All cases

Theft from Catholic Church of St Anna

September 11, 2020, Germany

September 11th, between 12 and 19:30 hrs, a display case was broken open in the provost church of St. Anna in Schwerin. Unknown perpetrators stole the relic of Saint Ansgar. The perpetrators also broke open two alms boxes in the church. The total damage to property amounts to about 1,400 euros, but the value of the stolen relic has not been quantified. Police opened an investigation.

Theft

Church Walls Vandalized With Graffiti In Ixelles

September 6, 2020, Belgium

Graffiti was found on the walls of Sainte-Croix Church which is situated close to Flagey Square in Ixelles. Tags include the phrases "God is gay", "Je suis a transwoman" ("I am a trans woman"), as well as an inverted cross and the number "666".

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Cemetery and Village Hall Vandalized in Saint-Urbain

August 29, 2020, France

During the night from August 29th to 30th, the cemetery and the village hall in Saint-Urbain (département de Finistère) were vandalized. Several crosses on private tombstones were broken, ornamental shells were taken off a monument dedicated to war victims in the community, and windows of the village hall Ti-Kreisker were smashed. Plougastel police began an investigation.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Chapel of Santo Stefano Desecrated by Vandals

August 11, 2020, Italy

A small chapel in the hamlet of Montesardo in Alessandria was vandalized by unknown people. They used spray paint to write vulgar and blasphemous phrases and images such as "Fck church, Fck God" and an anarchist symbol. A Mass of Reparation was held.

Insult or Incitement Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Eglise Saint-Pierre Vandalized and Desecrated

August 11, 2020, France

During the night of 10-11 August, unknown perpetrators broke into the church of Saint-Pierre de Montendre. The large central crucifix was discovered smashed on the ground. Father Bergson Julien was shocked: "I went to open the church at 8.45 this Tuesday morning and found the large cross with Christ in terracotta on the floor, broken vases on the altar, and the tabernacle had disappeared". The tabernacle was later found, but the ciborium and lunula with consecrated hosts it contained were missing.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Increasing Attacks on German Street Preacher

August 10, 2020, Germany

Street preacher Henning Heinrich Westrup reported that attacks against him increased in July. He calls on people to repent and follow Jesus Christ in the pedestrian zones in Bielefeld, Dortmund and Gütersloh, among others. He reported that attacks against him by people who reject his message have increased. He said he experienced insults, vulgarities, and threats -- along with an assault in July.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Hate Crime

Christ Decapitated on Wayside Crucifix in Durlangen

August 5, 2020, Germany

Unknown perpetrators decapitated a statue of Christ on a large wayside cross standing in Durlangen. The police are uncertain when the incident occurred and have not identified the perpetrators. Damage is estimated to be around 2,000 Euros.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism of Christ Statue in Velbert

August 5, 2020, Germany

Red paint was discovered sprayed on a statue of Christ on the Cross in front of the Kirche St. Joseph in Velbert on August 5, 2020.

Vandalism and Theft in Pavignano Parish House

August 3, 2020, Italy

Unknown perpetrator(s) ransacked two rooms in the parish house of Pavignano, cut open mattresses and stole two TVs and an image of the Virgin Mary. The inside of the rooms left an image of complete destruction. The police opened an investigation and suspected a person from the Biella region to be the perpetrator, as the same person is suspected to have vandalized the church walls with insulting inscriptions against the police only a few days earlier.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Under Investigation: Fire Severely Damages the 13th Century Church of San Martín de Plasencia

August 2, 2020, Spain

A large fire caused serious damage during the night of August 2nd inside the iglesia de San Martín de Plasencia, the oldest in the city, and affected a valuable altarpiece by the painter Luis de Morales 'El Divino' from the 16th century and which presides over the main nave.

Vandalism of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Gallipoli

August 1, 2020, Italy

During the night of August 1st vandals toppled over and smashed a stone holy water stoup in the small arena where religious masses are celebrated outdoors in the summer at the church of the Chiesa della Beata Vergine Maria Regina in Baia Verde di Gallipoli. The priest of the parish, Don Salvatore Leopizzi was immediately informed and saddened by the incident, which was not the first one to happen in his church. A police report was filed.

