All cases

"Christians Into Hell" Tag on St. Andrew's Church in Vienna

November 6, 2020, Austria

On November 6th, the gate of the St. Andrew's Church in Vienna was smeared by unknown perpetrators with an anti-Christian inscription: "Christians into hell". According to "Heute" Newspaper, there was a signature from "Antifa 24", an organization that doesn't exist anymore. The spokesman of the police, Markus Dittrich, said that the perpetrator will be charged with serious damage to property and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution is leading an investigation. This occurred in the same week as the terror-attack in Vienna, were four innocent people were killed by a perpetrator pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism and Graffiti on St. Pakratius Church

November 6, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators smeared the St. Pankratius Church on Burgdorf between November 6th and November 9th. They left tags on various spots of the facade with a waterproof pen and destroyed a glass element of one of the windows. The police was notified and has estimated a property damage of around 500 Euros. The police is investigating.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Walls of Dijon Priory Vandalized by Antifa

November 6, 2020, France

The Priory of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X in Dijon was tagged with red paint and signed by Antifa. This happened during the night of November 6th. The same act was perpetrated a year ago.

Insult or Incitement Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Stained-Glass Window Smashed in Capuchin Church

November 5, 2020, Italy

Unknown perpetrators smashed one of the stained-glass windows, as reported by Il Sicilia, from the Capuchin Church of Caltagirone during the night of November 5th. The vandals entered the ruins of the adjacent agricultural institute and raided the Church. The mayor already contacted the police.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Spain Denies Asylum to Iranian Christian Convert Facing Life-threatening Persecution

November 5, 2020, Spain

A 50-year-old Iranian has dealt with hostility for 16 years, since he converted to Christianity from Islam. He fled from Iran, where he was threatened with death by his family and ended up in Barcelona, where he was helped by an evangelical church. His asylum has been rejected three times and now he lives in an unregulated situation since 2018. The hostility and violence towards his Christian faith has also continued in Barcelona, by other Iranians. He tells his story in an interview published on November 5th.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Anti-Covid Tags on Church Wall

November 5, 2020, Italy

In Vigano, vandals left insulting tags on the walls of the St. Vincent Church, which has just been renovated. The incident happened on November 5th, probably around the curfew time. The writing is anti-Covid and also talks about smoking drugs. The Mayor, Fabio Bertarini was very upset and is thinking about to establish even stricter measures.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church and Monastery Install Surveillance Cameras due to Repeated Acts of Vandalism

November 4, 2020, Netherlands

Due to repeated acts of vandalism on the grounds of the Monastery and Dutch Reformed Church in Ter Apel, cameras will be installed on one of the entrances to the Monastery, as reported on the 4th of November. The Museum director of the Monastery, Margriet van Klinken explains that the door has been damaged several times. She says that vandals go and hang out by the porch, which is a quiet place and out of sight at night, leaving the door damaged and garbage outside. The police is investigating.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

French Bishops Appeal to Lift Ban On Churches During 2nd Lockdown

November 3, 2020, France

The second Lockdown in France restricts people to only leave their homes for essential work or medical reasons. Schools and churches remain open but masses are not allowed to take place after the 1st of November. A group of Bishops and several other religious movements have appealed to the Council of State for the allowance of communal services of 90 minutes. This appeal was rejected on the 7th of November, but Vincent Neymon, President of the French Bishop's Conference will continue to seek an agreement.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Religion

Historic Painting Vandalized in Carentan Church

November 3, 2020, France

Between November 3rd and 5th, the Notre-Dame Church in Carentan was vandalized. A historic painting representing Louis XIII from 1817 was tored open with a knife. A complaint was filed to the police.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church in Jena Vandalized With Tags Relating to the Terror Attacks in Vienna

November 2, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators sprayed the main entrance of the Jena Peace Church with a total of four graffiti in between November 2nd and 3rd. According to the police, these graffiti thematize the current events in Vienna. In addition, the perpetrators screwed the main entrance door shut and stuck an unknown substance on it before they were able to escape undetected. The police is investigating the case.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of the Virgin Mary Beheaded and Vandalized

November 2, 2020, France

A statue of the Virgin Mary, a replica of the Grotto of Lourdes, was found beheaded on November 2nd in Montpezat-de-Quercy. The investigations showed that the perpetrators also threw stones at the statue, causing the destruction. The mayor and the priests have reported the act to the police.

