The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was founded in 1913 with two parts to its mission: fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of hate. While ADL is a historically Jewish organization, its mission has always been to protect the rights of not only the Jewish community, but of all communities—and, in essence, our democracy as a whole. Increasingly, ADL is working to ensure that their security resources and expertise, developed while working with the Jewish community, are available to communities of different faiths, protecting all who are potentially vulnerable. Church Law & Tax recently spoke with Elise Jarvis, ADL’s Associate Director of Law Enforcement Outreach and Communal Security, about hate crimes that target houses of worship and what religious communities can do for protection and prevention.
What trends have you seen in the crimes that target religious properties?
The most recent hate crime statistics released by the FBI are from 2015. Over 1,200 incidents reported were religiously motivated. Of these, the largest group targeted was Jewish—with more than 50 percent of religious-biased, religiously motivated hate crimes being against the Jewish community. Then there were 53 incidents were anti-Catholic, 37 anti-Protestant, 257 anti-Islamic, and 6 anti-Sikh.
Non-violent hate crimes, such as vandalism or graffiti, are much more common than violent hate crimes such as assaults.