Report: Attacks on Christian Churches Nearly Triple in Four Years

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Attacks on Christian churches have nearly tripled in the last four years, according to a 84-page report released by Family Research Council (FRC) in December.

Between January 2018 and September 2022, FRC found 420 documented acts of hostility against 397 separate churches in the United States.

Many cases included incidences of vandalism, bomb threats, arson, and gun-related violence.

“The report documents one homicide, numerous arsons, bomb threats (real and fake), and a pervasive desecration of holy items. Vandals regularly smashed crosses, statues, and headstones in cemeteries; vandalized carvings of the Ten Commandments; set fire to a Nativity scene; and smeared feces on a statue of the Virgin Mary,” according to the Washington Stand, FRC’s news outlet.

“They tore up a Bible and desecrated an American flag in a Primitive Methodist church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Denver’s Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church suffered two drive-by shootings this August. Smashed windows and spray-painted doors became ubiquitous. The number of assaults peaked this May through July but has remained elevated compared to historical figures, which usually number in the single digits,” the report continues, noting that each individual act of violence and vandalism could cost tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

The FRC report notes assaults against churches occurred in 45 states and in Washington, D.C., and spanned congregations from various Christian denominations, as well as Unitarian-Universalists and Mormon churches.

Arielle Del Turco, assistant director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, wrote in the report that “the first nine months of 2022 saw more than double the number of reported acts of hostility against churches than occurred in the entirety of 2018.”

“When looking at recorded acts of hostility per month from 2018 to September 2022, it is notable that a spike in church attacks seemed to follow rises in political tension,” Turco wrote. “This happened during the protests and concurrent riots related to George Floyd’s death in May 2020 and following the leak of the Dobbs decision in May 2022. Overall, acts of hostility trended upward during the five-year reporting period.”

Pro-abortion extremists executed at least 57 attacks in the first nine months of 2022 against Christian churches, a “1,140 percent increase over the past four years,” the outlet reported.

“By contrast, only five incidents between 2019 and 2021 were abortion-related,” the FRC report states.

Besides abortion and the Black Lives Matter movement, FRC found that “radical pro-LGBTQ activism, support for COVID-19 church closures, secularism, Satanism, Islamic fundamentalism, and anti-Americanism also wrought havoc in parishes nationwide.”

“When faced with such blatant violence and disrespect against churches (and religion more broadly), our response must be to condemn these acts and reaffirm the right of all people to worship and live out their faith freely — including the freedom to live without fear that they will be the next target of such an attack,” Turco told the outlet.

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