Faith Engagement: Are places of worship simply soft targets?
Are places of worship simply soft targets?
A Freedom of Information request to the PSNI by CARE (NI) revealed that on average, a place of worship in Northern Ireland is attacked every three days. According to police statistics at the time of the port (August 19), there were 601 incidents of criminal damage to religious buildings, churchyards or cemeteries since 2014.
“An attack on a place of worship is an attack on the community that worships there.” Rev Aaron McAlister, Rector of Derriaghy Parish Church
In most cases, faith communities repair the damage done to the building and address the emotional wounds of the community. However, as attacks continue some faith leaders are asking if more can be done to both protect places of worship and uncover the root causes of attacks.
In conjunction with the Department of Justice, NICVA is hosting an online consultation on Monday 25th January 2021 from 10.00am – 11.30am in order to hear the views of faith communities on the impact of vandalism and other attacks on places of worship and to seek views on what actions could be taken to prevent further attacks. This is a listening exercise and will contribute to ongoing discussions within the Department of Justice and we will hear from a number of faith leaders who have first-hand experience of this.
This online discussion is open to all who are concerned about attacks on places of worship arising from vandalism or religious intolerance. The aim of the consultation is to hear the views of faith communities and to collate ideas about what can be done to address this significant problem.
This session will be facilitated online. We'll provide instructions and support for participants to get setup.