More than 1 in 10 Americans (12%) say they do not feel safe in their places of worship.
Church Mutual Insurance Co., a leading insurer of religious organizations, said it learned in a new survey that fear of armed intruders (45%) surpassed natural disasters (25%), cybersecurity breaches (11%) and even sexual misconduct (13%) as the top safety concern among survey participants.
Of the 2,001 consumers surveyed, more than half (51%) said that they regularly attend a church or house of worship.
“It’s deeply upsetting that today’s worshippers, regardless of religion, have to contend with the very real possibility of an armed intruder,” said Rich Poirier, Church Mutual president and CEO. “Even beyond churches, many organizations, from schools to offices and factories, are asking themselves, ‘What do we do if an armed intruder enters our facility?'”
Poirier said security experts recommend all organizations have a response plan in place. When asked if their place of worship has implemented a prevention/response plan for armed intruders, 39% said “yes,” while 61% indicated “no/don’t know.”
Survey respondents identified several ways that a house of worship could make attendees feel safer, including communicating safety plans, working with local law enforcement to prepare and increasing physical security.
Church Mutual has created an armed intruder resource kit featuring videos, checklists, FAQs and important assessment and planning guides.
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