Friday, April 19, 2024

REPORT: Attacks on Churches Nearly Tripled in the Last Four Years

'Religious freedom is not maintained by good laws and policies alone; it also relies on cultural support...'

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) A recent analysis from the Family Research Council discovered that attacks on churches have nearly tripled since 2018.

According to the report, “between January 2018 and September 2022, at least 420 acts of hostility against U.S. churches occurred.”

The acts of violence included vandalism, arson, gun related incidents, bomb threats and more. There was also an increase in the frequency over the course of the three years.

In 2021, the FBI reported 240 “hate crimes” against Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox or other Christians, which was up 213 anti-Christian crimes in 2020.

Out of the total 420 attacks on churches, 397 different churches were targeted in 45 different states.

The majority of the reported incidents were vandalism, with 342 reports of destruction or defacement of property, ransacking or theft, 12 gun-related incidents, 11 bomb threats and 19 other threats of assault and interruption of services.

Areas with greater populations had the most incidents. California had the highest number of incidents, with 51. Texas followed next, with 33; then New York, with 31; and Florida, with 23.

Delaware, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Vermont were the only states without any reported hate crimes.

After the leak of the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health to overturn federal abortion mandates, there was a massive spike in graffiti vandalism.

At least 57 of these incidents took place between January 2022 and September 2022, and were directly tied to pro-abortion protests or with pro-abortion messages.

The motives of many of the attacks are unclear, and several of them were committed by minors. Other incidents included satanic or anarchist symbols.

The FRC report emphasized the importance of religious freedom, a right ostensibly protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“Religious freedom is not maintained by good laws and policies alone; it also relies on cultural support,” the report said.

“When church attendees feel targeted by members of their communities or church buildings bear the brunt of outrage over political events, a more grievous assault is occurring on the ability to choose and live out one’s faith safely, both at church and in the public square,” it continued. “Violent or destructive incidents that interfere with an individual’s lawful free exercise of religion at their house of worship present a significant nationwide challenge.”

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