Recent faith-based hate crimes show need for vigilance in places of worship –

Posted By on January 2, 2020

NEW ORLEANS There have been at least nine anti-Semitic attacks in New York in less than a week, including Saturday's stabbing spree at the home of a rabbi during a Chanukah celebration.

Anti Defamation League regional director Aaron Ahlquish says there seems to be a movement towards the normalization of anti-Semitism.

"We no longer live in a time where we have the luxury of taking a passive approach to our security both within the Jewish community and really within the faith community as a whole," Ahlquist said. "The faith community as a whole is vulnerable right now."

On Sunday, a gunman opened fire at a church near Fort Worth, Texas, killing two parishioners.

Tuesday, Heisman Trophy winner and well known Christian athlete Tim Tebow participated in an Allstate Sugar Bowl volunteer event in New Orleans East.

He talked about the recent spate of religious attacks.

"There is definitely a lot of hurt and harm and bad things that take place," Tebow said. "I still believe the best in humanity because God loves us and he has us here for a reason."

Tebow added, erasing the hate that leads to violence starts with understanding the value of each other.

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"We're going to see them as valuable as worthy, as special, as unique," Tebow said. "If we viewed people that way, we treat people that way and we would have a much different society."

The local Jewish community is now taking steps to call out hate, while securing their places of worship.

"I think we've all taken the approach where it's best to be prepared," Ahlquist said. "We're taking active steps within each institution to look at their own practices and procedures for how they secure their facilities."

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