All cases

Two Vandalism Incidents in Two Days on Catholic Churches in Scotland

April 29, 2019, United Kingdom

On Saturday, April 27, anti-Catholic graffiti (“F*** the Pope”) was found spray-painted on a bus shelter outside Holy Family Catholic Church in Mossend. On Monday, April 29, vandals entered St. Simon Catholic Church in Glasgow, the main place of worship for the city's Polish community, and attacked the sanctuary, breaking a statue, overturning candles and a shrine to Our Lady of Częstochowa.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Two Vandalism Incidents in Two Days on Catholic Churches in Scotland

April 29, 2019, United Kingdom

On Saturday, April 27, anti-Catholic graffiti (“F*** the Pope”) was found spray-painted on a bus shelter outside Holy Family Catholic Church in Mossend. On Monday, April 29, vandals entered St. Simon Catholic Church in Glasgow, the main place of worship for the city's Polish community, and attacked the sanctuary, breaking a statue, overturning candles and a shrine to Our Lady of Częstochowa.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Heavy Damage after Church Break-In

April 29, 2019, Germany

Unknown thieves broke into a church on the Luisenring in Mannheim on April 29th. According to police, the perpetrators gained access to the church through a back window during the night of April 29th. They searched the chapel and the sacristy. Doors and containers were broken into with massive force, resulting in property damage of around 10,000 euros throughout the building. Police began an investigation.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft from Evangelical Church During Service

April 28, 2019, Germany

During the Sunday morning worship service on the 28th of April, an unknown perpetrator stole the offertory box from the evangelischen Kirchengemeinde Spaichingen (Baden-Wüttemberg).

Theft

Disruptions and Security Concerns at Armenian Genocide Commemorations in Germany

April 27, 2019, Germany

In Frankfurt am Main, the Diocese of the Armenian Church in Germany and the Central Council of Armenians held a memorial service at the Paulskirche on April 27th for the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Just hours before the event, the keynote speaker was forced to cancel his participation due to acute security concerns. The speaker, Mourad Franck Papazian of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Associations in France, received a warning from French security police that he might become a target for Turkish extremists in Germany.  Other incidents included damage of cross stones and threats toward ceremony participants.

Hate Incident

Posters of Our Lady of Częstochowa with Rainbow Halo Scattered around Płock Church

April 26, 2019, Poland

On the morning of April 27th, parishioners noticed posters of Our Lady of Częstochowa (a sacred image of the Virgin Mary and Child) scattered around the church of St. Maksymilian Kolbe with rainbows replacing the golden halos. The posters were found around litter bins and portable toilets. The spokesman for the Polish Bishops Conference denounced the act and asked for people "regardless of beliefs and personal views, to respect the religious feelings of believers." The incident was also harshly criticized by the Interior Ministry.

Insult or Incitement Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Religious Symbols

Thieves Fled Church after Trying to Steal Donation Box

April 26, 2019, Germany

At about 4:30 pm on April 26th, two people entered the Annakirche in Düren (Nordrhein-Westfalen) and immediately noticed two males: One was kneeling in front of the donation and sacrificial candle container trying to cut open the padlock with a bolt cutter. When the witnesses approached the men, they fled the church.

Theft

Bomb Threat Halted Church Commemoration of Armenian Genocide

April 24, 2019, Germany

Police evacuated the Lutherkirche in the Bad Cannstadt district of Stuttgart on April 24th shortly before a 7pm commemoration service for the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was to take place. The pastor of the Armenian Christian community reported that received a warning from police to clear the church after an anonymous bomb threat was received. Police forces blocked off a large area around the church, employing special forces with machine guns and dogs until late in the evening. A police spokesman neither confirmed nor denied that it had been a bomb threat, but called it a "threat situation" and explosives detection dogs were brought in as a precautionary measure. Police authorities are still investigating. 

Hate Incident

Windows Damaged and Donations Stolen from Lower Saxony Chruch

April 24, 2019, Germany

Sometime between April 21st and 24th, unidentified perpetrator(s) broke at least nine windows of a Wilhelmshaven and stole the donation proceeds from the inside the church. Police investigated and looked for witnesses.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Easter Mass Disrupted in Trieste

April 21, 2019, Italy

During the Easter Mass in the church of San Giovanni, a man who was receiving communion responded to the traditional formula "the Body of Christ" by saying "thanks" and then asking "what part of the body is this?" and began walking away, carrying the consecrated host and denouncing the Catholic religion. Parishioners were shocked and one ordered the man to consume the host before leaving the building.

