All cases

Filtered by: Desecration

Increase in Vandalism Against Churches in Northern Ireland

September 16, 2020, United Kingdom

In the last three years, there have been more than 400 attacks recorded against churches. In the last five years it sums up to 600 attacks in Northern Ireland. Most of the attacks happened in Belfast. Most of the incidents are attacks with paint bombs and graffitis, but also various forms of vandalism, arson attacks and general damage to church property are recorded.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Eglise Saint-Pierre Vandalized and Desecrated

August 11, 2020, France

During the night of 10-11 August, unknown perpetrators broke into the church of Saint-Pierre de Montendre. The large central crucifix was discovered smashed on the ground. Father Bergson Julien was shocked: "I went to open the church at 8.45 this Tuesday morning and found the large cross with Christ in terracotta on the floor, broken vases on the altar, and the tabernacle had disappeared". The tabernacle was later found, but the ciborium and lunula with consecrated hosts it contained were missing.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Profination of 63 tombs in Lannemezan

August 9, 2020, France

During the night of August 9th, 63 tombs were vandalized and desecrated in the Lannemezan cemetery in the Hautes-Pyrénées region. Broken crosses and upside down plaques were discovered by family members. Police was alerted by the neighbors, who heard the loud noise. Only a week after the incident the police already arrested two young men connected to the crime, who could face imprisonment up to 7 years.

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

"Fake Mass" Filmed and Vandalism in Maccagno

July 21, 2020, Italy

The police of Maccagno suspect a small group of young people to have entered the church of Our Lady of the Point through a half-opened door during the night of July 21st. They took liturgical vestments from the sacristy and climbed onto the altar to "celebrate Mass" on it. The vandals later moved to the shore of the lake where they, after drinking bottles of beer, left the empty beer carton on the head of the statue of the Virgin Mary. Videos of the "fake Mass" appeared on social media and the police began an investigation.

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

Satanists Suspected of Theft and Desecration in St. Johann Baptist Church in Krefeld

July 18, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators have stolen the golden door of the tabernacle, a monstrance stance and money from an donation box. The tabernacle door was forcefully torn out and the donation box vandalized and money stolen. The community of St. Johann Baptist Church suspects satanists to be the perpetrators, who use the stolen objects for satanic rituals, because the golden altar cross was not stolen, which speaks against just a monetary motivation.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism with Excrement in the Capuchin Church in Spoleto

June 14, 2020, Italy

The small church of the Minori Cappuccini di Spoleto was discovered vandalized with human excrement on June 14th, the feast of Corpus Christi. The excrement was scattered in several places in the church, including the chapel of the Madonna, on the entrance threshold, and on door handles.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Desecration of University Chapel in Santiago de Compostela

June 12, 2020, Spain

The chapel of USC (University of Santiago de Compostela) in the South Campus of Santiago was vandalized on July 12th, which led to much damage and the desecration of consecrated hosts. The police are investigating the case.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft and Desecration of the Eucharist in Molfetta

June 11, 2020, Italy

The parish priest of San Gennaro in Molfetta, Don Sergio Vitulano, reported that on the morning of June 12th he had noticed the number of consecrated hosts was significantly reduced compared to those placed in the ciborium during the Mass of the previous day. He also reported finding a consecrated host on the ground. The security camera footage revealed that a recognizable woman, observed in the area in the previous days, had entered the church and had taken numerous consecrated Hosts from the tabernacle by hurriedly putting them in her pocket and leaving the church.

Desecration Theft

Profanation and Theft in Saint-Gault Church

March 4, 2020, France

In the beginning of March 2020 the church Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais in Quelaines-Saint-Gault became a target of desecration and theft. The tabernacle was opened and the ciborium with the consecrated hosts was stolen. A Mass of reparation was celebrated on March 7th. The police took fingerprints and are searching for witnesses.

Desecration Theft

Trémorel Church Vandalized

March 1, 2020, France

During the night from March 1st to March 2nd, someone broke into and vandalized the church of Trémorel (Côtes-d'Armor). The tabernacle was destroyed and the consecrated hosts were found scattered on the ground.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft and Desecration of Tabernacle in St. Michael Church

February 26, 2020, Germany

During the night between February 26th and 27th unknown perpetrators broke into the church Saint Michael in Vöhringen, damaged several doors, opened the tabernacle by force and stole two ciboria filled with consecrated hosts. The financial damage amounts to 20,000 euros and the religious loss is incalculable.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Charente-Maritime: the Church of Port-d'Envaux desecrated, vandalized, and looted

February 22, 2020, France

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.

