Recent figures show that Catholics are the most common victims of religious prejudice and hate crime in Scotland. 42% of religiously motivated hate crimes are perpetrated against Catholics, compared to 26% against Muslims and 10% against Protestants. In contrast, Scottish Government figures show that racially-motivated hate crimes have fallen by 20% between 2014-15 and 2019-20. At the same time, the hate crime rate against transgender persons doubled in number. Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie expressed that hate crime is an "under-reported offence", which means that victims "can be targeted on numerous occasions before they report to our officers".
An investigation was initiated after seven priest of Vaucluse received personal letters with the words "Allah Akbar". It was announced on December 9th by the gendermerie, which speaks of a case "taken very seriously". Handwritten letters were personally addressed and sent to the parish where the seven African priests live.
On December 7th, the nativity scene that is placed every year in the Eguzki square in Berriozar became the target of vandalism. Almost all figures were split in half and destroyed by unknown perpetrators. The figures are made out of wood and were freshly painted this year, which means that the budget for the new restoration is very small.
The Berlin church district Tempelhof-Schöneberg has become the target of right-wing extremist "online attacks". These kind of attacks via the Internet are known as zoom bombings. During the online broadcasting of the service on December 3rd, unconstitutional signs and threats were shown and anti-Semitic statements were made. The attackers additionally made an attempt to include their own films and material. All incidents were reported to the State Security Department, which is investigating.
On November 24th, Pope Francis beatified 127 Catholics who were killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in the 20th century. At the same time the hashtag demanding Catholic priests to be burned alive became a trend on Twitter. Tweets with the hashtag #FuegoAlClero, which means "Burn the Clergy" were permitted by Twitter. Some of those tweets included pictures of priests with their heads in flames and others labeled priests as "pedophiles" and "thieves". Although Twitter's current user policy states that the promotion of violence on the basis of religious affiliation is not allowed, these pictures of priests in flames were not removed until the 25th of November.
The Church of St. Christ the King in Gothenburg was vandalized and devastated on November 13th. The unknown perpetrators destroyed the altar and threw the candlesticks, vestments and tablecloth on the ground. The pastor, Tobias Unnerstal, believes that the act was intentionally symbolic, trying to show an "eternal Good Friday". They also scattered the songbooks and used the fire extinguisher for the candles inside the chapel. In the same church, the crucifix was already stolen a week before. The police has been informed and they started an investigation.
On November 13th unknown perpetrators vandalized three chapels at the cementery in Vroonstalledries in Wondelgem.The police was informed by the secretary of the Church Council, who is calling for the installation of cameras to deter vandals.
In the Cemetery of the Victims of World War II in Gdansk, unknown perpetrators desecrated a cross on October 31st. On one side of the Cross the vandals wrote "Women's Hell" and "Kill a Priest" with white paint, and on the other side the cross was tagged with an insult against the PiS party. The incident was reported to the police.
The parish of Ciechanow reported on October 30th, that posters were hung on the door of the church of St. Joseph. Slogans saying "If the altar boys got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament", "My sisters are not incubators", "You have blood on your hands", "Abortion without borders" and "Choice is not compulsion" were displayed together with the symbol of a lightning, which is the "Women's Strike" symbol. The same attacks took place in the cities of Plock, Gostynin and Dzierzenin.
In Vienna, about 30 to 50 young people with a Turkish background entered the church St. Anton on the evening of October 28th. The group rioted and kicked against benches and the confessional while shouting Islamist slogans like "Allahu Akbar". A surveillance camera recorded the scene. Two weeks prior to this incident the church and its surroundings started to be molested by the group. It is belived that the incidnet is connected to the re-publishing of the caricatures of the prophet Mohammed in France. The police is investigating and surveilling the area.
Since the 8th of August, Pastor Josh Williamson and his wife experienced several threats and verbal abuse by the LGBT community, because of posting his belief about homosexuality on Facebook. Among them are the threats to burn his church, to perform sexual acts and protests in front of his church and physical assault. His image was also used on pornographic content and shared online, among other misleading information about him. In his conversation with the Police, Williamson was told to be careful not to break the law by insulting the LGBT community and being charged for hate speech. The threats towards him and his church were not investigated, neither the acts of defamation.
Spectators of the Tour de France race, which started on August 29th in Nice, discovered large anti-Christian messages painted on the road of Col de Glières pass, which was part of the race course. The images consisted of a cross inserted into a large prohibition sign and a slogan saying "Bad religion", accompanied by the painting of a red devil on turquoise background and a message saying "Pleased to meet you."
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.
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.
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.