Pray and Prepare

Aware

In a joint Department of Homeland Security conference call today with federal agencies (FBI, IP, I&A, and DOJ) and faith-based leaders, officials summarized the recent increase in criminal activities affecting the faith community and offered resources to protect the faith communities and tips to assist law enforcement in bringing perpetrators to justice. They specifically addressed the recent escalation in bomb threats, vandalism, desecration of property, and arson attacks directed against the Jewish and Muslim community. Threats or incidents on any faith community need to be reported to local law enforcement immediately.

CEN serves on the DHS Faith-based Advisory Committee – our partner Secure Community Network’s Paul Goldenberg shared: “There is an alarming number of incidents and increase in severity, coupled with the harassment by Neo-Nazis in White Fish, Montana have incited targeting of mosques and churches by vandalism and more recently hate crimes in the last 60 days. This, and a lack of accurate timely reporting makes its difficult for the faith communities to know the exact statistics of how severe the situation is. But, it is a proven fact that these double-digit increases in attacks to faith based communities since last year presents a persistent state of hate and fear. The individuals believe if they can force us to change our way of life they can affect political outcomes. Houses of Worship must have trusted community relations, be trained, have tested plans, and become more aware of resources to protect your Houses of Worship more than ever.”

CEN partner from the DHS Faith-based Advisory Committee - Muslim Public Affairs Council President Salam Al Mayarti said: “We are inseparable in dealing with this spike in hate crimes targeting our faith communities. One of the reasons, we believe this spike is increasing, is because federal partners need to more aggressively prosecute these incidents and provide training to protect all Americans equally. We have a sense of “virtual internment” in the Muslim community and many are afraid to report incidents to local law enforcement. Changing the rhetoric will go a long way to push back on the perception that the awareness is not having effect.”

While the Christian community has faced similar incidents such as church arson attacks, or Christians being killed while attending an event at the Jewish center in Overland KS in 2015, along with cyber threats, CEN is unaware of any specific threats to the Christian community at this time. CEN is monitoring these developments, as these attacks resemble a proliferation of religious targets with arson attacks on churches in past years and more recently in Europe, the Middle East, and North Korea where Christians remain the most persecuted religion in the world. CEN stands with the Jewish and Muslim communities, as attacks on any Houses of Worship is and attack on us all.  CEN encourages all churches, ministries and the entire Christian community to be aware of the risks and threats, and to be ready to respond biblically to emergencies. CEN provides FREE training downloads to assist the Christian community with this mission:

 

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  • Pray for protection of all Houses of Worship
  • Pray for Churches to ready their Security teams and practice their emergency plans with congregations and personnel nationwide
  • Pray for the safety of law enforcement and first responders
  • Contact your local synagogue or mosque and remind them you are praying for them and standing with them