Parishioners discovered vandalism, desecration, and theft in the Saint-Saturnin-de-Séchaud church in Port d'Envaux on February 22nd. They found the door of the sacristy broken, the door of the tabernacle forced open, consecrated hosts stolen, and the altar of the Virgin Mary damaged. All objects of value were stolen from the sacristy.
National Police reviewed the security cameras of the church of San Pedro de La Felguera to try to locate the four young women who caused at least 600 euros in damage inside the church on February 20th. Video recordings revealed that the young women entered the church, used and stole two of the microphones, sat on the altar, burned candles and set fire to books and the altar cloth.
The people who opened the Église Saint-Symphorien in Valvignères on February 13th for a funeral discovered signs of a burglary. Evidence of a break-in were found at one of the access doors, and several objects were missing: two chalices, two patens, a monstrance, two ciboriums, two cruets, two holy water fonts, and a baccarat crystal chandelier of significant size and weight. It appeared that the intruders also tried break into the sacristy and forced the door of the tabernacle with a crowbar. It was unclear from reports whether consecrated hosts were stolen.
A 29-year-old man who confessed to damaging roadside shrines in Jacinki, Kościernica and Szczeglino between February 12th and 13th faces up to two years in prison. "He confessed to committing these acts. He couldn't explain why he destroyed the shrines," the press officer of the Koszalin police said, noting that statues of the Virgin Mary were destroyed and crosses were broken.
Just two days after the desecration and theft from the chapel of the Clinical Hospital of Valencia, a group of thieves attacked the parish of Carrión de los Céspedes in Seville, stealing several religious objects and the gold crowns of the two figures of the Virgin of the Rosary and the Child Jesus that were prepared for a procession on February 1st for the 400th anniversary of the Brotherhood of the Rosary of Carrión.
On January 26th, moments before the celebration of the evening Mass, unknown perpetrators removed the monstrance holding the consecrated host, a pyx (a small round container holding a consecrated host), and a ciborium with fifty consecrated hosts inside from the tabernacle of the Chapel of the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valencia. The monstrance was later found in the chapel's confessional and dozens of consecrated hosts were discovered scattered on the street.
Between January 16th and 18th, unidentified perpetrators destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary in a church in Ściegny and then in Wojanów, a roadside crucifix and figures of angels standing around the cross were destroyed beyond repair.
On the morning of January 9th, in the space of 45 minutes, five statues of the Virgin Mary, located in three different churches of Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques): Saint-Martin, Saint-Jacques and Notre-Dame, were destroyed. Similar vandalism continued in the churches of the Béarn communes of Lons, Artix, Denguin, and Mourenx, where, each time, a statue of the Virgin was destroyed. A 35-year-old man, described as homeless, was arrested in Mourenx at the end of the day and sent for psychiatric evaluation.
More than a dozen graves at the cemetery next to the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church in Villeroux were vandalized during the night between December 21st and 22nd. Gravestones were knocked over and crosses were smashed.
On the afternoon of November 16th, an unidentified man entered the Trasfigurazione del Signor church in Scorrano while it was empty and stole money from the donation box and a golden necklace from around the neck of a statue of the Virgin Mary. Before leaving the church, he urinated on the altar underneath the crucifix. The incident was captured on video and police are investigating the identity of the individual.
On morning of November 14th, the hermitage of the Holy Sepulcher in Tauste (Zaragoza) was discovered vandalized and the life-sized statue of the Nazarene Christ burnt. The custodian of the hermitage, Juan Francés, found the remains of a fire when he opened the hermitage and found "everything lying on the ground and on fire.” The city council of Tauste condemned the attack on the hermitage “It was an attack on a religious and cultural symbol of our people. It is not a simple act of vandalism.”
Intruders broke into the Star of the Sea Carmelite Nuns monastery in Malahide in the early afternoon of November 11th and verbally abused the elderly resident sisters, sprayed and smeared the walls of convent's chapel with graffiti.
Over the weekend of November 9-10, unidentified vandals broke windows and set the Agia Trapeza (altar) on fire, burning sacred items, in the Agios Haralambos Church. According to reports, this was the third church vandalized in Chalkios on the island of Chios within a week. In the Church of Panagia, a window was smashed and oil and candles were stolen and a fire was set in the Church of Agios Petros and Pavlos.
