EUROPE – Vandalism of religious heritage on the rise?

EUROPE – Vandalism of religious heritage on the rise?

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe has published a report portraying 133 cases of vandalism against Christian sites in 11 countries. The Observatory warns that vandalism against religious sites seems to be on the rise.

In France, for instance, 667 incidents of vandalism were recorded in 2012, of which 543 were directed against Christian sites (against 527 in 2011), 40 on Jewish sites (31 buildings, 9 cemeteries), and 84 on Muslim sites (83 buildings, 1 cemetery).

Austria also reports a growth of vandalism, amounting to 3.5% between 2009 and 2010. Since there is no disaggregation of data between public buildings and religious sites, clear data on the growth of vandalism directed specifically against religious heritage are not available. Still, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for Relations between the Church and Society, is quoted saying that

“the instances of vandalism against churches,
mosques, synagogues, and cemeteries in many
European countries have grown manifold in the past

Read the report from the Observatory here.


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