More than 7,000 single-bias hate crime incidents involving more than 8,500 victims took place in 2019, with slightly more than one-fifth of these victims (20.1%) targeted due to religious bias on the part of the offenders, according to FBI data published Nov. 16.
By comparison, 57.6% of victims were targeted due to race/ethnicity/ancestry bias by the offender, 16.7% due to sexual-orientation bias, 2.7% because of gender identity bias, 2% due to disability bias and 0.9% because of gender bias.
The FBI defines hate crime as “a committed criminal offense which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias(es) against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.”
Hate crime incidents are categorized as either single-bias or multiple-bias, and each incident might involve more than one offense, victim and/or offender. Victims can be individuals or entities (such as businesses, houses of faith or government facilities).
Of the 1,650 offenses motivated by religious bias, 60.3% (995 offenses) were due to anti-Jewish bias on the part of the offender.
The next most common were due to anti-Islamic bias (13.3%), followed by anti-Catholic (4%), anti-other Christian (3.6%), anti-Sikh (3%), anti-Eastern Orthodox (2.8%), anti-multiple religions (2.5%) and anti-Protestant (1.5%).
The remaining offenses were due to bias against Mormons (0.8%), Hindus (0.4%), Jehovah’s Witnesses (0.4%), atheists or agnostics (0.4%) and Buddhists (0.3%).
The most frequent location for hate crimes was in or near homes (24.6%), followed by public roads or sidewalks (18.2%). Hate crimes taking place at houses of faith was the fifth most frequent location, with 4.4% of all 2019 hate crimes taking place in these locations.