Almost 1,000 hate crimes against Christians in Europe recorded in 2020 – Eurasia Review
By Courtney Mares
According to data recently released by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the number of hate crimes against Christians in Europe has risen sharply in 2020.
The OSCE data, published on November 16, documented 980 incidents against Christians, including arson attacks on Catholic churches, desecration and theft of Eucharistic hosts, assaults on priests and anti-Catholic graffiti on property of the Church. Church by abortion activists.
The OSCE has previously reported 595 incidents against Christians in 2019.
There was a significant increase in the number of attacks on property last year, from 459 in 2019 to 871 in 2020, while the number of violent attacks on people rose from 80 to 56 in 2020.
Poland recorded the highest number of reported hate crimes against Christians with 241 incidents in 2020, the majority of which were acts of vandalism against Catholic property linked to the Church’s position on abortion.
The OSCE also reported 172 incidents in Germany, 159 in France and 113 in Italy. The Holy See has submitted data to the OSCE on more than 150 hate crimes against Christians in Europe.
The organization has also published data on hate crimes motivated by anti-Semitism, racism, prejudice based on sexual orientation and other categories. A total of 7,181 cases of hate crimes were reported. The information was released to mark the International Day for Tolerance.
The number of hate crimes against Christians is probably higher than what is reported in the data because only 11 of the 57 OCSE states submitted data on hate crimes against Christians.
Madeleine Enzlberger, head of the Observatory of Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians (OIDACE) in Vienna, Austria, noted that in the media and political spheres “hatred of Christians is hardly seen as an increasingly obvious social problem”.
“The OSCE report only reflects part of this trend, which we have documented for years, and yet it is a cry of alarm against the indifference and the fashionable Christian denigration,” he said. she commented.
Here is a breakdown of some of the hate crimes committed against Christians documented by the OSCE:
Widespread vandalism in Poland by abortion advocates
The rise in hate crimes against Christians in Poland is largely due to “a series of incidents targeting the Catholic Church over its stance on abortion,” according to OSCE data.
These included more than 100 acts of graffiti on Catholic properties in 2020, many of which included anti-Christian slogans. Other Catholic churches have been vandalized with LGBTI symbols.
Women’s rights activists vandalized a monument to unborn children at night with black paint in a Polish Catholic cemetery in October 2020.
Abortion activists also vandalized a cross at a cemetery commemorating victims of Nazism the same month, according to the report.
People praying outside a Catholic cathedral have been assaulted by women’s rights activists, who threw bottles, stones and firecrackers, injuring several worshipers.
In Spain, a monastery and four other churches were vandalized on International Women’s Day in 2020. At the monastery, a group of women’s rights protesters also disrupted mass with anti-Christian slogans.
Arson attacks on Catholic churches
A number of arson attacks against Catholic churches have been reported in France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
In one case in Germany, disinfectant was poured on the pews of a Catholic church and then set on fire.
A Catholic cathedral in France was also vandalized with smeared feces by criminals, who then attempted to set the church on fire in February 2020.
Ten masked individuals targeted another Catholic church in France in an arson attack in October 2020 by pushing a car up to the church and then setting it on fire causing extensive damage.
In Switzerland, the organ gallery of a Catholic church was burnt down in March 2020.
Hate crimes and social media
Catholic priests in Spain received death threats via social media in November 2020. Catholic priests in Poland felt threatened when an image depicting a slaughtered priest was posted on social media with anti-Catholic slurs.
A man who converted to Christianity in Italy also received death threats via social media in November 2020.
In other cases, the perpetrators have shared their hate crimes on social media. Women’s rights activists in Poland filmed themselves laying eggs at a Catholic church and posted it on social media in October 2020.
Violent attacks on Christians
Despite the lockdown measures that kept many people socially isolated in 2020, violent attacks on Christians were still reported, although less than in 2019.
Three people were killed in a knife attack at Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice, France, in October 2020.
A priest known for his dedication to helping migrants and the homeless was stabbed to death near his parish in the city of Como, Italy, by a Tunisian in September 2020.
In the UK, a Catholic priest was assaulted by two men in a church in June 2020 and injured his ribs. Another Catholic priest in the UK was physically assaulted in a cathedral during a funeral in October 2020.
A priest in Spain was hospitalized in September 2020 after being stabbed in the upper body while in a church, and a Catholic priest in Poland was repeatedly stabbed in the stomach in October 2020.