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UK News

Churches in Scotland to benefit from hate crime security fund

by Cara Bentley

Christian campaigners have welcomed plans to protect places of worship from religiously-motivated attacks. 

The Scottish Government's £500,000 Hate Crime Security Fund provides grants to install security measures to help protect places of worship.

Places of worship deemed particularly at-risk of attacks are eligible for 100 per cent grants. This is higher than in England, where buildings are only able to receive 80 per cent funding.

Individual places of worship can receive up to £20,000 in funding to install up to three separate security measures.

The fund opened this week and will run for two months. Grants are expected to be paid out by the end of September this year.

Michael Veitch, parliamentary officer at CARE for Scotland, a Christian public policy charity commented:

"In recent years, there have been alarming attacks on places of worship in Scotland including churches, synagogues, and mosques. This money will enable congregations to install security measures to act both as a deterrent to criminals and a reassurance to worshippers.

"Whilst the maximum grant available to individual places of worship is less than in England, the fact that 100 per cent grants are to be provided to the most at-risk settings is especially welcome. We hope that this assistance for places of worship will become a regular feature in Scottish Government budgets.

"We also call on Ministers to send a strong message that religiously-motivated hatred has no place in modern Scotland including hatred against Christians, which often receives less media coverage."

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