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Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act of 2017
This bill amends the federal criminal code to modify prohibitions with respect to intentionally defacing, damaging, or destroying religious real property.
Specifically, the bill broadens the scope of prohibited conduct to also criminalize threats to deface, damage, or destroy religious real property.
Additionally, it establishes a criminal penalty—a fine, a prison term of up to five years, or both—for a violation that results in damage or destruction to religious property.
Finally, the bill broadens the definition of "religious real property" to include real property owned or leased by a nonprofit, religiously affiliated organization.
the third day of January, two thousand and eighteen
To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for the protection of community centers with religious affiliation, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
This Act may be cited as the “Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act of 2018”.
Section 247 of title 18, United States Code, is amended—
(1) in subsection (a)(2), by inserting after “threat of force,” the following: “including by threat of force against religious real property,”;
(A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by inserting “or (c)” after “subsection (a)”;
(B) in paragraph (3), by striking “and” at the end;
(C) by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (5); and
(D) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following:
“(4) if damage to or destruction of property results from the acts committed in violation of this section, which damage to or destruction of such property is in an amount that exceeds $5,000, a fine in accordance with this title, imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both; and”; and
(3) in subsection (f), by inserting before the period at the end the following: “, or real property owned or leased by a nonprofit, religiously affiliated organization”.