(CNS News) -- CatholicVote, a non-profit grassroots organization, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on him to publicly condemn the ongoing attacks on churches and pro-life pregnancy centers, and to take vigorous steps to apprehend the culprits and prosecute them.
The organization also requested to meet with Garland and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke to discuss what is being done as it seems “these attacks will intensify,” said the organization, because of the leaked Supreme Court opinion (on May 3) arguing for the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Twenty-five conservative and pro-family organizations signed-on to the letter.
“We, the undersigned representing millions of Americans, are writing to voice our concerns over the increased attacks against churches, pregnancy resource centers and pro-life organizations in the aftermath of the leaked draft opinion in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization,” reads the June 16 letter.
“In December of last year, the Department of Justice was asked how it was investigating the repeated attacks on churches in the United States,” states the letter. “The Attorney General was also asked to investigate those complaints and take appropriate action as is your duty. Since that request there has been public silence.”
The letter then gives details on numerous attacks against crisis pregnancy centers and Catholic churches. According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), at least 139 incidents have occurred in 35 states and the District of Columbia since May 2020.
These incidents include “arson, statues beheaded, limbs cut, smashed, and painted, gravestones defaced with swastikas and anti-Catholic language and American flags next to them burned, and other destruction and vandalism,” said the USCCB.
The letter also notes that since the leaked Supreme Court opinion in May 2022, there have been numerous death threats against the conservative justices on the Court; their addresses have been published and left-wing activists are protesting outside their homes in violation of federal law; and there has been at least one attempt to assassinate Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“Under 18 U.S. Code § 247 it is the duty of the Attorney General to investigate and prosecute, when necessary for substantial justice, those who do damage to religious property or participate in the obstruction of persons in the free exercise of religious beliefs,” reads the letter to Garland.
“We call on you to publicly condemn these unlawful attacks; to commit to vigorous efforts to prevent them, and to investigate and prosecute them; and to proactively engage with the affected faith communities to ensure their concerns and security needs are being met,” state the letter-signers.
Some of the letter-signers include Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote; Ambassador Ken Blackwell, former U.S. Representative United Nations Human Rights Commission; Greg Schleppenbach, secretariat for Pro-Life Activities for the USCCB; Morton Blackwell, president of the Leadership Institute; Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, and Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center.