Desecration Insult or Incitement

Homeless Man Stabbed for Wearing a Cross Necklace in Rome

April 20, 2019, Italy

A 44-year-old Georgian man was stabbed in the neck in front of Rome's Termini Station on Easter Eve by a Moroccan man after a dispute about religion on a bus. According to reports, after the victim got off the bus at Termini Station, the aggressor followed him and after noticing the crucifix necklace he was wearing, called the Georgian man a "Italian Catholic Sh*t"and tried to cut his throat with a kitchen knife. The Moroccan man was arrested by police and charged with attempted murder with religious hatred as an aggravating factor.

Hate Crime

Statue of Sainte-Barbe Smashed

April 17, 2019, France

A statue of the patron saint of miners and firefighters was removed from its glass case in a square in front of a church in the small town of Belle-Roche (Cocheren) and smashed to the ground by unknown vandals.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of Virgin Mary Decapitated in Marlhes

April 17, 2019, France

Residents of the Loire village were stunned to discover the statue of la vierge de Cartaire had been smashed, breaking the chest and decapitating the head. The statue, which sits in a small flower-filled grotto, is made of cast iron with metal reinforcements. Reports indicate that the person or people who committed this act would have had to be well-equipped to break such a strong structure.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

UK School Employee Challeges Dismissal for Raising Concerns about Sex Education

April 16, 2019, United Kingdom

Kristie Higgs, a Christian school worker will challenge a Gloucestershire school academy’s decision to dismiss her for gross misconduct. She was dismissed after she shared two posts on her Facebook page in October 2018 that raised concerns about Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at another school in the same village - her child’s Church of England primary school. Higgs was told following an investigation and a six hour hearing that she would be dismissed without notice for gross misconduct.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Freedom of Expression Rights of Parents

Anti-Catholic Graffiti Sprayed on Galicia Church

April 14, 2019, Spain

On the morning of Palm Sunday, the priest and parishioners discovered graffiti sprayed on the outside of the Meside (Ourense) church. "Borregos" ("sheep"), "La religión es el opium del pueblo" ("Religion is the opiate of the people"), "Por la república" (For the republic"), a cross in a circle with a line through it, and leftist symbols were among the messages on the church.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Dillenburg: Vandalism in the Catholic Church

April 14, 2019, Germany

On April 14th, between 2 pm and 6 pm, unknown persons vandalized the Herz Jesu Catholic church on Wilhelmsplatz in Dillenburg (in Hesse's Gießen region). They damaged a holy water stoup and candles and scattered leaflets on the floor.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Sacred Objects and Keys Stolen from Mödling Church

April 13, 2019, Austria

Unknown perpetrators stole a chalice, two ciboria, and a monstrance from the tabernacle, as well as all the keys in the sacristy from the parish church in Biedermannsdorf (district of Mödling) on ​​the evening of April 13th.

Theft

Break-in and Vandalism at El Copo Chapel

April 13, 2019, Spain

A chapel attached to the parish of the Sagrada Familia in the El Copo neighborhood of Málaga was broken into during the early morning hours of April 13th. The chapel door, as well as the tabernacle, were forced open and the sacristy was damaged. Nothing was stolen. Police investigated whether it was connected to the theft of ciboria containing consecrated hosts from another Málaga church a few days earlier.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Pro-Life Student Group Challenges Student Union Ban

April 12, 2019, United Kingdom

In April 2018, the pro-life student university group Aberdeen Life Ethics Society submitted an application for affiliation to Aberdeen University's Societies Union (AUSA) but was denied due to AUSA's policy which required the union to give “no funding, facilitation, or platform” to any pro-life group and forbids the “unreasonable display” of pro-life material on campus. Aberdeen Life Ethics Society has taken legal action against the University and AUSA claiming unlawful discrimination and the violation of equality rights protected by UK law.

Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Vandalism in Nienborg Church

April 11, 2019, Germany

According to a police press release, unknown perpetrators set a brochure on fire and poured wax on an altar cloth in the church in Nienborg. An investigation was opened.