Implications for Church Leaders
Article summary. As the shock caused by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon diminishes, it is time to acknowledge how vulnerable we are to such attacks and to address some important legal issues associated with terrorism. This feature article reviews ten issues for church leaders to consider.
On September 11, 2001, our country declared war on terrorism. This will be new kind of war, and our military and economic initiatives may trigger additional terrorist acts. Some of these, like the destruction of the World Trade Center towers, may directly impact churches, either directly or as "collateral damage" because of their proximity to another target. In either case, it is important for church leaders to be aware of several legal issues that may arise. This article will review ten of these issues.
1. Property insurance
Most church insurance policies exclude any property damages resulting from an "act of war" from coverage under the policy. If your church's property is damaged or destroyed because of a terrorist attack, your insurer may attempt to invoke the "act of war" exclusion to avoid payment of any claims. Such a response, however, is unlikely because of the following considerations: