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Filtered by: Negative Stereotyping

British Christmas Card Producer under fire for deeply offensive products

December 8, 2019, United Kingdom

A line of Christmas cards produced by British card company 'Love Layla' caused controversy for including messages mocking some of the deeply held beliefs of the Christian faith. The cards included taglines which call into question the Virgin Mary's miraculous conception, and which refer to Jesus as "a bloke that wore socks with sandals." Speaking to the Daily Mirror, James Mildred, for Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) said, "A lot of Christians will be deeply offended by this sort of thing...It highlights a fundamental hypocrisy that Christianity is seen as fair game to mock, disparage and insult."

Negative Stereotyping

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

Evangelical Event Attendees Harshly Ridiculed

June 17, 2019, Austria

Many Christians complained about being offended and insulted for their religious faith after verbal attacks by Rudi Fußi on the Austrian talkshow "Fellner! Live: Rudi Fußi vs. Andreas Mölzer" which aired on June 17th on OE24.TV. As a guest on the program, Fußi launched into a tirade calling the estimated 10,000 Christians gathered at an evangelical event “lunatics” and mocking the act of praying for the Republic of Austria and the former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, calling it "completely cuckoo, totally sick" after the show host had introduced the topic.

Defamation Negative Stereotyping

Christian Group Ordered to Pay for Extra Security at Oxford Event

October 29, 2018, United Kingdom

Oxford students voted to ban Christian Concern from hosting its Wilberforce Academy residential conference at Lady Margaret Hall, calling the group a “real threat to the physical and mental safety of students.” The college, however, said it would permit the group to use its facilities provided that it paid for extra security. A college spokesperson said that Christian Concern's "opposition to abortion, Islam and LGBTQ+" rights would lead to protests so it needed to pay "additional security costs."

Contractual Freedom Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression Negative Stereotyping

Scottish Campaign calls Believers 'Bigots'

October 22, 2018, United Kingdom

An anti-hate crime campaign One Scotland, launched in September 2018 by the Scottish police and government, includes a poster directed toward religious believers which reads (in part), “Dear Bigots, you can’t spread your religious hatred here. End of sermon. Yours, Scotland.” Other posters in the campaign were directed toward 'transphobes' and 'homophobes.' Critics of the campaign have noted that it singles out religious believers and calls them bigots without any qualification, and it is based on a political ideology which discriminates against those who hold traditional views.

Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Negative Stereotyping

BBC Scotland Posts Video Mocking Catholics

April 9, 2018, United Kingdom

The Bishop of Paisley criticized BBC Scotland for encouraging anti-Catholic prejudice. It posted a short film entitled ‘Homophobia in 2018, Time for Love’ on its Facebook page which depicts a priest holding a Mini Cheddar in a parody of the Host, and giving it to a woman who makes the sign of the cross, with a voice-over saying, “tastes like cardboard and smells like hate.” Bishop Keenan described the content as “beyond the pale, and unworthy of the BBC as a public service broadcaster.” The Archdiocese of St. Andrew's and Edinburgh also criticized the video for suggesting that Christianity fosters public hatred toward homosexuals. It was also said that "recent government figures on crimes with religious aggravations showed that 57% of these are now directed to Catholics, an increase of 14%.

Negative Stereotyping

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

"Jesus Magazine" Mocked by French Daily Host

February 20, 2018, France

On the daily television program Le Quotidien, host Yann Barthès mocked the publication of a magazine called "Jesus" and comedian Vincent Dedienne joined in by singing "I have holes in my hands and in my feet." Eric Célérier, founder of the website Top Chrétien, publicly denounced this by noting that "mocking Jews is anti-Semitism and punishable by law. Mocking Muslims is Islamophobia. But strangely, it seems that making fun of Christians and Jesus is... humor."

Negative Stereotyping

Christian Polish Prayer Initiative called Islamophobic; Controversial

October 7, 2017, Poland

The public prayer event "Rosary to the Borders" was called "a problematic expression of Islamophobia" by the Associated Press and "controversial" by the BBC and other media.

