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Half of US Churches Now Enlist Armed Security

Survey: Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Baptist churches are most likely to have church volunteers carry guns.
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Half of US Churches Now Enlist Armed Security
Image: dlewis33 / Getty Images

In the aftermath of several high-profile church shootings, most Protestant pastors say their congregations have taken some precautions to protect those in attendance.

Since 2000, 19 fatal shootings have taken place at Christian churches, while gunmen have also taken lives at other religious sites like Jewish synagogues, a Sikh temple and an Amish school.

Around 4 in 5 Protestant pastors (80%) say their church has some type of security measure in place when they gather for worship, according to a survey from Nashville-based LifeWayResearch.

“Churches are some of the most common gatherings in any community, and that makes them targets,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “Most churches understand this and have responded in some way.”

(Editor’s note: Last week, President Donald Trump signed new legislation authorizing $375 million in federal grants to help houses of worship and other nonprofits improve their capacities to defend against ...

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