All cases

Drafted 'conversion therapy ban' in Belgium Raises Concerns for Religious Freedom

November 18, 2022, Belgium

At the end of October, a draft bill was approved by the Council of Ministers to ban so-called "conversion practices" against LGBTQ+ people. The bill was carried out by the Minister of Equality Opportunity Secretary, Sarah Schlitz. The adoption of this specific bill will allow the ban to take effect immediately. While the protection of victims from abuse and manipulative practices is extremely important, the bill could threaten religious freedom, as the Minister affirms she wants to ban "ALL forms of conversion therapies". Given that there is not a clear definition of what counts as "conversion practice", the bill could ban simple prayers and private conversations among Christians.

Thieves steal a valuable chasuble from a church in Germany

November 18, 2022, Germany

A chasuble from the 19th century was stolen on Monday 18. from the high altar of the Citykirche in Aachen, where it was exposed in an ongoing art installation. For the parish of St. Francis of Aachen (where the chasuble originally belongs) this theft is a serious loss, emphasized Father Timotheus Eller to Aachener Zeitung.

Man sets fire to a church fence with can of Petrol in Moscow

November 17, 2022, Russia

On 17 November a man tried to set fire to the wooden fence of an Orthodox church on Kavkazskiy Bul'var in Moscow. He was arrested nearby by law enforcement officials. He claims that he went for a walk with a can of petrol, then emptied it on the fence for no reason and set it on fire. Pending his trial for "vandalism", he is under house arrest and released under judicial supervision.

Up to 10 years in prison for a couple that stole from more than 20 churches in Poland.

November 16, 2022, Poland

Police officers in Poland have detained a married couple who robbed church donation boxes. The couple, from Białystok, stole from more than 20 churches. Among other things, several hundred zlotys and the keys to one of the churches were found in their car.

Two Priests 'Kidnapped' by Russian Forces in Berdyansk

November 16, 2022, Ukraine

The Donetsk Exarchate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church announced that on 16 November, two priests of the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin of Berdyansk, currently under Russian control, were "illegally arrested" by the Rosgvardiya (Russia's National Guard).

Ukraine: Catholic Priests Still Missing After Nine Months

November 16, 2022, Ukraine

On the 16th of November, 2022, two Ukrainian Greek-Catholic priests, Ivan Levytsky and Bohdan Heletta were taken prisoner by Russian troops in Berdjansk, south-east Ukraine, currently under Russian occupation. Since then, nothing has been heard of them. Maksym Rjabucha, auxiliary bishop: "Despite the prayers, protests and efforts of the Catholic Church, there is still no news about them."

A Pile of Books set on Fire inside church Causes Great Damage

November 15, 2022, France

On 16. November, the church in the small town of Champagnat was severely damaged by fire. 39 firemen were mobilised to secure the building and extinguish the fire, which seems to have been started on a pile of books that were placed beside a wooden confessional. The alert was raised by people attending a funeral, who saw thick smoke coming out of the church. A local volunteer fireman began containing the fire until the fire brigade arrived. They were able to preserve a painting of Christ, but another painting was destroyed, along with the books, a statue and the confessional.

Arson to church in France

November 15, 2022, France

Plastic objects inside the church have been set on fire and were burned on a candle holder on the 15th of November. The incident was discovered by a parishioner, who had opened the church and left to return a couple of hours later. When she came back, the premises smelled like burning, so she alerted the parish priest. They also notified the police, who realized that plastic objects had been set on fire intentionally by unknown perpetrators.

Unknown Perpetrators Tagg Church with Insults and Satanic Symbols

November 15, 2022, Germany

In November 2022, there was an attack on a Catholic church in Augsburg, in the Oberhausen discritc. Unknown perpetrators threw eggs at the church of St. Peter and Paul and tagged it with graffiti. The graffiti said "F*CK JESUS", it also had a Satanic star and the number "666", which refers to the devil.

Greek football star will appeal prison sentence for Controversial Social Media Post

November 14, 2022, Greece

The former football player Vasilios Tsiartas was sentenced this November to 10 months in prison for a comment made on Facebook in 2017 where he stated that “God created Adam and Eve” in response to a bill for the redefinition of gender identity. On his Twitter account, he has stated that he will appeal the sentence.