From March 26th to April 4th, three black churches in Louisiana were set on fire by an arsonist.
Now, the alleged arsonist has been caught.
In St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, a string of three fires set at historically black churches since March 26th plagued the area.
Holden Matthews, the 21-year-old son of the parish deputy, has been arrested on suspicion of committing the arson.
Local Congressman (and religious loony) Clay Higgins, said, "I’m very proud of the investigative effort that has lead to this arrest. I’m prayerful that we can close this horrific chapter and begin to heal. I’m especially uplifted by the Christian Community right now. God bless us one and all.”
Right. God, who let multiple churches burn, is going to suddenly step in and bless you all with some kind of holy good luck.
Anyway, the first fire on March 26th at St. Mary Baptist Church was soon followed by a fire at Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas on April 2nd. Then the third fire occurred on April 4th at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas.
U.S. Attorney David Joseph said in a statement, “A suspect has been identified in connection with the three church burnings in Opelousas, Louisiana, and is in state custody."
For some, the attacks brought back memories of Dylann Roof's attack on a church in Charleston, SC four years ago that left nine dead. I wrote briefly about Roof in my recent post about the attacks at mosques in Christchurch, NZ.
At this time, we do not know for sure what the motivation behind the fires was, but given the targets were all black churches, we can draw some fairly safe conclusions. Hate crimes in the United States rose by 17% in 2017 versus 2016. We can argue whether or not that has anything to do with the orange troll who rose to be president of the country, but either way, it is disturbing.