Understanding Domestic Persecution: Part 1

Published July 2, 2015 by zuzusays

WE PERSEVERE: A Blog on theology and global religious freedom

A church in flames against the backdrop of night is a strong and evocative image.

The tension swirling around the recent rash of Southern church fires in the US is understandable, given the history of terrorism against African American churches. The most recent fire at Mt. Zion AME Church in Greeleyville is being investigated by the FBI and the ATF, and community leaders along with Mt. Zion pastors have shown considerable restraint in ascribing motive, pledging their support for the investigative efforts.

If those who are experiencing the trauma can give this latitude, so can we. As we await answers, the energy of the local and national communities directed toward rebuilding these churches is an encouraging display of solidarity.

Coming just days after the vicious attack on Emanuel AME Church in neighboring Charleston, South Carolina, the tension is made more palpable. Whatever the findings of the ATF and FBI on the church burnings may be, they cannot diminish the concerns raised by the massacre…

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