturias released a public announcement where they condemned the participation of civil servants in the funeral in Madrid by „not being able to distinguish public functions from private life.“ They requested that a laity protocol be applied in the future.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Atheist Complaint Against Catholic Service Announcements at Barajas Airport

May 20, 2008, Spain

The International Atheist Federation complained to President Rodriguez Zapatero requesting the immediate ending of the announcement of Roman Catholic services at Barajas airport, in Madrid.

Freedom of Religion

Education Minister's Coming Guidelines May Ban Students from Wearing Crucifixes

May 16, 2008, Ireland

Education Minister Caitriona Ruane, a member of the Sinn Fein Party, is importing school uniform policies from London which led to schools being able to ban students from wearing crucifixes and Sikh religious bangles.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Christian Youth Festival violently disturbed by Anti-Christian Forces

May 4, 2008, Germany

The Christian Youth Festival “Christival” experienced tremendous opposition on site. 15.000 peaceful youth disturb by socalled “anti-sexistic alliance” under the name of “No Christival” shouting slogans such as “Masturbation instead of Evangelization” or “Never again Jesus”.

Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Socialist Party Initiative Aims to Change The Name of Pius XII Street in Sevilla

April 25, 2008, Spain

The City Hall of Sevilla, run by the PSOE socialist party, has announced its intention to change the names of some streets associated with Franco and his regime. The proposal is a consequence of the Historical Memory Law that allows the removal of names and signs related to Franco's times. One of them is now considered to be Pope Pius XII and a street named after him. In the PSOE words, the Pope is a "francoist character", well-known as the "Nazi Pope".

Defamation Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

BBC Screens Anti-Christian Series

April 24, 2008, United Kingdom

EastEnders, a BBC soap opera based on the life of Lucas Aaron Johnson, a pastor played by Don Giler, portrays Johnson as a twisted Christian preacher with strong religious convictions committing terrible crimes. The executive producer Diederick Santer said about the character: "Lucas is doing the Lord's work".

Negative Stereotyping

Pro-Life Politician Pelted with Bottles and Eggs

April 2, 2008, Italy

An Italian pro-life politician was pelted with eggs and bottles during an April 2 campaign appearance in Bologna. At least 15 people were injured.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Church Service Stormed, Pastor Beaten

April 2, 2008, Russia

Pentecostal service stormed by perpetrators, pastor beaten, parishioners threatened with pistols held to their heads.

Desecration Hate Crime Hate Incident Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Socialist Pupils Association Encourages Members to Vandalize Churches

March 20, 2008, Austria

In a newsletter Austrian "Aktion Kritischer Schüler" (Socialist Pupils Association) encourages members to take the occasion of the international day against racism (March 21st) to vandalize churches.

Desecration Hate Crime Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Christian Youth Festival in Germany Under Attack

March 19, 2008, Germany

January/March 2008: “Christival” – a large Christian youth festival is protested by “anti-sexistic forces” due to its “conservative” contents such as its opositon to pre-marital sex and abortion. Organisers currently discuss with police how to protect participants and the festival.

Hate Incident

University Bans Ethics Seminar Due to Christian Contents

March 18, 2008, Germany

The Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich withdraws recognition from "Management Ethics on a Christian Foundation" seminar because of its Christian content. It is said to violate “political correctness” and to have too little reference to the curriculum of business and administration ethics.

Anglican Priest Beaten up in 'Faith Hate' Incident

March 17, 2008, United Kingdom

Anglican priest, Canon Michael Ainsworth, beaten up and insulted in 'faith hate' incident in his own churchyard by Asian youths.

Hate Crime

Catholic Bishop Before Parliament for Insisting on Crucifixes in Every Classroom and Truly Catholic Sex-Ed

March 14, 2008, United Kingdom

The Catholic Bishop of Lancaster UK today gave a spirited response to accusations by secularist MPs in a Commons Committee who accused him of trying to establish religious "fundamentalism" in his schools. Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue told the Committee that schools in his diocese should see it as their prime duty to teach the Catholic faith and to evangelise and that this constituted neither "proselytism" nor "fundamentalism".

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Spanish Officials’ Discourse Shows Increasing Hostility Against Christians

February 29, 2008, Spain

The Observatory for the Freedom of Religion and Conscience (OLRC) issued a report quoting “100 reasons to be alert” about the attacks against Christianity by Spanish officials. The author affirms that the increasing hostility against Christians aims to eliminate religious expressions from the public square.

Defamation Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Police Tell Christians: "You can’t Preach here, this is a Muslim Area"

February 28, 2008, United Kingdom

A police community support officer (PCSO) told two church workers in Birmingham, “You can’t preach here, this is a Muslim area”. The incident happened as Arthur Cunningham and Joseph Abraham handed out Christian tracts on Alum Rock Road.

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Christian Magistrate Loses Conscientious Objection Appeal

February 26, 2008, United Kingdom

A Christian magistrate lost his second and final appeal in a suit in which he claimed his employer had discriminated against him because of his religious conviction that adoptive children ought not to be placed with homosexuals.

Freedom of Conscience

Anglican Bishop Fined £47,345 and Sent to "Re-Education" in Gay Employment Case

February 12, 2008, United Kingdom

The Anglican bishop of Hereford has been ordered by a court to undergo "equal opportunities training" and pay a fine of £47,345.00, the equivalent of about Euro 63,540.00, for refusing to hire an active homosexual for a position of trust with young people. The ruling also stated that Hereford diocese staff "involved in recruitment should receive equal opportunities training". "The respondents discriminated against the claimant on the grounds of sexual orientation," said the ruling from the Cardiff Employment Tribunal.

Freedom of Religion