Key point 7-12. Federal law makes it a crime to intentionally deface, damage, or destroy religious property because of the religious character of that property. Many states have enacted similar laws.
Federal law makes it a crime to intentionally deface, damage, or destroy any religious property because of the religious character of that property. 18 U.S.C. § 247. The offense must affect interstate commerce. The same law makes it a crime to intentionally deface, damage, or destroy any religious property "because of the race, color, or ethnic characteristics of any individual associated with that religious property." Id. Religious property is defined to include "any church, synagogue, mosque, religious cemetery, or other religious real property, including fixtures or religious objects contained within a place of religious worship." A federal appeals court affirmed the constitutionality ...
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