Once sanctuaries, houses of worship struggle with security

DETROIT (AP) — Houses of worship have traditionally been places of refuge where strangers are welcome.

But high-profile attacks in recent years on an African-American church in Charleston, a synagogue in Pittsburgh and now mosques in New Zealand have made many rethink whether those places are sanctuaries or targets.

At least 49 people died in the mosques attacks and the gunman suspected of attacking the two mosques in the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand’s modern history has identified himself as a white nationalist.

At the Islamic Center of Detroit, Imam Mohannad Hakeem says his sense is that people are fearful for their lives and their houses of worship.

In the parking lot, a police officer monitored the mosque from a squad car while a police chief greeted congregants inside.

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