People across the faith spectrum gather at their local house of worship during the holidays to share in the fellowship that such a time evokes. But at churches, synagogues and mosques across the country this year, that feeling of community has been replaced with the feeling of fear: the possibility that an active shooter may exist among the congregants.
In a sobering indictment of the times, religious institutions are stepping up their security measures, and that includes adding security – both armed and otherwise – to their gatherings.
Some have hired guards; others have relied on volunteers, all from the ranks of law enforcement or military, to monitor surveillance cameras, patrol outside areas and keep a watchful eye on those entering or leaving the buildings.
Many readily admit that such actions may temper the sense of welcoming houses of worship are known for, but as one church director recently said “you have to take care of yourself.”