All cases

"Death to Churches" Written on Church in Murcia

April 5, 2022, Spain

The Spanish police posted on Twitter that they identified the perpetrators who vandalised the parish centre in the Saint John district in Murcia. This was communicated on the 5th of April, together with a picture of the crime that shows the inscription "Muerte a las Iglesias" (Death to Churches) in red paint. After searching the vehicle of the perpetrators, they located spray paint cans of the same colour as the graffiti.

Arson at Church in Trinità

April 4, 2022, Italy

On April 4th, the Madonnina Church in Trinità was once again vandalised. This time, unknown perpetrators entered the church and set the prayer sheets and offering box alight. In the past, the church has been tagged with graffiti and a nearby bench was defaced. The mayor Ernesta Zucco said: “I wonder what they can have against this modest church. I have no more words but these facts cry out for justice. We really can't take it anymore."

Church in Zell Vandalised

April 4, 2022, Austria

The Evangelical church in Zell was vandalised by strangers on April 4th. A large window was smashed by an object of considerable size and shingles were torn off the façade. The Church filled a complaint and the police began an investigation with the hope that some DNA would be left on the shingles.

Church of Sant'Eligio Set Alight

April 4, 2022, Italy

The façade of the Church of Sant'Eligio in Napoli was once again scarred by fire on April 4th, less than three months since it happened last. The monumental sight, which youth set fire to, dates back to 1270 and would have experience even worse damage had a fire extinguisher not been nearby. These repeated acts of arson show the youths contempt for the church and its Christian practices.

Severe Damage to Putbus Church During Burglary

April 4, 2022, Germany

One or more perpetrators forced their way into the Putbus castle church on April 4th. Although only a double digit amount of money was stolen, about 3,000 euros of property damage was caused when they broke through multiple doors and roughly searched cupboards. An investigation was started by the police into this vandalistic theft.

Church in Vojvodina Vandalised With Threatening Graffiti

April 4, 2022, Serbia

A church in Novi-Banovitsa in Vojvodina, northern Serbia, was vandalised on 4 August. Unknown persons drew a line in orange paint around the Church of St Basil of Ostrog, built in neo-Byzantine style in 1991, and wrote the word "skulls" in Serbian on the bins at the entrance.

2 Churches Vandalized in Sprowston

April 3, 2022, United Kingdom

St. Mary and St. Margaret's Church in Sprowston were victims of vandalistic attacks on April 3rd. Police were investigating the act in which the intruders threw toys at the spotlight in the nave, broke eggs inside the building, smashed the organ, and tried to start a fire.

Two Churches Attacked with Eggs and Vandalism in Sprowston

April 3, 2022, United Kingdom

St. Mary and St. Margaret's Church in Sprowston were victims of vandalistic attacks on April 3rd. Police were investigating the act in which the intruders threw toys at the spotlight in the nave, broke eggs inside the building, smashed the organ, and tried to start a fire.

Serial Church Thief Caught in Pontine

April 3, 2022, Italy

A 51 year old man has been arrested for repeated thefts of churches since February, in the area of Pontine. He was caught red handed by the Carabinieri of the Minturno station as he was trying to open the offering box in the San Biagio church which he had stolen from previously. His wife was also charged for assisting him in their repeated and disrespectful thefts from Christian churches.

Window Smashed in Niederselters Church by Teenagers

April 3, 2022, Germany

A window, of a church in Niederselters, was smashed by two teenagers who were throwing snowballs at it on April 4th. The damage caused was around 1.000 euros and the police began looking for the perpetrators who were suspected to be boys between 15 and 17 years old.

Church in Messina Graffitied

April 2, 2022, Italy

The outer wall of the church of Santa Lucia Vergine e Martire in Messina, was covered with graffiti on March 2nd. Most of the inscriptions targeted the police but a religious sight was used to carry out the offence. Father Giovanni Loppolo was happy to tell how the youth of the church had initiated the restoration project.

