Home ANS Reports Preventing Targeted Violence against Faith-Based Communities

Preventing Targeted Violence against Faith-Based Communities

by Michael Ireland

WASHINGTON, DC (ANS) – Christian Emergency Network (CEN) has, for the past 20 years, been on the forefront of raising awareness of all Faith-Based Organizations, and has called for training and uniformity in instituting FEMA’S Incident Command Structure within the faith community, in order to facilitate a smooth transition for First Responders arriving on scene at a critical event.

Mary Marr, CEN Founder and President, has been named by the Department of Homeland Security as co-vicechair of the DHS HSAC (Homeland Security Advisory Council) sub-committee on Targeted Violence against Faith Communities.

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Mary Marr

Marr was called to establish the CEN ministry after being gripped by the needs within the body of Christ to respond after 9/11 and after surviving several near death experiences personally. Her background as a successful public school teacher, career education administrator, author of the State of Michigan Guidelines for Career Education, and her experience serving with the staff of a mega-church in Michigan all helped her give guidance to laying the foundation of the national CEN ministry.

In an online posting dated July 16, 2019 DHS Secretary stated: “The right to practice our respective religions free of interference or fear is one of our nation’s most fundamental and indelible rights.

“Therefore, the targeting of houses of worship by violent extremists of any ideology is particularly abhorrent and must be prevented. The HSAC Subcommittee will provide findings and recommendations that will assist DHS in identifying additional lines of effort needed, validating the Department’s prevention framework that is under development, and examining whether the Department’s capabilities need to be adjusted to account for the threat posed by domestic violent extremists in order to keep houses of worship safe, secure, and resilient.”

In response to her appointment, Marr stated: “The Department of Homeland Security is demonstrating their resolve in strengthening prevention measures to protect lives, which are urgently needed to respond to the increasing threats against churches and all houses of worship nationwide.”

DHS further stated, “In response to the Secretary’s request, the HSAC has formed a Subcommittee for the Prevention of Targeted Violence Against Faith-Based Communities. Houses of worship and faith-based nonprofit organizations dedicate resources to local communities and often serve as the social and moral beacons people rely on in times of trouble.”

Mary Marr said: “The committee will also examine and make recommendations to build the capacity of the church to conduct threat assessments, train security teams and put crisis communications in place in conjunction with local law enforcement.”

Marr also said: “Our goal is to provide timely and effective training to sustain a secure place of worship with ministry continuity,  In doing so, our churches will be safe, secure, and welcoming to the communities they serve. Would you covenant with us to pray for the DHS committee and its leadership, that they may find favor and work effectively to recommend solutions to protecting our churches and their flocks?”

CEN continues to monitor the threat/risk situation and advise there are no known active threats at this time to the Christian community. However, churches are wise to maintain awareness, prepare their congregations spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically to share Christ in the midst of any crisis large or small. ReadyChristian, ReadyChurch, ReadyCity.

CEN Advisors and State Safety Security Officers stand ready to assist your congregation to implement plans to keep your congregation safe. ReadyChurch training will help you develop emergency plans, manage resources, conduct risk/threat assessments and prepare each congregant to be part of an overall response. Learn more about becoming a Safety Security Officer in your church or community CEN SSO 101 webinar.

“If You See Something, Say Something”

Christians are reminded to call local law enforcement or 911 to report any constitutionally unprotected suspicious activity such as those who are:

** Providing material support to violent groups.

** Engaging in violent messaging via email, online, or social media.

** Participating in surveillance activities including service times, entry/exits and parking lots.

** Acquiring suspicious quantities of ammunition, explosives, hydrogen peroxide, acetone, gasoline, propane or fertilizer, or conducting activities using storage facilities to construct explosive devices.

Christians across America are being reminded to pray for those in church leadership nationwide to be mindful of the safety of their flock and take responsible appropriate actions (Acts 20: 28 -29) and for church and ministry Safety Security teams to have the wisdom of Solomon and the willingness of Esther to stand in the gap (John 15:13).

They are also being asked to care for first responders by encouraging and thanking those who are charged with protecting the flock and for you own church security team and consider how you can you support the team.

Furthermore, believers are being called to share CEN’s ReadyChristian, ReadyChurch and ReadyCity books with your church leadership including security team to turn any crisis into an opportunity for the Gospel and to share your name, contact information, and your church emergency plans with local law enforcement so they know you are ready to stand with them for support in any crisis.

In a media release, DHS stated:In light of recent attacks against synagogues, churches, temples and mosques, the Secretary of Homeland Security has tasked the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) stand up a subcommittee that is focused on the security of faith-based organizations across the country.

“In response to the Secretary’s request, the HSAC has formed the Subcommittee for the Prevention of Targeted Violence Against Faith-Based Communities.  Houses of worship and faith-based nonprofit organizations dedicate resources to local communities and often serve as the social and moral beacons people rely on in times of trouble. The right to practice our respective religions free of interference or fear is one of our nation’s most fundamental and indelible rights.

“Therefore, the targeting of houses of worship by violent extremists of any ideology is particularly abhorrent and must be prevented.  The HSAC Subcommittee will provide findings and recommendations that will assist DHS in identifying additional lines of effort needed, validating the Department’s prevention framework that is under development, and examining whether the Department’s capabilities need to be adjusted to account for the threat posed by domestic violent extremists in order to keep houses of worship safe, secure, and resilient.”

CEN is an All-volunteer ministry of the Widow’s Mite Foundation (501c3). www.christianemergencynetwork.org/

The author of this story, Michael Ireland, is a self-supported media missionary with ANS. Click here to support him as a missionary journalist. 

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