*POSTPONED* 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, there have been 601 incidents of criminal damage to religious buildings, churchyards or cemeteries since 2014/15. The number of attacks has remained relatively consistent each year, with 136 in 2014/15, 128 in 2015/16, 118 in 2016/17, 115 in 2017/18 and 104 in 2018/19.
“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 Thursday 26th November 2020 - 10.00am – 11.00am 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.
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.