Several nonprofit groups are reporting increased cultural and governmental hostility toward Christians under the Biden administration.
“I think it’s just a rise in secularism in the United States,” Arielle Del Turco, assistant director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council, told Fox News.
Del Turco is the primary author of “Hostility Against Churches Is on the Rise in the United States,” which documents the increasing rate of church vandalism during recent years. In an update published this month, the report noted that 2023 already is on track to log the highest number of church vandalism incidents within the six years that the organization has been tracking them.
According to the report, 69 acts of hostility against churches in 29 states already have occurred during the first quarter of the year, including 53 acts of vandalism, 10 arson attacks or attempts, three gun-related incidents, three bomb threats and two other incidents, such as assault. The statistics represent approximately three times the number of hostile acts that were recorded in the same timeframe last year.
“As secularism increases, people just understand religion less and less, they have less of the respect for religion that they might have had decades ago,” Del Turco said. “All of these are increasingly in conflict with core Christian teachings and core Christian beliefs. So the left is getting increasingly intolerant of Christianity for this reason, and I think we’re seeing that even being represented physically with these physical attacks on churches.”
Roman Catholic churches especially tend to be the primary targets.
“I think that’s because they are just a beautiful outward representation of Christianity,” she said. “They have these beautiful buildings, they have statues outside, but also they are expressly pro-life. So, they do bear the brunt of most of these attacks.”
Del Turco also said she believes the Biden administration has made evident by its actions that religious freedom and pursuing the violent offenders against it are “not a priority.”
“I think even the public discourse — the way that President Biden talks about Christians or people who might oppose some of these secular dogmas — creates a really dangerous environment where people feel increasingly comfortable lashing out against churches,” she said
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a controversial organization that has come under investigation for fraud and internal abuse, has itself labeled the Family Research Council as a hate group. FRC was then targeted in a shooting that injured one employee.
Callista Gingrich writing in Newsweek last year says the attacks are at crisis levels, “The wave of church attacks in the United States is an intolerable attempt to intimidate Christians and prevent them from worshipping freely and serving their communities. Such attacks are a blatant violation of our fundamental right to religious freedom. These criminal acts harm not only church members, but also American communities at large that rely on church aid and support.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice