A self-proclaimed “anti-theist” stabbed his Christian flatmate to death in Germany after bursting into her room and demanding to know her views on same-sex marriage.
The victim, from Paderborn in North Rhine-Westphalia, had moved into shared student accommodation in Freiburg with her killer just ten days earlier.
‘Daniel E.’, who cannot be named due to German privacy rules, had never met the woman before, but Focus reports the 25-year-old was consumed by “hatred and contempt” after discovering her Christian faith.
The young victim was active in her parish and aspired to work in a prayer house, but Judge Eva Kleine-Cosack determined that her Christianity had not adversely impacted Daniel. The killer had actively sought confrontation with his victim, which culminated in his bursting into her room and demanding to know her views on same-sex marriage.
When she said she did not agree with it, Daniel pulled a knife from his trouser pocket and stabbed her. Sitting on her bed, prosecutors said the woman had “no chance”. She managed to struggle past her attacker to the stairwell, but was then stabbed multiple times in the back, dying at the scene.
It was discovered that the killer had written a “manifesto” declaring his hatred for religion shortly beforehand, and police investigators noted how he described the killing as though it were a “school trip”.
The judge concluded that “He killed her as a representative of her religion, because he could not kill all believers”.
According to expert witnesses, Daniel considered Silence of the Lambs serial killer Hannibal Lecter something of a role model. However, despite the grave nature of his crime, he could be released after only 15 years, when he would just 40 years old.
In December 2016, the Vatican’s permanent representative to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Janusz Urbanczyk, warned that “offending, insulting or attacking Christians because of their beliefs and their values, including in the media and in public debate” was becoming more commonplace in Europe.
The most shocking attack on European Christianity in recent times was the murder of an 84-year-old priest during a church service in Normandy, France, by Muslims loyal to Islamic State.