A car fitted with a battering ram was driven into the door of the Cathedral Sainte-Marie d'Oloron in southwestern France on November 4th. Once inside the cathedral, thieves entered the chapel and sawed the iron bars protecting sacred and liturgical items. They stole chalices, ciboria, a centuries old nativity scene, and vestments used by the priest for the Mass. Authorities characterized the theft as organized and well-planned.
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.
More than 40 graves were vandalized in the cemetery of the Our Lady Mother of the Church (Maryi Panny Matki Kościoła) parish of Zabrzu-Helence during the night between October 26 and 27, just days before Catholics observe All Saints' and All Souls' Days. Granite tombstones were torn down and broken, and wooden crosses were destroyed by unknown vandals.
Before dawn on October 5th, one or more intruders entered the 18th century Chapel of La Rosa in the Córdoba provincial town of Montilla through a side door. Once inside, they found the keys to the tabernacle, opened the pyx inside and scattered several hosts on the altar, according to the Rev. José Félix García, pastor of the parish of Santiago, to which the chapel belongs. Police opened an investigation.
A secluded church in Giroussens was discovered vandalized with blue graffiti including an inverted cross on the front of the altar. Other images found in Notre-Dame-de-Sept-Fages included goat with horns, an inverted pentagram, and the message behind the altar: "Here an army is born." The mayor expressed anger and filed a police complaint
Police announced on August 21st that an 18-year-old man would be charged with defecating in a shrine to the Virgin Mary and then smearing his feces on a statue of Christ and on the walls of the church, Spanish news agencies report. The incident, caught on CCTV, took place on July 26 at the Santuario de la Virgen de la Fuensanta in the Jaén provincial town of Villanueva del Arzobispo.
The church of Saint-Éloi (parish of the Bienheureuses-Carmélites-de-Compiègne), diocese of Compiegne, Oise) was robbed, vandalized, and desecrated between the 3rd and 9th of August. Sound equipment, a ciborium, an aspergillum (a liturgical implement used to sprinkle holy water), holy water font, and other liturgical objects were stolen. The burglars forced open the tabernacle to steal the ciborium and stole consecrated hosts, as well. "The most essential thing for us is that the tabernacle was forced, and that the Blessed Sacrament, the presence of Christ was touched, stolen. Which is for us a desecration. The real presence of Christ has been stolen. It's something strong," said the communications director of the Oise diocese.
On July 12th, firefighters were called to a fire at St. Margaret's Ruined Church in Hopton after a motorbike was set on fire underneath the 13th century building. While the incident was ruled an arson by officials, the investigation was closed in October due to lack of evidence.
During the night between June 8 and 9, a hundred graves in the Terre-Cabade cemetery, the largest cemetery in Toulouse were damaged by vandals. According to reports, crucifixes and crosses on the graves were broken and scattered, as well as flowers and planters. Jewish and Muslim graves in the cemetery of 300,000 graves were unharmed.
On May 31st, the Lutheran Nikolaikirche in Caldern was the target of vandals. Sometime between 8:30 am and 1:30 pm, unknown perpetrators entered the church, set fire to the bible and hymn book on the altar, and damaged three large candles. They also broke into a cabinet and a chest, but stole nothing. Finally, they left a pile of feces at the church entrance and another on a bench outside the church. Property damage amounted to approximately 300 euros and it is not yet clear how the perpetrators accessed the church. For the time being, the church will stay closed while investigations are ongoing.
During the night of May 29th to 30th, twelve graves were vandalized in the cemetery Celleneuve in Montpellier (Hérault department). The perpetrators appeared to have specifically targeted crucifixes. The police closed the cemetery on the Ascension holiday to conduct an investigation. Titina Dasylva, deputy mayor in charge of security, expressed her outrage about the incident on Twitter.
On May 28th, the Catholic Chapel of St. Padre Pio in Płońsk was the target of vandals who desecrated the chapel's crucifix by taking it off the wall and smashing it. According to the parish priest, a parishioner who came to pray in the chapel found the cross on the floor and the ceramic Jesus Christ statue from the cross broken into pieces. Police are investigating.
Police reported that unknown perpetrators broke in a church window with stones and invaded the interior of the church of the Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit in Großholbach (Westerwald in Rhineland-Palatinate) during the night of May 18th to 19th. Several sacred objects, including statues of saints, were broken. The Jesus figure was removed from the crucifix and burned. The intruders also urinated in the aisle and on several pews.
