Rome Newsroom, Nov 17, 2020 / 14:00 pm
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe published data Monday documenting more than 500 hate crimes against Christians in Europe in 2019.
Incidents included attacks against Catholic priests, arson attacks on Catholic churches, the destruction of images of the Virgin Mary, vandalism of a pregnancy counseling center, and the theft of consecrated Eucharistic hosts from tabernacles.
France had the most hate crimes against Christians, with 144 incidents in 2019, the majority occurring against Catholic churches. The OSCE also reported 81 incidents in Germany, 75 in Spain, and 70 in Italy.
In total, there were 595 incidents against Christians documented by OSCE. Of these, 459 were attacks against property and 80 were violent attacks against people. Nearly a fourth of the data on Christians was reported directly by the Holy See.
The information was published Nov. 16 to mark the International Day for Tolerance. The OSCE also released data on hate crimes driven by anti-Semitism, racism, bias based on sexual orientation and other categories.
Here is a breakdown of some of the hate crimes committed against Christians documented by OSCE:
Consecrated Hosts Stolen
In France and Spain, there were multiple incidents in which tabernacles were broken into and consecrated hosts stolen. In Feb. 2019, almost 300 consecrated hosts and three chalices were stolen from a church in France. There were 14 incidents in France involving a tabernacle being forced open and the hosts either being stolen, destroyed, or scattered on the floor. In June 2019, the tabernacle in one church was set on fire.