Group logs attacks against European churches

The fire at St Sulpice Church in Paris in March (CNS/Instagram agneswebste via Reuters)

An independent organisation founded with the help of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences is logging accounts of attacks against churches in Europe. Source: Crux.

Vandals and thieves have damaged at least eight churches in Germany since early April, while churches have also been attacked, apparently at random, in Scotland, England, France, Poland, Spain, Italy and Austria.

The cases were logged by the Vienna-based Observatory of Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe. Details of each of them have been posted on the observatory’s website.

Police in Freiburg, Germany, are investigating a series of thefts from Catholic churches in Rheinfelden-Nollingen, Schworstadt, and Bad Sackingen from mid-April to the beginning of May. The Nollingen church was hit twice by thieves.

In early May, vandals defaced a wall of the Herz-Jesu Catholic church in Winnweiler with graffiti; the Evangelical Lutheran City Church in Rudolstadt was daubed with paint, and a paving stone was thrown through the window of a chapel in in Morbach-Hoxel, causing €2000 ($3227) damage.

At least nine windows were smashed at a church in Wilhelmshaven, a fire was started at a church in Nienborg, and terror threats were made against churches marking the Armenian genocide in Stuttgart and Frankfurt, causing the events to be cancelled.

The organisation also reported continued attacks on churches in France, despite the national outpouring of grief that followed the fire that devastated Notre Dame Cathedral April 15.

Since the blaze, a statue of the Virgin Mary was decapitated in the village of Marlhes, and a statue of St Barbe, the patron of firefighters, was removed from a glass case outside a church in Belle-Roche and smashed.

In the first week of May, the words “Allah u Akbar” were written across the door of the Church of Notre-Dame-du-Taur in Toulouse; consecrated hosts were stolen from the Church of Saint-Germain in Brion-pres-Thouet; a fire was started in the sacristy of a church of Equihen-Plage; and thieves stole a crucifix and candlesticks from the Church of Saint-Germain-des-Pres in Paris.

From February to March, at least 10 other churches in France had been hit, with some set on fire while others were severely desecrated or damaged.


Vienna-based group logs attacks against European Christian churches (Crux) 

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