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Filtered by: Insult or Incitement

Zurich March for Life Disrupted by Violent Counter-Demo

September 14, 2019, Switzerland

The approved rally "March for Life" in Zurich on the afternoon of September 14th was disrupted by an unauthorized counter-demonstration. More than a thousand peaceful participants in the March for Life gathered on the Turbinenplatz to begin the march on an approved route in the city. At the same time, several hundred people -- called by some press reports a Red-Green alliance -- some with prams containing objects to be thrown (including stones and bottles), convened on the Josefswiese to start an unauthorized counter-demonstration parade. As they attempted to stop the counter-demo and prevent a clash with the March for Life, police were attacked with objects, including bottles and stones. Dumpsters were set on fire, a police vehicle was demolished, and firefighters were hindered by the protesters. In response, the police used a water cannon, rubber bullets, and tear gas to deter the protesters. Due to the violence, the police stopped the March for Life temporarily and ultimately shortened the route to prevent an encounter with the counter-demonstrators, some of whom were masked.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Insult or Incitement

Judge Opens Proceedings Against "Pederoclastia" Installation

July 25, 2019, Spain

The Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers has sought a court order to shut down an artist’s installation entitled "Pederoclastia" that contains "ornaments used in Catholic worship" and "figures of children in explicitly sexual postures." The Association also said on July 19 that it would file a criminal complaint against artist Fernando Barredo de Valenzuela (who is also the coordinator for Toledo Laica) for offending religious sentiments and inciting hatred, and may take steps against the Círculo de Arte de Toledo for "attacking the feelings of Catholics." On July 25, Toledo’s Court of First Instance No 2 opened a preliminary investigation into the possibility that the case constituted corruption of minors but had not ordered the exhibition to be shut down.

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Corpus Christi Procession Parodied during Gdansk Equality March

May 25, 2019, Poland

During the May 25th Tri-City Equality March in Gdansk, which was organized by the LGBT communities, the Catholic tradition of Corpus Christi processions was parodied. A group of people in multicolored costumes with rainbow halos were supposed to imitate the typical attire of a statue of the Virgin Mary. Each of them held on to a ribbon attached to a highly provocative sign depicting a crowned vagina where in Catholic Corpus Christi processions the Blessed Sacrament (a consecrated host) would be. A person dressed in white, imitating a priest, was holding the sign. The city's mayor participated and gave an opening speech at the march, calling it an honor to open the event.

Insult or Incitement

Posters of Our Lady of Częstochowa with Rainbow Halo Scattered around Płock Church

April 26, 2019, Poland

On the morning of April 27th, parishioners noticed posters of Our Lady of Częstochowa (a sacred image of the Virgin Mary and Child) scattered around the church of St. Maksymilian Kolbe with rainbows replacing the golden halos. The posters were found around litter bins and portable toilets. The spokesman for the Polish Bishops Conference denounced the act and asked for people "regardless of beliefs and personal views, to respect the religious feelings of believers." The incident was also harshly criticized by the Interior Ministry.

Insult or Incitement Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Religious Symbols

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

Church Door Defaced in Münster

April 7, 2019, Germany

During the night of April 6th to 7th, unknown vandals defaced the St. Josef Catholic church. A woman discovered "Pädo" in black lettering and a cross painted on the door of the church. Police investigated.

Insult or Incitement Vandalism (form of hate crime)

International Women's Day Strikers Disrupted Press Conference at Archdiocese

March 8, 2019, Spain

More than a dozen strikers disrupted a press conference on the XXIV edición de Las Edades del Hombre at the Archdiocese of Vallodolid, throwing pamphlets and, using megaphones, shouted slogans against religion in education and in favor of abortion.

Insult or Incitement

Pro-Abortion Banner Hung by Feminist Activists at Concathedral of Logroño

March 8, 2019, Spain

A banner reading "Os beberéis la sangre de nuestros abortos" ("You will drink the blood of our abortions") was discovered hanging on the gate in front of the Concatedral de Santa María de la Redonda in Logroño.

Insult or Incitement Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Obscene Vandalism on Salerno Church

October 31, 2018, Italy

Vandals sprayed a phallic symbol in foam next to the Madonna on the bronze door of the church of Santa Maria a Mare a Mercatello. The priest, who called the act disrespectful and offensive, reported that this was not the first instance of vandalism, as the churchyard is a frequent target of vandals. Both the priest and the parishioners were upset and discussed closing the churchyard and installing security cameras in the area.

