The campaign “Calling the Pope to Account” sued Pope Benedict XVI at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity. The charges are: “the preservation and leadership of a worldwide totalitarian regime of coercion, which subjugates its members with terrifying and health-endangering threats; the adherence to a fatal forbiddance of the use of condoms, even when the danger of HIV-AIDS infection exists; and the establishment and maintenance of a worldwide system of cover-up of the sexual crimes committed by Catholic priests and their preferential treatment, which aids and abets ever new crimes”. The campaign is supported by posters and a book publication.
Socialist Youth of Spain (Juventudes Socialistas de España - JSE), part of the PSOE political wing, has started an electoral platform that supports the removal of every religious symbol from public schools, and the progressive reduction of funds including the elimination of schools that receive taxpayers' money but are run privately (which are mostly confessional schools). Among other proposals the JSE supports free distribution of condoms, the day-after pill, indoctrination on abortion, and free sex change surgery.
A flash mob intended to protest against a law prohibiting dancing events on certain holidays interfered with the Good Friday procession of the Croatian Catholic community in Frankfurt/Main.
The Spanish Constitutional Tribunal ruled that Catechism teacher Resurrección Galera Navarro whose working contract was not renewed after marrying a divorced man and not informing her employer, she was dismissed unlawfully. Employer Ferrer Guardia Catholic School in Almeria was sentenced to pay compensation. Acknowledging the human dimension of this incident, it is in any case necessary that religious institutions are able to establish their own rules and ethos.
A gang of about 20 youth has been rampaging repeatedly around the Nathan-Söderblom church in Reinbek in the spring of 2011, including the urination into a work of art that represents the grave of Christ. Police and social service have not been able to calm down those involved, and are considering to hire a social worker to find a remedy.
Irene Wiens, mother of twelve, served a 43-day jail sentence in Germany for refusing to enroll her children in sex-ed classes, deemed by her husband and herself to teach a permissive view of human sexuality. An appeal to the European Court of Human Rights has been filed.
Apple suppresses diversity of belief by shutting down two Christian iPhone applications claiming that the were “offensive to large groups of people”, and the support of traditional marriage, family, and life “expose[d] a group to harm” and delivered “hate speech”.
Professors and authorities of several Spanish public universities have signed a document supporting the anti-chapel students´ movement. After a violent incident took place at Somosaguas Chapel located on Computense University campus, in Madrid, the professors affirmed in the document that "the presence of chapels and other symbols of religion power has no relation with the freedom of religion but with a Catholic Church privilege; and the time to end such [privileges] has arrived".
Missionaries and evangelists in Turkey are perceived as a real threat to both the integrity of the country and to the Muslim religion. Therefore, evangelism is regarded with suspicion and evangelists are sometimes arrested. Non-Muslim religious communities reported that they are personally being attacked. Attacks against churches and cemeteries take place as well.
Individual religious communities in Turkey are restricted in their training of clergy. The Turkish legislation does not provide for private higher religious education for minorities and such opportunities are inexistent in the public education system.
After anti-chapel demonstrations had taken place at Computense University in Madrid and Barcelona University, students of the University of Valencia called to march against chapel service at the Valencia School of Medicine. At the end, the rally did not take place.
Non-Muslim religious communities living in Turkey report difficulties opening, maintaining, and operating houses of worship. These groups may not build new churches because of the often arbitrary refusals to issue construction permits for places of worship. The reason behind this discriminatory behaviour is the fact that all unofficial meetings for religious minorities are considered potentially subversive.
An Italian school from Genova, Pertini-Diaz, rejected Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco’s visit. The spokesperson for Pertini-Diaz expressed concerns about the pastoral purpose of the visit, and the security staff that the cardinal would bring along with him. The Pertini-Diaz school would however welcome a non-pastoral visit.
At Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) a group of 50 young people stormed the chapel of the Somosaguas university campus to protest against the Catholic Church.
Catholic catechism teacher of a Zagreb primary school was accused of homophobia for staying in line with the Catholic Church teachings during catechism classes.
Due to “security reasons”, a glass panel has been set up in order to prevent any worshippers from entering the chapel of the University of Valladolid. The Christian student union “AJIO” met with the president of the university in order to express frustration over such a barrier. Their complaints were not heard, however, as the only answer received from the faculty remains, “God is everywhere. Go away to pray in the field.”
The lands surrounding the Syrian-orthodox monastery of Mor Gabriel, near Midyat in South-Eastern Turkey, have been expropriated by Turkey’s supreme court. According to the verdict, the treasury of Turkey has a right to claim the lands.
At the University of Barcelona protests by a group of secular students against the Catholic liturgical service on campus, including the interruption of the service, led to a cancelation of the weekly Wednesday Mass - until the University would be able to guarantee the safety of attending students.
A Catholic religion teacher was forced to remove a cross and an icon from a wall of a shared office in a secondary school in Zújar, Spain because two teachers said they were "offended" by them.
Christian Copts in Europe, particularly in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy, celebrated Christmas on January 6th under special police protection.
The Council of the European Union proposed a visa liberalisation action plan for Moldova without much room for negotiations about the conditions: in a unilateral document, it was required to accept policies which would potentially infringe on the freedom of conscience or expression as well as that of religious institutions and organisations.
The City Hall of Barcelona approved a monument to honor the gay, transsexual and lesbian lifestyle in front of Sagrada Familia, the Barcelona Basilica. The proximity of location as well as the political message in relation to the dedication of the Basilica is troubling to Christians.