Negative Stereotyping

Catalonian Separatists say Church is the Enemy

September 26, 2017, Spain

At a press conference held on September 26, 2017 in front of the cathedral in Tarragona, officials from the pro-Catalan independence political party CUP (Candidatura d'Unitat Popular) called the Catholic Church a "power structure to crush" that "discriminates against women and LGBT groups." It has also called for the elimination of aid to Christian schools and removal of a favorable tax status for churches.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Negative Stereotyping

German Greens Created "Anti-Feminist" Wiki; Targeted Christian Public Figures

July 28, 2017, Germany

The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, the foundation of the German Green Party, created a website called "Agent*In" that listed individuals and organizations said to be "anti-feminist" in order to better find and combat them. The majority of the persons and organizations listed were Christians or Church organizations. After public criticism, the website was temporarily taken offline.

Negative Stereotyping

U.K. Foreign Office Agency says Evangelical Christians in the Global South Should “Reinterpret” the Bible

July 17, 2017, United Kingdom

The Barnabas Fund has highlighted a Wilton Park (an executive agency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) report from 2016 in which it describes biblical sexual morality as 'hateful' and evangelical Christians in prejudicial terms. A key recommendation of the report is "challenging the interpretation of sacred texts."

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Negative Stereotyping

The Arran Organization Lleida Launches Obscene Campaign Against Bishops

June 27, 2017, Spain

The Catalan separatist youth organization launched a campaign against the Bishop of Solsona, Xavier Novell, and Cardinal Archbishop of Valencia, Antonio Cañizares. Arran distributed a poster with the image of Antonio Cañizares and Xavier Novell practicing anal sex as "denunciation" of the Church's position on homosexuality.

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Journalist "Jokes" about Imprisoning Priests

June 6, 2017, Romania

The Romanian journalist Ovidiu Eftimie has stated that he “yearns for the years of communist persecution, where the priest were taken to the canal and stranded in jail” (“tânjește după anii de prigoană comunistă, în care preoții erau duși la canal și înfundau pușcăriile”). He has also stated that he would love to become a new Vişinescu and punch the church leaders. The media has characterized these statements as a joke.

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Berlin's Left-Wing Politicians Opposed Cross on City Palace

May 20, 2017, Germany

The Greens and the Left party objected to plans to put a cross on top of the rebuilt Stadtschloss, the future site of the Humboldt Forum, saying the plan endangers the "open cultural dialogue" intended for the site. The Humboldt Forum is an art and culture museum project.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Negative Stereotyping

News Article Used Pro-Life Rally Picture to Illustrate "Religious Extremism"

May 11, 2017, Germany

News and email website GMX published an article by journalist Mathias Heim about a recently-published study correlating certain head trauma with religious "fundamentalism." Although the article begins with “The problem of the religious fundamentalists has been a topic in science even prior to IS-Terror”, and never mentions Christians or Christianity, the photograph accompanying the article, with the headline “Injuries in the brain can lead to religious extremism”, depicts a peaceful Christian pro-life demonstration. This clearly negatively stereotypes Christian pro-life activists as "extremists".

Negative Stereotyping

Croatian Theatre Festival Included Play with Jesus Christ Rape Scene

April 22, 2017, Croatia

A theater festival in Split was to include a controversial play which depicts Jesus Christ raping a Muslim woman wearing a hijab. This drew strong condemnation from Croatia's Catholic Church.

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Blasphemous Attack against Church on Maundy Thursday

April 14, 2017, France

During Maundy Thursday a young woman enter the Saint-Bruno Church, Bordeaux France, and pulled down her trousers and showed her stomach where she had painted a word in the color red. She then proceeded to proudly post the pictures of this blasphemous attack on her Facebook profile.

Insult or Incitement Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Negative Stereotyping

Social Worker Discouraged Parents from Christening Son

April 13, 2017, United Kingdom

A social worker from Kent met with parents who were considering placing their child for adoption and told them the chances of their son being adopted would be hindered if he were “christened into the Christian faith,” after they expressed their wish to have their son baptized.

