The Violent Targeting of Faith-Based Organizations


Around the globe, faith-based organizations (FBOs) are being violently targeted. The international targeting of FBOs is not new, but the rising threat of violence against FBOs in America is an emerging and troubling trend. This post will briefly review and link to the article written by Dr. Joshua Sinai, “Assessing the Violent Targeting of Faith-Based Organizations.”1

In this article, Dr. Sinai analyzes the issues that affect FBOs in the United States, and the security measures FBOs are implementing in response. Dr. Sinai identifies four critical vulnerabilities of FBO including: 1) large gathering of people at a specific time;  2) little to no security presence, which makes FBO a “soft target”; 3) open access for all visitors; and 4) the limited financial resources for security measures. He gives a thorough overview of the attacks on FBOs in the United States since the early 2000s, and discusses the varying motivations for these violent acts against FBOs. Some perpetrators are motivated by racism, others are motivated by ideological or religious objections, and still others are interested in targeting iconic buildings for the publicity it will create for their extremist cause. Dr. Sinai also analyzes the kind of perpetrators that carry out these violent attacks, and weapons they tend to use.

Dr. Sinai’s article provides interesting and helpful analysis of the current security situation for FBOs in America. It would benefit FBO leaders to review the material and consider how they might reallocate financial resources to ensure employees and worshippers are protected.

Click here to read Dr. Sinai’s article in part.


Featured Image by Rebecca Sidebotham.

1 A portion of the article and a way to sign up for the journal can be found here:

Because of the generality of the information on this site, it may not apply to a given place, time, or set of facts. It is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations