The group says, “The attacks have included acts of arson, some of which forced churches to close for repairs. Three historic churches were burned to the ground.”
In addition, CatholicVote has tracked assaults on pregnancy resource centers and pro-life groups for the past 10 months. There have been 82 attacks on these groups since May 2022, when a draft of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked to the press.
Attacks on churches also increased since that leak, with “a new spate of 141 attacks” occurring after the early draft was made public.
The group, which advocates for faith, family and freedom, reports:
The pregnancy resource centers, which provide free medical and financial support to pregnant and new mothers, have been victimized by arson and firebombing; smashed windows; graffiti with threatening messages; destruction of signage; gluing of locks to prevent staff from entering; keying of staff members’ cars; and other acts of violence and vandalism.
In at least one case, the home of a board member of a pregnancy resource center was attacked. Other pro-life groups which advocate for the right to life have been subject to the same attacks.
The organization reported on the 300th church incident, which took place at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, in Ledyard, Connecticut, on Saturday, March 13. CatholicVote said a man broke into the church and “vandalized it by breaking windows and writing on the walls.”
CatholicVote president Brian Burch said:
This epidemic of violence against Catholic churches has created a climate of fear for Catholics around the country. This is an unacceptable state of affairs – no American should have to walk around wondering, “Is my church next?”
In addition to arson and the burning of three churches, the organization reports how activists wreak havoc and destruction on churches:
Another common line of attack is the destruction of statues of Jesus, Mary, and saints, often with their heads cut off.
In some cases, the tabernacle – containing consecrated hosts – has been stolen and desecrated.
There have been more than a dozen incidents of pro-abortion extremists interrupting Masses or obstructing entrances to churches.
CatholicVote’s church incident tracker shows that the assaults are occurring nationwide, listing incidents in different states:
The attacks on Catholic churches have been widespread across the country, affecting 42 states plus DC. The states with the most attacks are California (45), New York (29), Pennsylvania (18), Texas (15), Colorado (14), New Jersey (14), Massachusetts (13), Florida (13), Washington (11), and Oregon (10). Hotspots with large clusters of attacks include New York City (25) and the metro areas of Los Angeles (13); Denver (12); San Francisco/Bay Area (11); Washington, D.C. (10); Boston (10); Portland, Oregon (9); Seattle (7); Chicago (6); and Houston (5).
“Some of the churches have been attacked multiple times,” the group adds, noting that they’ve “found evidence of an arrest in connection with an attack against a church in only about 25% of cases.”
The arrest numbers are even lower for attacks on pro-life groups. CatholicVote reports:
To date, there have been only two reported arrests in connection to an attack. It took the FBI over six months to issue a public request for information, and even then, only nine of the attacks were included.
It’s appalling that there are have been so few charged, given that some of the groups responsible have publicly claimed credit for the pro-abortion violence:
The attacks appear to be organized under the umbrella of two domestic terror groups – Jane’s Revenge and Ruth Sent Us – which have arisen since the Supreme Court opinion leak was published. Others appear to be connected to Antifa and anarchist groups. Many of the attacks have similar messages, including, “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you.”
As Christians, we understand that there is a spiritual side to the violence we are witnessing. Even as churches increase their security measures in the face of this onslaught, it’s also important that we pray for God’s protection for churches, clergy and parishioners.
Likewise, pregnancy resource centers and pro-life groups are spending more for safety and protection, and we can support and pray for these centers of hope and their staff members.
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