$3 million in grants available to protect religious institutions

Hate crime charges filed in synagogue shooting
Posted at 12:34 PM, Jul 24, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Religious institutions looking to make security enhancements at their facilities may access $3 million worth of Protecting Religious Institution Grants, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention announced Tuesday.

The funding is being offered between July 2019 and June 2020. The funds are part of $5 million allocated to address security needs at “facilities in Maryland which are potential targets for hate crimes, including places of worship and schools,” the office said in a statement.

The application for grant money is open to non-profit, faith-based entities that have the appropriate tax status, the office said. Those applications will be revised and awarded on a rolling basis, and each organization may only submit one application. The office will not consider requests that exceed $200,000. The grant management system can be found online.

According to Uniform Crime Reporting, Maryland experience 48 hate crimes in 2017, 12 of those motivated by religious bias, the office said. UCR data shows that more than 20 percent of the more than 1,500 hate crimes reported to the Department of Justice in 2017 were motivated by religious bias. Buildings like mosques, churches, and synagogues have been targets in several recent domestic terrorism attacks, with similar events occurring internationally.