There has been at least 47 churches in Canada that have been either vandalized or burned to the ground by vandals taking advantage of news on the discovery of unmarked graves at several of Indian Residential Schools in Canada to target Christian organizations.
And the burnings are continuing, with the latest involving a Coptic Orthodox Church that an arsonist(s) burned to the ground in Surrey, British Columbia after the fire was set around 3 am Monday morning (July 19, 2021).
But, it is another indication of the vandals’ political and anti-Christian agenda, because the Coptic Orthodox church did not operate any of the residential schools in Canada’s history. Several other churches, including two evangelical refugee churches in Calgary, that also had no association with the Indian Residential school program, have also been targeted by vandals.
Most of the schools were operated by the Roman Catholic Church, and a handful were operated by a couple by other mainline denominations, including the Anglican church.
Some wonder if the recent attacks have been inflamed by actions of political figures in Canada.
The head of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), Harsha Walia, recently resigned as head of one of the more prominent civil liberties groups in Canada after she sent out a controversial tweet in June 2020.
Responding to an article in the left-wing news site, Vice, citing that the burning and vandalism of dozens of Churches, Walia tweeted:
“Burn it all down.”
Because of the huge uproar over the tweet, the BCCLA responded that people misunderstood what Walia meant when she wrote, “Burn it all down.”
Then in early July, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the acts of vandalism and arson, but added he “fully” understood the anger that people are feeling about churches.
Some have compared his statement to that of the Roman Emperor Nero, who shifted the blame on Christians for the Great Fire of Rome, after people suspected it was Nero who set the fire.
Because, it was the Federal government that:
Initiated the Indian Residential program;
- Forced Indian parents to send their children to the schools;
- Funded the program or more accurately underfunded it, resulting in children being underfed;
- Refused to pay for the dead bodies of children to be sent back to the parents after TB and the Spanish flu swept through the schools, forcing them to set up cemeteries;
- Refused to pay for permanent stone markers for the graves, forcing the schools to use wooden crosses that deteriorated over time; and
- Refused to maintain the cemeteries after the government started closing down the schools.
The federal government was also fully aware there were unmarked graves at the sites of the former schools.
Certainly, some residential schools were better run than others, and churches must take responsibility for any physical and sexual abuse at that took place at the schools.
But the uproar over the program and the unmarked graves falls fully on the federal government.
READ: Coptic Orthodox Church Destroyed in Latest Canadian Church Fire AND Trudeau Says Anger ‘Fully Understandable Given the Shameful History’ as Churches Burn Down AND ‘Burn it all down’: Head of B.C. civil liberties group resigns over tweet about church fires