There is a long history of violence against black churches in the United States. Black churches have suffered at the hands of thugs and terrorists throughout the Civil Rights era, as they had for a century before. The attacks have taken the form of arson, bombings, mass murder, hate crimes, and white supremacist-propelled domestic terrorism.
The killing of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., is among a long list of attacks targeting predominantly black churches in the United States. The predominantly black church was under construction and was set on fire shortly after the election of President Obama.