On May 7th, an unknown buyer purchased "nine real Catholic hosts, consecrated by a priest” from a Germany-based Etsy seller for $11.58. The seller, who called himself “AL” and his business “Pentagora,” said the hosts were “to abuse for classic black fairs or black magic purposes.” In response to a petition with over 10,000 signatures demanding the online marketplace ban the sales of consecrated hosts, the company admitted that such a sale was in violation of their policies.
On May 8th, parishioners at the church of Saint-Martin d'Asson (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) discovered that a crucifix had been dismantled, and the Christ figure it supported broken in two pieces and left on both sides of the altar. A complaint was filed and police began an investigation.
On May 3rd, a priest discovered a destroyed and trampled cross in the porch of the entrance to the church of Saint John the Evangelist in Kwidzyn, as well as a strong smelling liquid poured into the holy water font. Because the incident occurred on the Catholic feast of the Queen of Poland and Poland's Constitution Day holiday, there were many visitors and tourists around the cathedral, making it difficult to identify the perpetrators, according to the priest. The area was not covered by the security cameras in the church.
The church of Saint-Germain in Brion-prés-Thouet held a reparation Mass on May 4th after consecrated hosts in a chalice were stolen a few days earlier.
During the Easter Mass in the church of San Giovanni, a man who was receiving communion responded to the traditional formula "the Body of Christ" by saying "thanks" and then asking "what part of the body is this?" and began walking away, carrying the consecrated host and denouncing the Catholic religion. Parishioners were shocked and one ordered the man to consume the host before leaving the building.
When the sacristan came to close the church of Saint-Pierre in Montluçon on the evening of April 9th, he discovered that the tabernacle had been broken open and the ciborium containing consecrated hosts had been stolen. Monsignor Laurent Percerou, Bishop of Moulins said "This act, which touches us in the heart of our faith, is a terrible and dramatic act."
There were several reported incidents of vandalism in and around St.-Johannes-Kirche in Bösensell in late March and early April. A windowpane was smashed and wax was poured on the altar and on the sanctuary (chancel) lamp. Lightning rods were torn from the facade of the church, and tools were used to try to break into the Poor Clares donation box. Brochures, prayer books, and tea lights were scattered around the church, including in the holy water basin. Glass bottles containing holy water were smashed to pieces.
According to a statement from the mayor of Bois-de-Céné, on April 4th vandals attempted to force open the wooden door of the tabernacle in the church of Saint-Etienne and when they were unsuccessful, they tore its bottom from the wall to take the consecrated hosts. The hosts were later found on the ground. The perpetrators, who the mayor said "it appears were teenagers" also stole holy water and urinated behind the organ. The municipality condemned the acts and filed a complaint with the police.
Unknown perpetrators entered the parish church in Leoben sometime between 11am and 2pm on March 23rd and urinated on the altar, dumped out holy water, rearranged candlesticks and pews, tore the wiring for the sound system out of the wall, draped the pew cushions on top of the altar and laid the cordons on top of them. Fifty tea lights which had been placed next to a statue of the Virgin Mary were stolen and thrown into an empty fountain 100 meters from the church.
An unidentified person set fire to the altar tablecloth in the chapel near the cathedral entrance. At about 8:30 a.m. on March 19th, parishioners and a priest noticed flames and smoke coming from a chapel altar and immediately extinguished the fire. The priest then reviewed surveillance footage and observed a man entering the cathedral and setting fire to linens in a different part of the church, as well. The police were called and began an investigation, noting that there were signs of forced entry on several doors.
The Basilica of Saint-Eutrope de Saintes in the Charente-Maritime department of southwestern France was desecrated on March 16th when consecrated hosts were stolen by unknown thieves. The diocese announced that a reparation Mass would be held.
Some time between March 9th and 10th, unknown persons entered the church of San Rafael Arnáiz (Sanchinarro) and caused extensive damage, including forcing open the tabernacle door and stole the ciborium after throwing consecrated hosts on the floor. According to the priest, the low economic value of the items stolen, coupled with their religious value, suggests that this was a hate crime against Catholics during Holy Week.
Sometime in the morning of March 8th, between the opening of the church at 8:55 and the first Mass at 9:55, the ciborium containing consecrated hosts and a chalice were stolen from the sacristy cupboard in the church of Saint-Barthélémy in Confolens, Charente. This was the eighth church in the Charente region hit by theft and vandalism since last February.