Window of Church in Weingarten Broken

April 2, 2022, Germany

The windows of the Protestant church in Weingarten were smashed on April 2nd, causing 1,500 Euros worth of damage. The perpetrator was unknown but police investigated the incident and were looking for witnesses. A Facebook user commented on the incident: "People experience in such a place unique moments of life, joy, care, comfort, silence, protection, community, a connection to the Creator since time immemorial. People respect this place regardless of their faith and worldview."

Theft of Religious Objects in Rouillé Church

April 2, 2022, France

It was only noticed on April 2nd that objects of worship had been stolen from the church in Rouillé, Vienne. The last event there was on March 19th so the theft of ciboriums, chalices, and patens, which had all been locked in the sacristy, could have happened any time. This was one of many similar thefts that have recently happened in the area so churches are considering options to prevent such acts in the future.

100 Candles Stolen from three Holzland Churches

April 2, 2022, Germany

Three Holzland churches near Steinkirchen were targeted by theft in April. About 100 hand-decorated candles were stolen, which would have been used for charitable donations. The community of the churches was very disappointed by this act.

Pro-Life Catholics Praying Outside Abortion Facilities Faced Abuse

April 2, 2022, Spain

On the 2nd of April, young people and families were harassed by activists and feminists, while praying outside the Askabide abortion clinic in San Sebastian. They were praying the rosary on their knees, with a megaphone, under the motto "praying is not a crime" and carried a cross and an image of the Virgin. Tensions started to build up as protesters began harassing, censoring, and insulting the pro-life group. The police from Ertzaintza had to intervene in order to prevent attacks against the people praying.

Orthodox Priest Kidnapped in Cherkassya

April 1, 2022, Ukraine

A priest from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate was kidnapped by unknown persons in the Cherkassya region of Ukraine. A video showed that people broke into the service, and violently took the pastor. Those who tried to stop the kidnappers were also violently dealt with. The exact date of this incident and the well-being of the pastor was unknown but it was thought to have happened in Smela. This showed a continued attack on the Ukrainian Orthodox church.

Rampage in Dreis-Brück Church

April 1, 2022, Germany

Perpetrators, whose identity is not known, vandalized the parish church in Dreis-Brück on April 1st. They distributed, what was thought to be alcohol, in the gallery, and the tablecloth on the altar was burnt. The police were looking for clues as to who could have done it.

Stones Thrown at Image of Christ in Via Merlo

March 31, 2022, Italy

Stones were thrown at a picture of Christ in Via Merlo in what could only be described as a hateful act. The incident happened on March 31st and resulted in the glass that was covering the picture getting broken. The vandals also stole candles and flowers and left inscriptions around the sight.

Religious Paintings Stolen in Marian San Nicola Church

March 31, 2022, Italy

Two religious paintings and tens of euros were stolen from the Santissima Annunziata church in Marian San Nicola on March 31st. The money was from the offertory which got damaged during the theft. Don Saji, the parish priest, reported the incident to the carabinieri who were investigating it.

Update: Conversion Therapy Ban in UK No Longer Covers Transgender People

March 31, 2022, United Kingdom

Boris Johnson announced on March 31st that the so-called conversion therapy ban in the UK would no longer cover transgender people but only gay or bisexual people. This was a change from what had been announced a few hours earlier which was that the ban would be dropped entirely and non-legislative methods would be explored. Despite the entire ban not being dropped, this was still good news for the Christian community as this potential legislation would make it difficult if not impossible, for parents and teachers to encourage their children to adopt the Bibles views on gender and marriage.

Sacred Objects Stolen from Gleschendorf Church

March 30, 2022, Germany

During the night on March 30th, the Gleschendorf Church was robbed by unknown persons. The perpetrators stole valuable communion objects including a 300 year old baptismal bowl. This unfortunate event demonstrated a disrespect for the church and its proceedings.

