All cases

Protests Against Polish Radio Maryja on its Anniversary

December 1, 2018, Poland

As Radio Maryja listeners gathered in Toruń to celebrate the radio station's 27th anniversary, a protest against public funding of the station took place a few kilometers away. Organized by a Polish secularist association, a small group protested at the monument of Nicolaus Copernicus.

Anti-Discrimination Law Expanded in Switzerland

November 28, 2018, Switzerland

The Swiss Ständerat (Council of States) passed a law on November 28th adding discrimination based on sexual orientation to the existing criminal law prohibiting discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or religion. A broader version of the legislation, which included "gender identity" was passed by the Nationalrat (National Council) in October. Critics of the law noted that it could restrict freedom of expression and conscience, particularly for those who hold a traditional view of sexuality and marriage. Those who violate the law could face a prison sentence of up to three years.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Militant Equality Laws

Vulgar Graffiti Sprayed On The Facade Of Church

November 28, 2018, Spain

The parish of San Isidro de la Estación in Cártama, as well as the entrances to the parish hall and the office of Caritas, were spray painted with obscene images and phrases during the night of November 28th. The graffiti outraged the whole town and local police began an official investigation.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

22 Statues on the Avenue of Saints Destroyed

November 25, 2018, Poland

Just three weeks after the the new "Avenue of Saints" in front of the Matki Bożej Śnieżnej Church in Zarzecze was unveiled, 22 of the 23 statues were broken by vandals on November 25th. Only the figure of St. Paul was unharmed. The figures in the Avenue of Saints were dedicated on November 11th on the 100th anniversary of regaining independence by Poland "as an expression of gratitude and an invitation to the saints to our future and our nation," said parish priest Jan Rokosz. 

Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

"The Mafia never loses" - Ancient Church Vandalized with Graffiti

November 25, 2018, Italy

"The Mafia never loses" (“La mafia non perde mai”) and other graffiti were discovered by the volunteers of the "San Cataldo Baia della Legalità" association in an ancient church by the bay in Terrasini.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Historic Cornwall Church the Target of Arson

November 24, 2018, United Kingdom

Firefighters were called to St Mary’s Church in Penzance at around 4am in the early hours of November 24th by the key holder and his wife after the alarm sounded. A bin had been placed in front of the church door and set on fire. Witnesses reported that the fire nearly spread into the interior of the church. Police were given the CCTV footage and began an investigation. Damages are estimated at up to £10,000. 

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Arson in Funeral Chapel

November 21, 2018, Germany

Unknown persons set fire to two benches in the altar room of the funeral chapel in Treysa on November 21st. The benches in the interior of the church were set on fire with paper waste and presumably fire accelerators. The fire caused considerable soot damage, but the building remained intact. The damage was estimated at 500 euros.

Hate Crime Hate Incident Vandalism (form of hate crime)

War Memorial and Church Defaced in Scotland

November 17, 2018, United Kingdom

A church and war memorial were hit by vandals sometime on the 17th of November in Coatbridge. The graffiti included Republican slogans like "RIRA" (Real Irish Republican Army). The incident happened just a week after Armistice Day - the day the Allies and Germany signed the peace treaty ending the First World War.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Persistent Littering and Vandalism in front of Cosenza Church

November 17, 2018, Italy

For years, the piazza and steps in front of the church of Santa Teresa in Cosenza has been littered with bottles, glasses, vomit and urine by young people who congregate there in the evenings and on weekends. However, as parishioners stepped past all of the litter and excrement to attend Mass on the weekend of November 17th, they were greeted with a new insult: the steps to the church were defaced with graffiti.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Miniature Model of Church Destroyed and Offertory Box Looted

November 15, 2018, Germany

A wooden model of the small parish church in Bräunlingen was returned to its place next to the church altar after the damage caused by vandals had been repaired. A few days later, it was hit again by vandalism. The bottom plate of the model was forcibly torn open, the wood was shattered in the back, and part of the electronics were exposed. The offertory box on which the small church stands was looted, leaving only a few coins. Additionally the smaller of the two church towers, which was completely replaced in the past repair, was damaged again.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Prosecutors Believe Hague Stabbing in May Targeted Christians and Jews

November 14, 2018, Netherlands

New information from the prosecutor's office indicates that Malek F., a Syrian asylum seeker charged with 3 counts of attempted murder for stabbings in The Hague on May 5, 2018, was specifically searching for “Christian and Jewish kuffars," Arabic for non-believers. In a recorded conversation with his mother from prison, he said they were similar to “animals or retarded people” and that he was a "soldier of Allah."