Freedom of Religion Negative Stereotyping Rights of Parents

Demolition of Cross Recommended by Organization in Castellón

April 8, 2017, Spain

The Association of Friends of Ribalta have recommended demolishing the cross in the Ribalta Park as they say that it is a fascist symbol and thus does not comply with the law of historical memory. A petition against the Association of Friends of Ribalta’s claim is circulating. It is not the first time that the cross's existence has been up for debate. In 1979, there was a political vote on the issue and the cross was allowed to remain standing.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Negative Stereotyping

Catalan Club Received Complaints for Offensive Show

April 7, 2017, Spain

A club in Barcelona received several complaints after its Good Friday show included an actor dressed as Jesus dancing with a cross. Adults who attended the show were offended and started a petition to ensure that the show was not repeated. They called the show “a mockery to the religion of Christianity to its believers and what it really means to celebrate Easter” (“una burla hacia la religión cristiana, hacia sus creyentes ya lo que realmente significa la celebración de Semana Santa”).

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Journalist Calls Bishop Sexist and Homophobic

March 27, 2017, Spain

Spanish Journalist Fernando Pérez Monguió published a blog post about the Bishop of Cordoba, Demetrio Fernández, in which he called him "a fanatic and a dangerously sexist and homophobic prelate." He accused the Bishop of having attacked the honor and dignity of homosexuals and women and demanded an apology. Among the writer's complaints were the Bishop's remarks against abortion, homosexuality, and gender ideology -- each of which are consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Columnist Calls Immigration Minister's Crucifix Necklace a Symbol of Xenophobia

March 6, 2017, Norway

Sven Egil Omdal, a veteran journalist and editor who currently works as a commentator for newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad, noted that Sylvi Listhaug, Norway’s government minister in charge of immigration and asylum issues, had been wearing a cross necklace much more often than in the past. “Am I claiming that she uses the cross as a political statement to appeal to that strange group who thinks that fear of foreigners is a Christian virtue?” Omdal queried on social media. “Yes, that’s basically what I’m doing.”

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Negative Stereotyping

Spanish Councilman Officiated Wedding Dressed as a Priest

March 3, 2017, Spain

Councilman Javier Botella of Levatemos El Puerto officiated at a wedding of his childhood friends in a priest costume. He was wearing an F.C. Barcelona scarf as a stole and a black cassock with golden edges. He posted a picture of himself and the newly married couple on Facebook and was immediately criticized for ridiculing the Church and the sacrament of marriage in his public capacity.

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

National Theatre's School Performances use Statue of Virgin Mary as Symbol of Extremism

February 9, 2017, Slovakia

The Slovak National Theatre visited schools with a performance about the dangers of extremism, depicting the true story of a Roma family being attacked by skinheads in 2009. Without any explanation, the stage setting includes a statue of the Virgin Mary in front of a swastika symbol. A complaint has been filed on the grounds that this has insulted and defamed the Catholic Church by implying that the Church was somehow complicit in the crime.

Negative Stereotyping

Hindu UKIP Member Racially Harassed for Calling Britain a "Christian Country"

December 7, 2016, United Kingdom

Anish Patel, a UKIP member and practising Hindu took to Twitter with a message defending Britain’s Christian identity. In response, Twitter users responded with racist epithets.

Freedom of Expression Negative Stereotyping

Christian Couple Blocked from Adopting Foster Children

November 9, 2016, United Kingdom

A Christian couple has been blocked from adopting their foster children, after expressing views based on their belief that children should have a mother and a father wherever possible.

Freedom of Expression Negative Stereotyping

Public Art Exhibition Containing Sacreligious Images Cost Madrid 60,000 Euros

October 23, 2016, Spain

The exhibition, paid for by taxpayers and with the approval of the mayor, contains violent and pornographic images including a painting depicting a cardinal raping a woman on the altar of a church.

