Burning of Black Churches: A Bahá'í View

The American Bahá'í community, composed of members who belong to all races and ethnic groups, recoils in horror from the acts of arson perpetrated against Black and multiracial churches in the United States. Whether committed by demented individuals or malevolent terrorist conspirators, these acts are directed at all humanity, for humanity is one.

We believe that attacks against Black churches are not about religion. They are ugly manifestations of ingrained racism, and racism, as we have said elsewhere, "is an affront to human dignity, a cause of hatred and division, a disease that devastates society."

The Bahá'í community has struggled for over one hundred years to help eradicate racism and build an America where all are equal no matter what their race. We express our deepest sympathy to the immediate victims of bigotry and hate. We feel their pain and share their sorrow. We also know that our brothers and sisters whose churches have been destroyed are not the only victims. This entire nation has been hurt and diminished by the malice of a few.

However, we do not want this occasion to pass without affirming our unshakable conviction that prejudice, separatism, and division shall not win. Every attempt to turn back the clock of history shall fail and humanity shall continue on its inevitable march toward unity and peace.

National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States
Wilmette Illinois 60091 -- 847/869-9039