Houses Of Worship Told To Update Security Plans In Case Increased Stress Leads To More Hate-Driven Attacks
“Stressors caused by the pandemic may contribute to an individual’s decision to commit an attack or influence their target of choice," DHS warned religious leaders. Meanwhile, churches and religious Americans approach holy week with trepidation, stress and faith.
DHS Warns Pandemic 'Stressors' Could Trigger Attacks On Houses Of Worship
The Department of Homeland Security has warned the faith-based community that the threat of attacks against houses of worship may be higher once religious services resume due to “stressors” caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “When you begin efforts to reconstitute services and welcome congregants back into your houses of worship, please also review your security plans and ensure procedures are in place to protect your facilities and visitors,” Brian Harrell, assistant director for infrastructure security at DHS, wrote in a letter to the community that was obtained by POLITICO. (Bertrand, 4/8)
The Wall Street Journal:
For Christianity’s Holiest Week, Churches Seek Communion From Afar
For the past several weeks, the Rev. Sam Rodriguez has replaced normal Sunday services at his Sacramento church with online versions. But for Easter, he wanted to do something more. So Mr. Rodriguez has invited worshipers to attend a drive-in service that he likens to the experience of an old-fashioned drive-in movie. While the minister speaks from inside the church this Sunday, his flock will remain in their vehicles, watching on outdoor screens or their smartphones. (Rocca, Lovett and Montes, 4/9)
DHS To Houses Of Worship: Start Planning Now For Life After COVID-19 Crisis
As many Americans prepare to celebrate Easter or Passover while separated from their families and friends, the Department of Homeland Security is asking churches, synagogues, mosques and other temples across the country to start planning for life after the novel coronavirus crisis, when worshippers can be together again. "Although many people undoubtedly continue to practice their faith, including through remote services and prayer, most are inevitably eager to return to normalcy and join their fellow congregants in practicing their faiths," the assistant director for infrastructure security at DHS, Brian Harrell, said in a letter to leaders of faith-based communities. "The American people are resilient, and we will achieve this goal soon." (Levine, 4/8)
Louisiana Pastor Who Refuses To Stop Holding Church Services Says 'True Christians' View Death As A 'Welcome Friend'
A Louisiana pentecostal pastor who is refusing to abide by the state's “stay at home” order said “true Christians” see death as a “welcome friend.” “Like any zealot or like any pure religious person, death looks to them like a welcome friend. True Christians do not mind dying. They fear living in fear,” Rev. Tony Spell, pastor of Life Tabernacle Church, told TMZ. Spell said attending church from home — like millions of Americans have — “doesn’t work.” (Moreno, 4/8)