Jews Most Targeted Religious Group for Hate Crime in 2020

NYPD officers stand by a gathering of Jewish  community members in Borough Park, Oct. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The newly released FBI hate crime statistics for 2020 revealed that Jews were the most targeted religious group, making up 57.5% of the religiously-motivated bias crime despite making up roughly 2% of the American population.

According to the FBI statistics, 61.9% of victims were targeted because of their race and 13.4% were targeted because of their religion. Overall, the country saw a 6% uptick in hate crimes in 2020 compared to 2019, with the number of reported bias attacks the highest since 2009.

There were 7,759 hate crimes reported, and 1,174 were targeting people on the basis of their religion.

Of the 951 reported hate crimes targeting Jews, 507 (53%) of them were destruction, damage, or vandalism of property; 316 (33%)  were intimidation; 104 (10%) were assault; and 12 (1%) involved burglary.

In New York, 179 (39%) of 463 bias crimes were against Jews, who were the most targeted group.

Amidst the coronavirus, hate crimes against Asian Americans have risen by 43%.

FBI’s hate crime statistics are based on self-reporting by state and local law enforcement agencies across the country and are considered incomplete. It is not uncommon for victims of hate crimes to not report them.

In a statement, Attorney General Merrick Garland said that “[preventing] and responding to hate crimes and hate incidents is one of the Justice Department’s highest priorities. The FBI Hate Crime Statistics for 2020 demonstrates the urgent need for a comprehensive response.

“Last year saw a 6.1% increase in hate crime reports… These numbers confirm what we have already seen and heard from communities, advocates and law enforcement agencies around the country. And these numbers do not account for the many hate crimes that go unreported.

“These hate crimes and other bias-related incidents instill fear across entire communities and undermine the principles upon which our democracy stands. All people in this country should be able to live without fear of being attacked or harassed because of where they are from, what they look like, whom they love or how they worship.”


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