Published: Mon, April 22, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Notre-Dame fire sparks spike in support of black churches

Notre-Dame fire sparks spike in support of black churches

Authorities have arrested a person in connection with suspicious fires at three historic black churches in southern Louisiana, a federal prosecutor said.

GoFundMe spokeswoman Aja Shepherd confirmed in an email that giving to the destroyed Louisiana churches increased Tuesday after Romer's tweet and a challenge from freelance journalist Yashar Ali to his almost 400,000 Twitter followers.

State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said during a recent press conference that Matthews' purported interest in "black metal" music, a sub-genre of heavy metal music that has been associated with church burnings, may have played a role in the arson.

The GoFundMe campaign has a goal of $1.8 million. They will never reach the level of attention that Notre Dame will.

The three Louisiana churches - St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church - in St. Landry Parish, a county about 60 miles (97 km) west of Baton Rouge, burned down between March 26 and April 4. But, 3 black churches in LA were purposely burnt down b/c of hate.

The campaign is titled "Seventh District Baptist Church Fires St Landry" and was launched on April 10th by the Seventh District Baptist Association, a 149-year-old non-profit religious organization. Each of the three churches is more than 100 years old and one of them had been remodeled just two years ago.

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'The rebuild of Notre Dame will be well funded, ' said journalist Yashar Ali. He acknowledged that the Notre Dame fire raised consciousness about the Louisiana fires but downplayed any concerns that black churches were being overshadowed or forgotten.

As the community of St. Landry Parish is dedicated to rebuilding the churches, former New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson has committed himself to the cause. He has been charged with hate crimes, but these churches need your help.

Some online commenters said the greater focus on Notre Dame was understandable given its history, size and artistic significance.

'The GOPers tweeting their "sadness" about the tragic fire in the Notre Dame Cathedral never once mentioned their sadness about the 3 historically black churches being burnt down by a White Supremacist who is also the son of a sheriff, ' Ricky Davila.

Holden Matthews, the man suspected of starting the fires, faces multiple charges in the case - including three hate crime counts.

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