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Senator Hassan Leads Colleagues in Introducing Bipartisan Bill to Improve Security for Houses of Worship | #schoolsaftey

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan, Chair of the Emerging Threats Subcommittee, Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Gary Peters (D-MI) reintroduced the bipartisan Pray Safe Act to establish a federal clearinghouse through which faith-based organizations, houses of worship, and other nonprofits could access information on safety and security best practices, available federal grant programs, and training opportunities.

“Houses of worship are meant to be places to gather with community and pray in peace,” said Senator Hassan. “This makes it all the more disturbing that attacks have taken place that target places of worship and people who are simply practicing their religion. Our bipartisan bill will help to safeguard houses of worship so that more people across the country can worship without fear of being targeted.”

“Similar to my Luke and Alex School Safety Act, I am happy to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation that codifies a federal clearinghouse for best safety practices to protect our faith-based organizations and safeguard our right to religious freedom,” Sen. Johnson said.

“Places of worship are sacred for communities across our nation, and we’ve sadly seen them become targets of violent attacks in recent years,” said Senator Rosen. “We must ensure that synagogues, churches, mosques and other places of worship have the resources they need to keep their facilities and congregations safe from the alarming rise of hate-fueled violence, including antisemitism. Our bipartisan legislation provides houses of worship access to information, training, and funding to improve safety and security.”

“With the growth of hate and extremism, communities in Michigan and across the country face increased threats and deadly attacks, and they need resources and support to help safeguard their houses of worship and other communal spaces,” said Senator Peters, Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “By creating a central source of information, this bill will help all communities better protect themselves against these kinds of senseless threats.”

The Pray Safe Act directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with Department of Justice, the Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and any other agencies that the Secretary determines appropriate, to establish a Federal Clearinghouse on Safety and Security Best Practices for Nonprofit Organizations, Faith-Based Organizations, and Houses of Worship. The Federal Clearinghouse will inform them of best practices and recommendations for safety and security. In addition, it will provide information on available federal resources and grant programs relevant to the safety and security of faith-based organizations and houses of worship. 

The effort builds on Senator Hassan’s leadership on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to help protect houses of worship. Senator Hassan helped pass into law bipartisan legislation to ensure that grant funding to strengthen security at houses of worship and nonprofit organizations is available for small states like New Hampshire, not just major metropolitan areas, and Senator Hassan has successfully worked to increase funding for the program.


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