Criminal acts of vandalism and destruction of church property are on the rise, according to a new report from the Family Research Council.
“Americans appear increasingly comfortable lashing out against church buildings, pointing to a larger societal problem of marginalizing core Christian beliefs, including those that touch on hot-button political issues related to human dignity and sexuality,” the report stated.
Among the key findings:
- A total of 420 acts of hostility against churches occurred between January 2018 and September 2022 across 45 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.
- There were at least 57 pro-abortion acts of hostility against churches from January 2022 to September 2022.
- The council documented 342 occurrences of vandalism, 58 arson attacks or attempts, 12 gun-related incidents, 11 bomb threats and 19 other incidents (such as assault, threats and interruption of worship services). Twenty incidents fell into more than one category.
- California had the most incidents, with 51. Texas had 33 incidents, New York 31 and Florida 23.
Violent or destructive incidences that interfere with an individual’s lawful free exercise of religion at their house of worship present a significant nationwide challenge and must be condemned. The attacks intensified during the Black Lives Matter riots of 2020 with the fascist group Antifa fueling much of the violence. It increased through the overturning of Roe v. Wade with Catholic and Evangelical churches the primary targets. It is expected to increase in 2023.
“As a former commissioner and chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, I’ve seen the warning signs of this gathering like clouds across the Atlantic,” council President Tony Perkins said. “As the mainstream culture moves further and further away from a biblical worldview, I’ve witnessed the hostility to moral truth creep closer to our shores. The West, once the safe haven of free speech and religion, is turning cold to our religious foundations that have helped us thrive. While it is good to see the Biden administration acknowledge that these attacks are a problem, they must do more; the Biden Department of Justice has so far largely ignored these growing attacks on churches, and that is creating an environment of lawlessness around the country.
“Christians must not live in fear. We must not be intimidated; we must continue to stand upon the truth of God and defending the freedom of all to live out their faith free from the fear that they will be subject to a violent attack.”
–Alan Goforth | MV