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Church properties Face Attacks From Numerous Sources Around the World

January 31st, 2024

A federal court in Indiana recently ruled that a Catholic school could refuse to renew the employment contract of a gay guidance counselor.
Attacks on church properties have risen dramatically in recent years, both around the world and in the U.S.

Church properties often come under attack from a range of different sources. Whether it is a bomb dropped by a plane at over 30,000 feet or a vandal scrawling graffiti on the wall, these attacks represent both psychological and physical blows for worshippers around the world. In some cases, these attacks can be digital in nature. Numerous church officials are raising the alarm, and church attacks abroad seem to be on the rise within the past few months and years. 

700% Increase in Attacks on Church Properties Within One Year

On January 19, 2024, the Catholic Leader reported that attacks on Christian churches had risen by 700% within the space of just one year. The report also stated that one in seven Christians face a high level of persecution for their beliefs. This represents a steep increase over the past five years – but it is the last 12 months that seems particularly worrying. 90% of all Christian-targeted murders occur in Africa, and they are often carried out by Islamic extremists. 

Churches Now Face New Cyber Threats

Cyber attacks are on the rise throughout the world. While these cybercriminals often target businesses and critical infrastructure, churches are now falling within the crosshairs. A 2023 report from the Anglican Journal stated that hackers had successfully stolen funds from the office of General Synod, and this was confirmed by Archbishop Linda Nicholls in Canada. Fortunately, all of the stolen funds were eventually recovered – but this served as an important reminder of just how serious cybercrime can be. 

It is worth noting that the hackers successfully got away with the crime. It seems as though these “recovered funds” represent a reimbursement from the financial institution – and the hackers did not actually return the money. The church hired lawyers to investigate the incident, and the cost of their legal fees still represents a net loss. 

Bishops Warn of Increasing Attacks

On January 17, 2024, Crux reported that numerous US bishops were warning of past, current, and impending attacks on church properties. The bishops highlighted the fact that the attacks were coming from people of various political ideologies, including far-left and far-right groups. The bishops also stressed that synagogues and mosques are facing perhaps the highest threat levels due to their perceived connection with the Gaza conflict. 

In addition, these religious officials pointed out that the ongoing debate over abortion has sparked numerous attacks on Catholic churches by left-wing groups. At the same time, they note that right-wing groups could attack these same churches due to the Pope’s stance on immigration. 

The bishops note that these threats are “unusual,” stating that “there is no greater threat to religious liberty than for one’s house of worship to become a place of danger, and the country sadly finds itself in a place where that danger is real.” 

It is worth noting that numerous federal and state laws present strict penalties for vandalism and attacks on places of worship. These include heightened sentences – often in conjunction with hate crime legislation. 

The Goal of the Universal Life Church’s Blog

Each month, various cases test the nature of religious rights in this country. While the basis for many religious rights is the United States Constitution, there are still countless cases that question the exact nature of these rights. The Universal Life Church’s blog is focused on documenting the most noteworthy of these cases in an objective manner that can be easily understood by readers.

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