Peters-Backed Provision to Provide Security Funding for Houses of Worship Passes Senate as Part of National Defense Bill

DETROIT, MI – A provision backed by U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) at $360 million has been passed by the Senate as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act. This is a significant increase over the previous authorized funding levels. The program distributes grants to religious institutions and at-risk nonprofits to help them strengthen their security. In 2022, $8.4 million in grant funding was awarded to nonprofits and faith-based organizations across Michigan. Peters has long championed and supported funding increases for the NSGP in the face of rising threats and attacks against religious institutions such as synagogues, churches, mosques and gurdwaras in communities across the country.

“Increasing attacks and threats against houses of worship in Michigan and across the country, spurred on by hate like white supremacy, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, emphasize the continued importance of this program that helps faith-based organizations strengthen their physical security,” said Senator Peters. “While this security funding is critical, I will also continue leading efforts to ensure the federal government is better prepared to protect our communities from violent attacks inspired by hate.”

Data collected by organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and Center for Strategic and International Studies show our nation faces the highest level of extremist violence based on race and religion in decades. This includes deadly attacks at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Funding from the NSGP can be used by religious and other non-profit institutions for securing facilities, personnel training, and other activities to help protect against violent attacks.

In his role on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Peters has long fought to help protect faith-based and nonprofit institutions that are under threat from terror attacks. Peters convened two hearings to examine needed actions to address the rise of white supremacist, faith-based and anti-government violence. Last Congress, Peters led bipartisan legislation, which was signed into law, to authorize additional funding for the in-demand program, and has led bipartisan calls for the program to get robust funding.