'Liberal' Churches Warned of Possible Attacks Around Biden Inauguration Day

Ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration this Wednesday, the United Church of Christ (UCC) tweeted a warning about threats that "liberal" churches have received leading up to Biden's swearing in.

On Friday, the UCC tweeted the statement, calling for ministers and congregants to exercise caution between Sunday January 17 and Biden's inauguration on Wednesday January 20.

"While we are hesitant to raise the alarm and/or overreact, recent events compel us to inform you about what we are hearing regarding possible threats that have come to our attention. There are reports that 'liberal' churches will become targets of possible attacks in the coming week, with the dates of Jan. 17 and Jan. 20 featured more prominently. We strongly encourage you to be attendant to all safety concerns for ministers and congregants, even if it means meeting in a way that is other than in person at a church building this week," the statement read.

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— United Church of Christ (@unitedchurch) January 16, 2021

According to Got Questions Ministries, the UCC "is active in traditionally liberal social causes such as abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and LGBT welcoming program."

In an emailed joint statement to Newsweek by UCC elected officers UCC General Minister and President Rev. John Dorhauer, and Associate General Ministers Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson and Rev. Traci Blackmon, the church said that recent attacks on places of worship informed the decision.

"This messaging started with concerns over credible threats identified by a couple of UCC Conference Ministers (our regional leaders) and one of our ecumenical partner communions. Erring on the side of caution and noting the previous attacks on our churches in the West and, in recent weeks, against like-minded churches in D.C., UCC national leadership decided to ask our congregations to be vigilant going into inauguration week."

On Thursday, UCC compiled an article of "Do's and Don'ts" from leaders for prior to the inauguration. Among those listed were "tend[ing] to the wounds that have been inflicted," calling out white supremacy, speaking out against Christian nationalism, avoid physical confrontations, speak out against lying which can lead to violence, and support legislation such as HR1 or the "For the People Act."

There have been reports of state capitols closing prior to the inauguration on January 20, anticipating protests as early as January 17. Law enforcement has been preparing for Biden's inauguration with heightened security. As previously reported, Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said people can expect upwards of 20,000 members of the National Guard in Washington D.C., more than for President Donald Trump's 2017 inauguration and former President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2013.

Trump Protesters U.S. Capitol
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum/Getty