Peters Continues Leading Efforts to Protect Houses of Worship from Rising Threats
DETROIT, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, announced that $8.4 million in grant funding will be awarded to nonprofits and faith-based organizations across Michigan to help them protect their facilities against potential attacks – a nearly $5 million increase from the previous year. The funding is from the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which Peters has championed, to help religious institutions, including synagogues, churches, mosques, gurdwaras, and other nonprofits strengthen their security in the face of rising threats and attacks. Peters led the authorization of this essential program last Congress, and has helped secure substantial funding increases in recent years, including $250 million in the funding bill that was signed into law earlier this year.
“In the face of continued threats and acts of violence towards houses of worship in Michigan and across the country, these resources will help protect these sacred places and their communities,” said Senator Peters. “I was proud to help secure additional funding for the program this year, which is now being distributed to help improve the security of Michigan’s synagogues, churches, mosques and other important organizations who serve our communities. As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I will continue my efforts to help safeguard our communities and ensure the federal government is effectively addressing these serious threats.”
According to data from the FBI, our nation is facing some of the highest rates of hate crimes and white supremacist extremist violence in the last decade. Funding from the NSGP can be used by religious and other non-profit institutions to secure their facilities, train personnel, and other activities to help protect against violent attacks.
In his role on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Peters has long fought to help protect faith-based and nonprofit institutions that are under threat from terror attacks. Earlier this year, Peters convened a hearing on the rising threats to houses of worship and public spaces, as well as a hearing on the threat posed by white supremacist extremism, including violence inspired by racist ideologies such as Great Replacement Theory, which has been linked to recent attacks. In March, Peters hosted Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas in the Detroit metro area, where they highlighted the importance of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program at the Zekelman Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills. Last Congress, Peters led bipartisan legislation, which was signed into law, to authorize the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, and has led bipartisan calls for the program to get robust funding.