Places Of Worship Step Up Security Durng Holidays

Congregations Security
<p>(AP Photo/<span data-scayt-lang="en_US" data-scayt-word="Sait">Sait</span> <span data-scayt-lang="en_US" data-scayt-word="Serkan">Serkan</span> <span data-scayt-lang="en_US" data-scayt-word="Gurbuz">Gurbuz</span>)</p>
<p>Members of the congregation arrive at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center in Sterling, Va., Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. Religious congregations across the United States are concentrating on safety like never before.</p>

Churches, mosques and temples are refining their security plans ahead of some of their largest crowds of the year, and the Anti-Defamation League, which works to secure Jewish sites, has been organizing safety training with other faith groups around the country.

The ADL's assistant director for its Mountain States Region says his group decided in 2012 to broaden its approach and provide training to houses of worship in general.

“The audiences have been very diverse," Jeremy Shaver said. "We’ve seen representatives from Roman Catholic congregations, Evangelical congregations, synagogues, temples. It’s been very encouraging to see the diversity of the audiences.”

Shaver says many houses of worship are taking security seriously because many are used for a variety of community events.

“Representatives from houses of worship understand that security is really something that needs to be part of their daily operations," Shaver said, "not just at special holidays.”

In the last quarter of this year, the ADL has partnered with Colorado’s U.S. Attorneys’ office to provide training to more than 100 congregations across the state.