(FLORIDA TODAY) “This is the norm in our world’s culture and there’s a need for security wherever we go nowadays,” said Gilchriest, who oversees security efforts at Freedom Christian and also is the CEO of Opaque Security, an international company that trains churches and synagogues to protect congregations. “We need to be prepared.”

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It is an increasingly common sentiment in churches, synagogues and mosques nationwide as the number of deadly episodes at sanctuaries has soared over the last decade, and mass shootings at elementary schools, malls and movie theaters have left Americans feeling like it could happen anywhere.

Just last month, the federal government stepped in with a first-ever report outlining security recommendations for houses of worship. The 38-page plan, released just days after a man was shot and wounded during a Catholic Mass in Salt Lake City, advises congregations to plan for potential emergencies, including what police call random “active shooter” situations. Among the advice offered by the federal government: run, hide or, as a last resort, fight.

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