Jack Newman, Daily Mail, December 10, 2021
Hate crimes targeting Christians in Germany have nearly trebled in a year amid a wave of religious discrimination across Europe.
From 2019 to 2020, the majority Christian nation saw a rise in attacks from 57 to 141.
This included seven physical assaults against Christians for their beliefs, three thefts or robberies, one desecration of a grave and 24 verbal threats.
Overall, hate crime in Germany rose by 19 per cent last year.
The Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance against Christians in Europe (OIDAC), which has compiled a report on anti-Christian hate crime in the continent, says the two main threats come from ‘secular intolerance’ and ‘Islamic oppression’.
The figures were submitted by the German police and Federal Statistics Office to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental body.
There were also an additional 172 anecdotal reports from church groups which detailed how members are being targeted with vandalism and physical attacks.
One report said: ‘A 77-year-old female Jehovah’s Witness, while engaging in religious activities, was hit by a woman on the street. The victim fell to the ground and hit her head.’
A Jehovah’s Witness kingdom hall was also ‘desecrated when its mailbox was filled with urine’, the church claimed.
In another alleged attack, a Protestant church was vandalised with swastika graffiti and other far-right symbols.
OIDAC said in its report that secular intolerance, which is a major threat to Christians in Europe, is the marginalisation or exclusion of religion from public and private life.
The report states: ‘Some of the ideologies that infuse the secular intolerance that is at play in politics and universities today are specifically anti-Christian, like neo-Marxist undercurrents.’
They claim this has led to the censorship of Christian teaching, banning Christian symbols from public places, ignoring parental rights at schools and limiting the freedom of expression.
This has led to dismissals from work, no-platforming and police investigations over the expression of Christian faith, according to the study.
The report also claims that ‘Islamic oppression’ has led to ‘violent attacks’ against Christians.
They said: ‘Islamic Oppression can mostly be seen in what we call “hotspot areas” of European cities and suburbs, where they impose unique legal and moral codes, which are often in contradiction to democratic principles and human rights.’
On Germany, the OIDAC report says: ‘Freedom of expression has been limited in Germany when it comes to discussions about gender, marriage, bioethics, and sexuality.’
They said this has led to police investigations over Christians asserting their traditional religious beliefs.
The report also claims that Christian students have had access to facilities limited because of their beliefs which have led to them being labelled ‘homophobic’ or ‘anti-feminist’.
They said: ‘Some forms of discrimination are that the groups are denied use of campus facilities and renting rooms, they are prohibited to share flyers, and they do not receive accreditation by student councils.
‘Some students have also received threats.’
A study by Matthias Revers and Richard Traunmüller at the Goethe University Frankfurt found that a third of German students are in favour of banning controversial books from the student library.
Meanwhile between a third and a half of university students would not allow a controversial speaker on campus.
Gynaecologist Michael Kiworr was blocked from speaking at Gottingen University about abortion after being invited by Christian student group Reformatio 21.
The group Alternative Linke Liste Göttingen staged protests and forced the university to rescind the invitation.
The move was criticised by The Professor’s Forum, an 800-member strong association of academics in Germany.
They said: ‘There are frequent incidents in which aggressively appearing political groups sabotage the right to freedom of expression.’
OIDAC added: ‘Germany must react more effectively to protect Christians from attacks initiated by radical groups.’