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Church fires spread in St Louis

Church fires spread in St Louis

Via the Religion News Service. A church fire on Sunday morning brings to six the number of predominantly African-American congregations affected by arson since the beginning of October.

From the St Louis Post-Dispatch:

Ebenezer Lutheran Church, at 1011 Theobald Street, is the latest church to report damage.

Capt. Garon Mosby, spokesman for the St. Louis Fire Department, said members of the congregation called authorities about 9:25 a.m. Sunday after arriving for a worship service and noticing damage. …

Although he could not provide additional details, Mosby said that the damage was not extensive. But that the incident was being investigated along with the five other church fires that have happened in the area since Oct. 8.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League condemned the series of fires on Monday.

“While no racial motive has yet been established, the fear and intimidation in the African-American community is substantial and must be validated,” read an Anti-Defamation League news release.

The Jewish organization raised similar concerns when a series of church fires occurred in the South after the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., in June that killed nine.

Other St. Louis churches that have reported fires are Bethel Nondenominational Church, New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, St. Augustine Catholic Church, New Testament Church of Christ and New Life Missionary Baptist Church.

The pastor of New Northside Missionary Baptist, the second church hit, has invited the faith community of the city to a prayer service at noon on Wednesday. Ebenezer Lutheran held its services outside on Sunday after overnight arson damaged the church.

Photo credit: Ebenezer Lutheran Church via Facebook

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