All cases

Filtered by: Freedom of Expression

Archbishop Disinvited from Elementary School Pre-Christmas Visit

December 2, 2015, Italy

School officials point to respect for the "multicultural character" of their student body as the reason.

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Religious Images Prohibited in School Christmas Card Contest

December 2, 2015, Spain

The prohibition was imposed by a secular parents' association in Cantabria (Cantabria FAPA) when they announced the annual card-drawing contest.

Freedom of Expression Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Lord's Prayer Advertisement Produced by JustPray.uk Banned in Cinemas

November 23, 2015, United Kingdom

The advertisement shows the Lord’s Prayer being recited by a members of the public ranging from bodybuilders to children.

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

City Reduces Funding for Holy Week and Refuses to Fund to Corpus Christi

November 23, 2015, Spain

The Department of Culture in Palma de Mallorca has reduced municipal funding for events during the week leading up to Easter (known as “Holy Week” or “Semana Santa”, famous for grand processions) to just 3.000 euros, and has not allocated any funding to the important Catholic feast of Corpus Christi (known simply as “Corpus”).

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Arrests in Counter-Demonstration during Students for Life Procession

November 14, 2015, Austria

The march against abortion by more than 100 participants in Innsbruck was disrupted by counter-demonstrators.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression Insult or Incitement

Association of French Mayors Recommend Against Nativity Scenes on Public Property

November 13, 2015, France

The Association issued a "good secular conduct" handbook to local town officials to assist them in their decision-making about the installation of crèche and nativity displays.

Freedom of Expression Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Tasmania's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner to Investigate Catholic Church's Marriage Pamphlet

November 12, 2015, Other

Transgender politician, Martine Delaney, lodged an anti-discrimination complaint in September and on November 12, the commissioner announced it will begin investigation.

Contractual Freedom Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression Militant Equality Laws Vandalism (form of hate crime)

City of Toronto Threatened with Lawsuit after Banning Christian Music Festival

November 3, 2015, Other

The City of Toronto is being threatened with legal action for refusing to grant a Christian group a permit to use a prominent downtown square for its annual musical festival next year, all because the city determined that singing the name of Jesus in the public venue contravenes city policy against “proselytizing.”

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Two French Evangelicals Convicted for Leaflet on Faith and Homosexuality

November 2, 2015, France

The correctional court of Angoulême (Bordeaux) convicted two men of “incitement to discrimination against a group of persons because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Freedom of Expression

Prison Minister Fired for Preaching "Homophobic" Bible Verses

October 31, 2015, United Kingdom

Reverend Barry Trayhorn, volunteering as a chaplain at a prison for sex offenders, recited verses from Corinthians which include homosexuality in a long list of sins, along with adultery, theft and drunkenness during a service.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Militant Equality Laws

Case update: Christian Punished for Praying with Colleague Allowed to Appeal

October 8, 2015, United Kingdom

A Christian disciplined by an NHS trust for praying with a colleague has won permission to appeal an employment tribunal’s decision against her.

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Counter-Demonstrators Attempt to Block Berlin’s March for Life

September 19, 2015, Germany

More than 7,000 pro-life demonstrators took part in the March for Life 2015 in Berlin. About 300 of a total of 1500 counter-demonstrators attempted to block the march. Between these groups stood as many as 1,000 police officers.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

British "Values Monitor" Says Opposing Homosexuality Could Be a Crime

September 18, 2015, United Kingdom

Voicing criticism of homosexuality “might be breaking the law”, a British values monitor claimed.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Swiss Evangelical Party's Office Attacked for Supporting Pro-Life Demonstration

September 16, 2015, Switzerland

The Zurich offices of the Swiss Evangelische Volkspartei (EVP) as well as the Swiss Evangelical Alliance and humanitarian organisations Tearfund and Opportunity were attacked by vandals.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Vandalism (form of hate crime)

German Left Threatens to Disrupt the "March For Life"

September 8, 2015, Germany

The German left political party (Die Linke) is organising to disrupt the annual German "March for Life" for the protection of the unborn, the sick, and the aged that will take place in Berlin on the 19th of September. In response, the German Association for Christian Culture (Deutsche Vereinigung für eine christliche Kultur) responded that by doing so, Die Linke is threatening to infringe upon the rights to freedom of assembly and expression and noting that the law recognizes the basic human right to life from the moment of conception.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression

Kindergarten Teacher Fired for Explaining Christmas Story

August 21, 2015, Austria

A city-run kindergarten in Vienna has fired a teacher because she “violated the kindergarten’s neutral stance on religion” by explaining that on Christmas, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This was in response to the children's questions about the holiday. In the letter informing the teacher of the school board’s decision to fire her, one reads that city-run kindergartens “accompany children of diverse religious faiths as well as without religious faith; therefore the religious meanings of traditional feasts are not mentioned and must instead be replaced by other content (for example during advent by themes such as ‘family’, ‘friendship’, or ‘community’). You have not followed this approach, but instead informed the children several times … about the Christian meaning of Christmas”. The teacher explains, "I have answered only the questions of the children . . . I am a Christian, but not a religion teacher."

