The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual compiling of hate crime data in the US shows that while there was an overall spike in the total number of hate crimes in 2020 (7,759 hate crimes, compared to 7,314 reported in 2019), there was a remarkable decline in religion-based hate crimes, with incidents declining an average of 23% compared to 2019.
In 2020, the FBI reported a total of 1174 religion-based incidents. The overwhelming majority of these were directed at the Jewish community (59.1%), followed by anti-Muslim hate crimes (8.9%), anti-Catholic (5.4%), and anti-Sikh (5.3%). 15.5% of all hate crimes in the US stemmed from religious bias.
Running counter to the national trend on religion-based hate crimes were anti-Hindu incidents, which increased to 11 separate incidents in 2020, from 8 in 2019.
Anti-Hindu attacks, however, remain a very small percentage of overall hate crimes in the United States, amounting to just 0.8% of all incidents reported.
“Although the number of anti-Hindu attacks are relatively low, we remain deeply concerned about the increase in anti-Hindu incidents from 2019 to 2020 against the backdrop of increasing Hinduphobia and hate speech directed towards the Hindu American community,” said Samir Kalra, Esq., HAF Managing Director.
Earlier this year, HAF hosted a virtual town hall with the Department of Justice to address hate, bias, and discrimination targeting Hindu Americans
In 2020, slightly more than two-thirds of all hate crimes in the United States were motivated by bias against a person’s race, ancestry, or ethnicity. Of these, crimes against Black people were the most numerous (56%) and showed a notable increase of 25% over 2019 levels.
HAF is working to help track incidents of identity-based or bias-motivated intimidation, threats, harassment, and violence being experienced in our communities through its Anti-Hindu Hate Incident Form.