A second church in Confolens (Charente) was the victim of burglary on March 8th. The priest discovered on March 9th that the church of Sainte-Maxime had been robbed the day before, at around the same time liturgical objects had been stolen from the church of Saint-Barthélémy in Confolens. Thieves stole two chalices, three ciboriums, one of which contained consecrated hosts and was taken from the tabernacle, a large candlestick, and the ornately-embroidered altar linen from Sainte-Maxime. The priest filed a complaint and estimates a loss of tens of thousands of euros.
Vandals stole the head from an 800-year-old mummified body, known as “The Crusader” from the crypt of St. Michan's Church in Dublin. The crypt was badly damaged and several of the mummies, including the 400 year old remains of a nun, were desecrated in the incident.
Four rosary chapels in the calvary of Panevnicka in Katowice were desecrated by vandals who painted Satanic slogans and pentagrams on the doors and walls, as well as obscene drawings of male genitalia on the statues of holy figures including Jesus. Police as well as parishioners began a search for the perpetrators.
On February 9th, the church of Notre-Dame de Dijon was desecrated by unidentified perpetrators. The tabernacle was opened, consecrated hosts were scattered, the altar cloth stained, and a missal was torn. A Mass of Reparation was held by the Archbishop.
The local cemetery in Kamień Krajeński was devastated by vandals sometime between January 29th and February 6th. Nine tombstones were damaged, crosses were overturned, vases for flowers destroyed, and the arm of a statue of Christ was broken off the grave of a deceased priest. The priest of the local church said it was desecration of a place of worship. Police were alerted and began an investigation.
The prosecutor's office in Nîmes opened an investigation after severe desecration was discovered in the church of Notre-Dame des Enfants. A cross was drawn on a wall with excrement on which pieces of consecrated hosts were stuck. The tabernacle was broken and other consecrated hosts were destroyed.
The tabernacle was broken and the ciborium containing consecrated hosts was stolen from the church of Saint-Pierre de Talmont (Vendée) on February 3rd.
Before Sunday Mass on February 3rd, it was discovered that someone had broken into the tabernacle in the chapel of Sainte-Anne in Notre-Dame-et-Saint Junien Church in Lusignan, scattered the hosts, and stolen the ciborium where the hosts were stored. The police were called and began an investigation.
On the 13th of November intruders broke into the church of Nuestra Señora de Madrid, desecrated the tabernacle, stole a ciborium, a small monstrance, and other objects from the parish office. The Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Carlos Osoro, expressed his pain, his prayers, and his condemnation for this desecration to the whole parish community and will soon hold an act of reparation in the church. The police began an investigation.
Police were called to the church of Sainte-Julitte de Saint-Cyr-l'Ecole after feces, urine, and a cigarette butt were discovered at the foot of the altar. A police investigation was opened and a complaint will be filed.
Vandals tore down a huge 30 kilo metal memorial cross from the cemetery next to the pilgrimage church in Marienbaum. Father Jeremias Kehren, pastor of the church, expressed the shock of the community and called it an attack on the cemetery and those who mourn there: "The wickedness with which this memorial was desecrated leaves us speechless."
At about 10pm on Saturday the 28th of July 2018, vandals broke open the tabernacle of the chapel of the Virgen de la Salud Hospital in Elda (Alicante) and stole the ciborium with the consecrated hosts. The ciborium was later found in the parking lot and the consecrated hosts were scattered around the entrance area of the hospital. Some were found lying on the sidewalk and trampled. The parishes in the area held acts of reparation for the desecration and to pray for the conversion of perpetrators. The police began an investigation.
During the night between the 20th and the 21st of July 2018 the church Saint-Pierre d'Equainville, in the parish of Beuzeville, was robbed. The offenders entered by the sacristy door and stole everything that was of value: liturgical objects and candle holders. They rummaged through everything and scattered unconsecrated Hosts in the sacristy. Finally, they broke the tabernacle and stole the ciborium filled with consecrated Hosts. A complaint was filed and the police came to investigate.
Sometime in the morning of July 21st, vandals entered the San Clemente church and threw holy water to the ground, scattered the cloth and liturgical object from the altar, and left feces underneath the altar table. Police immediately began an investigation.
After discovering urine in the holy water in the Chiesa Santa Croce (better known as "Chiesa dei Morti” or "church of the dead") in Canneto Sull'Oglio, the parish priest decided to close the church for a few days. The church is a sacred place for the local community, as the walls of the church have been covered with photos, plaques, and headstones of deceased loved ones since 1630.
