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March 01, 2024

Schweikert Introduces Legislation to Support Increased Protection for Religious Institutions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representative David Schweikert (AZ-01) introduced the Warranting of Religious Spaces to Handle Increased Protection (WORSHIP) Act, legislation providing greater flexibility to places of worship and other nonprofit organizations receiving funding from FEMA’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) to bolster security measures against terrorist threats and antisemitic incidents which continue to rise across the country.

“Our communities depend on places of worship to come together and embrace shared beliefs throughout life. No one should feel threatened when exercising their religious liberty, which is fundamentally protected by the First Amendment. I’ve always said my faith motivates me, and I’m proud to introduce this commonsense legislation that will provide our faith-based communities the resources they need to harden security and improve safety. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this bill,” said Rep. Schweikert.

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), antisemitic incidents in the U.S. increased 360% in the first three months after Hamas terrorists barbarically attacked Israel on October 7, more than tripling from the same period last year. At least 628 reported cases were against synagogues and Jewish community centers. In fact, the preliminary three-month total was higher than the total number of antisemitic incidents tallied in any year over the last decade except for 2022.

Arizona hasn’t been spared of antisemitic incidents since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas. In November, the FBI arrested a man for allegedly threatening to execute a Scottsdale rabbi. The ADL’s Arizona regional office reported an 86% increase in antisemitic incidents over the past year.

The 2022 Hate Crime Statistics Report released by the FBI shows that crimes motivated by religious bias increased by over 28% from 2021 to 2022. Religion was listed in the top three bias categories due to volume of reported hate crime incidents, with the highest religious bias being anti-Jewish.

Background on the WORSHIP Act:  

  • Creates greater flexibility for Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) award recipients to use the award based on their unique security needs by temporarily:
    • Increasing the 50 percent limitation on personnel and personnel-related activities to 75 percent; and
    • Suspending the NSGP waiver request process should recipients incur costs that exceed the 75 percent personnel cap; and
    • Including the hiring of public safety personnel, such as law enforcement and emergency response providers, to the list of covered expenses.

The full text of the bill can be found here.


Congressman David Schweikert serves on the Ways and Means Committee and is the current Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee. He is also the Vice Chairman on the bicameral Joint Economic Committee, chairs the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force, and is the Republican Co-Chair of the Blockchain Caucus, Telehealth Caucus, Singapore Caucus, and the Caucus on Access to Capital and Credit.

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