LDS Official: Churches Not Terrorism Targets

PROVO, Utah (AP) — America is a target-rich country, leaving potential terrorists with many options besides Utah and its abundance of Mormon churches.

Multiple government buildings, large cities, McDonald’s restaurants and tourist attractions are more apt to become targets of international targets, said Gregory Dunn, the managing director of security for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Mormon Church

Given that the theology and practice of the Mormon Church violates essential Christian doctrines, Mormonism does not represent historical, Biblical Christianity, is not a Christian denomination, and is not in any way part of the Christian church.

The state Department of Public Safety confirmed little intelligence has been found that makes Temple Square or other LDS Church sites terrorist targets, said spokesman Derek Jensen.

Dunn said church buildings in other countries are as safe as they are in Utah.

“It turns out the church just isn’t really that well known in the places where the risk is greatest,” he said. “The church carries a lot of anonymity in many places of the world.”

The biggest risk to church members is being in the “wrong place at the wrong time” in other places of the world, but this risk should not prevent people from traveling, Dunn said.

Those who travel, especially out of the United States, must assess the risks of every place they go, just like LDS Church security officers scope out international countries and cities before sending church leaders anywhere.

Dunn said church leaders are often called to visit places such as Nigeria, which has 90,000 members, several church buildings, a nearly completed temple and daily acts of violence.

“We do huge amounts of preparation,” he said. “The brethren go to the places they are assigned to go to, but sometimes the members don’t know a high-profile person is coming until they get there.”

The best way to travel in an uncertain world is to be informed and smart, Dunn said.

“Almost always when we have something happen with a missionary in a foreign country it is because they cut a corner or took an alley they didn’t have to take,” he said.

Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Associated Press, USA
Nov. 4, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday November 5, 2004.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at