The church of San Bartolomeo in the municipality of Fresnedillas de la Oliva was robbed and desecrated. The intruders tore the tabernacle off the wall and threw it to the ground, left sacred objects scattered on the floor and stole the money from the offering boxes. The sacristy and the catechism rooms were ransacked. The ciborium containing consecrated Hosts was overturned and the contents were scattered on the floor. The incident was reported to the police and the Archbishop of Madrid scheduled a Reparation Mass.
Three young men were convicted of arson for setting fire to the 16th century Božího Těla (Corpus Christi) church in Guty, Třinec. The regional court of Ostrava sentenced them to 9, 8, and 3.5 years in prison for setting fire to the church in August 2017. The Roman Catholic church had been listed as a cultural and historical monument and was among the oldest preserved wooden churches in the Czech Republic. The August 2017 fire caused damage of over 20 million korun. The historical value of the building and its artifacts, however, is not quantifiable.
A passerby discovered that unknown people had entered the abandoned church of Santa Corona in Garbagnate Milanese desecrated the interior.
On May 14th, witnesses discovered that the tabernacle had been desecrated and two ciboriums containing consecrated Hosts had been stolen from the church of San Giacomo de Monselice. This was the 3rd robbery in the Padua diocese in five months.
The parish of St. Peter in Recklinghausen has been the victim of repeated acts of vandalism, including people frequently urinating in the church, donation boxes being broken, mulled wine being poured into the holy water, and candles being used by drug addicts to heat their drugs. The church is open to the public every day until 6:00 pm.
An unidentified person climbed the facade of the Kilianskirche in Bad Lausick, smashed a 4-meter stained glass window, and entered the church sometime between 10:30 pm and 12:30 am during the night of April 21st to 22nd. Once inside, the vandal severely damaged the carved late Gothic altar and pulpit with a sword. A chandelier was shattered onto the ground and a candlestick was damaged. Disastrous damage was avoided after altar candles, deliberately left burning in the wooden tower, went out before causing a fire.
A band of thieves entered the church of Santa Quiteria during the night of April 11th, opened the tabernacle and stole a golden chalice containing consecrated Hosts, the most precious item for its religious value. They also destroyed donation boxes and took all the money.
Unidentified perpetrators looted the church of Saint-Martin in Warmifontaine, breaking open the tabernacle with a crowbar, and stealing ciboriums containing consecrated Hosts, chalices, and hand-carved statues.
On Easter Monday, the church of Domois in Fénay was desecrated and ransacked. Intruders shattered doors, broke objects, scattered candles, flowers, tablecloths, and religious symbols, church furniture and other items were destroyed. Tabernacles were opened and consecrated hosts were trampled and scattered all over.
On March 29th, the Court of Appeals in Toulouse ruled that Mohamed B., who desecrated and vandalized 215 graves, knocked down and broke crosses and other Christian symbols in a cemetery in Castres in 2015, was civilly liable for the religiously-motivated act. He had been found not criminally responsible due to mental illness, but on appeal, the court found him personally liable for compensation to AGRIF (Alliance générale contre le racisme et pour le respect de l'identité française et chrétienne).
A man walked into St Mary’s Catholic Church, set a couple of small fires and attempted to burn the icon taken off the church’s altar. The perpetrator left a Satanic image in the icon's place. The act was recorded by CCTV cameras and police arrested a suspect days later.
On the afternoon of March 4th, a parishioner discovered thick smoke inside l'église Saint-Gildas. She observed two young women running from the church and immediately contacted the authorities. Firefighters discovered 10 separate fires had been set inside.
During the night between 26th to 27th of December the parish church of San Francisco de Sales in Parla, in the Community of Madrid, was desecrated when the tabernacle containing consecrated hosts was stolen.
An “art” exhibit depicting 500 kg cow nailed to a cross hanging over a basin with 5,000 liters of milk was installed in the small parish church of Saint John the Baptist of Kuttekoven, in the Flemish town of Borgloon. The artist's message was to draw attention to food waste and housing shortages.
On the 26th of October, the Holy Trinity Church on Errislannan peninsula in Galway was completely desecrated by vandalism.