Church in Satrup Graffitied

March 30, 2022, Germany

The Laurentius Church in Satrup was vandalized with paint on March 30th. The façade was covered with phrases written in black paint which expressed contempt for the church and now have to be taken off by a specialist company.

Russian Occupied Crimea Orders Law to ban Ukrainian Orthodox Church

March 30, 2022, Russian occupied Crimea

Law makers were ordered, by Sergei Aksyonov head of Russian-controlled Crimea, to draft a law banning the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Black Sea Peninsula. The working list was planned to be finished by the end of the week, at which point, it would be adopted by parliament. This reflected the tension which existed for a number of years in the Orthodox Church, but saw a resent rise as the war developed.

Update: Finnish Court Upholds Free Speech in Major Trial

March 30, 2022, Finland

On March 30th, the Helsinki District Court unanimously dismissed all charges against MP Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola in a major freedom of speech victory. Päivi Räsänen was prosecuted for sharing her faith based beliefs on marriage in a tweet, and Juhana Pohjola had published a pamphlet, by Räsänen containing these beliefs, 17 years earlier. The ruling of this high-profile case stated that “it is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts," ordered the prosecution to pay the legal costs of 60,000 EUR, and gave the prosecution seven days to appeal.

Sacred Relic Stolen from Church in Brianza

March 30, 2022, Italy

On the 30th of April, an antique silver cross was stolen from a church in Barlassina. The cross, which was kept in a small box that was forced open, was of little monetary value which makes the theft particularly sacrilegious. Investigations were underway to find out who committed the theft.

Orthodox Priest Kidnapped in Kherson, Ukraine

March 30, 2022, Ukraine

Sergey Chudinovich, an Orthodox priest from the church of Serhiy Chudynovych in Kherson, was kidnapped on March 30th. Three men, who claimed they were police officers, searched the documents of those present and then drove off with Sergey Chudinovich, who was said to be a well know public figure. He is one of the many religious leaders who has been abducted in Russian occupied areas of Ukraine.

Stone Wall of Notre-Dame des Conches Chapel Vandalised

March 30, 2022, France

At the end of March, the isolated Notre-Dame des Conches chapel was vandalised by people who attacked the stone wall with a crowbar to gain entry. They were unsuccessful, as they only made a large hole in it.

59 Religious Buildings, Mostly Orthodox, have been Damaged by Russian Military

March 28, 2022, Ukraine

Since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 21st, 59 religious buildings have been badly damaged by Russian attacks in 8 different regions. The Ministry of Information Policy and Culture of Ukraine reported that most of these building had been Orthodox Churches while others were synagogues, mosques, and religious education institutions. The Kremlin claims to "protect Orthodoxy" but these statistics tell a different story.

Sacred Objects Stolen from Couhé

March 28, 2022, France

A ciboria and chalices, both of which were in the sacristy or tabernacle, were stolen from the Couhé church on March 28th. Consecrated hosts were also taken, which implies the perpetrator was targeting the celebration of the Eucharist as hosts can be sold for high prices in some satanic circles. The theft of these objects of worship was a hateful attack on the religious traditions of the church.

Church in Bärenkeller Vandalized

March 27, 2022, Germany

The church in Bärenkeller experienced considerable damage on the night of the 27th of March. A window in the basement was damaged and a church pew was ripped right out of the ground. The police are looking for witnesses for the investigation. According to the police, the damage to property is around 500 Euro.

Cross Stolen from St. Michael's Church

March 27, 2022, Germany

On March 27th, a cross made of cast bronze was stolen from the crypt of St. Michael's church in Fulda. It was not known who did it but the police were investigating.

Würzburg Church Vandalized with Letter Z

March 27, 2022, Germany

The letter Z, a pro-Russian symbol of war, was painted on the Gethsemane Church in Würzburg on March 27th. The congregation responded with a prayer for peace and the parish priest, Anna Bamberger, condemned the act. The perpetrator, who used this place of worship to advocate a war, was not found.

