(LifeSiteNews) — At least 301 Catholic churches have been attacked and vandalized since spring of 2020, according to tracking of the incidents conducted by conservative nonprofit group CatholicVote.
In a March 13 report, CatholicVote stated it had recorded the 300th assault on a Catholic church since May 2020, when it began tracking the attacks after the riots sparked by the death of George Floyd while in police custody. The day after the report, on March 14, the tracker recorded yet another attack, driving the total number up to 301.
“The [George Floyd] riots started a wave of violence and vandalism against Catholic churches that only accelerated after the unrest died down,” the nonprofit reported, noting that the targeting of Catholic churches for political vandalism ramped up after the leak of the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson in May 2022.
According to the report, methods of violence against the churches have included arson, destruction (often decapitation) of statues, and even the theft and desecration of tabernacles containing the Holy Eucharist.
Other recorded instances include the disruption of Masses or the blocking of church entrances by pro-abortion activists.
CatholicVote said the hundreds of chronicled attacks don’t include “simple acts of burglary,” but represent only those acts of violence in which “the motive appears to have been political or spiritual.”
Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, characterized the targeting of Catholic churches as an “epidemic of violence” which he said “has created a climate of fear for Catholics around the country.”
“This is an unacceptable state of affairs – no American should have to walk around wondering, ‘Is my church next?’” Burch said.
The report regarding the scope of the attacks on Catholic churches comes as conservatives have identified what appears to be a double standard in the Biden administration when it comes to ideological violence regarding Catholicism or abortion.
Conservatives have pointed to the Biden Justice Department’s apparent willingness to send heavily armed FBI teams to arrest pro-lifers while allegedly dragging its feet on prosecuting pro-abortion vandals.
Last month, a leaked FBI memo from the Richmond, Virginia field office that directed surveillance operations against certain Latin Mass Catholics sparked additional outrage from Catholics and conservatives.
The FBI retracted the memo the day after the leak, saying the document had failed to meet its “exacting standards.”
However, the whistleblower who published the document said a week later that it was still being internally circulated.
CatholicVote said it’s working in conjunction with Republican lawmakers in the House Judiciary Committee to get the Biden administration to take meaningful action.
“We’ve had task forces on crimes against all sorts of groups, but none for Catholics,” Burch said. “Platitudes from the administration are not good enough. They need to act.”