According to a study conducted by the Austria based nongovernmental organization, The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, there has been a significant drop in the number of anti-Christian hate crimes in Europe from nearly 1,000 in 2020 to over 500 in 2021. The report consists of hate crime incidents against Christians from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021 and mentions 519 such cases. The most number of hate crime cases (124), took place in France followed by Germany (112) and Italy (92). Vandalism has been identified as the most frequently occurring hate crime towards Christians in the year 2021.
More than 500 anti-Christian hate crimes occurred in Europe in 2021, a significant drop from the nearly 1,000 that happened in the previous year, according to a new study.
The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, a nongovernmental organization based in Austria, released its 2021 Annual Report last week. The report details “cases of intolerance and discrimination against Christians in Europe” from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2021.
The report identified 519 incidents it classified as hate crimes in 2021. At 124, France was home to the highest number of anti-Christian hate crimes last year. Germany had the second-highest number of such incidents, with 112 reported hate crimes against Christians, followed by Italy (92), Poland (60), the United Kingdom (40), Spain (30), Austria (15), Belgium (10), Ireland (7) and Switzerland (7).
In Germany, the 112 incidents listed by the OIDAC as anti-Christian hate crimes exceeded the 109 the German government included in its statistics detailing the number of hate crimes, indicating that the German government did not agree that some of the incidents classified as such by the OIDAC fit the government’s relevant definition. National police in France recorded 857 hate crimes in 2021, while data compiled by the OIDAC revealed 701 hate crimes in the U.K. and 156 in Austria
Vandalism constituted the most frequent type of hate crime directed at Christians in 2021, with OIDAC recording approximately 300 examples of “graffiti, damage to property, and desecration” directed at Christian organizations and churches. Eighty anti-Christian hate crimes involved the “theft of offerings, religious objects, consecrated hosts, and church equipment.” According to OIDAC, 2021 featured 60 anti-Christian attacks involving arson or intended arson, 14 physical assaults or threats and four homicides.
The 519 anti-Christian hate crimes constituted a noticeable drop from the 981 incidents measured in 2020. The number of anti-Christian hate crimes in 2021 is also slightly lower than the 578 that occurred in 2019.
Apart from anti-Christian hate crimes, OIDAC’s 2021 annual report highlighted examples of “marginalization Christians face in Europe.
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