An African-American church in South Carolina that was burned down by the Ku Klux Klan in 1995 caught fire again Tuesday night, though authorities said it was too soon to tell if arson was behind the latest blaze, which broke out on a night of frequent storms. No one was believed to be inside at the time.
The fire at the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal church in Greeleyville broke out at a time when federal authorities are investigating blazes at several other predominantly black churches, but so far the fires don’t appear to be related.
Greeleyville is about 50 miles north of Charleston, where a pastor and nine members of a historic black church were fatally shot on June 17 in what authorities are investigating as a hate crime.
The fire comes about a week after Mount Zion AME was featured in a Los Angeles Times story about the long history of violence against black churches and 20 years after it was burned to the ground by the Klan, reports CBS Columbia affiliate WLTX-TV.
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