by Kate Anderson
Dozens of U.S. churches have been targets of pro-abortion “hostility” since the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Family Research Council (FRC) report found.
On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned the ruling, causing an uproar among pro-abortion supporters. Nearly 30 attacks on churches were reported after the Dobbs decision that had explicit pro-abortion rhetoric, according to the report.
“When the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked on May 2, 2022, churches saw a spike in graffiti incidents with pro-abortion messages and protests that interrupted church services,” the report stated. “This trend has continued since the Dobbs decision was officially handed down and Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022.”
FRC, a “nonprofit research and education organization,” released its report last week after looking into hostility against churches over a five-year period from 2018 to 2022. In 2022 alone, churches experienced 57 incidents of “hostility.”
The report noted other attacks against churches since the Supreme Court decision, but it’s unclear if they were directly related to the Dobbs ruling.
From 2019 to 2021 only five similar incidences involving pro-abortion rhetoric were reported, indicating a sharp increase over the last year likely related to the overturn of Roe, according to FRC.
Arielle Del Turco, the author of the report, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that she felt there is a “disturbing trend” of increased incidents during times of “heightened political tension” like the Dobbs decision.
Over all five years, 420 incidents were reported by 397 churches in 45 states, including Washington, D.C., such as “vandalism, arson, gun-related incidents, bomb threats, and more,” according to the report. The report noted that the level of hostility also increased over time. Not all of the reported incidents were tied directly to pro-abortion rhetoric.
In that same period, California, Texas, New York and Florida had the most amount of incidents with California ranking number one with 51, according to the report. Vandalism made up 77% of the incidents with arson coming in second at 13%.
Turco also said she believes the report barely “scratches the surface.”
“There are any number of reasons that churches would have been vandalized or attacked and we wouldn’t have heard about them either because the church isn’t alerting news outlets or we’ve heard of churches that it happens to all the time so they are going on their fifteenth, sixteenth time its happened and they are just not reporting it every time,” Turco explained.
“Criminal acts of vandalism and destruction of church property are likely symptomatic of a collapse in societal reverence and respect for houses of worship and religion — in this case, churches and Christianity,” FRC stated in the report. “Americans appear increasingly comfortable lashing out against church buildings, pointing to a larger societal problem of marginalizing core Christian beliefs, including those that touch on hot-button political issues related to human dignity and sexuality.”
FRC also noted the increase in reported hate crimes against Christians in the same period.
The FBI’s annual statistics showed hate crimes against Christians went up steadily from 2019 to 2021 with a small dip in 2020 likely due to lockdowns from COVID-19, according to an FRC analysis.
“In 2021, the most recent year with available data, the FBI reported 240 anti-Christian ‘hate crimes,’” FRC stated. “This was up from 213 anti-Christian incidents in 2020 … the FBI reported 217 anti-Christian incidents in 2019 and 172 in 2018.”
Turco said the increasing anger towards Christians shows a concerning trend of hostility toward religious institutions and that Americans need to “resolutely condemn.”
“Churches are just bearing the brunt of this political anger, however, the fact that they attack churches and not any other type of institution you could think of, I think it says something,” Turco concluded. “To me it indicates a hostility to Christianity generally and so when something flares up in the news that they are particularly angry about churches are then blamed.”
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Kate Anderson is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Wisconsin Family Action” by Wisconsin Family Action.