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Filtered by: Religious Symbols

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.

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

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.

Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

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.

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

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.

Desecration Insult or Incitement Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

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.

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

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.

Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

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.

Desecration Insult or Incitement Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

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.

Religious Symbols Theft

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.

Desecration Religious Symbols Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

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.

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

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.

Desecration Religious Symbols Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Man Arrested for Beheading Two Statues of the Virgin

October 21, 2020, France

At Pont d'Herault in Suméne and at Montaud, the statues of the Virgin Mary were beheaded by a man. The perpetrator, who destroyed the statue by throwing stones at them, was arrested by the police and has admitted the crimes on the 21st of October.

Desecration Hate Crime Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

20 Tombs Desecrated in Escalatens

October 20, 2020, France

On the 20th of October, the police was informed about the desecration of 20 Tombs in the cemetery of Escalatens. The families of the desecrated tombs were notified. The candles, symbols and flowers were scattered and the tombstones were turned over.

Desecration Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism and Theft at Cemetery in Eastbourne

September 15, 2020, United Kingdom

On September 15th, the war memorial depicting Christ at St Saviour’s Church, was vandalized. It was the second time this year that the memorial was targeted, this time the lead was stolen. The directors of two rootfing companies offered to repair the damage for free.

Desecration Religious Symbols Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Activists Hang Rainbow Flag and Anarchist Bandana on Statue of Christ in front of Warsaw Basilica

July 28, 2020, Poland

During the night of July 28th activists from the self-described "anarchist-queer" community launched what they termed a "rainbow assault" across Warsaw. They placed a rainbow flag on the statue of Jesus Christ carrying the Cross in front of the Basilica and attached a purple anarchist bandana over Christ's face. Several of Warsaw's other famous monuments were similarly targeted. The activists left cards with a "manifesto" beginning with the phrases "This is an assault! It's a rainbow. It's an attack! We've decided to act." The message went on to say their provocative actions would continue until Polish society accepted them.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Religious Symbols

‘Black Madonna’ in Breda defaced

June 22, 2020, Netherlands

On June 22nd, vandals defaced the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa and painted the letters "BLM" at the base in a park chapel in Breda. The image of Our Lady, which is revered by Poles and also known as the 'Black Madonna', was erected in the park in 1954 in thanksgiving for the city’s liberation from the Nazis.

Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

The Head of Saint Arnould Detached and Thrown in Ravine

June 14, 2020, Belgium

The head of the statue of Saint Arnould, patron saint of brewers, erected in Bouillon (province of Luxembourg), was unscrewed and thrown into a ravine during the night between June 13th and 14th. It was badly damaged but not destroyed because vegetation in the ravine broke its fall. A complaint was filed and Bouillon Mayor Patrick Adam was confident the perpetrators would be caught: “Thanks to the cameras that are installed by the municipality and thanks to those of the private ones, we will be able to recover images. We do not want this act to go unpunished.”

Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft of Statue of the Virgin Mary in Dorsten

March 27, 2020, Germany

On March 25th a statue of the Virgin Mary was stolen from the St. Antonius church in Dorsten. CCTV captured a couple entering the church and stealing the relic. The police is investigating and asking the public for help to find the statue, as it has a high ideational value for the parish.

Religious Symbols Theft

French Nun Denied a Place in Retirement Home Due to Religious Habit

November 19, 2019, France

In October 2018, an elderly nun applied for a place in a retirement home in Vesoul, run by the city's Centre Communal d'Action Sociale (CCAS) in her home prefecture of Haute-Saone. After nine months on the waiting list, on July 2019, her request for housing was accepted, but with one condition: "With due respect for secularism, any ostentatious sign of belonging to a religious community cannot be accepted in order to ensure the serenity of all. Indeed, religion is a private affair and must remain so." The nun was told she could only wear a discreet cross. Having worn her religious habit all of her adult life, she refused to comply and was thus denied a place.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Religious Symbols

Self-Described Satanist Vandalized 100 Graves in Cognac Cemetery

October 30, 2019, France

Just before All Saints' Day, about 100 graves were damaged or destroyed in the Breuil cemetery of Cognac. Christian symbols including crucifixes, crosses, and statues of the Virgin Mary and angels were targeted. An 18-year-old self-described Satanist who "hates all religions, especially Catholicism," was arrested by the police. The timing of the incident, given its close proximity to the feast of All Saints and All Souls, shocked local residents.

Desecration Hate Crime Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)