(WASHINGTON EXAMINER) – Two decades after a landmark agreement aimed at easing sectarian and political tensions in Northern Ireland, a report finds churches and other places of worship are subject to frequent attacks.
CARE, a United Kingdom-based Christian charity, documented 445 "crimes recorded as criminal damage to religious buildings, churchyards or cemeteries in Northern Ireland" since 2016. Most of the incidents occurred in Belfast, the capital, but episodes of violence were scattered across Northern Ireland. The incidents ranged from arson to graffiti and affected both Protestant and Catholic churches. The report did not address what motivations might have led to the violence.
Nina Shea, director of the religious freedom center at the Hudson Institute, warned that frequent church attacks could escalate into civil unrest if not addressed by authorities.
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