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Filtered by: Desecration

Statue of Virgin Mary and Roadside Crucifix Destroyed in Southern Poland

January 17, 2020, Poland

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Nine Statues of the Virgin Mary Attacked in Less than Four Hours in Pyrenees

January 9, 2020, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Cemetery Vandalized; Crosses Smashed

December 22, 2019, Belgium

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Italian Church Thief Urinated on Altar

November 16, 2019, Italy

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.

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

Christ Figure Burnt in Holy Sepulcher Chapel

November 14, 2019, Spain

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.”

Desecration Hate Crime Hate Incident

Nuns at Carmelite Convent in Ireland Verbally Abused by Intruders; Chapel Desecrated

November 11, 2019, Ireland

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.

Desecration Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson and Destruction at Churches on Chios

November 10, 2019, Greece

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.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

'Battering Ram' Night-Raid Robbery at French Cathedral

November 4, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Hate Crime Hate Incident Theft

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)

Parish Church Cemetery Vandalized in Zabrzu-Helence

October 27, 2019, Poland

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Córdoba Church Broken into; Consecrated Hosts Scattered on Altar

October 5, 2019, Spain

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church Desecrated with Satanic Tags in Giroussens

September 3, 2019, France

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

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Youth 'defecates in Spanish church, smears feces on statue, walls'

August 21, 2019, Spain

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft and Desecration at Oise Parish

August 9, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Hate Crime Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Medieval Norfolk Church Torched by Arson

July 12, 2019, United Kingdom

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism of a Hundred Graves in Toulouse Cemetery

June 9, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandals Burned Bible and Song Book; Left Feces in Church

May 31, 2019, Germany

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Crucifixes Targeted at Cemetery in Montpellier

May 29, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Crucifix Destroyed in Płońsk

May 28, 2019, Poland

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandals Burn Statue of Jesus in Großholbach Church

May 19, 2019, Germany

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Etsy Admits Sale of Consecrated Hosts Violated Policy

May 16, 2019, Germany

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.

Desecration

Christ Figure Broken in Half and Left on Church Altar

May 8, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Cross Broken and Trampled at Kwidzyn Cathedral

May 3, 2019, Poland

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Consecrated Hosts Stolen from Deux-Sèvres Church

May 2, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Theft

Easter Mass Disrupted in Trieste

April 21, 2019, Italy

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.

Desecration Insult or Incitement

Tabernacle Broken and Hosts Stolen from Montluçon Church

April 9, 2019, France

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."

Desecration Theft

Repeated Vandalism in Coesfeld Church

April 5, 2019, Germany

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church of Saint-Etienne Vandalized, Hosts Desecrated in the Vendée

April 4, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Priest Calls Church Rampage "Spiritual Anarchism"

March 23, 2019, Austria

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.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson Attempted Twice in Senigallia Cathedral

March 19, 2019, Italy

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.

Desecration Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Desecration at Basilica in Charente-Maritime

March 16, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Theft

Desecration at Madrid Parish

March 10, 2019, Spain

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.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Robbery and Desecration in Charente Church

March 8, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Theft

Theft of Liturgical Objects and Desecration at Saint-Maxime Church

March 8, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Theft

Dublin Church Crypt Desecrated

February 25, 2019, Ireland

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.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Satanic Desecration in Chapels Near Franciscan Monastery in Katowice

February 23, 2019, Poland

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Dijon Church Desecrated

February 9, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Christian Cemetery Vandalized in Kamień Krajeński

February 6, 2019, Poland

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Police Investigate Severe Desecration at Notre-Dame des Enfants in Nîmes

February 5, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft from Talmont Church

February 3, 2019, France

The tabernacle was broken and the ciborium containing consecrated hosts was stolen from the church of Saint-Pierre de Talmont (Vendée) on February 3rd.

Desecration Theft

Consecrated Hosts Thrown inside Tabernacle; Ciborium Stolen

February 3, 2019, France

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.

Desecration Theft

Theft and Desecration of Madrid Church

November 13, 2018, Spain

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.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church in Yvelines Desecrated

October 16, 2018, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Huge Metal Cross Torn Down

October 7, 2018, Germany

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."

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Elda Hospital Chapel Desecrated

July 28, 2018, Spain

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Robbery of Saint-Pierre d'Equainville

July 21, 2018, France

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.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Desecration and Vandalism in Chiesa di San Clemente in Latera

July 21, 2018, Italy

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Parish Priest Closed Church after Finding Urine in Holy Water

July 9, 2018, Italy

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism and Desecration at Madrid Church

July 9, 2018, Spain

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.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Convictions in Czech Church Arson Case

June 28, 2018, Czech Republic

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.  

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)