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Hate Crimes, Religion and

Hate crimes based on religion are violent manifestations of intolerance toward the victim's actual or perceived religious identity. Such crimes can have a profound impact on the immediate victim and also on the religious group or community of which that victim is a part. Hate crimes impact community cohesion and social stability, and experiences with—and awareness of—hate crimes can affect individuals' ethnic identity development.

For an act to be categorized as a “hate crime,” it must be (1) a criminal act, such as intimidation, threat, property damage, assault, murder, or any other criminal offense and (2) committed with bias as a motive. It is this second element—bias—that differentiates hate crimes from other crimes. To be guilty of a religious hate crime, the perpetrator must have intentionally ...

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