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Easter Season 'Miracle:' Americans Raise Over $2 Million to Rebuild Burned Churches in Louisiana

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

The world is still processing the devastating Islamist attacks in Sri Lanka that targeted Christians on Easter Sunday, killing nearly 300 people and wounding hundreds of others.  Authorities say six to eight bombs ripped through churches and hotels, with a little-known jihadist group claiming responsibility; officials believe the previously-obscure organization likely had help from other international terrorists.  The government's security services were reportedly aware that strikes may have been in the works for weeks, but took no action.  Two dozen arrests have been made.  Setting aside the weird euphemisms employed by some prominent Democrats to describe these anti-Christian acts of barbarity, it's worth pointing out that around the globe, adherents of Christianity have faced the most instances of persecution of any religious group:

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Here in America, a clear majority of religiously-motivated hate crimes are carried out against Jews, who make up a tiny fraction of the population.  Meanwhile, the world's Christians are still grappling with the accidental burning of one of Europe's most iconic Cathedrals -- Paris' Notre Dame.  France's president has vowed to rebuild the famous house of worship within five years, but some experts say that time line is unrealistically ambitious, given the scope of the project.  Approximately $1 billion in pledges for the rebuilding effort have poured in from all over the world.  Back in the United States, a heartwarming show of unity played out, following acts of arson against three African-American churches in Louisiana.  Police arrested the alleged perpetrator last week:

The white man suspected in the burnings of three historically black churches in Louisiana will remain in jail, denied bond Monday by a judge, as state prosecutors added new charges declaring the arsons a hate crime. Holden Matthews, 21, the son of a sheriff's deputy, entered his not guilty plea via video conference from the St. Landry Parish jail. The judge set a September trial date...The fire marshal described cellphone records placing Matthews at the fire locations, and he said images on the phone showed all three churches burning before law enforcement arrived and showed Matthews "claiming responsibility" for the fires. Matthews, who had no previous criminal record, was arrested Wednesday on three charges of arson of a religious building. Prosecutors filed documents Monday adding three more charges, accusing Matthews of violating Louisiana's hate crime law, confirming that they believe the fires were racially motivated, a link authorities had previously stopped short of making. Browning said federal officials also are considering filing additional federal hate crime and arson charges against Matthews.

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Yashar Ali of HuffPo, an influential Twitter user, spearheaded a push to help these three churches through a GoFundMe account. His call to action went viral:


As of today, with donations now closed, people contributed more than $2.1 million to the cause -- including prominent celebrities, journalists, and others from all over the country.  Ali announced the incredible milestone over the weekend:


Some people are calling it a miracle.  Others would say it's the Christian community and other good-hearted people rallying to help right at terrible wrong.  Either way, it's a beautiful silver lining amid a crushing series of events across the world.

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