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Muslims pray following Sunday school at the Muslim Association of Greater Pittsburgh in early January. (Photo by Guy Wathen/PublicSource)

While much of the world refuses to put places of worship under lock and key, for faith-based organizations and community centers in the United States, including in Pittsburgh, it is becoming a practice. Visiting a place of worship a person does not belong to without inviting suspicion is difficult. Government sting operations in mosques, the rise of Islamophobia, continued anti-Semitism and the “branding” of Christianity as a religion for White supremacists have created both internal and external threats for places of worship.We surveyed six places of worship, representing four different faiths, in the Pittsburgh area, and each spoke of varied security concerns. Some religious groups say they’re bullied on social media, while others are victims of “telephone terrorism.”


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