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Silent National Christian-Inspired Protest Mocked By Opponents

May 24, 2015, Italy

On 24th of May 2015, an Italian network called Sentinelle in piedi ("Standing Watchmen“) organized a protest against the proposed draft laws on "homophobia" and same-sex unions and expressed their dissenting views by standing for an hour in silence at over 100 public squares all over Italy. The reason for that is the belief that new laws, if approved, would curtail freedom of speech for Christians. Opponents used offensive slogans and provocative gestures, including simulating homosexual acts. The participants of the Sentinelle in piedi were partly hindered by the protests. Opponents were mostly LGBT activists.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Hate Incident

Disruption, Threats, and Insults at a Catholic Procession

May 14, 2015, Italy

A group of Muslims disrupted a Catholic procession in the Italian municipality of Conselice which was held in honour of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Reportedly seeing the procession as provocation, the group started to threathen and insult Catholics and claimed that the procession offended Islam. Participants were scared and shocked by this aggression.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression

Attack at Marriage Referendum Event Causes Life-Threatening Allergic Reaction

May 13, 2015, Ireland

A 10-year-old girl suffered a severe allergic reaction after an egg attack at a "No-Campaign" event in Meath, Ireland. "Yes-Campaigners" threw objects, including eggs, at people who were expressing opposition to same-sex marriage. "No-Campaign" leader Mr. Manning said that the atmposphere created by "Yes-Campaigners" was "toxic”.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression

Pro-Marriage Posters Removed

May 1, 2015, Ireland

Mothers and Fathers Matter, a group that urged people to vote “No” in May’s gay marriage referendum in Ireland, said there was a campaign of harassment and intimidation from those on the “Yes” side of the debate. Posters were torn and removed in Dublin and elsewhere at the beginning of May 2015. Pictures of this act have been celebrated as an "act of bravery" on social media.

Freedom of Expression

Hacker Attacks Vatican Website

April 16, 2015, International

Twice in one week, the Vatican website was partly inaccessible due to attacks from hackers. On Twitter someone named "Turk Hack Team Herakles" claimed responsibility, saying he would continue until the pope apologized for referring to a Turkish genocide against Armenians 100 years ago.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Hate Incident

Employment Tribunal Hears Christian Educator "Rightly" Dismissed for Faith

March 5, 2015, United Kingdom

Christian nursery educator, Sarah Mbuyi, was dismissed from her job after "gross misconduct" for saying that marriage is an institution between one man and one woman in conversation with a colleague. In an employment tribunal hearing, witnesses testified that Christian views on the topic should not be expressed in the workplace.

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

Journalists’ Association Displays Anti-Christian Bias

January 10, 2015, Croatia

A Croatian journalist was reprimanded by her professional association for calling abortion murder in an online article. While anti-Christian expressions are generally accepted as "a matter of style“, her Christian-inspired opinion was not tolerated.

Defamation Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Priest Hospitalized After Attack During Silent Pro-Family Manifestation in Rovereto

October 5, 2014, Italy

On Sunday, 5th of October, silent demonstrations against “gay marriage” took place throughout Italy under the name “standing sentinels” (“Sentinelle in Piedi”). During the gathering in Rovereto a group of anarchists demanded that the Sentinels leave and started to attack them. Two people, a priest and a young woman, had to been taken to hospital.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression Hate Crime Hate Incident

Attack on Pro-Life Activist during Anti-Concordat Demonstration in Zagreb

September 20, 2014, Croatia

During an anti-concordat demonstration organized by the non-governmental organization „The Voice of Reason - A Movement for a Secular Croatia“ on the Flower Square in Zagreb, a counter demonstrator was attacked. Mrs. Ružica Ćavar, who is the President of the Croatian Pro-Life Movement, was carrying a poster expressing her opposition. A man attacked and injured Mrs. Ćavar so that she had to be transported to the hospital for medical treatment. The police arrested the attacker.

Freedom of Expression Hate Crime

US Teacher Documents 300 Cases of Anti-Christian Acts by Gay Activists

July 1, 2014, International

Robert Oscar Lopez, a teacher for Literature and Classics in Los Angeles, documented 300 cases of overboarding responses of gay activists to opponents. These incidents mainly took place in Europe and the US. Some are directed against Christians, others are more of a political nature. Some cases might seem self-inflicted, many do not.

