News from Europe

More acts of anti-Christian vandalism were recorded during the Christmas period

The Observatory of Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe (OIDAC) recently published a report showing an increase of anti-Christian incidents over Christmas. As well as tightened security due to terrorism threats to some major churches in European capital cities, a large amount of vandalism of nativity scenes in Italy is also raising concerns.


Christmas 2023 was not quiet and peaceful for all Christians within Europe. Terrorism warnings for Germany, Austria and Spain led to Cologne’s Cathedral being closed outside church service hours and obligatory security screening for all believers attending Christmas Eve Mass, as well as restricted security measures for Vienna’s Cathedral. Five suspects of a planned terrorist attack have been arrested in Germany and Austria. The police are suspecting an Islamist terrorist motive and a connection to the ISIS-K (Islamic State – Khorasan Province).

In other places across Europe, security surrounding Christmas events was also tightened amid a heightened terror threat from Islamic extremism. On 5 December, the European Union’s home affairs commissioner, Ylva Johansson, warned that Europe faces a “huge risk of terrorist attacks” over the Christmas holidays due to fallout from the war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Apart from these terrorism warnings around one of the most important Christian feasts, an increased number of acts of vandalism of Christian churches  occurred over the Christmas holidays. Besides arson attacks on churches in Austria, Germany and Croatia, what stood out this Christmas season was an alarming amount of vandalism of nativity scenes in Italy.

Source: OIDAC

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