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(LifeSiteNews) — A new report from the Family Research Council (FRC) has revealed a growing number of violent attacks against churches in the United States.  

The organization published an extensive report in December analyzing incidents which took place between 2018 and 2022. This was followed up with a shorter “supplemental report” released this month which provides additional data of violence against churches committed in the first quarter of 2023. 

“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 determined.  

Over the past five years, the group “identified a total of 420 documented acts of hostility that targeted 397 individual churches,” which took place in 45 different states and the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C.

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The FBI is planning to intensify its “assessment” and “mitigation” of “Radical Traditionalist Catholics” over the next 12 to 24 months according to an explosive document from a former agent turned whistleblower.

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The bombshell 8-page memo was released by former FBI agent Kyle Serpahin on his website UncoveredDC Wednesday. The report, written by an FBI analyst in Richmond, Virginia, was published for internal agency use only on January 23, is titled, “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.”

Seraphin describes the briefing as an “intelligence product” that, though not being exhaustive, can be used as an initial reference point for the agency to “prop up” future investigations on the subject. He says he obtained the document from an anonymous Baptist employee for the agency.

“This is the first FBI Richmond domain product to focus on the interest of racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists in the Radical Traditional Catholic movement,” the document states. “A search of FBI databases indicates this is also the first FBI finished intelligence product to specifically address this environmental variable.”

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Among the most controversial aspects of the memo is that it directly cites a defamatory study conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on the subject “Radical Traditional Catholicism.” The SPLC has long been rejected as a legitimate resource for the FBI, Seraphin says, but in this instance, it is being relied on as a primary source to justify its efforts. The memo also references three anti-Catholic smear articles (herehere, and here) published by leftwing websites Salon and The Atlantic to defend its monitoring.

The report alleges that its real motivation is a concern that “Radical Traditionalist Catholic Ideology” possesses an “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, and white supremacy” outlook, and that this presents a threat to the US’s domestic well-being. The report further claims that adherents to RTC ideology “frequently share language and symbolism, such as crusader references or anti-Semitic discourses” online that pro-life white nationalists also support.

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FBI whistleblower releases docs showing agents are surveilling "Radical" Traditional Catholics in Virginia

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According to the 2022 report, “342 occurrences of vandalism, 58 arson attacks or attempts, 12 gun-related incidents, 11 bomb threats and 19 other incidences (assault, threats, interruption of worship services, etc.)” were identified in the analysis. Twenty acts of violence “fell into more than one category,” with “the most common combination being vandalism and arson.”  

The report noted that according to records from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 240 “hate crimes” against Christians (including Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox churches and individuals) were committed in 2021. In 2018, there were 172 of these crimes and 217 in 2019, showing a steady rise in violence against Christians. 

Although nearly every state had a reported incident within the five-year period of analysis, California, Texas, New York, and Florida had the highest numbers, while Delaware, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and Vermont had no “known incidents.” 

“The number of acts of hostility against churches appears to have increased over the five-year reporting period, with a slight but noticeable dip in 2020 (this was likely due to government restrictions and a general decrease in movement during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic),” FRC stated. “In 2018, there were 50 incidences of hostility against churches; in 2019, there were 83; in 2020, there were 54; in 2021, there were 96; and between January and September 2022, there were 137.”

READ: Biden’s DOJ wants no jail time for ‘transgender’ vandal who attacked Catholic church

The report also noted that “at least 57 incidents from January 2022 to September 2022 were directly tied to pro-abortion protests or contained pro-abortion messages,” compared to “only five” which occurred between 2019 and 2021. 

“The first nine months of 2022 saw more than double the number of reported acts of hostility against churches that occurred in the entirety of 2018.” 

According to the organization’s “supplemental report” released this month, “the first three months of 2023 saw approximately three times the number of acts of hostility perpetrated against churches in the same time frame last year.” 

During the fourth quarter of 2022 (data for which is not included in the December report), 54 additional incidents took place, adding up to 191 in 2022 compared to the 96 total incidents of 2021. Since the start of the new year, “69 incidents have already occurred.” Arielle Del Turco, M.A., author of the report, pointed out that “if this rate continues, 2023 will have the highest number of incidents of the six years FRC has tracked, continuing the upward trend.” 

In 2023, FRC reported 53 acts of vandalism, 10 acts of arson or arson attempts, three “gun-related” attacks, three bomb threats, and two “other incidences.” A total of 29 different states “experienced acts of hostility against churches,” including North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. 

The organization also commented that “this steep increase is a cause for concern.” 

Despite the evident rise in violence against Christians and pro-lifers, arrests in connection with the attacks have been slow coming compared to the apparent targeting of pro-lifers by the Justice Department (DOJ). Sidewalk counselor Mark Houck became the face of the Biden administration’s unjust treatment of Christians in 2022 when he was arrested by a heavily-armed SWAT team in front of his seven young children. He was acquitted of all charges in January.

Two abortion activists were indicted the same month for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act against pregnancy resource centers in Florida. Another two were charged earlier this month. A gender-confused woman who vandalized a Catholic church after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision last year recently received support from the DOJ, which submitted a plea deal arguing that the suspect should not go to jail for the crime.


Pro-abortion University of Florida students face felony charges for resisting arrest at pro-life rally 

FBI directors estimates 70% of abortion-related, post-Roe violence has targeted pro-life centers, churches