FRC Publishes New Edition of Hostility Against Churches Report Indicating a Doubling of Attacks

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Family Research Council (FRC) today released the newest edition of its Hostility Against Churches report, updated to include hostility incidents from calendar year 2023. The report’s findings suggest that the rise in hostility against U.S. churches that were identified in FRC’s inaugural December 2022 report has neither slowed nor plateaued; rather, it has accelerated rapidly. FRC identified 436 hostility incidents in 2023–more than double the number identified in 2022 and more than eight times the number identified in 2018, the first year for which FRC collected data.

Notable findings in this report include, but are not limited to:

– Over the past six years (2018-2023), FRC has identified 915 acts of hostility against U.S. churches. The types of acts identified included vandalism, arson, gun-related incidents, bomb threats, and more.

– In 2023, at least 436 acts of hostility against churches occurred in the United States, more than double the number identified in 2022.

– In 2023, acts of hostility against churches took place in 48 states and the District of Columbia, with more occurring in states with larger populations. California had the most incidents, with 33. Texas had 28 incidents. Hawaii and Wyoming had none.

– Criminal acts of vandalism and destruction of church property may be symptomatic of a collapse in societal reverence and respect for houses of worship and religion.

Tony Perkins, FRC president and former chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, commented on the report:

“There is a common connection between the growing religious persecution abroad and the rapidly increasing hostility toward churches here at home: our government’s policies. The indifference abroad to the fundamental freedom of religion is rivaled only by the increasing antagonism toward the moral absolutes taught by Bible-believing churches here in the U.S., which is fomenting this environment of hostility toward churches.”

Arielle Del Turco, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty at FRC and author of the report, commented:

“Although the motivations for many of these acts of hostility remain unknown, the effect is unmistakable: religious intimidation. They send the message that churches are not wanted in the community or respected in general. Our culture is demonstrating a growing disdain for Christianity and core Christian beliefs, and acts of hostility against churches could be a physical manifestation of that. Regardless of the motivations of these crimes, everyone should treat churches and all houses of worship with respect and affirm the importance of religious freedom for all Americans.”

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