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Filtered by: Religious Symbols

Majority of Hate Crime Victims (42%) Are Catholics

February 26, 2021, United Kingdom

Recent figures show that Catholics are the most common victims of religious prejudice and hate crime in Scotland. 42% of religiously motivated hate crimes are perpetrated against Catholics, compared to 26% against Muslims and 10% against Protestants. In contrast, Scottish Government figures show that racially-motivated hate crimes have fallen by 20% between 2014-15 and 2019-20. At the same time, the hate crime rate against transgender persons doubled in number. Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie expressed that hate crime is an "under-reported offence", which means that victims "can be targeted on numerous occasions before they report to our officers".

Vandals Destroy Statue Of Virgin Mary In Czestochowa

February 17, 2021, Poland

During the night of February 17th, unknown perpetrators destroyed the statue of the Virgin Mary in the parish of the first Martyrs of Poland, Czestochowa. The statue which represents the Virgin Mary had its hands cut off and the surrounding area vandalised, flowers and candles were scattered. According to the parish priest, Father Jasionek, the incident was not reported to the police: "I did not report it to the police because I think it is not a material loss but a moral loss and the police will not help us in this matter."

Severe Vandalism at St. Barbara's Church in Warsaw

February 13, 2021, Poland

During night of February 14th, unknown perpetrators wreaked devastation on the parish cemetry complex of St. Barbara's Church in Warsaw. Ten inverted crosses were painted on the church doors, pillars and memorial plaques on the church walls. Among other things, memorial plaques of Warsaw insurgents and former parish priests were vandalised. The police is investigating.

Stolen Crosses And Vandalized Gravestones In Rybna

February 11, 2021, Poland

In late January and early February, more than 10 residents of Rybna, Poland complained about the vandalization of crosses and grave monuments of their relatives. Several people found gravestones with broken and stolen crosses and figures of Christ that were torn off crosses and thrown away nearby. People started intervening and reported the matter to the municipality. It was later discovered that the damage was not reported to the police, because according to the municipality, they did not have a report on the matter.

Vandals Damaged Two Churches In Lower Silesia

February 10, 2021, Poland

In the beginning of February, police officers from Zgorzelec arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of destroying windows and a stained glass window in one of the churches in the district. Another act of vandalism of a church took place in the Wołów district. The perpetrator painted symbols on the walls of the church and on the front of the cross at the main gate, offensive to religious feelings . As a result of the investigation, police officers arrested a 22-year-old resident of the district.

100 Years Old Polish Chapel Destroyed By Vandals

January 21, 2021, Poland

On January 21st, vandals destroyed an over 100-year-old chapel in Otwock. The statue of the Virgin Mary was torn off and stolen. Thanks to the efforts of some residents the chapel was renovated and a new statue bought. Because the owners of the chapel are unknown, the police did not take up any investigations.

Cross Removed from Public Space in Spanish City Aguilar

January 19, 2021, Spain

The historic cross of the Discalced Carmelite Order was removed by the city of Aguilar de la Frontera on January 19th. The decision to cut down the cross of the Fallen was backed by the Act on Historical Remembrance. The act is concerned with removing symbols of the Franco regime. The leftist mayor Carmen Flores explained that the local Andalusian legislation regulates the public display of elements that glorify Francism and that the opinion of the church is irrelevant. The Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers contested the city council's decision to remove the cross to the administrative court.

Nativity Scene in Spain Severely Vandalized

December 7, 2020, Spain

On December 7th, the nativity scene that is placed every year in the Eguzki square in Berriozar became the target of vandalism. Almost all figures were split in half and destroyed by unknown perpetrators. The figures are made out of wood and were freshly painted this year, which means that the budget for the new restoration is very small.

Vandals Smeared a Cross Near the Church in Valseca

November 25, 2020, Spain

On November 11th, the diocese of Segovia reported an act of vandalism against its heritage. Unknown perpetrators smeared the pedestal of a cross next to the door of the parish in Valseca. This is the third act of vandalism against the ecclesiastical patrimony in the last few days.

Paint Attack on Pope Monument in Poland

November 17, 2020, Poland

Unknown perpetrators vandalized a monument of John Paul II. The figure of the Polish Pope was smeared with red lightning paint, on September 11th. The sign has recently become a symbol of the women's strike, a social rebellion group against the tightening of the abortion ban.

Vandals Destroyed Figures of Fatima Children

November 16, 2020, Poland

Unknown perpetrators devastated three figures of praying Fatima Children on November 16th in Mogilno. The vandals used paving stones to smash the figure. One head and two arms were broken off the statues. The caused damage is estimated to be 1.000 PLN. According to the press officer of the District Police Headquater, the police is investigating in this case for offending religious feelings, which is punishable by up to two years imprisonment.

St. Christ the King Church in Gothenburg Devastated by Vandals

November 13, 2020, Sweden

The Church of St. Christ the King in Gothenburg was vandalized and devastated on November 13th. The unknown perpetrators destroyed the altar and threw the candlesticks, vestments and tablecloth on the ground. The pastor, Tobias Unnerstal, believes that the act was intentionally symbolic, trying to show an "eternal Good Friday". They also scattered the songbooks and used the fire extinguisher for the candles inside the chapel. In the same church, the crucifix was already stolen a week before. The police has been informed and they started an investigation.

Vandals Desecrated Chapel with Spray Paint

November 12, 2020, Italy

In Castrovillari, unknown vandals vandalized the chapel of the Madonna dell'Idria during the days before the 12th of November. The vandals smeared the altar with spray paint and the paintings above the altar, they also tagged the walls and some statues. The community was shocked at the sight of the images that circulated on the internet.

Three Chapels in Ghent Cemetery Vandalized

November 11, 2020, Belgium

On November 13th unknown perpetrators vandalized three chapels at the cementery in Vroonstalledries in Wondelgem.The police was informed by the secretary of the Church Council, who is calling for the installation of cameras to deter vandals.

Illegal Banner Hung on Cross of Mount Giewont

November 8, 2020, Poland

A gigantic banner from the "Women's Strike" movement was hung on a cross at the top of Mount Giewont in Zakopane. The photos taken with a drone were posted on the Facebook site of the Women's Strike organization on the 8th of November. The pictures show the several-meter-long cross covered by the banner stating: "domestic violence is not a tradition". The perpetrators had to climb the historic structure, which is forbidden.

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.

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.

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.

New Figures Show Churches Targeted For Theft and Vandalism

October 30, 2020, United Kingdom

According to figures published by Countryside Alliance, a total of 212 crimes were reported against churches in Devon and Cornwall over the last year, reported by Cornwall Live on October 30th. The request of the Freedom of Information Act was made to the Police, which revealed the target of churches for lead thefts, but also vandalism, violence, assault and burglary. The government made a commitment to protect places of worship with a crime action plan 2016-2020, which should provide security measures at places of worship vulnerable to hate crimes.

Ancient Relics Stolen From St. Wolfgang's Church

October 26, 2020, Germany

On October 26th, thousand-year-old relics were stolen from the St. Wolfgang church in Regensburg. The non-material damage is estimated at several thousand Euros, as the relics were the last mortal remains of the Saint. The relics were forcefully taken out of a bulletproof glass and steel case from the grave of St. Wolfgang, which is located in the entrance area of the church. The police is investigating and asking for witnesses. After ongoing investigations, the police says the thieves were professionals and that it looks like a planned act.