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From Bullets to Burnings: Religion & Violence in America

Religion News Service’s regional hubs — the Faith & Values news sites — debut their first team series, “From Bullets to Burnings: Religion & Violence in America.” Part 1: The Business of Church Safety
In its first weeklong series, Faith & Values news explores what happens when violence crosses thresholds in churches, synagogues and mosques. Though deadly shootings  happen every week in public spaces, have these incidents become more commonplace in the holiest of places? How are houses of worship responding and preparing to defend themselves from intruders and attacks? To answer these questions, we’ll look at five cities in America and the painful realities, lessons and decisions taking place each day to keep worshipers safe.

imam shortage

U.S. mosques struggle with shortage of imams

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) The Spokane Islamic Center wants something mosques all across the country are seeking and can’t seem to find: an educated, bilingual, experienced imam who understands American culture. So far, the search has taken 18 months. By Tracy Simmons.

RNS photo by Tracy Simmons.

Pastor says hospitality staff can’t live by bread alone

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) Kevin Finch may be a minister, but he doesn't proselytize through Big Table, a nonprofit organization that serves the city's restaurant and hospitality industry. The only goal of the Big Table dinners, he says, is to befriend local food industry workers. “God is big enough to show up when he wants to show up,” he said. By Tracy Simmons.