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article imageMuslim crowd-funding working to rebuild black churches

By Karen Graham     Jul 8, 2015 in World
U.S. Muslims and Arab-American organizations have joined together in a fund-raising effort to rebuild the eight churches that recently burned or were partially destroyed by fires in the South.
Call it a labor of love, but it may be much more than that. The crowd-funding website, calls the campaign "Respond with Love." It's really a matter of wanting what all religions want, the right to worship without intimidation, and in safety.
After the massacre of nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church on June 17, eight black churches, in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida were burned, and while four of the fires were ruled to be arson, the other fires are still under investigation, reports WTVR News.
The "Respond With Love" campaign was organized by MuslimARC, the Arab American Association of New York, and digital media start-up Ummah Wide. They have already raised $28,753 since launching July 2. The Muslim group wrote on the website, "these were attacks on Black culture, Black religion, and Black lives. These kinds of attacks on Black churches are a very old form of intimidation in the South, historically used to strike fear into the hearts of Black people."
Faatimah Amat-Allah Knight wrote on the campaign page, “ALL houses of worship are sanctuaries, a place where all should feel safe, a place we can seek refuge when the world is too much to bear. We are calling on you to help add our support to faith communities across the country pooling their resources to rebuild these churches.”
LaunchGood is a platform used by Muslims worldwide for crowd-funding campaigns. A contact person at LaunchGood explained how the campaign works to validate the fund-raising. He said they work with the accounts and contacts. This review can sometimes take a day or even two.
The nationwide Muslim effort to help black churches in rebuilding their burned facilities is not the only fund-raising campaign going on. Another campaign, called “Rebuild the Churches Fund” was started by the Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis. They have raised over $131,000 so far. Donations can be made online or through the mail.
The "Rebuild the Churches" website also appeals to all people, saying, " As fellow children of God, we stand with our sisters and brothers to help them rebuild these buildings -- which are not just houses of worship but centers of ministry for their community."
For people wanting to donate to the "Rebuild the Churches" fund, the following information will help:
Rebuild the Churches
c/o Christ Church Cathedral
1210 Locust Street
St. Louis, MO 63103
More about black churches, Muslims, arabamericans, crowdfunding, Burned
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