Insult or Incitement Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Spanish Mayor Disguised Himself as Priest to Perform Civil Wedding

September 23, 2018, Spain

The mayor of Ayna (Albacete), Emiliano Rodríguez, disguised himself as a priest to perform a civil wedding ceremony in the town of Castilla-La Mancha. He wore a cassock with a large cross hanging around his neck and carried a small book like a bible in his hands. While the socialist mayor claimed it was a private event not intended to offend anyone, the stunt was widely criticized. The parish priest of Albacete wrote on social media, "As a priest I protest vigorously. Please respect my faith." (Como sacerdote protesto enérgicamente. Por favor, respete mi Fe).

Insult or Incitement

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

Man Arrested for Threatening to Blow Up Cathedral

April 28, 2018, France

A 38-year old man was arrested after he burst into the Cathédrale Saint-Vincent de Chalon-sur-Saône during the Mass on April 28th, and threatened to blow everything up with a grenade and gestured toward his satchel. He also grabbed a Mass book and shouted "it is the Koran that should be read!" Parishioners promptly called the police and Ahmed X was soon placed in custody. Highly intoxicated, he remained in jail for two days before appearing in court to face charges. Due to 27 previous convictions, including violent offenses, the court ruled that he would be held in jail until his trial at the end of May. He is considered a recidivist under French law and could face enhanced penalties if convicted in this case.

Hate Crime Insult or Incitement

No Prison for Men Who Entered Convent Demanding Nuns Convert to Islam

March 28, 2018, France

The two men who entered a Carmelite convent in November 2017 and demanded the nuns to convert to Islam or they would go to hell were released by a Verdun court on March 28th. The court, citing "diminished mental responsibility at the time of the incident" because the intruders had been suffering from "psychiatric disorders," freed the men after a trial.

Insult or Incitement

Man Shouted “Allahu Akbar" in the Cathedral of Cambrai

March 25, 2018, France

Shortly before the Palm Sunday Mass in the cathedral Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, a unidentified man shouted “Allahu Akbar” into the microphone. When approached by a parishioner, he ran away. Notably, the incident happened two days after an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in southern France.

Insult or Incitement

Provocative Play Advertised in Front of Catholic Schools

March 21, 2018, Spain

The City Council of Madrid placed an advertising poster for a publicly-funded theatrical performance entitled "The place where the whores pray" (El lugar donde rezan las putas) directly in front of two Catholic schools. The play, performed at the public Teatro Español, was described by promoters as exploring "theater in times of rage."

Insult or Incitement Rights of Parents

Demonstration Against Immigration Law in the Basilica of Saint-Denis

March 18, 2018, France

Far-left activists and undocumented migrants demonstrated inside the Basilica of Saint-Denis on March 18th to protest the French government’s new asylum law before being forcibly removed by police, resulting in the evening Mass being cancelled.

Insult or Incitement

"Allahu Akbar" Shouted in a Crowded Evangelical Church

March 11, 2018, France

A man burst into the crowded Evangelical Church of Wittenheim in Alsace during the Sunday service and shouted “Allahu Akbar” while mimicking the use of a weapon, frightening the congregation. The man, known to authorities for psychiatric disorders, was detained and sent to a psychiatric hospital.

Insult or Incitement

Activist says "Burn the Episcopal Conference"

March 6, 2018, Spain

On March 6 during the television program Més 324 on the public broadcasting network Catalonia TV3, former CUP politician and activist Bel Olid encouraged participation in the March 8 feminist strike by saying: "Hem de cremar la conferència episcopal per masclista i patriarchal!" (We must burn the Episcopal Conference for machismo and patriarchyl!).

Insult or Incitement

Government Sponsored Festival whose Poster Depicted Church in Flames

February 22, 2018, Spain

The Lugo City Hall, governed by PSOE, sponsored a music festival in February 2018 whose promotional poster depicts Christian church in flames. The three-day festival called “A Candeloria” was organized for the 15th consecutive year. All participating musical bands shared in common "combative music" with "corrosive lyrics about the system and its institutions."

Insult or Incitement