The number of violent incidents in churches is on the rise. That’s according to a group that trains religious organizations in Southeast Michigan to prepare and respond to violence in houses of worship. The Security Leaders Coalition says there were 118 violent deaths in U.S. churches in 2017. That number includes homicides, suicides and incidents that began somewhere else and ended in death on church property.
Mike Harvill is the coalition’s president. He says threats of violence can escalate quickly and can be resolved quickly. He pointed to a 2007 shooting at a church in Colorado Springs as an example.