Problem

Desecration of religious buildings

Other Names:
Desecration of places of worship
Burning of churches
Destruction of mosques
Incidence:

In the Balkan crisis of the 1990s, destruction of mosques was a feature of the ethnic cleansing policy practiced against the Muslims.

In the period 1991-96 a series of 150-216 churches, notably those frequented by black congregations, were the subject of of suspected arson attacks by racists and others. Some 70 percent were in the southern USA. Torching black churches has a long history in the USA; since there have been churches for black congregations in the late 18th century, there have been white attempts to destroy them. Early incidents are reported from 1829 to 1850 in the northern USA, since no such churhes were permitted in the south prior to the civil war. Church burning was associated with the revival of the Klu Klux Klan following World War I, and with reaction to the civil rights movement of the 1960s (with some 6 churches bombed in Birmingham, Aalabama, alone in 1963).

Claim:

In the USA, whose people are some of the most religious in the industrialized world, burning a church is an act of singular profanity aimed at disrupting a community of believers and the spiritual rhythm of their lives. The act is an attack on the space where life's most important transitions are marked. Such an act sends a vicious message, especially to minority groups.

Broader Problems:
Desecration
Related Problems:
Desecration of holy spaces
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 15: Life on Land
Date of last update
13.05.2019 – 20:59 CEST