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48 Canadian Churches Vandalized or Burned Down in Past 2 Months
Though barely mentioned in US media, 48 Christian churches in Canada have been vandalized or burned down in the past two months. The latest occurred Monday, when the St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Surrey, British Colombia, was destroyed by fire.
Since mid-June, five B.C. churches were set alight, apparently connected to unmarked graves discovered at former residential school sites. The schools were instituted in 1874 as an effort to assimilate native tribes in language, religion, and culture. First Nations children were removed from their families and often moved great distances into the boarding schools. The program officially ended in 1969.
No evidence has shown if the deaths came from natural causes or intentional abuse but most of the Canadian press has presumed the latter. Since the Catholic Church ran 70 percent of these schools, it has borne most of the current backlash. But it didn’t take long for arsonists and vandals to attack churches far from First Nations reserves and unrelated to Catholicism.
The Coptic Orthodox Church wasn’t established in Canada until the 1960s when mostly Egyptian Christians fled persecution in their homeland. The Copts suffered church burnings back home only to find it again in North America. Their faith broke from the Pope 1,600 years ago. Nevertheless, Canadian leftists shrugged off the attack and made excuses for the Klan-style church burnings.
After the first arsons, Executive Director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association Harsha Walia tweeted “burn it all down.” She was forced to resign last weekend. Justin Trudeau’s former top advisor, Gerald Butts, defended Walia, tweeting that the burning of churches may not be “cool,” but is certainly “understandable.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn’t comment until reporters finally asked him about the arson spree in early July. “It is unacceptable and wrong that acts of vandalism and arson are being seen across the country, including against Catholic churches,” Trudeau said. But then added, “The anger … is real. People have gone decades and even generations living with intergenerational trauma, with outcomes and institutional racism that has created extreme difficulties for Indigenous peoples across this country that are also the legacy of residential schools.”
Unlike the Liberal government, First Nations leaders rushed to denounce the crimes. “To burn things is not our way,” said Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. “Our way is to build relationships and come together.”
Much of the arson appears linked to white progressives rather than indigenous people, unsurprisingly. Last week, a heavyset white woman was caught on camera attempting to set St. George Coptic Orthodox Church ablaze. Police are now seeking to identify her.
“Our church was more than a building … it was a place we built community, where we shared meals, where we married our youth, christened our babies, and welcomed newcomers to the faith,” Bishop Mina said of the attack in his diocese.
“We are in shock and struggling to cope in the emotional wake of this incident. We are grateful to all of those who have reached out expressing their sympathies, prayers, and offers of support as we determine our next steps as a community.”
Bishop Mina has pledged to rebuild the St. George church. You can support his efforts here.Published in Religion & Philosophy
The Devil at work. This bis awful and how suck is the PM for not being able to just say it is wrong full stop.
“Burning things – we can understand the anger”? What country’s leader says that? ” But then added, “The anger … is real. People have gone decades and even generations living with intergenerational trauma, with outcomes and institutional racism that has created extreme difficulties for Indigenous peoples across this country that are also the legacy of residential schools.”
We’re excusing it here in America too. “Institutional racism” seems to be the catch phrase too. It seems to be a license to to whatever the lawbreakers deem necessary with no consequences. Can anyone list how many things ae wrong with that thought process? Many injustices happened long ago – no country is immune, but we look at today and opportunities now. Do we still look back at WWII and the atrocities as markers – history not to be repeated/ Yes – but we don’t destroy what remains. We remember it and learn from it.
The Church, with all its flaws, is the only thing separating human civilization right now from pure hell being unleashed –
So white leftists are once again assuming the role of savior/ avenger of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. How neo-colonial. I bet you would not have to dig far at all into the arsonists’ social media to find their seething anti-Christian bigotry. See the contrast between First Nations leader and Canadian leftist Prime Minister.
PhoenixWolfJ has mapped the attacks, updated a week ago with 43 churches. They are all across Canada.
This is an entirely an AstroTurf controversy. The graves being “Discovered” now are not unreported or unknown deaths. These graves had been known to the band counsels and municipalities since the beginning. They became unmarked overtime as grave markers deteriorated (Native bands use wooden crosses to mark graves – to this day) If they’re not regularly repainted and replaced they obviously rot away.
This is not a tale of massive child abuse and murder at the hands of clergy, this is a tale of neglect of the dead at the hands of local politicians and irresponsible and largely unelected band counsels. Why take the blame for the things your organization did, when there is a convenient scapegoat?
True North, an independent Canadian news and commentary source, has more important resources on this church burning campaign:
Mapping all 48 attacks on Canadian churches.
Challenging the leftist media narrative with six things the media got wrong.
