All cases

Filtered by: Freedom of Religion

Easter Procession Ended in Turmoil in Sevilla

April 14, 2017, Spain

“La Madrugá”, the Easter procession during the night from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday was interrupted and ended in turmoil with 17 people being taken to the hospital and one person was admitted to the ICU for head trauma. Eight people were arrested for the vandalism and the police investigated the connections and potential coordination of the attack on the Easter procession.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Hate Crime Hate Incident Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Social Worker Discouraged Parents from Christening Son

April 13, 2017, United Kingdom

A social worker from Kent met with parents who were considering placing their child for adoption and told them the chances of their son being adopted would be hindered if he were “christened into the Christian faith,” after they expressed their wish to have their son baptized.

Freedom of Religion Negative Stereotyping Rights of Parents

Easter Procession Disrupted by Threatening Teenagers

April 13, 2017, France

On the evening of April 12th, a religious procession in Toulon was interrupted by three teenagers who threatened the priests and nuns in the procession. One of the teenagers threw his backpack at them and all of them shouted “Allah Akbar”, “Long live Daesh” and “You will all blow up” (“Allah Akbar”, “Vive Daech” and “Vous allez tous sauter”). Once police were called the perpetrators fled the scene.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Religion Insult or Incitement

Women Attacked after Mass in Brussels

April 9, 2017, Belgium

Two Polish women were on their way to the bus station to return home after having attended Mass at the church of Notre Dame de la Chapelle on Palm Sunday. As they walked through what was described in media reports as an “the Arab quarter” on their way to the Midi station, they were attacked by a man who cursed at them both in Arabic and French calling them “dirty Christians” and “whores” (“sales chrétiennes” and “putes“). Because the women were carrying palms from the Mass, the man was able to identify them as Christians. One of the women was knocked down and then kicked. She did not sustain any major injuries, but was in pain. The police were called but the attacker fled before they could arrive. The Polish Christian community responded by hiring security for the doors before and after Mass.

Freedom of Religion Hate Crime

Good Friday Procession Cancelled due to Complaint by Secularist Group

April 8, 2017, Spain

The Andalusian Education Inspection cancelled the Good Friday procession for school children in Dos Hermanas due to time pressure for parents and complaint by a secularist group, Sevilla Laica. The parents of the affected children gathered signatures to reverse the decision as the procession is a voluntary activity and their children “were very excited” (“estaban muy ilusionados”).

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Religion

Bulgarian Justice Ministry Proposes Ban on Foreign Financing of Religious Groups

April 4, 2017, Bulgaria

The Justice Ministry of Bulgaria has presented a draft bill that would ban foreign countries from financing religious groups in the country, unless an inter-state treaty is in effect. The bill would require that foreign citizens serving as religious workers be fluent in Bulgarian and that no Bulgarian citizen can do the work. This could affect Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, as well as Islam and Judaism.

Freedom of Religion

Christian Convert Murdered in Front of her Children

April 1, 2017, Germany

A female Afghan Christian convert was stabbed to death by an Afghan asylum seeker in front of her children in front of a supermarket in Prien am Chiemsee. The 29-year old Muslim attacker yelled at Farina S. before stabbing her. He continued to stab her until an off-duty policeman and several witnesses dragged him aside. The woman, who moved to Bavaria six years earlier, died of her wounds. The victim’s family is convinced that the motive for the attack was the 38-year old woman’s religion. The police report: "For us, only facts count. But there is evidence of a religious motive for this act that we are pursuing."

