All cases

Filtered by: Hate Incident

Fires Set in Tyrol Church; Witnesses Sought by Police

July 23, 2020, Austria

Would-be arsonists started a fire in the parish church in Waidring (Kitzbühel district) on July 23rd. According to police, between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., unknown perpetrators distributed and lit several matchboxes, matches, and candles on the church pews. In addition, they tried to set fire to a hymn book, presumably using matches. Around 5:15 p.m., a witness noticed the smell of fire in the church, but the fire had already gone out. There was a similar incident on Monday, July 20th: according to investigators, burning ignition wicks had been placed on the kneelers of the church pews.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Suspicious Fire in Frensdorf Pilgrimage Church

July 4, 2020, Germany

Around 6:30 p.m. on July 4th, an employee who entered the pilgrimage church from the back, noticed heavy smoke and fire in the area of ​​a church pew. A candle on the knee pad in front of the bench had set fire to a nylon rope, then the pad caught fire and the flames spread to the entire bench. The woman managed to extinguish the burning seat and backrest; then she called the fire brigade. The Bamberg criminal police took over the further investigation into the cause of the fire which resulted in 2,000 euros in damage.

Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Man Arrested in Madrid after Shouting "I'm going to burn you all alive" during Mass

July 3, 2020, Spain

On July 3rd, Madrid's municipal police arrested a man after he burst into the San Ramón Nonato parish church in Puente de Vallecas, where a Mass was being celebrated, shouting "murderers, fags, and pedophiles! You should burn, I'm going to burn you all alive!"

Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

British MP Receives Death Threat after Voting against Abortion Law

June 30, 2020, United Kingdom

In June, a British MP received a death threat and other online abuse after voting in accordance with her pro-life convictions. Dr Lisa Cameron, SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, was sent the threat just days after voting against a pro-abortion bill, which limits support/protest near abortion clinics.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Suspected Arson at San Girolamo Church in Rimini

June 29, 2020, Italy

On June 29th, firefighters were called to the San Girolamo Church in the city of Rimini shortly after 3:30 in the afternoon. A pedestrian reported smoke emanating from the storage room of the church building where old furniture and plastic chairs formed the basis for the fire. Fortunately, the firefighting team was able to quell the blaze. A forensics team investigated whether the fire had been intentionally set, noting that nothing indicated that short circuits or similar faults were the cause of the fire.

Hate Crime Hate Incident

Church Fire in Réaumont Investigated

June 29, 2020, France

Shortly before 7 p.m. on June 29th, the fire brigade was dispatched to a fire in the Réaumont church. The firefighters were able to contain the damage of the fire to the sacristy. The fire produced high volumes of smoke, which caused most of the damage in the sacristy. Fortunately the rest of the church remained intact and no sacred objects were damaged. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the gendarmerie.

Hate Incident

Fire Set in Bockhorst Church

June 4, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators set fire to an altar cloth and an organ book in the Maria von der immerwährenden Hilfe (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) church in Bockhorst at around 5:00 p.m. on May 29th. The fire was extinguished promptly by the person who discovered the fire. Property damage of several thousand euros was incurred.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Repeated Arson at Church An Maria Waldrast in Krefeld

May 16, 2020, Germany

On May 16th, unknown perpetrators set fire to the memorial altar in the church An Maria Waldrast in Krefeld. Previous arson attempts had been reported to the police in February and March 2020. The police are investigating and suspects an intentional arson. A volunteer at the church discovered the fire and was able to extinguish it with another witness. There was no damage and no one was injured.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Afghan Asylum Seeker Arrested after Threatening to "Slit Christians' Throats"

April 26, 2020, Belgium

A Muslim migrant from Afghanistan was arrested on April 26th after he made serious threats against the employees of the asylum center in Helchteren. The 24-year-old man also said he wanted to 'slit Christians' throats' and would blow himself up to kill as many Christians as possible. The police had responded to the center earlier in the week when the man refused to wash his hands in compliance with the coronavirus regulations, claiming that there was alcohol in the soap and therefore he would not use it during Ramadan. That incident escalated when the man began coughing and spitting at people around him.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Attempted Arson and Vandalism at Christchurch in Graz-Eggenberg

April 8, 2020, Austria

An unknown perpetrator smashed the window of Christ Church in Graz with a stone and then set newspapers on fire and threw them inside the church through the smashed window. Fortunately, the burning newspapers did not cause a fire inside the church. Witnesses saw the incident and reported it to the police, who asked for help in finding the perpetrator.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Unknown Individuals Repeatedly Urinate in Church Holy Water

January 14, 2020, Switzerland

Just before Christmas, the Catholic Church Guthirt in Aarburg was forced to withdraw access to holy water in its basins following repeated acts of urination into the water. The deacon, Markus Stohldreier, expressed shock and disappointment at repeated attacks against the parish community."In my 36 years as a theologian, I have never experienced anything comparable." He added, "The perpetrators must have urinated in holy water in broad daylight," because the church is closed at night to prevent vandalism.

Freedom of Religion Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Toulouse: Living Nativity Disrupted by Activists; Journalist Assaulted

December 15, 2019, France

The 2019 edition of the living crèche in Toulouse had to be shortened after the intervention of counter-demonstrators in front of frightened children. Around fifty far-left demonstrators whistled at the choir, chanted blasphemous songs, and insulted participants before coming to blows with some, arguing "that this event was illegal in a secular state."

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Hate Incident

Fire in Loire Church During Mass

December 15, 2019, France

In Saint-Just-en-Bas (Loire), 300 m² of the roof of the local church went up in flames on Sunday, December 15, during the morning Mass. An official of the commune sounded the alert when he saw an unusual smoke coming from the nave. The church was evacuated and no casualties were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Hate Crime 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

Priest Brutally Assaulted in Szczecin Church

July 28, 2019, Poland

A Catholic priest was beaten up just before celebrating Mass by three men in the sacristy of the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in Szczecin. One of the perpetrators apparently used a rosary as a "brass knuckle."

Hate Crime Hate Incident