Much media attention has been given of late to the Louisiana pastor who was shot and killed a few weeks ago during a church service at the Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center. But there have been a host of other violent crimes that have occurred at houses of worship in recent months.
For example, in Wilmington, Del., a man was shot and wounded in the parking lot of Ebenezer Baptist Church -- the second such deadly-force crime lately at a church in that city.
In Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., two priests were walking around St. Helen Catholic Church, when two men jumped over the church fence and robbed them at gunpoint.
At a private funeral at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Roman Catholic Church in Cheektowaga, N.Y., two men knocked on a church door and then forced their way in when two women opened it. One man held a gun to one woman's head, and the other put a knife to the other woman's throat as they demanded cash.
In Albuquerque, N.M., 24-year-old Lawrence Capener was attending church with his mother at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church. Without warning, he hurdled the pews and rushed the choir while wielding a knife, according to police, and stabbed four people.
And churches aren't the only houses of worship facing increased violent crimes.
Hundreds of people were praying inside the Muslim Federation of New Jersey mosque, when a gunman opened fire from the outside, shattering glass windows and embedding bullets in walls and cars.
And in 2012, six people were killed at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin before the murderous thug took his own life.
Most of the information above comes from Carl Chinn's website (http://www.carlchinn.com), which is meant "to help churches and ministries recognize the need for intentional security and to provide simple concepts for starting or improving security programs."
Christianity Today explained Chinn's background this way: He "wakes up at 4 a.m. to search Google News for church, shot, bomb, arrested and three dozen other violent words before heading to work. He has reason to be interested: As building engineer at Focus on the Family, he was a first responder to the 1996 hostage crisis there. A decade later, Chinn found himself in the hallway as a gunman attacked his congregation, New Life Church. In his spare time, he now offers security consulting for churches and runs what is almost certainly the country's most extensive database on church violence."