News from Europe

Over 600 anti-Christian acts recorded in Northern Ireland in five years

According to police statistics, 601 attacks against religious buildings, parish buildings and cemeteries have been reported in Northern Ireland in the last five years. Every year, the number of attacks on places of worship increases in this country.


The capital, Belfast, is leading with 173 anti-Catholic incidents. Police also mention Lisburn & Castlereagh (60), Newry, Morne and Down (58) and Ards and North Down (57). The last attack, which was a paint bomb explosion, took place in February this year at the church of St. Mac Nissi in Larne.

The data was disclosed by one of the Christian charities, Christian Action Research & Education, which applied for disclosure under the freedom of information laws.

As a result of this publication, the Northern Irish authorities were called upon to implement a programme ensuring adequate protection of places of worship. An example is the Security Fund specially established for this purpose in force in England and Wales. The Scottish Government recently announced that it is introducing a similar system. Northern Ireland is therefore the only part of the United Kingdom without a programme to secure religious sites from hate attacks.



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