Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., is calling for a Department of Justice investigation into hate crimes against Catholics.
His request came in a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr, according to the Daily Caller. The letter was signed by other GOP representatives, as well.
“Bigoted criminals are threatening Catholics and undermining America’s core ideal of religious liberty,” Banks told the Daily Caller on Friday. “The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division exists to combat spikes in targeted violence. It needs to fulfill its duty, determine who is behind this pattern of attacks and bring them to justice.”
The letter cites a number of crimes against Catholics over the summer.
In July, a Marion County, Florida, man drove his vehicle into a church while people prayed. And the Miami Archdiocese reported the decapitation of a Jesus Christ statue as a hate crime.
In another incident in Boston, officials said a statue of the Virgin Mary was set on fire.
“By some estimates, there have been 70 such incidents in North America this year with the vast majority occurring in just the past four months,” Banks said in the letter. “And since May of 2020, there have been 57 reported instances of anti-Catholic hate crimes in the United States alone. In comparison, the FBI reported just 53 instances of anti-Catholic hate crimes in all of 2018.”
“The physical safety of Catholics and the integrity of the American system are both threatened by these attacks. The Department of Justice has an obligation to uphold both.”
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