Churches Are Burning!

The White House


July 12, 1996


Warm greetings to all those who have gathered from communities across our nation to rebuild churches in Alabama. I join millions of Americans in applauding your compassion and determination. An act of destruction leveled these churches, but through your steadfast faith, you are raising them from the ashes.

When a church is burned out of racial malice or religious bigotry, as has happened all too often among the church burnings across our country in recent months, we are reminded that we still have a long way to go before our fundamental ideals of racial harmony are religious freedom are fully realized. But I am heartened by the outpouring of concern and support from Americans of all races and beliefs who are coming together to aid the affected communities in rebuilding their churches. Only by working in unity will we prove to the forces of hatred that they can never win.

We must not tolerate violence of the sort that touched these congregations, and I pledge to you that I will do everything I can to bring to justice those responsible for the church burnings and to prevent further incidents. My Administration is also working with Congress, the private sector, and local leaders to help communities get the resources they need to rebuild.

I commend you for the power of your faith and the strength of your spirit -- you are helping to light the path towards renewal and reconciliation across America. Hillary joins me in sending the best wishes for every success in your efforts.


-Bill Clinton

Quaker Workcamps International
1225 Geranium St., NW
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website maintained by: Larry Clarkberg

last updated 5/25/98