Mt. Zion AME Church in Greeleyville, South Carolina erupted in flames late Tuesday, becoming the seventh to burn in the past 10 days in an increasingly troubling list of fires at Black houses of worship across the South, according to CNN.

Six of the fires are under investigation by the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and arson is suspected in at least three of the blazes, the report says.

Twenty years ago, two members of the Ku Klux Klan set fire to Mt. Zion’s original structure, and then-President Bill Clinton attended the dedication of a new structure in 1996. He called for an end to racial terrorism.

Now over 20 years later, the timing of the fire at Mt. Zion and others raises questions about racial terrorism, coming in the aftermath of the massacre last month at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, that left nine people dead and ignited a debate about the Confederate flag.

Reports Mashable:

Officials say the fire at Mt. Zion AME Church Tuesday was brought under control before midnight, and a local meteorologist told the Post and Courier that heavy storms brought lightning to the area, possibly setting the blaze. Another said the lightning had passed by the time the fire was first reported.

Meanwhile, outrage and concern over the fires on social media sparked the Twitter hashtag “WhoIsBurningBlackChurches:”

SOURCE: Mashable | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter


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