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Criminal Justice & Legal System

President signs bill to improve security for synagogues, mosques, and other religious groups

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Synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship can soon apply for federal grants to improve security.  

The new federal law is called the Protecting Faith Based and Nonprofit Organizations From Terrorism Act. President Donald Trump signed the Act into law this week.

The Act comes in the wake of a surge of threats and attacks on synagogues, mosques and other religious groups -- including the machete attack on five people at a New York synagogue in December. 

The bills were first introduced by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-Michigan) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).  In a statement, Peters says:

We must take urgent action to protect synagogues, churches, and mosques from targeted attacks that we continue to see across the country. Houses of worship should be safe havens, and people of faith should feel secure when practicing their religion."

The Act provides funding of $75 million a year, for the next five years, for grants to religious institutions to improve security measures.

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