Community Issues

Black Churches in Louisiana See Surge in Donations After Arsons

Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral helps inspire more than $1 million in donations for small congregations that were victims of alleged hate crimes.

Few cathedrals or churches on Earth are more recognizable than Notre Dame in Paris. So it was no surprise when hundreds of millions of dollars were pledged in donation after the iconic structure caught fire on Monday.

But now, many of the same donors are also pledging to rebuild three less recognizable churches that have recently burned--the three black churches in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Federal investigators say the churches were torched in a spree of hate crimes.

A GoFundMe for the churches has already raised more than $1.2 million from nearly 23,000 donors, many explaining their reason for pledging .

You can click here to donate .

"Notre Dame will be made whole, so should these holy places," Philip Feldman wrote.

"These churches are historically important, maybe not on a world-wide scale, but to the families who have been parishioners for decades," Carissa Smith wrote on campaign's page.

The first fire was set on March 26, and the others followed within 10 days. Authorities quickly determined the cases to be connected, and a deliberate attack on black congregations.

A 21-year-old man has been arrested for the fires, and charged with three counts of arson of a religious building, and three charges of hate crimes.

WAFB in Baton Rouge says the GoFundMe got widespread exposure this week, from such figures as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CNN anchor Jake Tapper, and journalist Yasher Ali.

While authorities have not said what specifically motivated the suspect in this case, earlier this month FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress white nationalism and white supremacists presents a "persistent" and "pervasive" threat to the United States.

Image courtesy Ruth Jack on GoFundMe.

How can you start something good?
The Conversation
More stories you may love

How Saving A Church Is Saving Lives Too

A couple bought an abandoned church and turned it into a community center. What they've created is so much bigger.

They're Saluting Our Veterans Every Day of the Year

Meet the Pittsburghers who are making sure our returning vets have jobs, homes and food, and find out how you can help.

How Goats And The Volunteers Who Love Them Are Saving A Popular Park

They're keeping invasive plants from taking over Pittsburgh's Frick Park by doing what comes naturally. For the goats at least!

Our Mission
Have you ever felt like there's just too much bad news? Ever felt like the world is hopeless, and you're helpless to do anything about it? We did too. That's why we created Sparkt™.
At Sparkt™, we tell powerful stories about great people making a difference in their communities, and we show you how you can make a difference too. Join us, and together, let's #StartSomethingGood!
Sparkt Newsletter
Get positive, uplifting stories in your inbox
Follow Us on Social Media
Download the Mobile App
Sparkt™ is a Rabble Holdings, Inc. Media Brand. © 2020 Rabble Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.