The number of hate crimes and oppressive actions aimed at Christians, including arson, vandalism, threats, physical attacks and murders in Europe has increased in recent years.
Tvrdí to Viedenské Observatórium pre prazávyy intolerancee a discriminaciácie v krístyanom v Europa, which annually issues a report on protikreťanských nenávistných crimes. This was reported by The Christian Post.
In the 2022/23 report, more than 749 acts of hate were reported to the Observatory in 30 countries. In last year’s report, the observatórium wrote about 519 incidents. The crimes in the new report included 38 physical attacks and three murders. All individual cases are recorded on the institution’s website.
In the accompanying press release, the organization drew attention to the increase in the number of arson cases, which rose from 60 to 105 between the years.
Slovenia also made it to the list
The highest number of hate crimes took place in Germany, where according to the authorities there were 231. Italy was second with 146 cases and France was third with 106 cases. Three such incidents took place in Slovakia, but in the Czech Republic, analysts did not catch a single one.
Among the cases of violence in Slovakia, the Rakúska organization caused an attack on the Greek Catholic priest during the liturgy in Bardejove, damage to the church windows with a hammer in Senica, and the “obtěžovanie a nažíhovanie” of Bishop Jozef Haľek at the March festival last July.
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Among foreign cases, for example, the January attack in Algeciras, Spain, when a terrorist attacked two churches. The machete stabbed the churchman and seriously wounded four people, including the priest. According to witnesses, the attacker shouted “Allah is great” and “Death to Christians”.
In March 2022, someone plastered the inscriptions “Tu žieve cristianský fundamentalista” and “Spare the fundamentalists” on the door of the home of a pro-life Catholic in Vienna.
In May 2022, a husband was stabbed in front of his two children in Marseille, when he was picking them up from a Catholic school. Útočník introduced, already the crime spáchal “in me God”.
Attack in two Spanish churches The husband stabbed the churchman with a machete, and four people, including the priest, were injured
Kostolník póbosil in Kostole Panny Márie palmovej in Algeciras. Farár z Kaplnky svätého Izidor is heavily wounded.
Analysts are worried about some legislative changes
Analysts admitted in the report that they already have a limited ability to cover all crimes: “There is a reasonable probability that the number of crimes is higher, but this is due to the limited reporting of hate crimes against Christians, because of concerns about the possible legal consequences of reporting over the prospects and lack of media coverage.’
According to the administration, the number of crimes committed by anti-Christian motivated ideological, political or religious groups has increased. Researchers also drew attention to new legislation that restricts freedom of expression.
“The right to freedom of expression is still a highly debated issue, as new laws try to regulate expression in the public sphere and some even in the private sphere. The new ‘problem zones’ around abortion clinics are one of the forms of state regulation, which led to the criminalization of Christians for silent prayer on the street,” they wrote.
The organization is also concerned about the vague language of some laws that try to protect LGBT people. These can ultimately criminalize the behavior of parents, priests or teachers who would express opinions that disagree with LGBT ideology or discourage their children from undergoing sex change therapy.
Efforts to eliminate conscientious objection with legislation that “put Christians who refuse to participate in controversial practices because of their convictions or conscientious objection to a vulnerable position” are also undesirable.
The report also mentioned the war in Ukraine, where religious discrimination occurs on both sides. “Ruské organs a vojská opakovane porušovali religiókú sloboda krishtianov zatváraním kostolov a únosmi alebo zatýkaním pastorov,” píšu rívskáníci a dodaváu, already Ukraine, on the other hand, suppresses the Orthodox Church.
Map of European countries under attacks against Christians. The chevron color indicates the start of arson cases, the černá the start of all recorded attacks. Source: Výročna správa OIDAC 2022/23
What needs to be improved
Observatórium urged politicians to communicate with the third sector and religious organizations when creating legislation protecting Christians. Aj government human rights institutions would podla nich mali better monitor cases of intolerance and discrimination against Christians.
Novinárov analytici vysvali aby seštovali povedomie o protikreťanských crimes a vyhybali sa negativnym stereotypom o kristenoch a ich viere. “When informing or writing about Christians, use the same standards as those used for other religious groups or minorities,” the report says.
Samotní chríštenia dolát ochráčanie, aby sa počíli o svoj právach a o tom, “what does secular intolerance mean and if it can lead to self-censorship among Christians”.
Podła sparva by sa cirkvi mali “participate in public discussion with respect and information, contribute to dialogue between religion and secular society and build bridges between different groups”.