RFI Crisis Toolkit for Religious Institutions: Community Relationships

Title: RFI Crisis Toolkit for Religious Institutions: Community Relationships

Author: Nathaniel Hurd, Nathan Berkeley, Katie Davern, and Matthew Hawkins

About: The RFI Crisis Toolkit for Religious Institutions offers practical guidance to help institutions prepare for, mitigate, and respond to crises while remaining faithful to their core convictions, identity, and mission. The Toolkit features three modules: Institutional Governance, Communications, and Community Relationships. Together they address threats to religious institutions from lawsuits, smear cam­paigns, hostile media coverage, adversarial legislation, aggressive government administrative action, and more. 

The Community Relationships module provides a roadmap to congregations, religious educational institutions at all levels, faith-based social service organizations, and countless other religious institutions for engaging with key members of their community as an exercise in being a good civic neighbor and for developing allies who will stand with them in times of crisis. Morally orthodox institutions are particularly at risk of being attacked at this time for their convictions on human sexuality, marriage, the intrinsic dignity of human life, the natural, God-given distinctions between females and males, and related matters.

While preparing for and navigating current threats through the building of strong community relationships may sometimes be challenging and even costly, such efforts also present an opportunity to strengthen a religious institution’s commitment to its religious convictions, identity, and mission. 

Publication Date: November 2022

Suggested Citation:  Nathaniel Hurd, Nathan Berkeley, Katie Davern, and Matthew Hawkins. “RFI Crisis Toolkit for Religious Institutions: Community Relationships.” Religious Freedom Institute, 2022.

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