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Church Shootings Prompt Pastors to Reevaluate Security

More than 115 incidents of church violence in 2012, compared to only 10 a decade ago.

On Oct. 24, a shooting attack at Atlanta megachurch World Changers Church International killed a volunteer leader as he led prayer during a service.

Now, that attack has many pastors–from Washington D.C. to Knoxvillereviewing their churches' safety measures in order to prevent similar violence from occurring closer to home as church violence continues to soar.

Rolling Out, an African American news site, noted that the Atlanta incident is one of five attacks on largely black congregations within the last year. But other pastors say the attack, perpetrated by a former church employee who resigned this summer, is a warning for all churches that are generally open and welcoming.

Regardless of security precautions, church-related violence has been on the rise for the past decade. According to Carl Chinn, a former Focus on the Family building engineer who tracks church crime and violence statistics, 115 attacks–63 of which resulted in at least one fatality–have occurred so far in 2012, up from 108 attacks last year and just 10 such attacks a decade ago.

CT previously spotlighted the recent surge in church violence and has reported church shootings in Colorado and in Phoenix.

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