Freedom of Religion Hate Crime

Zaragoza City Council Initiated Proceeding to Claim Public Ownership of Cathedral and Church

March 28, 2017, Spain

The municipal government's proceedings are an attempt to nullify the inmatriculación (entry into the property registry) of La Catedral de San Salvador de Zaragoza, known La Seo and Iglesia de La Magdalena by claiming the buildings are public property. The spokesman for the Archbishop of Zaragoza, José Antonio Calvo, replied that that the city cannot prevail because the Church has owned the buildings since the 12th century.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Freedom of Religion

Muslims Encouraged to Marry Christians to Spread Islam in Spain

March 15, 2017, Spain

Hundreds of posters were hung around the El Raval neighborhood of Barcelona encouraging Muslim men to take Christian wives, saying that they were permitted and encouraged to marry "honest and chaste women of the Book" (meaning Christians) for the purpose of increasing the population of Muslims in the region. The posters read "Brother, join in alliance with a Spanish woman, teach her that Islam is the only true religion. Islamic law dictates that the fruits of this alliance will follow Islam, which will further strengthen our community." It appears these posters are part of the "right-to-return" movement to "Restore Al-Andalus" -- that is, Muslim Spain.

Freedom of Religion Insult or Incitement

The Mayor of Zarazoga Prohibits the Traditional Firefighters Mass

March 8, 2017, Spain

The Mayor of Zarazoga and the local coalition government prohibited the Firefighters to continue with their tradition to celebrate Mass in their firehouse for the feast of San Juan de Dios.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Religion

Church Funeral Disrupted by Man Shouting Koran Verses and Calling Mourners "Infidels"

February 3, 2017, Germany

A 33-year-old Muslim man from the western Balkans was charged with criminal interference with the exercise of religion after he interrupted a funeral service at the Christuskirche in Schnaittacher, shouting "I curse you and your religion."

Freedom of Religion Hate Crime Insult or Incitement

NHS does not Record Religious Discrimination

February 2, 2017, United Kingdom

The National Health Service has confirmed, in response to a question from a Member of Parliament, that it does not collect information on instances of discrimination against NHS staff on the basis of their faith.

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

Church Bells in Two Towns Ordered Silenced by Courts

January 22, 2017, Slovakia

After a complaint by a resident in Pezinok about the volume of the local church bells, and another complaint by a different resident in Svinna, courts have ordered the church to reduce the volume or silence the bells in each town.

Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Iranian and Afghan Christian Converts Face Deportation from Germany

January 16, 2017, Germany

Germany’s Ministry for Immigration and Refugees (BAMF) rejected many applications for asylum from Iranian and Afghan converts from Islam to Christianity, following “kangaroo court”-style hearings as to whether the conversions are genuine, according to a Berlin pastor.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Freedom of Religion

Woman Attacked for Reading from Bible

December 28, 2016, Austria

A 22-year-old man from Afghanistan stabbed a Christian woman when he heard her reading from the Bible at a refugee accommodation in Vöcklamarkt (Upper Austria).

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Hate Crime

UK Considering Secularist Oath of Allegiance to British Values

December 21, 2016, United Kingdom

The UK government has proposed that all office holders and employees of the State swear an Oath of Allegiance to British Values that conflicts with traditional Christian teaching about sexuality.

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

Christian Family Forced to Flee their Home

November 9, 2016, United Kingdom

A family have been forced to flee their home under armed police guard amid fears for their safety after suffering what they say is eight years of persecution for converting from Islam to Christianity.

Freedom of Religion Hate Crime Insult or Incitement

Christian Midwife Loses Case Against County Council

November 4, 2016, Sweden

Swedish midwife Linda Steen objected to assisting with abortions for reasons of conscience and as a consequence public hospitals denied her employment. She sued the Sörmland county council for violation of her freedom of conscience and religion. After losing the case, she was ordered to pay 1.2 million Swedish krona for the city's legal expenses.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Religion

Christian Convert Threatened with Death in French Refugee Camp

November 2, 2016, France

A Kurdish church leader smuggled to Britain says he received death threats – for having left Islam for Christianity – while living in makeshift camps in northern France. The church leader, who did not wish to be identified, spent nine months living in camps outside the French cities of Calais and Dunkirk. He said that Kurdish Muslims in both camps antagonized him for his Christian faith.

Freedom of Religion Hate Crime Insult or Incitement

City Council to Vote on Removal of Religious Symbols from Public Spaces

October 26, 2016, Spain

In November, the Madrid City Council is expected to approve a draft "human rights" law which includes the removal of religious symbols from public spaces.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols