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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Security in the sanctuary

How safe is your church?

Vandals who torched Dallas' Bethany Lutheran Church in March, causing $300,000 in damage, incinerated once again the naive notion that houses of worship are immune to acts of violence.

Most worshipers view their church as a house of God, a sanctuary, a place of refuge and protection.

But in truth, churches have always existed simultaneously in two kingdoms — God's and the world's. In the latter place, churches are as prone to crime as homes or businesses.

For churches, as for any institution, minimizing the risk of damage to a building or harm to people requires effort guided by common sense and a realistic awareness of security issues.


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November issue

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The ELCA's aging clergy wave

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