A local elected official claims fires at three historically black churches in South Louisiana were set intentionally, according to CNN.
The fires happened within ten days of one another in the same parish starting on March 26th.
The NAACP is calling it an act of “domestic terrorism.”
Governor John Bel Edwards directed the state fire marshal to “aggressively investigate” the fires and the FBI is also involved.
Church leaders say they believe the churches were targeted.
Freddie Jack with the 7th District Missionary Baptist Association said, “I feel that our district was being targeted because all three of the churches are in our district, which is the seventh district. At first, we thought maybe it might have been an electrical problem. But then when the second burning occurred, I realized that it was our sister church also and in a rural area. And then two days later the third occurred and so it leads me to think that we are maybe being targeted, yes.”
Officials do know a smaller fire at a predominantly white church more than 200 miles North on March 31st was set intentionally.
It’s not known, though, if it is related to the other fires.
Burning black churches was a common occurrence during the Jim Crow Era in the South.