Christian leaders reacted to a new report finding a growing hostility and “disdain” for Christians in the U.S., as vandalism and violent attacks have reportedly surged in recent years.

The Family Research Council released its annual Hostility Against Churches report recently which found there were 436 hostile incidents against churches in 2023. That is more than double the number the conservative Christian nonprofit tracked in 2022 and more than eight times as many as they found in 2018, when they began tracking these attacks.

Vandalism was the most prevalent act of hostility against churches, but there were also “135 arson attacks or attempts, 22 gun-related incidents, 32 bomb threats, and 61 other incidents (assault, threats, interruption of worship services, etc.),” in the past six years, the report states.

Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, argued the report showed how far-left ideologies have infiltrated the culture and increased “disdain” for Christians.

FRANKLIN GRAHAM’S SAMARITAN’S PURSE TO DEDICATE NEW AIRLIFT RESPONSE CENTER ‘TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING’

“As we see an increase in those promoting socialism in this country, we also see growing disdain for things of the church. Socialism is anti-God—history shows us that. In Eastern Europe and countries like Cuba and Venezuela, churches have been persecuted and pastors have been jailed and even killed. We should beware,” he warned in comments to Fox News Digital.

“The socialist agenda is also being pushed by many schools and universities,” he claimed. “These institutions are impregnating the minds of the next generation with anti-Christian and anti-God messaging. While this should concern all of us—and we should use our votes to reject any semblance of socialism in America—it is not going to stop me from taking a stand for Jesus Christ.”

Pastor Greg Laurie, an evangelist and Founder of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California and Hawaii, said it was undeniable there was growing hostility against Christians worldwide.

“Without question. Hostility toward Christians has increased. Christians are the most persecuted group in the world. The Bible tells us we will see more persecution in the end times, which I believe we are in,” Laurie told Fox News Digital.

“Ironically, Christians have done so much for the world. Most of the great hospitals, universities and relief organizations were started by Christians who took seriously the teachings of Jesus who told us to let ‘our light so shine before men that they may see your good works,’” he said, quoting Matthew 5:16. 

RECENT VANDALISM OF CATHOLIC CHURCHES A RESULT OF POLITICAL RHETORIC AND POP CULTURE, SAYS RAYMOND ARROYO

Laurie encouraged Christians to stand firm in their faith and keep sharing the Gospel, even as an increasing number of Americans have abandoned religion.

“As Christians, we will keep shining our light and doing our good works and because we live in a free society, we will keep proclaiming the Gospel. Some say, ‘change society and you get better men and women.’ In essence, Jesus says, change men and women and you will get a better society,” he continued.

Pastor Jack Hibbs from Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills, California, said there was “no doubt” that pastors in America are experiencing what he calls “white collar persecution,” such as threats, government harassment, and efforts by politicians or activist groups to silence the church.

“These are, in my view, normal attacks against an effective church,” he told Fox News Digital.

ANTI-CHRISTIAN HOSTILITY REACHING ‘UNPRECEDENTED’ LEVELS IN CULTURE, GOVERNMENT UNDER BIDEN, OBSERVERS WARN

Hibbs believes that part of the reason why many Americans view the church as “irrelevant” today is because it has “failed to maintain” its historical presence in society.

He hopes the pressure on churches will serve as a “wake up” call to reengage with the culture.

“Personally, I am encouraged by what we are seeing in our nation today for this one reason: It provides an awesome opportunity for the church to wake up out of her slumber and to engage with all the issues that plague our culture today; by bringing the answers that God has already given us in his Bible, to love all people, and to bring them to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and his saving grace,” he said.

“The fact remains no matter what – Jesus Christ did not die on the cross to make bad, good. Jesus Christ died on the cross to make dead men live, and he offers a transformation that cannot be ignored, but only rejected. The greatest cure for what’s plaguing our nation is for the church in America to stand up, speak up and show up as the beautiful, bright and loving light of God — to roll up our sleeves, both spiritually and physically, and be what she was intended to be, like a city on a shining hill,” he continued.

Some of President Biden’s critics have accused his administration of waging a war on Christians after several pro-life activists were charged with violating federal law for protesting at an abortion clinic in 2021. The activists could face up to 11 years in prison.