Police officers of the Turkish-Cypriot government entered a Greek-Orthodox Church in Rizokarpaso on December 25th 2010 and forced the priest to stop the Christmas morning liturgy. They coerced the priest and worshippers attending liturgy to leave the church and then locked its doors.
Manuel Ángel Rodríguez, City Hall representative of Oviedo, proposed the removal of nativities from any public building, specially schools. In 2009, Juan de Padilla school, in Toledo, suppressed every religious reference to Christmas but «Halloween», a foreign celebration to Spanish tradition, was welcomed. Nativity scenes and Christmas carols were replaced in the Toledo school, while decorated trees and the pagan character of Noel were permitted after two parents had complained about the religious connotation of the shepherds and the angels seen in the traditional manger.
In Great Britain many converts from Islam to Christianity are forced to worship in secret at the risk of their own lives according to the report of the French Internet Portal “Observatoire de l’islamisation” which resulted in a report broadcasted 2010 on British TV.
A small group of parents of Santo Angel School reported the School’s Catholic Center to the Ministry of Education of Murcia for "radical ideas” for organizing an optional weekly praying hour.
A Catholic national school found guilty of ''discrimination'' by Equality Tribunal and fined more than €12,000 for not hiring a Protestant teacher.
The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Equality, the Generalitat of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council and La Caixa funded the Forum Libertat 2010 on the same days on which the historic visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Santiago and Barcelona took place. The Forum advocated the withdrawal of the public presence of the Catholic Church.
The parents of two students of the public school Ortega y Gasset in Almendralejo (Badajoz) succeeded in their campaign to remove crucifixes from classrooms and prohibit religious ceremonies. The school parent association, who opposes these decisions, called for a protest.
The Greek-Orthodox Church, school, and community in Turkey has been gradually stripped of rights by the Turkish government. European law organizations declare this a violation of human rights.
Mother of an executed prisoner cannot pray at her son's tomb. It is unclear whether he had seen a priest before execution.
Following a display of information on homosexuality, British Chaplain Thomas Yap was threatened that any speech or teaching that he gave within the University about unwanted same-sex attractions will be deemed as harassment resulting in staff disciplinary action if he contravened harassment legislation.
Polish equality minister Elzabieta Radziszewska not asked to be a jury-member for this year’s EU journalism award “Together against Discrimination” after explaining rights of schools with regard to employing homosexual teachers.
In a report released in September 2010, the Association of Protestant Churches details the fundamental problems faced by Christians in Turkey. Among them, the place of worship is a troublesome one.
The U.S. House of Representatives deplores: the inability of Orthodox Christians, clergy and other religious communities to access and hold services at their place of worship and cemeteries in the north; the disrepair of churches and cemeteries and the preservation of religious heritage (iconography, mosaics, and other religious symbols); the lack of schools and perspectives for young people in the north.
Ongoing attacks against sidewalk-counseling pro life activists in Vienna filmed and published online.
A statue of the Virgin of Fuensanta (local patron) at the Carazony college in Malaga was removed in September at the request of parents. Another group of parents launched a campaign to ask for it to be reinstated.
The political parties Esquerra Republicana, Izquierda Unida, and Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds, requested Parliament to pass a law to remove any religious sign and faith-related traditions -specially those related to Catholicism-, from the public square.
Two Christian pro-life protesters were arrested twice by Police in Brighton and await the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service to see if they will face a Criminal Prosecution.
Patriarch Bartholomew leads 250 million Orthodox Greeks worldwide. The community in Turkey has dwindled to a few thousand. The Turkish government refuses to recognize the title Ecumenical Patriarch, or Bartholomew's role as an international religious leader. A journalist from CBS asked Bartholomew about his feelings, he said that he felt “crucified” by the difficulties he faces every day in Turkey.
Dr Tali Argov overlooked for promotion, stripped of her privileges and ill-treated at social gatherings, after converting from Judaism to Christianity.
Lead politicians backing the bill refuse to allow a conscience clause; opposition parties claim that the objections of Christians are being ignored.
Turkish attorneys now in fourth year of prosecuting two Christians for allegedly slandering Islam; despite the lack of any concrete evidence to support their claims, Turkish courts are continuing prosecution.
A moderate Christian preacher, Andy Robertson, was wrongly told by a police officer Gainsborough, Lincolnshire that it is a crime to publicly express the religious belief that homosexual conduct is sinful.
Evangelical Premier Media conducted a survey called "Freedom of the Cross Consultations" in May 2010. 12 % of the respondants answered that they had experienced discrimination personally, another 10% that they knew someone who had. Read here some quotes at the workplace with a special focus on the medical profession.
Evangelical Premier Media conducted a survey called "Freedom of the Cross Consultations" in May 2010. 12 % of the respondants answered that they had experienced discrimination personally, another 10% that they knew someone who had. Read here some quotes with regard to religious symbols and prayer in public.
Street Preacher Dale McAlpine was arrested after stating to a passersby that homosexuality was a sin. After seven hours in a police cell, McAlpine was released. (video footage available!)
The renowned daily reports on a noticeable rise in quality and quantity of attacks against Church buildings.
Christian parents arrested and imprisoned up to 40 days when they refused to allow their children to participate in a mandatory sexual education program.
Vienna-based lawyer Georg Zanger wants to sue leading members of the Catholic Church on grounds of membership in a criminal organisation (§ 278a StGB, Austrian Code of Penal Law).