To “mitigate the threat of targeted violence and prepare for potential incidents” against churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released Dec. 6, 2023 the PDF guide, Physical Security Performance Goals for Faith-Based Communities, which outlines measures “faith-based communities” can take to protect themselves from current vicious tensions.
[ Read the SemperVerus article, Church Security Book Review: Defending the Flock ]
This guide comes as reported hate crimes have spiked since the onset of the war between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, according to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Prayer for Church Security Team Members ]
DHS emphasized in its 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment that the danger of violence from individuals radicalized in the United States will “remain high . . . marked by lone offenders or small group attacks that occur with little warning.”
[ Read the SemperVerus article, Chart: The Spectrum of Potential Threat Personas in Self-Defense and Church Security ]
The 16-page document examines threats and vulnerabilities to provide targeted strategies organized by the functional categories of Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. It also includes a glossary of security-related words and phrases, and links to multiple resources under each category. Here are some of the guide’s recommendations: