The Rev. Rodrick Burton, pastor of New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, which was attacked by an arsonist Oct. 10, would like Americans to mobilize to defend their rights, including the right to choose and practice one’s religion without fear of discrimination or physical harm.

“Democracy Now!” reports:

Over 10 days, six predominantly black churches have been set ablaze in the St. Louis area of Missouri. Police and fire officials say there’s no doubt the fires are deliberate. All the fires were set within a three-mile radius of northern St. Louis. The area includes Ferguson, where the police killing of unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown set off protests and a national movement more than a year ago. The burnings come after a series of fires at African-American churches across the South following the Charleston church massacre in June. Three of those fires were ruled as arson. White supremacists have targeted black churches with burnings dating back to the Civil War. We are joined by two guests: Rev. Rodrick Burton, pastor of New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, attacked by an arsonist on October 10, and Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri.

— Adapted from “Democracy Now!” by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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