Challenging more misinformation from legacy media.
You have to be very careful in determining the cause and the statistics of church fires.
This reminds me of Michael Fumento’s investigation into when the Left blamed conservatives for burning down black churches a quarter century age. Michael Fumento seems to have had some controversial views over the years, but here is what he wrote in 1998 after researching the matter in 1996 or before that. I think at one point he determined that most church fires were not even arson but were just electrical fires in old buildings and similar things like that.
“…we were warned of a white supremacist conspiracy, only two church fires (of over 70 which USA Today investigated), have been identified with any racist group. Both were lit by the same two Klansmen. A third burning clearly had racial motivations. That’s it. Meanwhile, during the same period far more southern white churches than black churches were burned. Further, USA Today’s latest tally shows that of all the arsonists arrested in connection with black church burnings, a third have been blacks.
…(T)he Center for Democratic Renewal … alleged to show an epidemic of 90 black church arsons in which all the perpetrators caught were white. But when I called fire officials in four southern states I found that the CDR had systematically labeled mere vandalisms as fires, had ignored fires set by blacks and those that occurred in the early part of the decade, and labeled fires as arsons that were not — all in an apparent effort to make black church torchings appear to be an escalating phenomenon.
…the bottom line: The church-burning epidemic was essentially a fund-raising effort for the National Council of Churches (NCC) and its causes. The NCC is an association of Protestant churches, essentially a left-wing version of the Christian Coalition.
…NCC will also use the cash to campaign for ‘economic justice’ — a code phrase for increased welfare spending. Some of the NCC’s donors, especially the larger ones, are well aware of this. Grain magnate and Archer Daniels Midland Chairman Dwayne Andreas, himself the major recipient of a corporate welfare program (gasohol) estimated to cost taxpayers $770 million a year, considered giving money to the Burned Churches Fund but ended up cutting a cool $1 million check directly to the NCC instead.”
You’ve got to appreciate the shamelessness of the Left. The savior government asked the Church to educate native children, but provided no funds. The Church obliged, seeing caring for the poor and educating the young as Her calling. When these same children died from European-introduced disease or other natural causes, the Church buried them in holy ground with simple markers, since the government provided no funds for carved headstones either. So now that ground-penetrating radar shows these “unmarked” graves, the implication is the Church committed genocide against native children. And the government backs away with hands raised as if to imply it had nothing to do with any of it. Disgusting.
You gotta hate the Left.
Well this “trap” is more than a century in the making, the left doesnt have that kind of planing ability.
This is all opportunistic hate mongering by the left wing anti-christian media.
Patrol around churches.
Being witness to the riots in Minneapolis last summer followed by unbearable tragedies in the streets every day here, that people – especially “leaders” who absolutely know the consequences of their words – think it’s acceptable to harness anger and pain to inflict more anger and pain. It’s a sign of social decay and self-destruction that irrationality is justified by emotional instability. Thank you @exjon for writing about this.
Conjure in your mind the reaction: investigators discover mass graves of fetal remains around early 20th century schools set up for young Indigenous women. Investigation reveals that pregnant young women were regularly given abortions because of the poverty of their circumstances, and to help them become economically productive in their post-school life.
There would be mutterings from the Indigenous community; there would be a piece about historic paternalism. Perhaps an angle about how abortion was not generally available at the time, so all women suffered. But that would be it, and nothing would be burned.
I think that is spot on, James.
Infanticide is OK for them.
The left is literally playing with fire here. Knocking the props out that undergird society, because they imagine they will be able to rebuild it in their own image. They are going to discover that isn’t possible. I imagine it will come as quite a shock that the Queer-Afro- Latinx studies degree is of little or no value in the post apocalyptic hellscape they are helping to bring about.
Planned Parenthood would view a mass grave of fetuses as a missed business opportunity.
Oh, I agree. It’s unplanned, it’s just exploitation, which is the Left’s M.O. That, and bullying.
Never let a crisis (or non-crisis like the climate change bogeyman) go to waste.
Pretty much every Democrat over the last year of Burn Loot Murder.
The question, of course, is what would all the “muh limited government!” Republicans recommend doing about it if this comes to America? Write op-eds?
Is that the same as the “aw-shucks” Republicans?
Sleepovers with guns.
Reading the link labeled “Six things the media got wrong” – well, the fact that these were not mass graves, but community cemeteries should be headline news. right.
Why didn’t some editor somewhere see the story was handled properly?
I imagine the editor at The New York Times attended journalism school somewhere. Or is the desire to serve the Far Left more pressing than printing actual, factual news?
Probably so. It’s a problem.
Viva Frei weighs in on the scandal: