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Religiously motivated violence


Mass murder in a Carleston, SC church.
An positive shift in SC culture.
Rebel flag removed from SC Statehouse.
More developments concerning racism.

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During the evening of 2015-JUN-17, a lone gunman entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. He joined a Bible study group. An hour later, he murdered 9 attendees -- six women and three men -- shooting each multiple times. The victims were: Cynthia Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lance, 70; DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49; Rev. Clementa Pickney, 41; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Daniel Simmons, 74; Sharonda Singleton, 45, and Myra Thompson, 59.

The massacre happened in the oldest AME church in the American South. The alleged perpetrator, Dyllan Storm Roof, 21, is a white male. He is reported to have told police later that the people at the meeting were so nice that he almost abandoned his plan to murder them. But he believed that blacks were taking over his country, and that male blacks were a threat to white women.

Some suspect that his goal was to trigger a race war. Instead it re-ignighted a movement to remove the rebel flag (a.k.a. Confederate flag) that has flown on the Statehouse grounds since 1961. It is viewed by many whites as a glorious symbol of their southern heritage and history. It is viewed by many blacks as symbolizing slavey, racism, hate, discrimination, Jim Crow laws, and school segregation. The flag has been removed and will be housed in an elaborate display at a nearby museum.

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Topics in this section:

  • Part 1 2015-JUN-17 & 18: Church massacre in Charleston, SC, targeting Blacks. The church itself. The alleged perpetrator. His motivation.
  • Part 2 2015-JUN-18 to 20: The gunman's intent (Cont'd). His motivation. NRA's comment on preventing mass murders. Comment by leader of Unitarian Universalist faith group about mass murder in one of their churches.

  • Part 3  2015-JUN-19 to 22: Bond hearing held for accused perpetrator. Multiple marches to protest Church massacre in Charleston, SC. Efforts to remove the Confederate flag (a.k.a. rebel flag) from the SC Capitol grounds. 2014 public opinion poll about rebel flag.

  • Part 4  Late 2015-JUN: Protest at Capitol. Legislative efforts to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Capitol grounds. Reactions elsewhere in North America. President Obama delivers an eulogy.

  • Part 5  Reactions to the flying of the Confederate flag, (a.k.a. rebel flag) outside of South Carolina. Series of Black Church fires break out in South.

  • Part 6  Remarks about the removal of the Confederate flag (aka rebel flag). Advocate removes the rebel flag & is arrested. Reactions.

  • Part 7 2015-JUL-06: SC Senate passes bill to have rebel flag removed. JUL-08: Bill is also passed by the House and signed into law. Reactions. Debate
    in Congress.

  • Part 8 2015-JUL-10: Flag removed from the statehouse grounds. JUL-18: Two competing rallys at the Statehouse.

  • Part 9 2015-JUL-30: 132 pro-Confederate flag rallies held. Walton County in Florida replaces flag -- sort of. Does the flag increase racism among Whites?

  • Part 10 2015-JUL to OCT: Four rebel flags found on Atlanta church grounds. Some other flag-related events. Conflicts over flag symbols on car license plates.

  • Part 11 2015-OCT until now: More about flag symbols on car licenses. Trial of Dylann Roof.

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Site navigation: Home > Religious violence > Church violence > here

Home page > Christianity > Christian history, beliefs... > Church violence > here

Home >Hot Topics menu > Racism > here

Home > Change/conflict> Racism > here

Copyright © 2015, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance 
Originally posted: 2015-JUL-11 
Latest update: 2015-OCT-20
Author: B.A. Robinson

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