United States Senator John Kennedy has urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to identify and bring to justice criminals guilty of hate crimes targeting Catholic churches and worshipers.

In his letter to President's AG, the state's junior Senator emphasized he has brought up the issue previously:

“In August 2020, I wrote a letter to the Department of Justice expressing alarm over the violence in the United States aimed at Catholics and their institutions and property. In that correspondence, I highlighted examples of the senseless acts of destruction that had taken place: For example, rioters attacked a bookstore run by nuns, vandals demolished reverent statues, and arsonists set churches on fire. In one case, criminals targeted a church while worshipers were still inside. I concluded by asking that the department, which you now head, act swiftly and carefully to bring an end to these heinous crimes."

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Kennedy also pointed out that Garland nor anyone at the DOJ ever responded to that initial letter and that violence against Catholicism has continued largely unchecked.

More of Kennedy's letter to Garland cited instances of anti-Catholic violence here in Louisiana, and statistics from Church hierarchy:

“Data compiled by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops shows that almost 80 additional attacks have occurred in America since August 2020. While arson still seems to be a popular offense, graffiti and the beheading of holy statues have also become crimes of choice."

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The Senator concluded by insisting that the Federal government get involved, as they have with hate crimes against other racial minorities and religions:

“The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. If the government continues to let these crimes go unpunished, it will further inhibit the people’s practice and enjoyment of their fundamental, constitutional right. Thus, I again ask that the DOJ increase efforts to identify and prosecute criminals targeting Catholic people and property so that the tens of millions of Catholics in our country can continue to practice their faith safely,”

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