In the night from Tuesday 30 June to Wednesday 1 er July the Mount Zion Church in the United Greeleyville United caught fire for an unknown reason, some seeing a crime in the wake of fires that ravaged five other parishes in welcoming the faithful black region.
“Many questions remain to be solved “ said Stephen Gardner, the sheriff of Williamsburg County where Greeleyville located, a village of 375 inhabitants, 60% are black. Williamsburg is located a hundred kilometers from Charleston, scene of the massacre perpetrated there nearly two weeks in a church in the same congregation. Dylann Roof, who confessed to the murder of nine parishioners shot dead during a Bible study session in which he participated, is a supporter of white supremacy
United States: the author of the slaughter in Charleston would trigger “a war between the races”
The causes of the fire remain unknown Greeleyville, some evoking stormy weather in the area the same night, and others seeing it as a racist arson, so soon after the shooting and especially against Charleston a church that has already been burned in June 1995.
Six fire in two weeks
“To see this church burned again makes me sick” , commented the Mayor of Greeleyville, referring to previous fire in which two members of the Ku Klux Klan had been sentenced to prison terms after pleading guilty. The church had also won $ 37.8 million in a lawsuit filed against The Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a militant white supremacist movement.
In the space of a fortnight, six Fires were reported as well in black churches in the southern US, where the killing of Charleston has revived a heated debate on the slave past of the region and pushed the South Carolina Governor to request the removal of the Confederate flag in front of the local parliament. This banner is denounced as a racist symbol by its detractors.
Of the five fires, three would be criminal origin, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, according to US media. A fourth in South Carolina, it would be accidental and the last, Florida, was caused by the fall of a tree on a power line. Tuesday night, hours before the fire Greeleyville, the NAACP, historical organization of Blacks defense called black parishes across the country to take “necessary precautions” .
Some 1,800 places of worship burn annually in the United States and in 16% of cases it is arson, indicated a report by the National Fire Prevention Association in 2013.