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

German Newspaper: Orlando Shooter Could Just as Well Have Been Christian

June 16, 2016, Germany

German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung a published commentary on the Orlando shooting in which it said the crime had nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with “homophobia” and that the shooter could just as well have been an Evangelical Christian.

Defamation Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Magistrate Removed from Office, Suspended from NHS Trust, for Christian Belief in Traditional Family

March 29, 2016, United Kingdom

A Christian magistrate Richard Page has been removed from office by the Lord Chancellor after sharing his personal conviction in a media interview that there is not enough evidence to show that placing children in the care of same-sex couples is in their best interest.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Negative Stereotyping

Activists Attack Church in Lérida

March 7, 2016, Spain

The youth organization Arran has taken responsibility for a graffiti attack against a church in the Catalonia region. The wall outside the church was painted lilac and the words "Contra los ataques de la Iglesia. Juntos somos más fuertes" ("Against the attacks of the the Church. Together we are stronger.")

Hate Crime Negative Stereotyping Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Mallorca Gay Men's Chorus Dress as Nuns

January 18, 2016, Spain

Mallorca Gay Men's Chorus dressed as nuns in a concert for the celebration of St. Sebastian, patron saint of Palma de Mallorca.

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Controversial Magazine Charlie Hebdo Depicts God as Kalashnikov-Carrying Killer

January 6, 2016, France

The magazine's cover for the anniversary edition commemorating the attacks one year ago depicts an angry, violent God and contains the headline (translated): "One year later, the assassin is still on the run".

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Berlin Court Reverses Injunctions; Allows Incitement to Violence in the Name of Art

December 15, 2015, Germany

In the name of artistic expression, a Berlin court reversed injunctions it had issued and has now permitted the staging of a play ("Fear") which displays photos of pro-family organizers and explicitly incites hatred against them.

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Catalan Radio Station Airs Song that Repeatedly Calls Priests Pedophiles

November 27, 2015, Spain

Station has received government funding since 2011.

Insult or Incitement Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Negative Stereotyping

Church Used to Film Obscene and Offensive Video

November 23, 2015, France

A musical group called "Les Chrétiens des Alpes" (Christians of the Alps) filmed a YouTube video in the church of Saint-Étienne in Dingy-Saint-Clair, which portrays priests in a sexually vulgar manner.

Defamation Desecration Hate Incident Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Apartment Owner Refuses to Rent to Employee of Pro-Life Association

November 15, 2015, Germany

In November 2015, a theologian who is an employee of ALfA (Aktion Lebensrecht for Alle) wanted to rent an apartment in Augsburg. The owner refused to enter into a lease with the man for the sole reason that he works for ALfA (seen as a fundamentalist association).

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Negative Stereotyping

Popular German Catholic Blogger Threatened After Reporting About Arson

November 3, 2015, Germany

With the title "That was fast," Dr. Bordat wrote on the afternoon of November 3rd that he received an anonymous letter three hours after the publication of his report about the arson against "Demo für Alle". "Don't be a nuisance, you Catholic conservative idiot ... otherwise a fire will soon be delivered to you. Your address is known."

Hate Crime Hate Incident Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

UK Schools Watchdog Ignores Bullying of Christian Students

July 30, 2015, United Kingdom

Colin Hart, director of the Christian Institute, has said Ofsted and the Department for Education (DfE) have given “inadequate attention” to the “bullying of Christian pupils”.

Freedom of Religion Negative Stereotyping

Play Equates John the Baptist with Islamic Terrorists

April 24, 2015, Austria

The regional theater of Graz premiered its version of "Salome” in which John the Baptist is a radical fundamentalist. It claims that there is really no difference between him and Islamic State terrorists.

Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

"Congress of Christian Leaders" Called "Congress of Radical Christians" in News Coverage

March 12, 2015, Germany

Known for his bias against Christians, Christian Baars, reporter for, published an article about a Christian Congress which took place in February 2015 in Hamburg. "Scholz unterstützt Kongress radikaler Christen" (in English, "Scholz supports Congress of Radical Christians") is the title of the article. Olaf Scholz is the First Mayor of Hamburg. Christians considered the article to be biased and insulting.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Catholics Insulted by Demonstrators After Mass

March 8, 2015, France

As they left the church in Saint-Epvre in Nancy after Sunday services. parishioners were confronted with a feminist manifestation taking place right in front of the steps of the church. The activists were shouting hate slogans and vulgarities towards the people leaving the church, including young children.

Hate Incident Negative Stereotyping

Abortion Opponents Compared to Jihadists

February 9, 2015, Sweden

Mona Sahlin, the national coordinator against violent extremism at the Swedish Ministry of Justice, stated during a panel discussion on religion and democracy that Ellinor Grimmark, a Christian midwife who refuses to participate in abortion, was an "extreme religious practitioner who is fighting in a similar way as do the people fighting for the Islamic state.”

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Verbal Attacks on Christianity on Romanian National Television

June 9, 2014, Romania

In the Epic Show, a one-man show broadcasted on a Rumanian national television, PRIMA TV, the presenter attacked violently Orthodox Christianity. In his speech he expressed among other things: “You, filthy pieces of s**t, you want to lie to us regarding the existence of a bearded old man who created the world in 6 days and then got tired"….”you teach our children to cast stones and kill homosexuals”….”when you decide to move your corpses and siege our children in schools to teach them the puke of creationism, wait for us to siege you in your sh**y churches to teach you evolutionism with torches in our hands!”

Insult or Incitement Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Negative Stereotyping

Insulting and Blasphemous Graffiti Near Entrance to the Chapel of Locmaria

April 20, 2014, France

Near the entrance to the chapel of Locmaria, which is part of the parish of Carnac, sometime during the night of Holy Saturday to Easter Sunday, graffiti was painted on a public signpost. This graffiti made blasphemous and insulting comments that made reference to Catholic fascists and a homosexual Jesus. The rector, Father Jérôme Sécher, filed a complaint with the local authorities.

Hate Crime Negative Stereotyping Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Insulting Graffiti at the Vatican on Right Side of Bernini’s Colonnade

April 5, 2014, Italy

Bernini’s Colonnade, which had been restored in preparation for the canonisation of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, was found to have graffiti on the right side with the words, in poor English, “Catalic is Hitler.” Implying that a Catholic is like Hitler.

Hate Incident Negative Stereotyping Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Offensive Representation of the Last Supper on Cover of Music Album

April 1, 2014, International

The musical group Steel Panther released its new album “All You can Eat” on April 1, 2014. The cover portrays a group of band members in a Last Supper scene among whom are scantily clad women in provocative postures. Underneath is the name of the album, “All You Can Eat”.

Negative Stereotyping

Propaganda Film Offensive to Christians

March 11, 2014, France

The short propaganda film, “14 Millions de Cris”, produced by Liza Azuelos, speaks out against forced marriages of under aged children, but turns offensive when it uses the Christian milieu as its setting. Many Christians find it derogatory to portray Christians in this film as forcing their children into early matrimony. This might be more common in Muslim countries, but to place it in a Christian setting in France is an indication of discrimination.

Negative Stereotyping

Member of Parliament Impersonated a Drunk Priest

January 1, 2014, Greece

A member of the Greek Parliament, Vangelis Diamantopoulos, dressed and acted as a drunk priest conducting a burial ceremony for the EU-IMF memorandum at New Year’s carnival in Northern Greece. Archbishop Ieronymos claimed that he was hurt by this behaviour and described the act as foolish.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Negative Stereotyping

Christmas Advertisement Offensive to Catholics

December 24, 2013, Croatia

The Croatian telecommunications operator Tele2, in its Christmas advertisement, had a black sheep/goat named Gregor acting as a priest or Church official. For the faithful, this was perceived as a mockery of the Church and its priests.

Negative Stereotyping