Desecration Hate Crime Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Four Young Women Vandalized Church; Set Fire to the Altar

February 20, 2020, Spain

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Burglary from Church Discovered during Funeral

February 13, 2020, France

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.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

29-Year-Old Man Confessed to Damaging Roadside Shrines

February 12, 2020, Poland

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Desecration of Tabernacle and Theft in Carrión de los Céspedes

January 29, 2020, Spain

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.

Desecration Hate Crime Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Consecrated Hosts Stolen from Chapel Moments Before Mass

January 26, 2020, Spain

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.

Desecration Hate Crime Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

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

Charente-Maritime: Desecration at the Church of Tonnay-Charente

November 11, 2019, France

The church of Saint-Etienne in Tonnay-Charente was desecrated on November 11th. According to the Bishopric of La Rochelle, the cross of Christ was overturned, the tabernacle was broken, the hosts were scattered on the ground, the lunula containing a host for worship was stolen. The Bishop denounced "the deliberate desire to undermine the integrity of the consecrated hosts."

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

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)

Rocks thrown through Stained Glass Window of Worcester Church

November 11, 2019, United Kingdom

11-12 November 2019. Church Warden left "in tears" after rocks damaged historic details of multiple windows at St Thomas' Church, Worcester.

Desecration Intolerance towards Religious Symbols 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

Ten Intrusions and Thefts of Religious Objects in Vienne

April 11, 2019, France

The Archbishop of Poitiers announced that there had been an intrusion and theft of religious objects in the churches of Brion and Argenton in Deux-Sèvres. During February and March about ten thefts and attempted thefts of chalices and ciboriums were recorded in the department of Vienne.

Desecration Theft

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

Thieves Stole Ciborium and Hosts from the Church of Madeleine

January 31, 2019, France

Thieves broke into the Church of Madeleine in Vendôme and stole a wooden tabernacle containing a ciborium and consecrated hosts.

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)

Abandoned Church Suffers Gross Desecration

June 6, 2018, Italy

A passerby discovered that unknown people had entered the abandoned church of Santa Corona in Garbagnate Milanese desecrated the interior.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Desecration and Theft in the Church of San Giacomo di Monselice

May 14, 2018, Italy

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.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Repeated Vandalism at Recklinghausen Parish

April 25, 2018, Germany

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Devastation in Saxony's Oldest Town Church

April 22, 2018, Germany

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Theft in Torás Church

April 11, 2018, Spain

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. 

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism and Theft at Warmifontaine Church

April 6, 2018, Belgium

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.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Deliberate Act of Desecration

April 2, 2018, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Court Ruled 2015 Desecration of Cemetery was "Anti-Christian" Attack

March 29, 2018, France

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).

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

Great Yarmouth Church Desecrated Days Before Easter

March 27, 2018, United Kingdom

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.

Desecration Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson at Saint-Gildas Church in Auray

March 4, 2018, France

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.

Desecration Hate Crime

Desecration and Theft of Consecrated Hosts from Spanish Parish

December 26, 2017, Spain

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. 

Desecration Theft

‘Crucified Cow’ Displayed in Catholic Church by Artist as Comment on Wastefulness

November 23, 2017, Belgium

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.

Desecration Insult or Incitement

Galway: Church Interior Found Devastated

October 26, 2017, Ireland

On the 26th of October, the Holy Trinity Church on Errislannan peninsula in Galway was completely desecrated by vandalism.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Desecration in Madrid Church

September 6, 2017, Spain

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Church Profaned in Layrac: Young People Smoked Shisha on the Altar

August 31, 2017, France

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.

Desecration

No Charges Filed against Porn Makers for Church Sex Film in Tilburg

August 15, 2017, Netherlands

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.

Desecration

Church Desecrated in Villarreal

July 14, 2017, Spain

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.

Desecration

University Chapel Attacked with Incendiary Devices

June 23, 2017, Spain

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.,

Desecration Hate Crime Insult or Incitement

Cemetery Desecrated in Pondrôme

June 18, 2017, Belgium

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Photographer and Naked Model Caught in Church

June 13, 2017, France

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.

Desecration Insult or Incitement

Mass Desecration of Serbian Orthodox Graves

June 6, 2017, Kosovo

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.

Desecration Hate Crime Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Swastika Graffiti Discovered in Cemetery

June 4, 2017, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Several Cemeteries Vandalized across France

May 31, 2017, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Cemetery Vandalized in Saint-Brès

May 27, 2017, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Cross at General De Gaulle's Grave Vandalized

May 27, 2017, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Cemetery Desecrated in Fouchécourt

April 22, 2017, France

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Complaint Discussed for 2016 Cemetery Desecration

April 13, 2017, France

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.

Desecration

Cemetery Vandalized and Tombs Destroyed

April 13, 2017, Belgium

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.

Desecration Vandalism (form of hate crime)

At Least Four Shrines Vandalized in Saint-Expédit

April 4, 2017, France

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.

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