A Timeline of the Moments Detrimental to the Civil Rights Movement that were Religiously Based

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    Four Black Churches and Dr. King's House Bombed

    In the wake of the bus boycotts, four black churches in Alabama were bombed by Ku Klux Klan members, as was Dr. King's home (although the bomb targeted at Dr. King was diffused). This is an example of the KKK's strategy of targeting religious institutions/leaders.
  • Two Churches Burned in Bessemer, Alabama

    The actual date is unknown (although the burnings definitely happened in April 1957), but regardless, shortly after the four church bombings, two churches in Bessemer, AL were burned.
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    Two Churches Burned in Memphis and Birmingham

    During the year of 1958 two churches were burned, one in Memphis, TN and one in Birmingham, AL.
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    Church Burned in Roscoe, Georgia

    Sometime in the year 1959 a black church was burned in Roscoe, GA.
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    300 Churches in Mississippi Alone are Targeted

    Between 1960 and 1965, 300 African-American based Churches were shot at, bombed, or attacked in only the state of Mississippi. These attacks helped to destroy the institutions where much of the organizational work of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi took place.
  • The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing

    The 16th Street Baptist Church had been a local meeting place for those involved in the Birmingham Campaign of 1963, so bombing it was an effective way to harm the Movement and the generally nonviolent mindset of those involved in the Birmingham Campaign.The bombing killed 4 black girls. (This event ultimately affected the Movement negatively and positively, because although at the time it was a discouraging act, it actually helped the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.)
  • Samuel Bowers Creates the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

    A preacher from Mississippi, Bowers, along with Douglas Hutchinson, formed the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to encourage violence against the Civil Rights Movement in the name of religion.
  • Malcolm X is Assassinated

    The assassination of Malcolm X was devastating to his supporters in general, but since he was a religious leader this also negatively affected the spread of his religious teachings. His death also caused Muslim Mosque, Inc., his religious organization, to be disbanded.
  • James Reeb is Killed

    On March 9, 1965 Minister James Reeb, a white member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was clubbed during the Selma to Montgomery March. He died two days later. His death was, like the 16th Street Baptist Bombing, disheartening to the movement at the time but ultimately helpful for the national outcry it caused.
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    Two Churches Bombed in Meridian, Mississippi

    In February 1968 two churches were burned in Meridian. Both were involved in registering black voters and general civil rights activities.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is Assassinated

    Because Dr. King was considered a righteous and religious man (and, of course, because he was such a significant leader in the movement), his death spurred riots and violent action. It was also a loss for the movement because no other religious figure would be able to successfully continue Dr. King's legacy and be as much of a symbol for the movement.