A violent attack at a house of worship naturally has a big effect on the community in which it takes place. Why are these attacks occurring?
A recent PDN article by Pablo Birriel discusses the reasons and the concept of ministries of defense to protect houses of worship.
Attacks on Sacred Spaces
Among the theories postulated as to why places that were formerly considered immune to violence are now coming under attack include the scandals that have come to light regarding some prominent churches and worship leaders. Other causes may be the rise of non-traditional lifestyles, and radicalization of some group members who perpetrate violence against other groups. Another factor is indifference — as more people fall away from organized religion, they do not view houses of worship as sacred ground.
What’s the solution?
Ministry of Defense
This is a group of people who are part of the congregation and have specifically taken on the role of defending that church. The ways they can do that are varied. They can formally train as a group to respond to an immediate situation happening during any church service. They can educate: communicate not only with members of the congregation but with the community at large.
The ministry of defense can also engage in specific training that will help everyone in the congregation be prepared to come to them with problems. Let people know what pre-attack indicators might be and encourage them to come to church leaders or members of this security detail if they observe anyone behaving oddly.
The ministry of defense is one way to make your house of worship a safe space again.