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Why Today’s Churches Need Security More than Ever

Wed, May. 31, 2017 Posted: 11:02 AM


There was a time in our history that churches were the targets of thieves because of the money, works of art and other treasures which were housed in churches, synagogues and other religious places of worship. But those days are long gone. Today, churches are targeted for much more nefarious reasons which are much more difficult to foresee timely enough to avoid. Many of these problems facing today’s places of worship can be prevented with a good security system for the grounds and internet security for the office computers.

Looting Still a Very Real Issue
This is not to say that looting is not still a very real issue, because it very much is so. However, now many churches no longer house valuable artifacts and golden treasures which are typically held in Rome within the Roman Catholic Church and few Protestant churches believe in such treasures as being of any value to the faith.

As for Jewish synagogues, and many Eastern religions, those treasures are also kept mostly in their holy lands far across the sea. Today’s looters are looking for collections which have been taken up on Sundays and it is here that a good security system would be of great benefit. Thieves tend to believe that churches keep collection baskets in the church until bank opening on Mondays, so they will often target churches on Sunday night or during the week after a major church service.

Violent Attacks on the Rise
Within just a decade and a half, there were 971 incidences of ‘deadly force’ within churches and other faith-based assemblies, of which only 1/5 of those were perpetrated for personal reasons. What it boils down to is that it was for personal vendettas against the church or a member of the church, and in which the perpetrator was known to some, or all, of the assembly. In a statement to the press, it was not a surprise that President Obama used an incident in 2015 to call for stricter gun control. He, for all intents and purposes, used a tragic incident in which there were multiple deaths to put the blame on guns rather than the real problems within our 21st Century culture. This incident in June of 2015 was apparently race motivated.

Cyber Security for Churches
While you might not realize this at first glance, churches are in need of good cyber security just as much as any corporation. When members sign up to an assembly, much of their personal information is entered into the records. This information would include where a family lives, the names, dates of birth and other pertinent information about every family member. It would only take one hack to have each family targeted in some way and the sad part is that much of this could be avoided if more churches would invest in state-of-the-art cyber security.

When ten percent of all violent crimes take place in or because of a church assembly, it is reaching a critical stage in our nation’s history. While churches may need to put money into security that they just don’t have to spend, it is actually much more expensive not to have security. One violent attack or one major breach of digital records can cost much more than the cost of a good security package meant to protect members of the congregation as well as the church itself. Can your assembly bear cost if you are the target of an attack?

George Smith