US under fire for attack on religious freedom: the Tribune India

Tribune press service

New Delhi, November 20

The United States, which ranked countries last week on the Religious Freedom Index, has come under attack for shortcomings in this regard.

Estimates indicate that 617 people were killed in places of worship in the United States in 20 years, between 1999 and 2019. This includes the murder of six members of a gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and the murder of nine members. of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2015.

Two decades, 1,000 criminal incidents

  • American churches saw 19 fatal shootings between 2000 and 2020
  • Hate crimes reach their highest level in two decades, with more than 1,000 religious incidents

The places of worship of religious minorities were not the only targets between 2000 and 2020. American churches have seen 19 fatal shootings. According to official statistics, hate crimes reached their highest level in two decades in 2020, with more than 1,000 incidents of a religious nature.

These attacks have led to requests for increases in the Nonprofit Security Grant (NPSG) program, which allows any at-risk nonprofit, including places of worship and other religious institutions, to seek financial support to protect themselves. violence.

MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said increased funding for the NPSG program will allow other marginalized groups to secure their communities. Max Sevillia of the Anti-Defamation League estimates that 80% of Protestant pastors say their church has security measures in place. Recently, Congress allocated $ 90 million for this program this year and $ 180 million next year. “Even though the funds for the program have increased, the money available has not kept up with the scale of the problem,” Sevillia said.

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