When we think of Christian persecution, we typically think of a place in the world such as North Korea, Iran or China. But what about Europe? While the actions against Christianity in Europe do not rise to the level of institutional persecution that we see in China, there is a growing cultural hostility against the Church and all things Christian.
The Gatestone Institute did some very fine research in compiling about 3,000 separate incidents in 2019 that ranged from lack of respect to open hostility to active persecution. Most of the crimes were property crimes perpetrated against symbols of the Christian religion. The property crimes were not lway hostile toward the Church. In many cases, the motive was money. Many times they were stealing metal such as lead and copper from the church structure to sell for scrap. Still, this shows a lack of respect for the holy. And then there are crimes where the motive is clearly meant to show open hostility toward Christianity from those whose motives are political or religious. Some of these are not directed at property or religious symbols. Some of these have been assaults directed against individual Christians.
With rising secularism in the general population, a silent media and an uncaring government it is unlikely that hostility toward Christianity will abate any time soon. With many European governments actively promoting abortion and various types of sexual perversion, I think that many in positions of power would just as soon see the Christian Church muzzled.
From the Gatestone Institute:
Anti-Christian hostility is sweeping across Western Europe, where, during 2019, Christian churches and symbols were deliberately attacked day after day.
Gatestone Institute reviewed thousands of newspaper reports, police blotters, parliamentary inquiries, social media posts and specialized blogs from Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain. The research shows (see appendices below) that roughly 3,000 Christian churches, schools, cemeteries and monuments were vandalized, looted or defaced in Europe during 2019 — which is on track to becoming a record year for anti-Christian sacrilege on the continent.
Violence against Christian sites is most widespread in France, where churches, schools, cemeteries and monuments are being vandalized, desecrated and burned at an average rate of three per day, according to government statistics. In Germany, attacks against Christian churches are occurring at an average rate of two per day, according to police blotters.