Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods. When disaster strikes, congregations and faith-based organizations play a critical role. They provide food, counseling, shelter, transportation and communications to their congregants as well as their surrounding communities.
Their disaster response activities, however, are rarely systematized, nor are faith groups included in the disaster planning process. Congregations are expected to respond but largely operate outside of the formal governmental structures that manage disasters. Through its research, CRCC has developed the knowledge base needed to understand religious groups’ roles and assets, as well as how the government can best partner with these groups. Coordinating disaster preparedness and response will maximize the efforts between policy-makers and faith communities.
Photo Credit: Serve Indiana
- ToolsThe Religious Literacy Primer for Crises, Disasters and Public Health EmergenciesA companion to the Field Guide for Religious Competency, the Religious Literacy Primer is a quick-reference document which provides information on basic religious literacy for 23 of the largest religious communities in …Topics: Disaster Response, Faith-Based Organizations, Government and Religion, Population Trends, Religious Affiliation, Social Services, Tools
- CRCC in the NewsVOANews Features Disasters & Religion AppReligious groups play a critical role in responding to wildfires, hurricanes and other disasters, VOA News notes in a piece about the Disasters & Religions app. The app helps disaster professional and …Topics: Disaster Response
- AnnouncementNew App Equips Disaster Responders to Better Help Religious AmericansIn the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented hurricane and wildfire seasons, a new app will help first responders, disaster response professionals and voluntary organizations better serve America’s diverse religious communities …Topics: Disaster Response, Tools
- ArticleCOVID-19: The Essential Problem with State-Faith RelationsThis article was originally published in The Hill. A Los Angeles-area church is the latest to make national headlines by defying public health orders and gathering in-person as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Grace …Topics: COVID, Disaster Response, Religious Leadership
- EventSaving Lives Through Effective Community EngagementCommunity Response System of South Los Angeles (CRSSLA), a preparedness and response cooperative between community-based organizations, churches, educational institutions in South Los Angeles, hosted a virtual meeting on effective community engagement amid …Topics: COVID, Disaster Response,
- ToolsSix Principles for Engaging Faith CommunitiesPartnerships with community groups strengthens governmental response to critical social issue, from homelessness to disaster response. Public agencies often turn to faith leaders to support their initiatives, and yet doing so often …Topics: Disaster Response, Government and Religion, Tools
- ToolsTen Tips for Government Engagement with Religious CommunitiesReligious organizations can be essential partners in creating positive change in their communities. Governmental agencies often work with faith leaders because they are influential and well-connected to the people they serve. Their …Topics: Disaster Response, Government and Religion, Tools
- VideoFaith & Politics: Leadership in the Time of COVID-19
- VideoReligious Leadership in the Face of COVID-19: A Multifaith Discussion
- CRCC in the NewsKPCC, U.S. News, Teen Vogue & RNS: CRCC on Community in the Face of COVID-19In the wake of COVID-19, communities across the world are undergoing immense changes and facing great uncertainties. Brie Loskota appeared on KPCC’s Take Two to discuss how communities should respond during these …Topics: Disaster Response
- CommentarySecuring Faith Communities in the Era of Mass Shootings – Keynote AddressBrie Loskota was the keynote speaker at the Faith Communities Security Summit, hosted by Biola University on March 3, 2020. Loskota is a board member of the LA Emergency Preparedness Foundation, one …Topics: Disaster Response, Violence
- CommentaryToday’s Mass Killings Shouldn’t Distort Our Assessment of Everyday RiskThis post originally appeared on Zócolo Public Square. In the midst of the Second Intifada, in summer 2001, I was living in the dorms at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Normally bustling streets …Topics: Disaster Response, International Affairs and Policy, Media, Violence
“Faith-based organizations represented around two-thirds of the social service agencies involved in recovery efforts following the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina. A recent study determined that over 60 percent of American turn first to their religious leaders for advice and direction in times of crisis.”
To schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact CRCC:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-743-1611
- Hebah FarragAssistant Director of ResearchHebah Farrag manages the center’s research and evaluation projects while engaging in research focused on religion, social change and new spiritualties.
- Richard FlorySenior Director of Research and EvaluationRichard Flory is a sociologist whose work focuses on religion and urban life, religious and cultural change, and youth and young adults.
- Peter B. GudaitisContributing FellowPeter B. Gudaitis is an expert of faith communities and disaster readiness, response and recovery.
- Nalika GajaweeraResearch AssociateNalika Gajaweera is a cultural anthropologist specialized in Buddhism, transnationalism and ethics, with an area expertise in South Asia.
- Brie LoskotaExecutive DirectorBrie Loskota researches how religions change and make change in the world, and works to build the capacity of religious communities around the globe.