Newsletter Oct - Dec 2016

Dear readers,

Here in Europe we saw many troubling cases of intolerance, discrimination, legal restrictions, and violence against Christians in the last few months of 2016.

The cases that follow are some of the cases we reported from October to December, 2016

As always, we encourage you to report cases you read or hear about. You can email us here, or click REPORT A CASE on our website.

 

Germany: Terrorism, Violence, and Destruction of Christian Symbols

Berlin Christmas Market the Target of Terrorist Attack

A Tunisian man stole a truck and intentionally drove it into a crowded Christmas market near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in West Berlin, leaving 12 dead and more than 50 injured. ISIS claimed responsibility, and the driver pledged allegiance to ISIS, calling on his "Muslim brothers everywhere... Those in Europe, kill the Crusader pigs."

Open Doors Report: Religiously-Motivated Attacks on 743 Christian Refugees in Germany

Dozens of Christian Statues Vandalized

Summit Cross Twice Destroyed

United Kingdom: British Values, Tolerance, and "Safe Spaces"

UK Considered Secularist Oath of Allegiance to British Values 

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

Equalities Watchdog Called for Review of Catholic Schools Hiring Rules

Student Union Banned Pro-Life Group

Christian Archbishops from Iraq and Syria Denied Visas to UK

Christian Couple Blocked from Adopting Foster Children

Christian Bakers Lose Appeal

Christian Family Forced to Flee their Home
A family has been forced to flee their home under armed police guard amid fears for their safety after suffering what they say is eight years of persecution for converting from Islam to Christianity.

 

France: Freedom of Expression, Churches, Nativity Scenes, Converts and Priests Under Attack

Politician Fined for Using Word from Bible to Describe Homosexuality

Plans to Ban Pro-Life Websites it Judges 'Extremist'

Officials Ban Television Commercial to Commemorate World Down Syndrome Day
Watch the commercial here.

Theft from Sainte-Anne Church in Lanvéoc

Church Vandalized in Gif-sur-Yvette

Orsay Church Vandalized on Christmas

Man Forcibly Removed after Disrupting Christmas Mass

State Council Allows "Decorative" Christmas Scenes at Town Halls

Christmas Crib Destroyed by Fire

Christmas Decorations and Crèche Thrown in River

Cathedral in Fort-de-France Vandalized and Burgled Five Times in Seven Days

Five Churches Burgled in Three Weeks

Vandalism and Fires in Two Churches in Tarn-et-Garonne

Nantes Church Vandalized with Anarchist Graffiti

Leftist Graffiti on Bordeaux Catholic Seminary

Church Ransacked in Northern France

Bomb Discovered in Front of Church

Nativity Crib Burned in Church

Christian Convert Threatened with Death in French Refugee Camp

Burglary and Attack Stopped by Priest in Seine-Saint-Denis

Priest Attacked, Tied Up, and Robbed in Pastoral Center

Italy: Theft and Vandalism at Holy Sites

Caorle Cathedral in 3rd Incident in Veneto Region in 10 Days

Gold Stolen from Sacred Statue of Our Lady of Pilastrello

Votive Offerings in Treviso Church

Crucifix Marred by Vandals in Arcugnano

Man Arrested after Series of Attacks on Churches in Rome
Police arrested a 39-year-old Ghanaian man suspected of attacking several churches in Rome over the previous two days. He is suspected of heavily damaging devotional statues, crucifixes, and candlesticks at the Basilica of Santa Prassede, the Church of San Martino ai Monti, and the Basilicas of San Giovanni de' Fiorentini and San Vitale. Watch the video here.

Spain: Courts, Desecration, Vandalism, Removal of Religious Symbols, and an Attack on a Priest

Spanish Court Acquits City Councilor of Infringing on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Convictions

Judge Dismisses Charges Against Artist Who Stole Consecrated Hosts

Media Campaign Targets Priest for Upholding Church Doctrine

Stolen Tabernacle and Ciborium Found in Cemetery

Desecration in Cemetery Chapel

Thieves Desecrate Church of Santa Maria in Ocaña; Steal Valuable Objects

Graffiti Damaged Granada Cathedral

School Prohibits Christmas Decorations with Religious Motifs

City Council to Vote on Removal of Religious Symbols from Public Spaces

Easter Poster Depicting Christ Removed from Government Office

Government of Rincon Prohibits Nativity Scene in Municipal Courtyard

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

Serial Church Arsonist Expelled from Spain; Banned from Schengen for 10 Years

Priest Attacked While Celebrating Mass

Sweden

Christian Midwife Loses Case Against City Council
Swedish midwife Linda Steen objected to assisting with abortions for reasons of conscience and as a consequence public hospitals denied her employment. She sued the city council for violation of her freedom of conscience and religion. After losing the case, she was ordered to pay 1.2 million Swedish krona for the city's legal expenses.

Church Requests Security Staff Due to Disruptions, Vandalism
The Holy Trinity Church in Kristianstad has been given permission by police to have security guards at church services due to repeated thefts, disruptive and threatening behavior during services, drug and alcohol use in the church, and urination and defecation in the pews.

 

Austria

Woman Attacked for Reading from Bible
A 22-year-old man from Afghanistan stabbed a Christian woman when he heard her reading from the Bible at a refugee accommodation in Upper Austria. 

Christian Kindergarten Advent Performance Disrupted by Man Carrying Koran

Switzerland

Christian Nursing Home Ordered to Allow Assisted Suicide on Premises

The Netherlands

Vandals Attack St. Augustine Church in Utrecht

Belgium

Holsbeek Town Council Removes Christmas Crib

Christian Graves Vandalized on All Saints' Day

Greece

Church Desecrated in Crete
Unknown perpetrators entered the Orthodox church of the Archangel Michael near Lagoliou, set sacred books on fire in the sanctuary, and sprayed "Allah is great" in Arabic on the walls.

Kosovo

case/serbian-orthodox-chapel-turned-into-public-toilet.htmlSerbian Orthodox Chapel turned into Public Toilet

A recently repaired and cleaned cemetery chapel was turned into a public toilet and a garbage dump, with many graves overrun with weeds, despite a custodian employed by the Priština municipality.

Estonia

Visitors at Estonian National Museum Invited to Kick Image of Virgin Mary

The exhibit is a virtual image of the Virgin Mary in a glass box. Visitors were invited to kick the display, causing the image to appear to fall to pieces and the word "Reformation" to appear.

 

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