Christian churches are under increasing assault all over Europe, reports a Vienna-based group charged with monitoring such attacks.
They report that Christian churches have been increasingly vandalized in Switzerland, Christian graves desecrated in France, and churches graffitied in Italy. Much of the vandalism comes at the hands of those opposing church teachings on homosexuality.
Earlier this month, someone vandalized a Catholic Church in the Swiss Canon of Jura, two hours north of Geneva. The vandals wrote, “Jesus is Gay” and “Your Religion is Not Mine” along with satanic symbols on the outside of the church.
Also this month, in the Calvados region of France, dozens of Christian symbols in a graveyard were vandalized.
The Observatory reports the Church of Saint John the Baptist in the Italian town of Lecce was spraypainted, “God is a transgender” and “Priests are pedophiles.” Other graffiti indicated that the attack was related to a recent pro-family conference held nearby.
Attacks have caused so much alarm in the diocese of Bellay-Ars in France that Bishop Pascal Roland has ordered the Eucharist be removed and kept in secure locations. (The Eucharist is consecrated unleavened bread that Catholics believe is the body and blood of Jesus Christ and is reserved in tabernacles inside all Catholic Churches.)
The Observatory reports that altogether in January 2015 there were 36 “places of worship of devotion, schools, tombs and Christian websites” that were targeted for attack, including six cases of attempted arson.
They report in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany that 3,500 cases of burglary were reported since 2010, and such burglaries occur at an annual rate of roughly 700 per year, with damages amounting to nearly $3 million.
Not only are Christian buildings coming under attack in Europe, but Christians themselves. A year ago, leftist activists attacked Christian parents who organized a protest against a new sex-ed curriculum in Germany. According to the Observatory, the parents were spit at, and eggs and “little bags of feces” were thrown at them. Additionally, “Pages were ripped out of the Bible and used to wipe backsides then formed into a ball and thrown at the parents.”
During the massive demonstrations against same-sex marriage in France, protests that drew upwards of one million of mostly Christians in the streets of Paris, peaceful demonstrators—men, women, children, and at least one former French Cabinet minister—were gassed by French security forces under orders from the Socialist President François Holland.
In Sweden, Mona Sahlin, national coordinator against violent extremism for the Swedish Ministry of Justice, compared a midwife who refused to participate in abortion to the terrorists of the Islamic State.
The Observatory was founded to provide information on discrimination against Christians to the institutions of the European Union, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the United Nations.