Church leaders in the Diocese of Rochester have called for the...
Religious hate crimes surge by 40 per cent in 12 months
There's been a 40 per cent increase in religious hate crime in the UK over the past year.
Home Office data shows there were 8,336 incidents across England and Wales where religion was a factor.
Of that number 52 per cent were crimes against the Muslim community.
The police figures showed that more than half (56%) of the hate crimes recorded were for public order offences and a further third (33%) were for crimes involving violence against the person.
Hate crimes and incidents are defined as those perceived to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic.
The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe monitors hate crime across the continent.
Executive director Ellen Fantini told Premier's News Hour the figures could actually be much higher.
"Christians traditionally don't report hate crimes the way some other groups do," she said. "They clean up the vandalism, they repair the broken windows but they need to report these crimes as hate crimes."
Fantini added that the government need to take religiously motivated crimes more seriously to stop the increase.
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