Does Latest Church Shooting Evidence Anti-Christian Hate?

Screengrab of Pastor Joel Osteen, Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner and Houston Mayor Mayor John Whitmire speak at a press conference outside of Lakewood Church | Image by KHOU

While the motivation for Sunday’s church shooting in Houston remains unknown, the incident occurred amid a purported rise in anti-Christian sentiment and attacks on churches.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, a 5-year-old child and a man were wounded during a Spanish-language service at Lakewood Church in the afternoon. Off-duty law enforcement officers killed the suspected shooter, who has been described as a woman in her 30s armed with a long rifle. No other injuries or deaths have been confirmed as of Sunday evening.

“Places of worship — that’s what they are, and that’s what they will remain in our city. So it’s just an opportunity for us to refocus and make sure that we all look out for one another,” said Troy Finner, chief of the Houston Police Department, at a press briefing. “There will be increased patrols and a lot of conversation in our command post with our federal partners and our local partners.”

“We’re going to increase those patrols in and around those religious institutions, and it doesn’t matter which faith. We love everybody here in our city, and everybody is important,” he added.

DX recently reported on a rise in anti-Christian hate worldwide, including in the United States.

An opinion piece written by pundit Tucker Carlson that was published by Fox News in 2022 put a spotlight on rising incidents of anti-Christian hate following the Supreme Court’s decision to quash Roe v. Wade. In particular, he referenced purportedly hateful messages sent to Catholic churches from an organization called Ruth Sent Us, as well as a litany of intolerant remarks made by seemingly left-leaning reporters and activists likening many Christians’ anti-abortion position to extremism.

“[T]his isn’t just about intimidating Supreme Court justices, five of them, into changing their views on Roe v. Wade. It’s about attacking Christianity because Christianity stands in their way,” wrote Carlson.

Lakewood Church is a non-denominational evangelical Christian megachurch headed by Joel Osteen.

In a statement offered during a news conference following the shooting, Osteen said:

“We’re going to stay strong, and we’re going to continue to move forward. There are forces of evil, but the forces that are for us — the forces of God — are stronger than that. So we’re going to keep going strong and just, you know, doing what God’s called us to do: lift people up and give hope to the world.”

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