Anti-Jewish bias continues to account for the majority of religious-bias hate crimes in the U.S., according to an EthicsDaily.com analysis of FBI data published Nov. 12.
Since 1992, the FBI’s “Hate Crime Statistics” report has been released annually (typically in early November), detailing instances of hate crimes reported to the agency during the year prior.
The report is organized by offenses based on motivation / bias, location, type of crime and other categories.
For 2018, there were 7,120 hate crime incidents (7,036 single-bias and 84 multiple-bias incidents) involving 8,496 offenses.
The number of incidents is down slightly from 7,175 in 2017, while the number of offenses is up slightly from 8,437.
“A hate crime may involve multiple offenses, victims and offenders within one incident,” the report explained. “One offense is counted for each victim in crimes against persons. One offense is counted for each offense type in crimes against property. One offense is counted for each offense type in crimes against society.”
Single-bias incidents can involve more than one category of offense but only one bias, while multiple-bias incidents are those “in which one or more offense types are motivated by two or more biases.”
Of the single-bias incidents in 2018, a majority (57.5%) were motivated by race / ethnicity / ancestry (down from 58.1% in 2017).
By comparison, 20.2% were religious bias incidents (down from 22% last year), 17% sexual-orientation bias (up from 15.9%), 2.4% gender-identity bias (up from 1.7%), 2.3% disability bias (up from 1.6%) and 0.7% gender bias (up from 0.6%).
Of the single-bias incidents involving religious bias, a majority (57.8%) were anti-Jewish.
By comparison, 14.5% were anti-Islamic (Muslim), 4.1% anti-Sikh, 3.8% anti-Catholic, 3.2% anti-multiple religions, 2.7% anti-other Christian, 2.5% anti-Protestant, 2.1% anti-Eastern Orthodox (Russian, Greek, other), 0.9% anti-Hindu, 0.6% anti-Buddhist, 0.6% anti-Mormon, 0.6% anti-Jehovah’s Witness and 0.4% anti-atheism/agnosticism.
The remaining 6.2% were classified as “anti-other (unspecified) religion.”
Of all 2018 hate crime incidents, 3.7% occurred in houses of faith (down from 4.1% in 2017), making it the fifth most frequent location behind residences/homes (25.7%), highways/streets/sidewalks (18.7%), schools/colleges (9.2%) and parking lots/garages (5.3%).