Contractual Freedom Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws

Police Advice: Record Christian Street Preacher To Sue Them

June 30, 2014, United Kingdom

Police advice people to record a Christian street preacher Mr Michael Overd on a video if he makes offensive remarks as some passers-by in High Street were upset when he expressed his views about homosexuality and sex outside marriage.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Street Evangelist Tried for Talking about the Live of Mohammed in Taunton

June 27, 2014, United Kingdom

Street evangelist, Mike Overd, is being prosecuted for an alleged religious aggravation public order offence. The charges followed a complaint to police in Taunton, that Mike Overd made a comparison between the life of Jesus and the life of Mohammed, allegedly "causing offense."

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Christian Worker in London Claims She was Fired for Refusing to Read Children’s Books About Gay Couples

April 30, 2014, United Kingdom

Sarah Mbuyi, 30 year-old nursery worker from north London will bring her case to court as she claims she was fired on the grounds of her religious beliefs because she said that she would have scruples about reading children’s stories involving same-sex couples.

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

Disney Excludes the Name of God in Movies

April 25, 2014, International

In an interview on a National Public Radio program called Fresh Air, one of the Oscar-winning songwriters of Let It Go, from Disney’s film Frozen, said that "one of the only places you have to draw the line at Disney is with religious things, the word God." According to The Guardian, “Lopez went on to say: ‘You can say it in Disney but you can't put it in the movie.’”

Freedom of Expression

Catholic Lay Blog Attacked

April 18, 2014, France

The Catholic lay blog “Le Salon Beige” was put out of order by attacks against the server from an unknown source. This happened three times in four days, one time on Good Friday, the other times on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

Freedom of Expression Hate Incident

Local Priest in Trèbes Reproached for Wearing a Cross

April 1, 2014, France

One of the officials working at a voting station in the town of Trèbes, France, reproached the local parish priest for wearing a cross around his neck saying that it was too ostensible a sign of religious adherence.

Freedom of Expression Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Film Discussing the Problem of Pornography and Prostitution Canceled in Tours

March 29, 2014, France

The Cinéma National Populaire (CNP) canceled a showing and debate with the Swiss producer Philippe Decourroux on his DVD "Prostitution et pornographie, enjeu de société?" Which translated means, “Prostitution and Pornography, Concern of Society?” The producer denounced this move as anti-Christian. According to Decourroux, the CNP thought the film to be an attempt of Christian “proselytism”.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Hate Mail Received for Disagreeing with Same-Sex Marriage

February 12, 2014, Ireland

Breda O’Brien, an Irish teacher, journalist and pro-life feminist has been receiving hate mail from people because of an article she wrote disagreeing with same-sex marriage and discussing homophobia and liberal intolerance.

Freedom of Expression Insult or Incitement

Elderly Street Preacher Falsely Arrested and Assaulted by Police

February 11, 2014, United Kingdom

73-year-old Bill Edwards was ordered by a police constable to stop preaching outside the Magistrates Court House in Banbury as some people in the building found his preaching “offensive”. He refused to move and was arrested and charged with assault and breach of peace. In the police station Mr Edwards was grabbed by six officers and pinned to the ground.

Freedom of Expression

Street Preacher Arrested for Mentioning "Sexual Sin" in Scotland

January 8, 2014, United Kingdom

Tony Miano, a street preacher addressing lunchtime shoppers at Dundee High Street, Scotland, was arrested and held in custody to appear before the Dundee Sheriff Court. He was talking about “sexual sin” including “adultery, promiscuity and homosexual practice”. A woman called the police, who on arrival snatched away the camera of a friend who was filming the preaching and arrested the street preacher.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

LGBT-Friendly Guidelines Limit Freedom of the Press

December 16, 2013, Italy

The Italian National Anti-Discrimination Office published guidelines on how to report on LGTB issues. The guidelines restrict freedom of the press and journalists’ freedom of reporting by requiring, amongst other things, that they must positively promote homosexuality and gay marriage and must not speak of “the right of a child to a mother or father, e.g. a male or female role model”.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Insults and Incitement to Violence Surround a Pro-Marriage Referendum

December 10, 2013, Croatia

The Christian position was discredited in the liberal-leftist media, portals and on Facebook, as harmful to society. Media asserted that believers should not be permitted to express their religious beliefs in public. Inciting comments were not always deleted by the portals. Fifty reports were filed with the police due to verbal and physical violence in response to the attitude toward marriage as a union of a woman and a man. Criminal charges have been filed.

