By Invitation

The healing power of forgiveness

The act of forgiving frees not just the transgressor from the wrong done but also the victim from being caught in the grip of toxic anger

One evening in June 2015, a 21-year-old school dropout and self-styled white supremacist Dylann Roof walked into the Mother Emanuel Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

Armed with a .45-calibre Glock semi-automatic that he had bought with his birthday money and eight magazines loaded with hollow-point bullets, he made his way to an ongoing Bible-study class with a dozen people and sat down among them. As the people closed their eyes in prayer, Roof stood up and shot dead nine of them.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2019, with the headline 'The healing power of forgiveness'. Print Edition | Subscribe