Church Arson: Hate Crime or Not? Essay

Church Arson: Hate Crime or Not? Essay

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In 1150, the Fantoft Stave Church, a church made out of thin narrow pieces of wood, was built in the small village of Fortun in Sogn. It “…moved to Fantoft in 1883…” (www.bergen-guide.com) because it was threatened with demolition along with some other churches in Norway. However, “…Fantoft church was damaged by fire in 1992, and it took 6 years to build it up again” (www.fantoftstavkirke.com). Today, it’s still standing in Fantoft where it was originally burned down. The man that was charged with burning down the Fantoft Stave Church was a Norwegian musician named Varg Vikernes. But there was no evidence found that he committed it because of hate or not. In the United States, a bunch of church arsons have occurred in the south during the 20th century. According to Melvin Talbert, the president of the National Council of Churches (NCC), and Joan Brown Campbell, the general secretary of the NCC, “…the burning of the black [churches is] the result of a hate crime conspiracy by racist groups” (Talbert and Campbell 1). Although most of the church arson crimes in the south and everywhere else appear to be hate crimes, a couple of them were caused unintentionally. So it depends on the person who is responsible if he burned the church down because of hatred or he was messing around.
An arson is an act of burning down a building, and a hate crime is a crime that's committed because of hatred for a specific religion or group. As mentioned before, the churches that were burned down in the south were considered as hate crimes, and those churches were for black people. On May 20, 2012, a 17 year old white man named Jean-Claude Bridges burned down a church in Henry County, Virginia because all the people who attended there were black. “'Mr....


... middle of paper ...


...ay with fire", then it's not a hate crime. According to all the church arsons that took place, it can be concluded that they are in the hate crime category.



Works Cited

“Church Arson Prevention Act Enacted Into Law.” The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human
Rights & The Leadership Conference Education Fund. 2014. CivilRights. < http://www.civilright
s.org/monitor/vol8_no5_6/art4.html>.
“Fantoft Church.” Cloudberry. 2014. view=section&id=6&Itemid=57&lang=en>.
“Fantoft Stave Church.” Bergen Guide. 2014. BergenGuide. 25 April 2014. guide.com/47.htm>.
Jones, Jeremy. “Virginia Teenager Burns Down Church Because Black People Attended.”
DMVFollowers. 2014. DMVFollowers. 10 Jan. 2013. < http://www.dmvfollowers.com/virginia-
teenager-burns-down-church-because-black-people-attended/>.

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