What do we call this now, and who could be involved in this, could this be the beginning of church burning and persecution in America? Oh dear, I feel for my brothers and sister over there in America. May the Lord Jesus keep you all till the end and give the grace, strength to stand firm in your faith in Christ Jesus name, Amen.

The latest church fire in South Carolina does not appear to be a criminal act, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. Officials said investigators from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on scene at Mt. Zion AME Church in Greeleyville, but the cause of the Tuesday night fire is unclear. State and federal authorities are involved with the investigation.

The preliminary assessment, which includes some eyewitness accounts indicating there may have been a lightning strike, will be enhanced when the forensic examiners are able to make more conclusive assessments.
The predominantly black church in South Carolina has a history of being targeted, as it was burned to the ground by the KKK in 1995 and President Clinton spoke at the dedication of the newly rebuilt church the next year. The fire comes amid heightened concern about church burnings in the wake of the massacre of nine people at the historically black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

A state Law Enforcement Division official said storms moved through the area and that the fire may have been caused by lightning, according to The Associated Press. But as the fire continued to smolder overnight, the cause remained a mystery. It was unclear whether there were injuries or how much damage was done. Federal officials said Tuesday a string of five church fires in the South appeared not to be racially motivated or related, although some were deemed to be arson. The ATF, which issued the statement, said that the investigation was in the preliminary stages.

"We are in the early stages of these investigations, but at this time we have no reason to believe these fires are racially motivated or related," the statement said of the fires, which have occurred in the past nine days.

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