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Filtered by: Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Catholic Youth Association Condemns Profaning of Image of Virgin Mary in Facebook Post

September 25, 2019, Poland

In a written statement, the Catholic Youth Association condemned Adam Nergal Darski, the frontman of Polish extreme metal band 'Behemoth,' for his September 25th post on Facebook depicting him trampling on a devotional image of the Virgin Mary.

Desecration Hate Incident Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

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

Cemetery Restoration Includes System to Obscure Christian Symbols

April 8, 2019, Italy

The municipal council of Pieve di Centro in Bologna approved a proposal to install a motorized curtain system in the unconsecrated cemetery chapel to temporarily cover Christian symbols and tombs inside the chapel during ceremonies for non-Christians. The decision generated controversy, with some commentators criticizing the lack of transparency about the project, noting that the public had not been consulted and that construction of another, non-denominational space had not been considered or discussed.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

French Mayor Fights State Over Nativity Scene

December 4, 2018, France

For the second year in a row, Mayor Robert Ménard, former journalist for Reporters Without Borders, installed a nativity scene in the courtyard of the town hall of Béziers. The French government filed a complaint for its removal in the administrative court, claiming the installation violated the law of 1905 on the separation of Church and State.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Statues of Saints and the Virgin Mary Smashed, Decapitated, and Stolen in Ticino

October 10, 2018, Switzerland

Since Easter, there have been eight attacks against statues of female saints and the Virgin Mary in the southern canton of Ticino.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Religious Symbols Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Cross Torn Down in Lesvos

October 7, 2018, Greece

A huge cement cross erected over a beach in honor of people who have drowned there was torn down by unknown perpetrators during the night of October 7th. The NGO "Coexistence and Communication in the Aegean" had previously called the cross "offensive" to non-Christian migrants, a symbol of "racism and intolerance," and claimed that it had been placed above the beach to prevent refugees and migrants from swimming there. Local residents reacted with dismay and discussed re-building it.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

"Offensive" Christian Symbols being Hidden at Funerals in Scotland

July 27, 2018, United Kingdom

The Scottish Inspector of Crematoria, Robert Swanson, said in his annual report that demands for the removal of Bibles and crosses by humanists and other minorities are on the rise. The Humanist Society of Scotland has said failure to remove Christian symbols leaves their members “open to discrimination” under the Equality Act.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Suspicious Fire at Chêne de la Vierge

July 11, 2018, France

A fire destroyed the Chêne de la Vierge (the "Oak to the Virgin"), a popular place of pilgrimage and devotion, on July 11th. The tree, which had been covered with statues, crosses, rosaries, and small shrines to the Virgin Mary was ravaged by a fire. The fire was reported to be suspicious because there had been no reports of lightning in the area, and this tree was the only one in the forest to have been burned.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Fribourg Vandalized

April 17, 2018, Switzerland

A few hours after it was installed on Boulevard de Pérolles on April 17th, replica of Rio de Janeiro's famed Christ the Redeemer statue was vandalized by a 24-year-old Syrian asylum seeker.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Woman Fined for Projecting Cross on Church Facade

March 18, 2018, Spain

A woman in the community of Callosa de Segura was sanctioned 100 euros per day for projecting the image of a cross on the wall of the church of San Martin.

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

Local Government to Eliminate Religious Symbols

March 1, 2018, Spain

The Castellón municipality of La Vall d'Uixó decided to demolish the monument of a Cross that adorns a roundabout with the excuse of applying the Law of Historical Memory on the Spanish Civil War.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

City Hall Renovation Eliminates Christian Mosaic

February 20, 2018, Spain

Under the pretext of the restoration of the city hall's headquarters, the government of the town of San Fernando in Cadiz decided to remove the mosaic of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that had adorned the main facade of the building since 1941.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Alpes-Maritimes: Mission Cross vandalized in Grasse

February 18, 2018, France

On the morning of February 18th, municipal services workers discovered that the "Mission Cross" in Grasse had been vandalized during the night. The nearly 500 kg wrought iron cross was bent and the pedestal was deliberately moved into the roadway. The cross, dating from 1894, had been completely renovated by Jean-Marie Rouvier, of the Compagnons du Patrimoine en Pays de Grasse, in June 2016. Mayor Jérôme Viaud condemned the vandalism and launched a police investigation.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Belgian Red Cross Branches Ordered to Remove Crucifixes

November 29, 2017, Belgium

The Provincial Committee of the Red Cross in Liège sent an email to all branches in Belgium ordering them to remove all crucifixes from their walls, to appear more secular.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Statue of Mother Teresa to be Removed from Skopje

November 23, 2017, Other

The Minister of Culture Robert Alagjozovski of FYROMacedonia recommended the removal of a statue of Mother Teresa from the center of Skopje. The Balkan city is the birthplace of the Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary who was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Church Crosses Removed from Event Logo; Replaced after Complaints

November 4, 2017, Romania

The event logo for "Upgrade My City" in Timisoura, Romania depicted a skyline with church buildings, but with the crosses atop the steeples removed. After complaints, the crosses reappeared on the logos with an apology.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

French Community Ordered to Remove Cross from Statue of John Paul II

October 25, 2017, France

On October 25th the French State Council, the highest administrative court in France, ordered the removal of the cross atop the statue of Pope John Paul II in the community of Ploërmel because the symbol violates French secularism laws.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Secularist Associations Call for Removal of Virgin Mary from Police Medal

October 24, 2017, Spain

The secularist associations Europa Lacia and Movimiento Hacia un Estado Laico (MHUEL) have appealed the 2016 Supreme Court ruling allowing the image of Nuestra Señora María Santísima del Amor to appear on a medal used by the fraternal organization, Jesús el Rico de Málaga, associated with the national police. The prosecutor asked for the appeal to be dismissed.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

German Yoghurt Maker Weideglück Removed Santorini Cross from Packaging

October 11, 2017, Germany

Weideglück's Greek Yoghurt packaging uses an image similar to those used by Nestlé. Carrefour, and Lidl, which depicts the famous blue dome of the Anastasis Church in Santorini, but with the cross removed.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Intolerance towards Religious Symbols

Catalonian Separatists say Church is the Enemy

September 26, 2017, Spain

At a press conference held on September 26, 2017 in front of the cathedral in Tarragona, officials from the pro-Catalan independence political party CUP (Candidatura d'Unitat Popular) called the Catholic Church a "power structure to crush" that "discriminates against women and LGBT groups." It has also called for the elimination of aid to Christian schools and removal of a favorable tax status for churches.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Negative Stereotyping