WHO called for Doctors to Act Against Conscience

March 26, 2022, Switzerland

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a ban on all limits on abortion as they may violate the rights of "women, girls or other pregnant persons." Among these proposed policies, was one that would limit medical professionals' rights to refuse to take part in abortion for conscientious reasons. These targeted Christian doctors who, for religiously based moral reasons, are unable to assist in an abortion and would face consequences if countries were to act on this guidance.

Church Ransacked in Walsum-Aldenrade

March 26, 2022, Germany

An unknown thief ransacked several rooms in the church of Walsum-Aldenrade, and stole the money box from the choir community on March 26th. The bathroom window was pried open to gain access to the building but few clues as to who did it have been found. The police were notified and are looking for witnesses.

Police Detain Church Burglar in Luban

March 24, 2022, Poland

A 22 year old man was detained in Luban for the burglary of a church, and church buildings, on the 24 of March. He damaged the door of the sacristy and broke windows to gain access to the other church buildings where he stole property left there. He was responsible for 11 thefts in all, some unrelated to the church, and was put under police provision and banned from leaving the country.

WEA Called Greece to Provide Religious Classes other than Christian Orthodox

March 23, 2022, Greece

In the UN Human Rights council's Universal Periodic Review of Greece on April 23rd, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), encouraged Greece to provide alternative religious classes for students who were not Orthodox Christians. They said that there should be a class for all major religions in Greece and the Orthodox Christian class should be optional, as should all the other religious classes. This would increase the religious liberty of all denominations but also that of other Christian religions and especially parents of alternative religions.

WEA Advocacy Officer Challenged Greece's Proselytism Ban

March 23, 2022, Greece

During the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Greece on April 23rd, a World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Advocacy Officer, denounced the Greek law which prohibits proselytization. This law prevents Christian religions or otherwise, from attempting to undermine the religious beliefs of others. Although rarely applied, this law could hinder religious discourse and a Pentecostal was sentenced using this law.

Precious Items Stolen from St. Nicholas Statue in Bari

March 22, 2022, Italy

Unknown thieves broke into the St. Nicholas Basilica of Bari and stole valuable items from the St. Nicolas statue within. They took a book with three silver balls and a cross with some precious stones. From the other hand, they took a golden ring with some stones and an old necklace. This statue has become a symbol of peace in the last weeks, due to the Ukraine war, which made the theft especially malicious. The theft occurred on 22. March.

Devastating Arson to Evangelical Church in Singen

March 22, 2022, Germany

An Evangelical church in Singen fell victim to arson and burnt down completely. The damage is estimated to be worth several million euros. The General Attorney took up investigations but the arsonist couldn't be found even after DNA tests were made. There are plans in place to built a new church building.

Pastor Arrested in Mariupol, Ukraine

March 21, 2022, Ukraine

Release International has reported that Alexsander Glushko, the pastor of the Light of the World Evangelical Church of Mariupol, has been arrested by the Russian military. He was believed to have been taken to Dokuchaevsk, which is close to Donetsk, but no further information has been given about his wellbeing. Other pastors homes near Mariupol have been searched and the "hunt for pastors has begun in areas now under Russian control."

No Evidence to Justify Oxford College's Cancellation of Wilberforce Academy

March 21, 2022, United Kingdom

An independent investigation found that there was no substantial evidence for Worcester College's apology and cancellation of the Wilberforce Academy in September of 2021. After hosting this Christian youth conference that seeks to uphold free and considerate debate about controversial issues, this Oxford College said it had received "a number of complaints" and would not hold the event next year. Christian Concern inquired about these complaints, which they had heard nothing of, and upon getting little response, instigated their own investigation.

Teenagers try to Set Church on Fire

March 21, 2022, Italy

The church of Villa San Martino was the victim of an attempted arson by young teenagers around the 21st of March. The teenagers, who have already been identified, took the hand sanitiser gel at the entrance and spread it all over the church, pews and floor. They then tried to set fire to the gel, thinking it would be flammable. Given that the alcohol percentage was not that high, the fire did not catch up. Still, the layers of blackened gel remained on the floor near the altar. The vandals also looted the offering box.