Unknown perpetrators broke into the parish of the Virgin of Bethlehem in Alcalá de Henares during the night of 5th and 6th of September 2017. They looted the altarpiece of the high altar, including the tabernacle containing consecrated Hosts, the ciborium of a chapel and a small monstrance containing a consecrated Host. The attackers threw the consecrated Hosts on the floor. Police were called and a Mass of Reparation was scheduled.
After a report of continuing disorderly conduct in the church of Saint Martin de Layrac, surveillance equipment revealed that a group of young people had been sitting on the altar smoking the lighted shisha with candles during the month of August. The police intervened and the parents were summoned.
Prosecutors rejected a complaint from Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Tilburg after two actors were filmed having sex in the confessional box. The video was posted on a Dutch porn website earlier this year. Dutch authorities said the pornographic film was offensive but there was no longer a blasphemy law in the Netherlands. A reparation Mass was held due to the desecration in the church.
The Basilica San Pascual de Villarreal was desecrated on July 14, 2017. One or more perpetrators forced open the tabernacle and stole the ciborium containing consecrated hosts. This act of desecration requires that a Mass of reparation be celebrated according to Canon Law.
The chapel of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), the second most important public university in the region and one of the main universities in Spain, was attacked with incendiary devices thrown through a window early in the morning of June 23, 2017. In addition to trying to destroy the chapel, the perpetrators left the slogan "The only church that illuminates is the one that burns" on the walls.,
During the afternoon on June 18, 2017, the cemetery of Pondrôme in Belgium was vandalized. Unknown vandals entered the cemetery and desecrated several graves, destroyed crosses, plaques and other memorial items on the burial sites. The reaction of the villagers of Pondrôme was one of anger and incomprehension. The Mayor Marc Lejeune filed a complaint with the police after being informed of the vandalism and said citizens should not be quick to assume the vandals came from the Fedasil refugee accommodation, which is next door to the cemetery.
A photographer taking pictures of a naked model were caught in the center aisle of the church Saint-Antoine de Compiegne in Oise in front of the altar by two parish members who went to the church to pray the rosary for the Christians of the East.
During their annual visit to the Serbian Orthodox Cemetery in Mitrovica Kosovo, relatives discovered that 90 percent of the graves had been desecrated. Tombstones had been destroyed and broken on the ground. The grieving families were shocked and deeply hurt by this destruction and desecration.
According to a witness, blue swastika graffiti was found on at least four graves in the Causses-et-Veyran Cemetery on June 4, 2017. One of the graves attacked with a swastika was a bas-relief depicting mourners holding Christ after his death on the cross. The grave plaques belonged to the same family, other items from the graveyard were also moved and thrown on the ground.
Between May 24th and May 31st, 2017, four cemeteries in France have been vandalized. The cemeteries have had their graves, including Christian graves, desecrated, crosses, vases and grave plaques destroyed to various degrees. Each cemetery has had their own suspects and three people have been identified and questioned by the local police, two cemeteries suspects remain unknown.
Two teenagers entered the cemetery of Saint-Brès France and destroyed two graves, crosses, statues, and grave plates. The police were called and the two teenagers were identified through surveillance cameras.
Two unknown perpetrators were seen entering the cemetery of Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, where General de Gaulle's grave is located. One of the two men was suspected of having climbed on the grave and reversed the cross of the grave. Police are investigating.
It is estimated that a dozen graves were desecrated, including Christian graves, and one coffin was opened at a cemetery near Fouchécourt between the 21st and 22nd April 2017. The local community is upset and angry.
In the summer of 2016, a video circulated on the internet showing a model posing on the graves in a cemetery in Tarn-et-Garonne, France. The local residents discovered this video and filed a complaint with the county council. In January 2017, another video with the same model, the same poses, and the same location was found online and the local residents filed another complaint to the county council. This county council discussed in April 2017 whether to lodge a formal complaint in order to bring the matter before an investigating judge.
In Ougrée, Belgium more than 50 graves were vandalized, several dozen tombs were destroyed and the crosses on the graves were thrown on the ground. The families of the deceased are upset that such vandalism occurred. This is the second time this month that the cemetery has been attacked.
