Parishioners pray and weep during services at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church, June 21, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina, four days after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of the pastor and eight others. AFP PHOTO / POOL / DAVID GOLDMAN
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Hundreds of people packed a sweltering Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston Sunday as it reopened to worshipers just days after a gunman shot dead nine black church members, as details of his racist manifesto emerged.Outside the church, a large, mostly white crowd gathered to express solidarity with those inside.In attendance were South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley.The church massacre has again trained a spotlight on the pervasive and divisive issues of race relations and gun crime in the United States.The suspect, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, was arrested Thursday and has been charged with nine counts of murder. Authorities say he spent an hour in an evening Bible study group at the church, nicknamed "Mother Emanuel" for its key role in U.S. black history, before opening fire.The church shootings were the main topic at other Sunday services in Charleston, a city sometimes dubbed "The Holy City" because of its multitude of historic churches.
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