From the Axios morning newsletter:
Houses of worship — across faiths, including Jewish synagogues, Buddhist temples and Catholic churches — are experiencing rising vandalism, arson and other property damage.
- 2021 is on track to exceed last year’s spike in hate crimes in the U.S., many of them linked to religious bigotry, report “Axios Today” podcast host Niala Boodhoo and Axios’ Russell Contreras.
- The number of hate crimes reported in FY 2020 was the highest since 2001, when a wave of Islamophobia followed the 9/11 attacks, according to updated FBI data released yesterday. (Go deeper.)
Politics and crises across the world are driving hate incidents:
- New York City experienced almost as many anti-Semitic hate crimes during a three-week period in May as in the whole first quarter of the year, said Brian Levin, who directs the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University.
- That spike coincided with heightened tensions between Israel and Palestine.
- African American churches experienced property damage in retaliation for Black Lives Matter protests, and a Buddhist temple in Los Angeles was set on fire as a result of anti-Asian hate.
It’s not just property damage: Tomorrow is the third anniversary of one of Pennsylvania’s worst mass shootings, when a white supremacist killed 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018. Attorney General Merrick Garland told Congress Monday that the DoJ’s Civil Rights Division is expediting review of federal hate crimes.
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