Skip to site content

Religious Bias Motivates One-Fifth of ‘Single-Bias’ Crime

Religious bias was behind 21 percent of single-bias crimes in the U.S. in 2016, according to the FBI’s 2016 Hate Crime Statistics released on Nov. 13.

“A single-bias incident is defined as an incident in which one or more offense types are motivated by the same bias,” the FBI explained. “As of 2013, a multiple-bias incident is defined as an incident in which one or more offense types are motivated by two or more biases.”

Of the 6,063 single-bias incidents last year, 1,273 were motivated by religious bias. They were committed by 859 known offenders and impacted 1,584 victims, with 194 of the total incidents taking place at a house of worship.

“The term victim may refer to an individual, business/financial institution, government entity, religious organization or society/public as a whole,” the report explained. “The term ‘known offender’ does not imply that the identity of the suspect is known, but only that an attribute of the suspect has been identified, which distinguishes him/her from an unknown offender.”

Anti-Jewish incidents were most prevalent and accounted for more than half (54.2 percent) of the total religious-bias incidents.

By comparison, 24.8 percent were anti-Islamic (Muslim), 5.9 percent were anti-other (unspecified) religion, 4.1 percent anti-Catholic, 3.1 percent anti-multiple religions, 2.4 percent anti-other Christian, 1.8 percent anti-Eastern Orthodox (Russian, Greek, other), 1.3 percent anti-Protestant, 0.8 percent anti-Hindu, 0.5 percent anti-Mormon, 0.5 percent anti-Sikh, 0.4 percent anti-Atheism / Agnosticism and so on, 0.2 percent anti-Jehovah’s Witness, and 0.1 percent anti-Buddhist.

There were 134 acts of destruction, damage or vandalism committed against religious organizations as well as 10 incidents of arson, 10 burglaries and 6 larceny-theft crimes.

The full report is available here.