ROME — The number of officially recorded anti-Christian incidents in Europe has risen by 285 percent between 2008 and 2019, according to Ellen Fantini, director of the Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe (OIDACE).
Speaking with the Catholic News Agency (CNA), Fantini said that the trend of increasing attacks is particularly noteworthy in France, such as the recent arson attack on the Nantes Cathedral, but is evident elsewhere as well.
Citing data provided to the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), anti-Christian crimes in the UK doubled from 2017 to 2018, Fantini said. “We know they are rising in Spain, Germany, and Sweden, as well.”
In its 2019 report, OIDACE chronicled the increase in Christian persecution throughout Europe, pointing to “a rise in the number of churches, Christian symbols, and cemeteries across Europe being vandalized, desecrated, and burned, compared to previous years.”
Moreover, the report states, across Europe, “Christians have been fired, sued, and even arrested for exercising their freedom of expression or conscience.”