The First Comprehensive Security Guide designed specifically for Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples - Including How to Get Financial Help
Don't go out and buy a gun and think that is a solution.
Security requires strategy, organization, planning and competence.

By Stephen D. Bryen

Foreword by Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff, Chaplain, US Navy (Ret)

Security for Holy Places provides information on how to strengthen the protection of holy places and their immediate surroundings, and much more, including How to Get Financing for Security Improvements.


Only a fraction of holy places are secure.


Today, whether a Christian church, Mosque, Synagogue, or Temple, everyone who goes to pray is at risk. Given the rise in level of threat today, the time has come for a proactive security approach based on sound security ideas, deterrence, and good organization. 

Now Available for Pre-Order on Amazon

"Dr. Stephen Bryen is a Renaissance man in matters of strategy and military technology. In this new book he again shows his deep knowledge of the issues, exhaustive knowledge of sources and sensitivity to the human factor in tactical situations. It is a must-read for anyone concerned with countering terror against holy places."

--David P. Goldman,  Wax Family Fellow at the Middle East Forum, a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and a member of the Board of Advisers of Sino-Israel Government Network and Academic Leadership 


Security for Holy Places is the book I have been looking for over two years.  The book is impressive with its level of depth and background and gives excellent advice on how to proceed to make one's congregation a safer place.  It is well organized and most helpful.  I recommend that every leader of holy congregations read this book, take it to heart, and put it into practice.

--M.A. Golden, Security Consultant 


Security for Holy Places is aimed at helping religious organizations deal with threats to their places of worship.  


This book is intended to be a practical guide, and provides important information on how to deal with threats.


This book by Stephen Bryen is a great book to read and a very useful guide for clergy and security experts or even lay persons who are concerned about security in holy places and areas of worship. Violent attacks and intrusions against holy places have increased and are growing. Stephen’s style of writing is very clear and easy to follow up. I have recommended the book to many of the local religious establishments here in London and I certainly recommend it strongly to all those concerned about improving security arrangements in these establishments.


--Dr Goran Talabani, Former Senior Lecturer at Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK




Security for Holy Places is the first comprehensive security guide for religious associations and organizations.


While focused on houses of worship (and schools and centers connected to them), the guide  also provides important information on securing religious summer camps and its guidance can be used for any faith-based organization, senior center, day care, or school.


The book includes chapters on the


*overall threat 

*types of weapons uses by intruders 

*perimeter and inside security

*where to get professional help 

*how to build a security plan

*what to know when hiring guards

*armed versus unarmed guards & volunteers

*gun laws

*mental health issues

*how to use volunteers effectively to strengthen security 

*information on technology that can strengthen the protection of holy places and their immediate surroundings

*security for day and overnight camps

*guidance on how to organize security committees to strengthen security

*checklists for congregations and camps to use immediately


Steve Bryen is one of our nation’s most respected national security experts. Now he turns his sights to a problem close to home, the security of churches, synagogues, and mosques. After so many mass shootings, protecting our holy places has become increasingly frustrating for community leaders, who have been taught by the FBI to be passive recipients of potential threat information, and then to follow their model of “Run, Hide, Fight.”
Dr. Bryen examines a broad array of mass shootings and draws sober conclusions that stray from the hand-wringing and political correctness you hear so often on TV. Gun laws “do not really do much to protect citizens from gun violence,” he notes. And relying on local law enforcement to provide early warning of individual threats is a mistake, since many active shooters have never been on the radar of law enforcement.
Instead, he proposes a new operational model for dealing with potential and actual threats that focuses on hardening physical security, training security personnel to intercept and isolate an active shooter, while protecting as many people as possible from harm.
In the dozens of examples he explores in this timely book, Dr. Bryen shows how his new security model can save lives—and prevent many attacks from happening in the first place.
--Kenneth R. Timmerman, Security Journalist & Author



Security for Holy Places provides convenient checklists and do's and don'ts and many guidelines.

Security for Holy Places provides important information on where and how to get financial help for congregations that are under threat and lack the means to purchase security equipment and hire professional guards.



Given the increasing numbers of armed attacks on US religious groups it is imperative for religious leaders to develop plans to meet these threats. 


Dr. Bryen’s book, Security for Holy Places is replete with examples of actual security breeches and how his recommended security planning solutions could have stopped or mitigated loss of life.


Congregation leaders who have yet to act must now “plan the plan” and implement their plan with the minimum essential resources necessary to protect their members.


Dr. Bryen has been engaged in a lifetime of national and international physical and technological security policy planning to inform this timely security contribution.  I encourage congregation leaders and members to read this book, then create and implement their unique plan today.

--Howard Ady, Defense Corporate Executive and Episcopalian



Dr. Stephen Bryen has provided an invaluable service to synagogues and house of worship around the world. He brings enormous expertise and brilliance to this incredibly important subject. I highly recommend that all congregations make use of his recommendations.

--Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, Rabbi at Ohev Sholom, The National Synagogue, Washington DC


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