In a recent piece for Security Magazine, Ariel Benjamin Mannes discussed recent attacks on places of worship. Below is an excerpt of this article. 

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“Jurisdictions throughout the nation increased security at houses of worship this weekend after a teen gunman killed one woman and injured a rabbi, a child and another man during Passover celebrations at a San Diego-area synagogue last Saturday. This latest attack is another reminder of the changing modus operandi in terrorism, which has now clearly shifted to attacks on houses of worship after the tragic attacks on Christian Easter worshipers in Sri Lanka, Muslim worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, NZ and a Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that claimed 11 lives. This previously unthinkable selection of the faith-based community and other religious gathering places as a target has left worshipers asking themselves an inevitably relevant question: ‘what if a shooting happens here next?’

Subsequently, some areas of the country have observed an uptick in calls for increased religious security, which is warranted in the immediate aftermath of last week’s tragedy. This process is the latest in an unfortunately common phenomenon across our country’s public outlets and institutions: an act of mass violence exploits a weakness or loophole in a major establishment (be it a church, school, movie theater, or concert venue), and suddenly, the culture and overall protocol of that establishment must change forever.”