Since October 8, six churches, most of which have predominantly black congregations, near Ferguson, Missouri have been set on fire.
Officials, including the police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), confirmed each fire was intentionally set.
The fires were all started in the same manner: The churches' doors were sprayed with accelerants and set on fire. Luckily, the fires have, for the most part, not caused a lot of damage in the churches and were started after people left.
David Triggs, the pastor of New Life Missionary Baptist Church, which was set on fire this past weekend, told The Washington Post,
There's been speculation that this is a white man coming against black churches, but we don't know that. It could be a black man coming against black churches. We don't know if there's any race barrier to this; but we know it is a sin issue and it has to be addressed as such -- through prayer.
Many people have been criticizing the lack of public and media responses to these attacks, saying it's a result of apathy and racism, especially given the mass coverage of protests in Ferguson.
When are the major outlets going to start talking about the Ferguson area churches that have been burned in this month alone? — whoopsadaisy (@courtsyyy) October 21, 2015
Everyone has a problem with people "rioting" in Ferguson but care nothing about the fact that 5 BLACK churches were burned intentionally. — ebon (@tyriquex) October 20, 2015
Guess media maxed out budgets w/ 24/7 coverage of a burning CVS in Baltimore & can't cover arson to black churches in Ferguson area #Apathy — kurtizz (@kurtizz01) October 21, 2015
Pastor Rodrick Burton of New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, a church also set on fire, told Fusion,
I have just been stunned by the apathetic response in the faith community. I have been stunned by the lack of response, period.
The ATF and Crime Stoppers are offering a $2,000 reward for information about the fires, Fox reports.