Under Investigation: Fire in Front of Church Saint Maximin in Wülfrath

August 1, 2020, Germany

In the early morning hours of August 1st, the Wülfrath fire brigade was called because of a fire on the premises of Saint Maximin Catholic Church endangering the church building, which is currently under construction. The fire was contained after 45 minutes and did not cause any damage to the church. The cause of the fire is unknown and arson has not been ruled out. The police are investigating.

Window Facade of Saint-Paul Church in Saint-Nazaire Damaged

July 31, 2020, France

During the night of July 31st the window facade of Saint Paul Church in Saint-Nazaire was severely damaged, apparently collateral damage of a wider outbreak of gun violence occurring throughout the city. Despite the extensive damage the church community gathered to celebrate Mass on Saturday evening.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism and Theft in Two Schwieberdingen Churches

July 31, 2020, Germany

During the night of July 31st, an unknown perpetrator gained access to the Protestant Georgskirche in Schwieberdingen through the sacristy, stole an antique chalice, and went on to smash a crystal window of the main building of the church. Only a few days earlier, the Catholic Church of St. Peter and Paul had been attacked. An unknown person broke open the offertory box as well as the cash box of the prayer candles and stole the small amount of cash contained in it. A police spokeswoman said that no clues to the perpetrator have been found so far. However, she said, one could assume a possible connection between the two crimes.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Politically-Motivated Vandalism of Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth

July 28, 2020, France

On the morning of July 28th parishioners discovered graffiti sprayed on the walls of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth in Vaison-la-Romaine. One tag read "vaut mieux une paire de mères qu’un père de merde" ("better a pair of mothers than a shitty father"). On another side of the cathedral, the word "sorcellerie" ("witchcraft") was painted. The vandalism appeared a day after Monsignor Cattenoz, Archbishop of Avignon, wrote an open letter to the deputies and senators of Vaucluse as well as to the local press denouncing the pending bioethics legislation in France. In his letter (in full below), he noted that if the law passes, "a woman will be able to give one of her fertilized oocytes to her partner, it will be implanted in her uterus so that they will both be mothers, erasing any reference to the importance of a father ... for the growth and life of a child."

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Activists Hang Rainbow Flag and Anarchist Bandana on Statue of Christ in front of Warsaw Basilica

July 28, 2020, Poland

During the night of July 28th activists from the self-described "anarchist-queer" community launched what they termed a "rainbow assault" across Warsaw. They placed a rainbow flag on the statue of Jesus Christ carrying the Cross in front of the Basilica and attached a purple anarchist bandana over Christ's face. Several of Warsaw's other famous monuments were similarly targeted. The activists left cards with a "manifesto" beginning with the phrases "This is an assault! It's a rainbow. It's an attack! We've decided to act." The message went on to say their provocative actions would continue until Polish society accepted them.

Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Religious Symbols

Theft and Vandalism in a Cemetery in Thionville

July 27, 2020, France

Between the 26th and 27th of July, about 21 bronze statuettes of Christ or the Virgin Mary were torn off and stolen from the Saint-François de Thionville communal cemetery (Moselle). Official said this was "a targeted, premeditated and large-scale operation."

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Repeated Vandalism of Virgin and Child Statue in Noirmoutier-en-l'Île

July 27, 2020, France

Unknown perpetrators vandalized the statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus during the night of July 27th for the third time -- this time, decapitating the head of the Christ child. In 2018, vandals beheaded both figures on the statue; and in mid-July, (see link below) the pedestal of the statue was vandalized with graffiti.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

UPDATE: Volunteer Charged with Nantes Arson

July 26, 2020, France

On Sunday, July 26th, the diocesan volunteer who had been questioned and released last week was indicted for the arson of the Nantes cathedral and placed in pre-trial detention.

Vandalism of Church, Cemetery, and Morgue in Günzkofen

July 26, 2020, Germany

During the night of Sunday 26th unknown perpetrators severely vandalized the cemetery of the St. Jakobus church and and the enclosed morgue. According to police, the perpetrators broke several windows of the church and the morgue at the cemetery in Günzkofen with grave decorations. In addition, they also tampered with several graves, causing total damage of about 1,000 euros.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)