According to newly published data from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the number of hate crimes against Christians in Europe rose sharply in 2020.
The OSCE data, published Nov. 16, documented 980 incidents against Christians, including arson attacks on Catholic churches, desecration and robbery of Eucharistic hosts, assaults on priests, and anti-Catholic graffiti on Church property.
The OSCE previously reported 595 incidents against Christians in 2019. There was a significant increase in the number of attacks against property last year, from 459 in 2019 to 871 in 2020, while the number of violent attacks against people decreased from 80 to 56 in 2020.
Poland had the most hate crimes reported against Christians with 241 incidents in 2020, the majority of which were acts of vandalism against Catholic property. The OSCE also reported 172 incidents in Germany, 159 in France, and 113 in Italy. The Holy See submitted data to the OSCE on more than 150 hate crimes against Christians in Europe.
The number of hate crimes against Christians is likely higher than what is reported in the data, as only 11 of the 57 OCSE states submitted data on hate crimes against Christians.
Madeleine Enzlberger, head of the Observatory of Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians (OIDACE) in Vienna, Austria, said that in media and political spheres “hatred of Christians is hardly noticed as an increasingly obvious social problem.”
“The OSCE report reflects only part of this trend, which we have been documenting for years, and yet it is a loud wake-up call against indifference and fashionable Christian-bashing,” she commented.
The information was published to mark the International Day for Tolerance.