In December 2022, Family Research Council (FRC) released an extensive publication documenting a sharp rise in acts of hostility against churches in the United States. Analyzing publicly available data from the past five years, FRC found a total of 420 documented acts of hostility that occurred between January 2018 and September 2022.
The types of acts identified include vandalism, arson, gun-related incidents, bomb threats, and more. There also appeared to be an increase in frequency over the course of the reporting period. FRC’s report identified 137 acts of hostility against churches between January and September 2022. By comparison, there were 96 incidents in all 12 months of 2021. FRC also identified 54 incidents against churches in 2020, 83 in 2019, and 50 in 2018. Since the launch of that report, FRC has continued to track acts of hostility against churches. The fourth quarter of 2022 saw an additional 54 incidents, for a total of 191 in 2022. That number is nearly double the previous year’s total of 96. In the first quarter of 2023, 69 incidents have already occurred. If this rate continues, 2023 will have the highest number of incidents of the six years FRC has tracked, continuing the upward trend. Most of the 2023 incidents occurred in January (43); 14 occurred in February, and 12 occurred in March 2023.
Criminal acts of vandalism and destruction of church property are symptomatic of a collapse in societal reverence and respect for houses of worship and religion—in this case, churches and Christianity. Some people appear increasingly comfortable lashing out against church buildings, pointing to a larger societal problem of marginalizing core Christian beliefs, including those that touch
on hot-button political issues related to human dignity and sexuality. The anger and division that increasingly characterize American society are endangering churches and eroding religious freedom. When congregants feel targeted by members of their communities or church buildings bear the brunt of outrage over political events, the very ability to live out one’s faith safely is
under attack. Violent or destructive incidents that interfere with an individual’s lawful free exercise of religion at their house of worship present a significant nationwide challenge.
The above report is to be expected as we fast approach the Biblical prophesied time before Jesus returns to restore righteousness to the world. Lawlessness, deception, many abandoning the faith, apostasy, Antichrist, and the Mark of the Beast are all prophesied to take place before His return. Christians need to prepare for these coming events and be faithful to proclaim the GOOD NEWS, the “gospel of the kingdom” until Jesus returns to rapture faithful believers and pour out His wrath upon an unbelieving world.
“And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:12-14
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.” Matthew 24:21-22
“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him … For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God … The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1,3-4,9-12