How to Stay Safe in Church and Other Places of Worship

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

It is a sad state of affairs that we now have to discuss ideas about staying safe in places of worship. But with the recent shooting at a synagogue in California, the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, the ChristChurch shooting in a mosque in New Zealand and other mass shootings in places of worship, it is  a subject that we need to consider.

Churches traditionally have an open door policy, as anyone is welcome to come in and participate. Most places of worship also do not have armed security guards or screening devices such as metal detectors. For this reason, places of worship are considered “soft targets,” according to James DeMeo, a security expert who wrote “What’s Your Plan? A Step by Step Guide to Keep your Family Safe During Emergency Situations,” Since violent incidents have occurred in recent years, some churches have instituted more safety measures.

As a church going person, how do you stay safe when you are supposed to be concentrating on prayer and worship?

Meet with your church leaders

You must share your safety concerns with your church, mosque or synagogue leaders. Would your leader consider holding safety drills?  Don’t be shy about bringing up these points – I am sure they too want to keep everyone secure while attending church and may already considering steps to take.

Volunteer to help

As a participant and volunteer, you would be able to suggest security procedures, as well as assist in helping other members. Healthcare professionals can also help in the event of a medical crisis.  Get ideas from police, fire and other security personnel about how to improve safety in your place of worship.

Stay informed

Keep up with the news and possible threats. The same way we pay attention to weather and other possible disasters, listen and learn of any possible security threats to your church and community.

Pay attention to your surroundings

Unfortunately, while you’d prefer to feel elevated in prayer, you also need to keep one eye open and keep an eye of things that are out of the ordinary. Know all the exits from where you sit. There will always be strangers who may be new to your place of worship, and most are likely to be genuine in their interest. Just be on the lookout for anyone who may be giving off warning bells and alert the staff or security if any.

Keep scanning your surrounding for anything odd and feels out of place.

What if a shooting happens?

Wherever you are, even when nothing is happening, scan your avenues of escape. We previously featured an article with tips from Selco on how to survive a sniper attack.

In summary

Don’t let fear or evil deeds stop you from going to your place of worship. You may need to adjust some of your behaviors and be focused on safety.  Get involved with your church and bring up security concerns and ideas. Volunteer to help and speak to safety experts about increasing security in your place of worship. Stay informed and be watchful for threats.

Stay vigilant everyone!


About the author:

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.


Image by martonella from Pixabay

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