Thousands of North Dakotan’s are expected to attend church service this Easter Sunday.
Large crowds can be a target for mass shootings.
Churches have become the latest target for mass shooters.
People gather every Sunday to attend service, but the crowds on Easter are much larger than every other Sunday.
Although the threat of mass shootings is real, two pastors I spoke to say they don’t live their lives in fear.
“No way is it going to ever dampen my emphasis of worship, the freedom to worship, the freedom to go where we go, the freedom to send our kids to school,” said John Streccius, Senior Pastor at Zion Lutheran Church. “But, I think we’re also all wise and aware that these things do happen.”
“I don’t live in fear, but we also want to be wise in how we approach things, that’s for sure,” said Tom Foisy, Lead Pastor at The Pursuit.
Even though safety is on the back of their minds, pastors here aren’t going to let that get in the way of everyone having a safe Easter Sunday. They’ve implemented security measures like installing cameras and having a security presence made up of law enforcement who are also members of the congregation.
“The past several years, as we’ve gotten larger in attendance, security has become way more important just to make sure that the confidence of people coming, they know that they’re going to have a safe environment,” Foisy said.
One Zion Lutheran churchgoer says he is aware of his surroundings, even outside of church.
“I think not only in the church environment, but in any environment, you’re always more cognizant of what people are doing around you,” said Gary Leslie.