Cases of intolerance and attacks on Christians in Europe are on the rise
Last year, in Europe, it was in France that the largest number of hate crimes against Christ's followers took place, followed by Germany, Italy, and Poland. In general, the number of such cases is increasing on the Old Continent. The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe, headquartered in Vienna, has published a special report for 2021 on 519 actual hate crimes committed against this religion.
The most drastic remain cases of physical assault because of being a follower of Christ. There are 14 recorded in the text. In addition, there have been 4 recorded killings based on faith. However, the most common categories of acts are vandalism, theft, sacrilege and threats, and insulting. The mere fact that the number of similar crimes has increased compared to the previous year is worrying.
The report also points to other problems. The increasing difficulty in freely expressing one’s Christian beliefs leads to many instances of self-censorship. This is due to the growing secularization, but also the reluctance of some communities to the cultural and religious heritage of believers in Christ.
In addition, some legal solutions in the family sphere or concerning the lives of people from sexual minorities have been arranged in a way that threatens with a slightly broader interpretation, e.g. penalization of praying for someone. All this means that intolerance towards Christians is being normalized on the Old Continent.
In Poland in 2021, there were at least two murders of clergymen. In one of Siedlce’s parks, a Franciscan, Adam Świerżowski, was murdered, inflicting injuries with a blunt instrument on the back of the head. A similar situation occurred in Paradyż, where the sexton hit Fr. Adam Myszkowski, pastor of one of the parishes. Despite resuscitation in the hospital, the 69-year-old priest could not be saved. In Poland, there have also been many acts of vandalism, desecration and desecration of church interiors over the last year. It was not uncommon for similar cases to involve a physical attack on a priest.