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Sixty-nine Churches Have Been Attacked in the First Three Months of 2023

Sixty-nine Churches Have Been Attacked in the First Three Months of 2023

A new report from the Family Research Council has shown a concerning increase in acts of hostility against churches in the United States. The data shows that in the first quarter of 2023 alone, there were 69 documented acts of “vandalism, arson, gun-related incidents, bomb threats and other forms of hostility” against churches.

The numbers are a significant increase compared to the previous five years, where the first three months of the year saw much fewer attacks. The FRC recorded 15 attacks against churches in the first three months of 2018, 12 in the same period in 2019, 14 in 2021, and 22 in the first four months of 2022. (2020 saw no attacks on churches in its first quarter.)

Source: Family Research Council

The report categorized the attacks into five types of incidents, with vandalism being the most prevalent. A total of 53 attacks were categorized as vandalism, while arson and gun-related incidents made up 10 and three incidents, respectively.

Source: Family Research Council

The types of attacks listed in the report were both shocking and concerning. Instances of vandalism included the destruction of stained-glass windows and the theft of audio-visual equipment, while arson attacks caused significant damage to church buildings. Gun-related incidents, including the recent mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, put people’s lives in danger, while bomb threats created a sense of fear and uncertainty.

The attacks were not limited to one particular state or region, as 29 states were affected by the incidents. North Carolina experienced the highest number of attacks with seven, while Ohio and Tennessee followed closely with five incidents each.

Source: Family Research Council

While the majority of the incidents did not appear to have a clear motive, two acts of vandalism in the report appeared to have an explicitly political message. One church was vandalized with the phrase “TRANS PWR” on its exterior, while another had the phrase “Womens body womens choice” spray-painted on its property.

The increase in hostility against churches comes amid ongoing debates about religious freedom and the role of faith in society.

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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