Pastor Kidnapped by Russian Military in Melitopol, Ukraine

March 19, 2022, Ukraine

Dmitry Bodyu, the American - Ukrainian pastor of the Word of Life Church, was taken from his house in Melitopol, Ukraine by Russian soldiers. His wife Helen explained how 10 soldiers walked into their house, questioned them about their nationality, and then took her husband along with their electronic devices and other documents. This was the second pastor, that we know of, to be abducted by Russian troops.

Statue of Virgin Mary Stolen in Ardennes

March 19, 2022, France

The bronze statue of the Virgin of Chesnois-Auboncourt (Ardennes), was stolen on March 19 from the entrance to the village, where it had been since 1990. It was fixed to a concrete base with a marble plaque that commemorated Germaine Justin, the donor of the statue. The villagers were disappointed as the statue was beloved by them.

Germany: Court Ruled Banning Protests Outside Abortion Centers was Illegal

March 18, 2022, Germany

A German court ruled that it was illegal for the city of Frankfurt to create buffer zones around abortion centers where pro-life activists could not demonstrate during certain hours or within certain spatial restrictions. The ruling was reached on March 18th, after the city appealed the initial ruling on March 1st and the administrative court of Kassel confirmed the ruling by denying the appeal. It was the result of a long legal battle instigated by the city of Frankfurt imposing restrictions on the pro-life group "40 Days for Life" when they started a 40-day Lenten prayer gathering in January in front of a counseling center for pregnant women

Stations of the Cross Vandalized in Wettenhausen

March 18, 2022, Germany

Almost all of the Stations of the Cross in Wettenhausen have been violently vandalized by unknown persons on March 18th. The police estimated that the damage was around 150,000 Euros but with the cleanup would probably end up being more. The deliberate attack on sacred Christian symbols demonstrates a complete lack of respect.

Statue of Christ Stolen from Crucifix in L'Escaillère

March 18, 2022, Belgium

A metal statue of Christ in L'Escaillère was ripped from its crucifix by thieves on March 18th. It was suspected that the act was done because of the rising metal prices and the statue could be sold and melted down. Nevertheless, the symbolic value of the statue of Christ for the community is very high and this theft shows clear disrespect for religious sentiments.

Several Anti-Christian Graffitis on Christian's Homes and Workplaces

March 17, 2022, Austria

Around the 8th of March, several Anti-Christian graffitis appeared in Vienna. The home and office of Gerhard Labschütz, a pro-life Catholic, were painted with anti-Christian tags by unknown vandals. The graffitied epithets read: "here lives a Christian fundamentalist" and "abort fundamentalists." Mr Labschütz is also the managing director of the Catholic-based Austrian Cartell Association (ÖCV), the offices that were also targeted by the perpetrators. Similar tags were found outside the offices of two other organisations: "Fairändern" and the "Lebensbewegung" (ÖLB).

Attempted Arson and Theft in Church in Albinatico

March 17, 2022, Italy

In the church of San Leopoldo in Albinatico, a candlestick for votive candles, and the offerings donated to the church, were stolen on 17. March. The thief, also inserted some lighted candles in the candlestick next to the special seats where the electric candles are usually put. When the parish priest Don Paolo Monti entered the church, he found that the lit candle was bending over and catching an electrical candle alight which he said could have started a fire.

St. Bernard Church in Angelmodder Ransacked

March 16, 2022, Germany

The sacristy of the St. Bernhard church in Angelmodder was ransacked by unknown vandals who stole and broke sacred objects. The thieves broke through a window made by the famous artist Johannes Schreiter and stole chalices, destroyed a monstrance, and broke into a safe. The damage and theft of these sacred objects was reported to the police.