Hate Crime

Theft and Desecration of Madrid Church

November 13, 2018, Spain

On the 13th of November intruders broke into the church of Nuestra Señora de Madrid, desecrated the tabernacle, stole a ciborium, a small monstrance, and other objects from the parish office. The Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Carlos Osoro, expressed his pain, his prayers, and his condemnation for this desecration to the whole parish community and will soon hold an act of reparation in the church. The police began an investigation.

Desecration Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Thousands of Euros in Damage Caused by Rocks Thrown at Church Windows

November 13, 2018, Germany

On four afternoons in a row, between November 13th and November 17th, unknown perpetrators threw rocks at the stained glass windows of the church of St. Stephanus in Grevenbroich-Elsen. "In total there are 27 holes up to a diameter of ten centimeters and cracks [in the windows]," according to Gerd Reibel, Deputy Chairman of the Church Council. "We estimate the total amount of the damage to be between 3,000 and 4,000 euros," he said. The parish filed a police complaint.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

British Government Denies Asia Bibi Asylum for Fear of Community Unrest

November 9, 2018, United Kingdom

Asia Bibi, who spent eight years on death row in Pakistan, was released from prison after the Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned her sentence for “insulting the Prophet Mohammed.” Her acquittal led to unrest and riots among Pakistan's Muslim hardliners, prompting the government to try to prevent her from leaving the country. Her husband, Ashiq Masih, pleaded to the UK government: “I am requesting the Prime Minister of the UK help us and as far as possible grant us freedom.” The British government reportedly rejected this request for fear of civil unrest.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Exclusion (of individuals or ideas)

Vandalism in the Church of Sainte Croix

November 7, 2018, France

A press release of the parish of Port de Bordeaux reported that there were “more then 40 chairs crumbled to pieces, tables and displays thrown over” in the 11th century church of Sainte Croix. Debout France – a local federation – published information about this incident on its Twitter expressing regret saying: “vandalism (…) is more and more frequent within our church.”

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Historic Forest Church Heavily Damaged by Vandalism

November 6, 2018, Italy

Several stained glass windows of the Lama Church were broken by rocks and the door was smashed by an axe. The damage was estimated several thousand euros.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism at Wallyford Church

November 5, 2018, United Kingdom

East Lothian (Scotland) Police investigated a case of vandalism at the Wallyford Livingroom Church. Vandals smashed a window by throwing stones.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Vandalism to Parish Church

November 4, 2018, Germany

Sometime between November 4th and 7th, unknown perpetrators smashed in a window at the St. Walburgis Church in Menzelen-Ost. The damage was discovered by church staff on the evening of November 7th. The perpetrators threw an object into a glass window with lead glazing with an unknown object.

Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Parish Church Vandalized

November 2, 2018, Germany

Police reported that two teenagers are suspected of having caused at least €3,000 in damage to the Reichertshausen parish church St. Stephanus between August 31st and September 13th. Many statues were damaged: the wing of a dove (representing the holy spirit) was broken, the statue of John the Baptist was damaged, and the head of a statue on the altar was broken off. A foul smelling and foamy liquid was poured into the holy water. The sacristan who discovered all of this damage also found remainders of ashes and crumbs, spilled beverages, a burned prayer book, and the note “F… dich Gott” (“F… you God”) in a book for prayer requests. 

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Desecration of Church in French Guiana

November 2, 2018, France

One or more unknown individuals broke into the church du Bon Pasteur and ransacked everything. The table of the altar was broken, furniture was knocked over, video material disappeared, the locks to the sacristy were broken, and consecrated hosts were emptied from the tabernacle. The parish priest and the church community were shocked and dismayed. An investigation was opened.

Theft Vandalism (form of hate crime)