Profane Concerns in Sacred Spaces: The Challenges and Consequences of Implementing Security Measures in Religious Congregations

Christopher P. Scheitle, Jeffery T. Ulmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Religious congregations represent a target for both street and bias-motivated crimes. Addressing these risks presents a challenge, as security measures could undermine the intended social reality of the congregation. Utilizing 52 interviews with places of worship representing a variety of religious traditions, we examine how congregations balance crime concerns with their organizational mission and identity. Our interviews show that congregations are aware that their goal of being an open and welcoming member of the community also brings with it vulnerabilities. Taking security steps, though, comes with consequences for the congregation's relationship to attendees and its identity and mission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Security Research
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Law

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