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Colorado shootings reflect big threats at big churches

Growth of megachurches has spawned an industry devoted to protecting and securing large congregations.

With megachurches come mega crowds, mega money, and increasingly, mega security concerns.

The crowds – anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 worshippers each weekend – can be an attractive target for a deranged shooter. Overflowing offering plates are tempting to thieves, and well-known preachers can become high-profile targets.

Sunday's shootings at New Life Church in Colorado Springs and a missionary training facility in Arvada, Colo. – which left five people dead, including a gunman – reflect the security nightmares facing some of the country's largest churches. Many of those churches now employ armed guards to protect human, financial and physical "assets."

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