Desecration Insult or Incitement Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

New Covid-19 Lockdown Regulations for Churches in Europe and Religious Freedom

November 1, 2020, International

In response to the rising number of Covid-19 infections, most European countries have started to announce a new lockdown entering into force in November. The new measures led to a continuing of the discussion about the relevance of the church and the understanding of Freedom of Religion in various countries. After the first lockdown, a number of courts were held discussing the matter of Freedom of Religion, which is reflected in the diversity of new approaches amon European states. France, Belgium, Great Britain and Ireland have banned the celebration of masses, which has stirred up criticism from the churches, demanding proof of the necessity for these measures. Austria, Germany and Spain, as other countries like Poland, did not declare a stop of religious services, arguing that religious freedom is among the essential freedoms to be protected in a liberal democratic society. In these countries the criticism mostly comes from secular societies, claiming that religion is a private issue and should not be given priority over cultural or leisure activities. In Italy the allowance of masses depends on the cities, other European countries allow services although with very strong restrictions.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Religion

Repeated Longstanding Acts of Vandalism On Church Grounds in Dormagen

November 1, 2020, Germany

In Dormagen, the Baptist Church has had several incidents of vandalism, including the one lately on November 1st. The Pastor, Roger Bahr, found the garbage cans in the inner courtyard of the church overturned, spreading the garbage all over the courtyard and the sidewlak lights were kicked. He explains that this is not an isolated incident, and he deals with such acts for several years already. In other cases, vandals have carried benches way, damaged lamps and climbed onto the roof. Pastor Bahr is worried about the need to hire a security guard, which would mean further costs. The incident was reported to the police (again).

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Christian Leaders Seek Hearing For Freedom of Religion Following Lockdown's Ban on Churches

November 1, 2020, United Kingdom

In the UK, a new lockdown was declared, which closes bars, restaurants and non-essential retail businesses. Churches are also ordered to cease gatherings and worship services. Leaders from different churches signed a pre-action letter to the government to take back the ban on worship services. As the government didn't respond, they now have launched a legal challenge led by Pastor Ade Omooba MBE and with support of the Christian Legal Center.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Religion

Various Devotional Objects Stolen From Sacristy

November 1, 2020, Germany

During the night of November 1st, unknown thieves broke into the sacristy of the Schönberg church. The worth of the stolen devotional objects like goblets, incense burners, chalices, monstrances and wooden figures sums up to about 20,000 Euros. The police is investigating the incident and the course of events.

Religious Symbols Theft

Theft and Vandalizm in Church in Nogent

November 1, 2020, France

A theft in the church of Saint Germain and Saint Eloi in Nogent took place in the week of November 1st. The church was not only looted but also vandalized. All metal objects and the consecrated hosts were stolen. A mass for reparation is to be held.

Desecration Religious Symbols Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Tag on Chapel of the Virgin Mary in the Old Cemetery of Nowy Sacz

October 31, 2020, Poland

Unknown vandals sprayed a vulgar tag on the wall of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Cemetery of Nowy Sacz on October 31st. The police is investigating and evaluating an estimate of the damage.

Desecration Insult or Incitement Vandalism (form of hate crime)

"Kill A Priest" and Other Insulting Tags on Cemetery Cross

October 31, 2020, Poland

In the Cemetery of the Victims of World War II in Gdansk, unknown perpetrators desecrated a cross on October 31st. On one side of the Cross the vandals wrote "Women's Hell" and "Kill a Priest" with white paint, and on the other side the cross was tagged with an insult against the PiS party. The incident was reported to the police.

Desecration Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Profanation of Symbols by Militant Feminists Protesting Against Abortion Law

October 31, 2020, Poland

The protestors against the new Abortion Law in Poland have until now vandalized and disrupted several religious places and monuments. They are also putting masks on Mary's face or an asterix above her head, which refer to the insult "Jebác PiS". The councillor of the PiS, Dariusz Matecki, denounced these incidents on his Twitter account on October 31st, also referring to the insults and violent acts against the church and the authorities.

Defamation Insult or Incitement

Catholic Nun Physically Attacked on Public Transportation

October 31, 2020, Austria

In Graz, a catholic nun was attacked in a bus by a 19-year-old man from Afghanistan on October 31st. The 76-year-old nun was on a bus, when she was slapped on her ear by the perpetrator, who tried to flee. The slap was so hard that the hearing aid of the woman fell out, fortunately she did not suffer any injuries. The police arrested the man with the help of the surveillance camera footage of the bus.

Hate Crime