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Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church to Reopen for Sunday Services

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Charleston Emanuel AME Church in which nine parishioners were shot dead by Dylann Storm Roof on June 17 is to reopen for services on Sunday, June 21.

Members of South Carolina’s African-American church met again on June 20 in the room where their friends died earlier this week.

Many more people are expected to attend the service at 09:00 AM on Sunday.


Meanwhile, police are investigating an online post, possibly by gunman Dylann Roof, that appears to outline his motivation for the attack.

One of those who attended Saturday’s meeting, Harold Washington, said the church’s doors would be open to all on Sunday.

“We’re gonna have people come by that we’ve never seen before and will probably never see again, and that’s OK,” Harold Washington said.

“It’s a church of the Lord – you don’t turn nobody down.”Charleston Emanuel AME Church to reopen

Survivors say Dylann Roof spent close to an hour attending a church service on June 17 before opening fire.

Crowds gathered outside the historic church on Saturday to hear pastors from across the US lead prayers. Many travelled hundreds of miles from across the country to pay their respects.

A rally was also held in Charleston by the Black Lives Matter movement, which began after the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman over the killing of an unarmed African-American teenager, Trayvon Martin.

In South Carolina’s capital, Columbia, protests took place to demand the removal of the Confederate flag from the capitol building.

The flag was a symbol used by southern states in the civil war, when they tried to break away to prevent the abolition of slavery.

It is viewed by many as a sign of the white supremacy advocated by those states at the time.

The protest followed President Barack Obama’s remark that the flag belonged “in a museum”.

Protesters chanted “Take it down” and sang We Shall Overcome, an anthem of the black civil rights movement.

On June 19, South Carolina’s Republican state representative Doug Brannon told MSNBC that he planned to introduce legislation to remove the Confederate flag.

On June 20, images emerged on a website showing Dylann Roof posing with the Confederate flag. In others, he is seen burning the US flag and visiting a former slave plantation.