NAACP Concerned by the Outbreak of Church Burnings
In the weeks following a church massacre in which nine people were shot dead by a white nationalist at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, doctor South Carolina, several predominantly black churches in Southern states have been burned. Federal authorities told The Associated Press that the blaze that destroyed the most recent church, Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, South Carolina, does not appear to be intentionally set by an arsonist. Three of the incidents are being investigated as arsons. Subsequently, the NAACP has released the following statement.
“The spike in church burnings in Southern states over the past few days requires our collective attention. When nine students of scripture lose their lives in a house [of] worship, we cannot turn a blind eye to any incident. As we wait for authorities to conduct their investigations, the NAACP and our state conferences across the country will remain vigilant and work with local churches and local law enforcement to ensure that all are taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of every parishioner. For centuries, African American churches have served as the epicenter of survival for many in the African American community; as a consequence, these houses of faith have historically been the targets of violence. We will use every tool in our advocacy arsenal to preserve these beloved institutions.”
From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO