Integrated security solutions are increasingly commonplace in churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples. These houses of worship are the linchpins that hold religious communities together. They are central to how billions of people worldwide practice their faith, providing locations for like-minded individuals to congregate and share in the acts of worship. Unfortunately, that sense of harmony is increasingly under threat: 2019 was one of the worst years on record for attacks on religious communities and houses of worship.
Spiritual leaders of all faiths and denominations have been forced to consider the security solutions and measures they should put in place to ensure the safety of their congregants. They have the unenviable task of guarding against religiously motivated hate crimes and acts of terror – which appeared to be on the rise at the turn of the century.
Alongside these tragic and more severe threats, imams, priests, rabbis, and so on must provide security solutions to combat crimes that are not ideologically biased. Opening their doors to the public, unfortunately, exposes houses of worship to trouble that can spill over into violence.
What Security Solutions Do Houses of Worship Need?
Access control, crime deterrence, and prevention are three of the key factors underlying security infrastructures in any market. The same goes for religious buildings and sites. Basic safety protocols can go a long way in preventing criminals from accessing the building or deterring them from committing a crime once on the premises.
Securing doors and implementing video surveillance can help protect churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples from burglaries and theft. Forced-entry-resistant doors and security windows can also be a valuable investment for sites housing valuable metals and charitable collections.
Unfortunately, houses of worship are at a heightened risk of violence than many other areas where crimes are committed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has implemented a new location-based designation system for crimes that allows analysts to statistically map the frequency of different crimes against common locations. This is particularly useful for understanding the trends of hate crime:
- Approximately 3.7% of recorded hate crimes in the U.S. during 2018 occurred in or within the vicinity of, places of worship.
- In 2018, as many as 1,419 religiously motivated hate crimes were recorded – 15.4% of which occurred in a church, mosque, synagogue, or temple.
Worse still, many of these crimes were perpetrated with a weapon or firearm.
By extrapolating data from The Violence Project – the most comprehensive mass shooter database worldwide – the Los Angeles Times found that there were two distinct subgroups of worship mass shooters. There are those that are motivated by religious hatred, and those whose domestic issues have spilled over into their place of worship. Short of turning your place of worship into a fortress, there are few ways to protect against forms of crime that varied.
Many religious leaders and volunteers are taking this information on board to develop effective strategies for responding to crimes of either nature and spotting the warning signs to help prevent attacks from unfolding. Often, this is the only feasible solution for smaller places of worship with limited security budgets. Yet the peace of mind that many imams, priests, and rabbis would gain from having a robust bulletproof security infrastructure in place would be priceless.
Security Solutions from Armortex
Armortex is one of the US’s leading suppliers of security solutions based on ballistic-resistant materials and products. Our products are discrete and can be retrofitted into existing structures, helping you create a welcome environment that is safe from many potential threats.
If you would like to discuss your security concerns or need more information on pricing, a member of the Armortex team will be happy to help. Simply contact us today to find out more about our security solutions.