On April 4, 2017 a witness reported the disappearance and decapitation of several religious statuettes in roadside shrines in Saint-Expedit, in the east of Réunion. This comes two days after the devastation of the site of the Black Madonna. In a shrine at the exit of the village of Bois-Blanc, the body, foot, and head of a statuette were left broken and scattered on the altar. The other statues had been taken, but offerings remained untouched. Nearby, at a shrine on the way to Cambourg in Saint-Benoît, four statuettes were decapitated. On the route de la Plaine, the well-known shrine, all statues were missing, and an auditor confirmed that this was also the case in the shrine located in the Jamaican sector in Saint-Denis.
On April 2, 2017, a groundskeeper discovered the statue of the Black Madonna Rivière-des-Pluies (la Vierge Noire à la Rivière-des-Pluies) had been thrown to the ground and completely destroyed at a religious site where many faithful go to pray. The Cross of the Jubilee, placed in front of the church, was also vandalized. The priest of the parish expressed shock and disappointment that “people will desecrate holy places” and said that the site would be temporarily closed while the gendarmerie investigated. Parishioners expressed shock, sadness, and anger at the destruction.
Between 16 and 20 March, 2017 during the night, 32 graves - mostly Christian - were excavated and searched. Officials presume the perpetrators were looking for valuables. A thorough inspection of the cemetery of 15,000 graves, on about ten hectares, was carried out. Surveillance of the premises was strengthened.
The Church of the Ascension in Salford was completely destroyed by a fire which was described as arson by police. It was built in 1869 and had recently undergone a £250,000 restoration with funds raised over three years. CCTV footage reportedly shows a young man running from the church at the time the fire broke out.
The owner of the chapel of Santa Rita, which he renovated, discovered the door had been forced open, cards and a rosary were left on the altar and set on fire. Luckily, the fire did not spread to the rest of the chapel.
Unknown perpetrators broke into the convent of the Carmelites of Avon during the night of January 31, 2017, stole computer equipment, holy objects, and broke open the tabernacle containing consecrated Hosts.
Some time in the night of January 6 - 7, at least 30 graves in the cemetery of Brennilis were vandalized, with crosses and crucifixes overturned or broken and headstones toppled. Police are investigating.
Unknown perpetrators intentionally set fire to the straw at the base of the nativity scene in the Cathedral of Saint-Étienne, burning all of the figures. The Archbishop expressed the pain of the community, saying that the display expresses the heart of the Christian faith.
On New Year's Eve, unknown perpetrators vandalized a chapel, damaging a statue of the Virgin Mary and burned prayer books and wooden objects nearby. Damages are estimated at around 1,000 euros. Police are investigating.
Unknown perpetrators beheaded a statue of St. Barbara and stole a Christ figure from a cross and several other sacred objects. Damage is estimated at around 5,000 euros. Police are investigating.
Unknown perpetrators entered the Orthodox church of the Archangel Michael near Lagoliou, set sacred books on fire in the sanctuary, and sprayed "Allah is great" in Arabic on the walls.
While he was celebrating Mass in the parish church of Nuestra Señora de Covadonga in Madrid, Fr. Lino Hernando was attacked at the altar by an unknown person who threw him to the ground, kicked and insulted him. The aggressor also threw around consecrated Hosts and other worship items from the altar. The police were immediately alerted and arrested the perpetrator.
Abel Azcona stole more than 240 consecrated hosts from Masses celebrated in the cities of Madrid and Pamplona. He later took nude photos of himself arranging them on a floor to spell the word ‘pederasty.’ He was charged with an offense against laws respecting religious sentiments. However, on November 16, 2016, a judge dismissed the case against Azcona. In his ruling, the judge described the consecrated and stolen hosts as “small white round objects.” He claimed that there had been no desecration of the sacred hosts because according to the Spanish Royal Academy dictionary desecration is defined as “treating something sacred without due respect or using it for profane purposes.”
The Bishop of San Sebastián reported that the tabernacle and ciborium containing consecrated Hosts which had been stolen from the chapel earlier in the week had been found in a cemetery. The ciborium was empty.
In a letter to members of his diocese on November 9, 2016, Bishop José Ignacio Munilla, Bishop of San Sebastián, denounced "a very grave desecration against the Blessed Sacrament" committed in the cemetery chapel of Polloe. The tabernacle was stolen, as was the ciborium and the consecrated Hosts it contained. The bishop announced a reparation Mass would be celebrated in the same chapel on November 20th.
The intruders gained access to the church after breaking a fence and window. They stole consecrated Hosts that were in the tabernacle and stole valuable religious jewelry, left other Hosts and various objects lying on the floor, and vandalized numerous images of virgins and saints.