Freedom of Expression Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

St. Eulalia, Patroness of Madrid, Secularized

October 10, 2013, Spain

An initiative driven by Ignasi Ventura Diaz hopes to reinstate the cross symbol on images of St. Eulalia, patroness of Madrid. Currently, public images of the saint contain a young girl on an eagle instead of the traditional cross upon which the saint was crucified at the age of thirteen. Groups such as e-Christians wish for the City Council to acknowledge the Christian roots of St. Eulalia, currently called “La Laia”, a nickname which also hides the Christian roots of the city’s patroness.

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

Croatian Television Breaks Agreement with Catholic Church

July 19, 2013, Croatia

Croatian Television (HTV) one-sidedly cancelled the autonomy of its religious program, which had been guaranteed by the Agreement signed in 2000 by HTV and the Croatian Conference of Bishops (in reference to the implementation of the international contract between the Holy See and the Republic of Croatia).

Freedom of Expression

European Affairs Minister Forced to Resign

July 11, 2013, Ireland

Lucinda Creighton, European Affairs Minister of Ireland had to resign after voting against the Government on an amendment to the abortion bill. The so-called “whip” does not permit to deviate from party policy. Mrs. Creighton however felt that she could not compromise on matters of “life and death”.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression

Street Preacher Arrested For Preaching on Sexual Morality

July 1, 2013, United Kingdom

The police arrested a street preacher in Wimbledon under suspicion of offences under the Public Order Act. He had been speaking about sexual immorality in general and the importance to abstain from such practices.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Police Brutality Directed Against Pro-Family Demonstrators

June 26, 2013, France

Tear gas attacks and beatings by the police, arbitrary arrests, solitary confinement, illegal finger print storing, and countless other human rights violations were conducted by the French police against a peaceful mass demonstration opposing government policy on gay marriage and adoption.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression

Gathering Disturbed by Insults and Shouting in Montpellier

June 13, 2013, France

A gathering of “Les Veilleurs”, a peaceful manifestation group in favour of the traditional family of was disturbed by shouting from students and radical LGBT activists. Anti-Catholic insults were yelled as “Les Veilleurs” gathered to pray and sing together as they do every Tuesday evening before the prefecture in Montpellier.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

German Publicists Suffer Defamatory Statements

June 10, 2013, Germany

Berger, chief editor of the gay magazine “Men”, said that some publicits made defamatory statements and should not be allowed on TV any more. He had labeled Gabriele Kuby, a Catholic German publicist and also Martin Lohmann, chief editor of the Catholic television channel K-TV, and Katherina Reiche, member of the German parliament, as “homophobic protagonists” and had demanded: “Homo-haters get out of the talk shows”. Gabriele Kuby renounced these false accusations and explicitly stated that she is not homophobic and that the term “homo-hater” was invented by the homo-lobby to criminalize critique of the “homosexual movement”.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Overly Strict Hate Speech Legislation

May 21, 2013, France

Hate speech laws are very strict in France. Since the law of December 8th, 2004, any discrimination in speech against homosexuals is forbidden. Christians for example are unable to publically say that having a same-sex relationship is a sin. The consequence is that nobody criticizes homosexuality in itself on TV, radio or in newspapers.

Freedom of Expression Militant Equality Laws

Hate Speech Legislation Curbing on Freedom of Expression

May 21, 2013, Sweden

Swedish penal law contains the crime “agitation against a national or ethnic group,” a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison. The Swedish government charged four activists who wanted to “start a debate about the lack of objectivity in the education in Swedish schools” by distributing leaflets on the "homosexual agenda".

Freedom of Expression Militant Equality Laws

"Insulting Speech Laws" Cause Legal Problems for Christians

May 21, 2013, United Kingdom

According to section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, it is criminal offence to use “insulting words or behaviour” which is “likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.” Originally enacted to combat football hooliganism, this provision has led to the arrest and prosecution of many Christian street preachers in recent years.

Freedom of Expression Militant Equality Laws

Stalking Law Used Against Freedom of Assembly of Pro-Life Christians

May 21, 2013, Austria

Anti-stalking legislation is used against side-walk counselling or picketing. On October 25th, 2011, the state court of Graz, Styria, upheld a judgement of the first instance condemning pro-life side-walk counsellors to pay fines on the grounds of “stalking.”

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression

Freedom of Assembly Limited by Court Order in Germany

May 21, 2013, Germany

Christian-inspired non-governmental pro-life organisations often express their faith and their convictions by protesting in front of abortion clinics, or by simply standing in front of clinics or counselling centres in order to offer conversation and alternatives. In the German cities Freiburg and Munich, this activity has been severely limited. Local courts have given in to the pressure by the targeted locations, which could have been mainly financial ones. Courts have restricted the form of manifestation as well as established a geographical ban. Appeals are on-going.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression