Since June, 13 incidents have been registered, ranging from broken stained glass windows to graffiti and even arson.
Newsroom (05/08/2021 14:43, Gaudium Press) – The number of acts of vandalism against Catholic Churches in Canada has increased sharply. According to Vancouver police, 13 incidents have been registered since the beginning of June. The occurrences range from broken stained glass windows to graffiti and even arson.
These acts of vandalism, responsible for the destruction of at least ten churches in the country, are part of a series of attacks related to the outrage against the Church for its role in the residential school system. In the framework of these institutions, indigenous children were taken from their homes and families and put into schools, isolating them from their native culture.
Native leaders condemn attacks on churches
In May of this year, around 200 graves were discovered at a residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia, drawing attention to the fate of thousands of Native children. Sometime later, hundreds of unmarked graves were discovered at other schools.
Despite this, Indigenous leaders have spoken out against attacks on churches. The head of the Assembly of First Nations, Perry Bellegard, said that “destroying property will not help us build a peaceful, better, accepting Canada that we all want and need.” He added that he believes in processes that unite rather than divide. “Violence must be replaced by ceremony and all that our ancestors have taught us about peaceful coexistence and mutual respect. Thoughtful dialogue, not destruction, is the way to do this.”
Canadian police concerned about the increase in the number of vandalized churches
Several Archdioceses also took a stand, stressing the importance of dialogue. “The right way forward is reconciliation, dialogue and atonement with Indigenous peoples and following how they would lead us in that process,” they stated.
Meanwhile, Vancouver police stressed that following the latest incidents, they are working to prevent crimes and calling for increased surveillance. “Fortunately, no one was injured in these Vancouver incidents and most of the damage was minor. However, we are becoming more concerned every day about the escalation of these crimes and their brazen nature, and we are asking the people responsible for these crimes to stop,” said Sgt. Steve Addison. (EPC)
Compiled by Gustavo Kralj