Criminal attacks against places of worship in the United States are on the rise, particularly since the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a report conducted by the Family Research Council, a nonprofit research and educational organization.
The FRC focused on analyzing incidents against churches from 2018 through September 2022 involving vandalism, arson, gun-related incidents, bomb threats, and more.
"Criminal acts of vandalism and destruction of church property are likely symptomatic of a collapse in societal reverence and respect for houses of worship and religion—in this case, churches and Christianity," the report stated. "Americans appear increasingly comfortable lashing out against church buildings, pointing to a larger societal problem of marginalizing core Christian beliefs, including those that touch on hotbutton political issues related to human dignity and sexuality."
The organization noted that the attacks directly threaten religious freedoms and "must be met with a strong public response condemning them."
The group's research uncovered that, over the past five years, there had been at least 420 acts of hostility against church property. Approximately 77% of those incidents, 342, included acts of vandalism, 58 arson, 12 gun-related, and 11 bomb threats — including false threats. Another 19 incidents were categorized as "other" and involved "assault, threats, interruption of worship services, etc."
"In 2018, there were 50 incidences of hostility against churches; in 2019, there were 83, in 2020 there were 54; in 2021 there were 96; and between January and September 2022, there were 137," the report stated.
The FRC found that a vast majority of criminal attacks against churches occurred in California, Texas, New York, and Florida.
The organization reported that between 2019 and 2021, there were only five pro-abortion-related attacks on churches. In comparison, between January 2022 and September 2022, there were 57 incidents directly tied to pro-abortion protests or which contained pro-abortion messages — an alarming 1040% increase.
"When the U.S. Supreme Court's draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization was leaked on May 2, 2022, churches saw a spike in graffiti incidents with pro-abortion messages and protests that interrupted church services," the report stated. "This trend has continued since the Dobbs decision was officially handed down and Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022."
FRC president Tony Perkins told Fox News Digital that he believes the Biden administration needs to step up to prevent hostility toward houses of worship, which are "creating an environment of lawlessness around the country."
"As a former commissioner and chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), I've seen the warning signs of this gathering like clouds across the Atlantic."
"As the mainstream culture moves further and further away from a biblical worldview, I've witnessed the hostility to moral truth creep closer to our shores. The West, once the safe haven of free speech and religion, is turning cold to our religious foundations that have helped us thrive," Perkins added.