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Filtered by: Hate Incident

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)

German Church and Pilgrimage Site Targeted by Arsonists Twice in One Week

November 16, 2019, Germany

A visitor to the St. Katharina Kirche in Buschhoven discovered that a fire had been set in the church during the early afternoon of November 16th. Local media reports that books and booklets were placed on top of the lit candlesticks in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary, revered by Christians and pilgrims as the "Rosa Mystica." The books caught fire and the church was enveloped in a huge mass of smoke and soot before the fire brigade was able to extinguish the blaze. Earlier in the week, a fire had been set in the same church using the candles but was extinguished before major damage occurred.

Hate Crime Hate Incident 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)

'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

Trial Began for 2016 Ramadan Attack on Christian Refugee

September 24, 2019, Germany

The trial of a 26-year-old Afghan who was charged with committing serious bodily injury against a Christian convert at the Rottacher Traglufthalle asylum accommodation in 2016 began on September 24th.

Freedom of Religion Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Man Arrested with Cans of Gasoline in Cathedral

July 8, 2019, France

A man in his thirties was arrested on July 8th at around 7 pm, after he entered the cathedral of Sées with several cans of gasoline. Witnesses apprehended him and handed him over to the police. According to reports, the man, who suffers from psychological problems, was taken to the psychotherapeutic center of Orne for compulsory hospitalization. However no criminal prosecution will be launched against him. According to the public prosecutor, "there is a total absence of discernment. He is totally irresponsible ... No criminal action may be taken."

Hate Incident

Disruptions and Security Concerns at Armenian Genocide Commemorations in Germany

April 27, 2019, Germany

In Frankfurt am Main, the Diocese of the Armenian Church in Germany and the Central Council of Armenians held a memorial service at the Paulskirche on April 27th for the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Just hours before the event, the keynote speaker was forced to cancel his participation due to acute security concerns. The speaker, Mourad Franck Papazian of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Associations in France, received a warning from French security police that he might become a target for Turkish extremists in Germany.  Other incidents included damage of cross stones and threats toward ceremony participants.

Hate Incident

Bomb Threat Halted Church Commemoration of Armenian Genocide

April 24, 2019, Germany

Police evacuated the Lutherkirche in the Bad Cannstadt district of Stuttgart on April 24th shortly before a 7pm commemoration service for the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was to take place. The pastor of the Armenian Christian community reported that received a warning from police to clear the church after an anonymous bomb threat was received. Police forces blocked off a large area around the church, employing special forces with machine guns and dogs until late in the evening. A police spokesman neither confirmed nor denied that it had been a bomb threat, but called it a "threat situation" and explosives detection dogs were brought in as a precautionary measure. Police authorities are still investigating. 

Hate Incident

Priest Assaulted in Marseille

March 12, 2019, France

A Dominican priest was with a group of high school students giving coffee to a homeless person when he was grabbed by the throat from behind by a stranger. The man then released the priest and said "I will not shake your hand." The priest was unhurt but shocked by the incident. He reported the incident because he thought he had been targeted because of his religious dress.

Hate Crime Hate Incident

Historic Cornwall Church the Target of Arson

November 24, 2018, United Kingdom

Firefighters were called to St Mary’s Church in Penzance at around 4am in the early hours of November 24th by the key holder and his wife after the alarm sounded. A bin had been placed in front of the church door and set on fire. Witnesses reported that the fire nearly spread into the interior of the church. Police were given the CCTV footage and began an investigation. Damages are estimated at up to £10,000. 

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson in Funeral Chapel

November 21, 2018, Germany

Unknown persons set fire to two benches in the altar room of the funeral chapel in Treysa on November 21st. The benches in the interior of the church were set on fire with paper waste and presumably fire accelerators. The fire caused considerable soot damage, but the building remained intact. The damage was estimated at 500 euros.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Explosion at Banquet Hall of Syrian Orthodox Church in Södertälje

September 19, 2018, Sweden

Police completed a forensic investigation of an explosion in an events hall owned by the St. Afrem Syrian Orthodox Church. The hall, rented from the church for events such as parties and wedding receptions, was empty at the time of the explosion. Police said the explosion was the result of a homemade incendiary device, but have not identified a perpetrator.

Hate Crime Hate Incident

Man with Knife on Metro screamed "I target all Catholics"

July 14, 2018, France

A man caused panic in the Paris metro on July 14th when he threatened the passengers with a knife, screaming "I am a Muslim and I target all Catholics." The police took the 23-year-old Egyptian "Emad F." into custody.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Man Wields Knife in Berlin Cathedral

June 3, 2018, Germany

When a 53-year-old Austrian man became aggressive and started wielding a knife in the Berlin Cathedral, police were called to intervene. The staff of the cathedral, which is also a popular tourist spot, were able to lead all visitors to safety. About a hundred people were in the cathedral at the time.

Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Eggs Thrown at Priest's House after Homily

March 31, 2018, Spain

Eggs were thrown at the door of a priest's home on Holy Saturday, March 31st, a day after he was criticized by LGBTI groups for a homily in which he questioned whether 'gender ideology' was a biased view of the nature of men and women, and whether it had a scientific basis.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Hate Incident Negative Stereotyping

Fire in Ravensburg Church; Damage Around Two Million Euros

March 10, 2018, Germany

On March 10th police and firefighters responded to a massive fire in the 14th-century St. Jodok Church. Firefighters were able to save valuable pieces of art, but the organ was completely destroyed. Initial damage estimates were at least 2 million euros, as the church had been completely renovated in 2010. In addition to that, a fire was also set in St. Martin's church in Schlier, only a few kilometers from Ravensburg. Police received an anonymous message after the incident reading, “More churches will burn.” The arsonist was arrested on March 21st and convicted in September 2018, receiving a seven-year prison sentence.

Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Fire in a Church in Ravensburg

March 10, 2018, Germany

A small fire in a church was reported in Ravensburg on the same day as a devastating fire in the St. Jodok Church.

Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

At Least Five Madrid Churches Vandalized during International Women's Day Strike

March 8, 2018, Spain

On March 8th, International Women’s Day, the church of Espíritu Santo, the church of San Cristóbal, the Hermitage of San Isidro, the military church of San Andrés, and the church of San Jorge in La Coruña were all defaced with pro-abortion and anti-Catholic graffiti. The vandals identified themselves as feminists who were part of the "8M" women's strike, young communists, or anarchists. Locks on some of the churches were sealed with silicone to prevent the faithful from entering.

Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Molotov Cocktail Found in Church Days after Threatening Graffiti Sprayed on Facade

March 6, 2018, Spain

On March 6th, a Molotov cocktail was found placed on the ledge of a window in the apse of the central parish San Miguel in Córdoba. The paper wick in the bottle had had been lit, but fortunately did not combust with the explosive materials inside.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)