WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced that the Senate has passed their bipartisan Pray Safe Act to establish a federal clearinghouse through which faith-based organizations and houses of worship could access information on safety and security best practices, available federal grant programs, and training opportunities. The Pray Safe Act is cosponsored by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Mike Rounds (R-SD).
“We must ensure that faith-based organizations and houses of worship have the resources, assistance, and training they need to secure their facilities in the face of violence that has tragically become increasingly common,” said Senator Portman. “That’s why I’m proud the Senate has passed this important bipartisan legislation. The threats and senseless attacks we’ve seen against religious communities are attacks on our values, and the Pray Safe Act will give our faith-based institutions in Ohio and across our country the resources and information they need to protect themselves.”
“Attacks like the one at Congregation Beth Israel in Texas have laid bare the threats that our faith communities are facing and the urgency of passing the Pray Safe Act,” said Senator Hassan. “This legislation will help ensure that our faith communities have access to the resources that they need to gather in peace and I’m proud to see the Senate pass our bipartisan legislation. Our houses of worship must be a refuge of peace, and I’ll keep working with Senator Portman and my colleagues to pass this bill into law so that religious communities in New Hampshire and across the country have the support that they need.”
NOTE: The Pray Safe Act directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with Department of Justice (DOJ), the Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and any other agencies that the Secretary determines appropriate, to establish and codify a Federal Clearinghouse on Safety and Security Best Practices for Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) and Houses of Worship (HoW). The Federal Clearinghouse will inform FBOs and HoW on best practices and recommendations for safety and security. In addition, it will provide information on available federal resources and grant programs relevant to the safety and security of faith-based organizations and houses of worship.