Catholic churches burn in Canada after graves of Indigenous children are found

A wave of arson and other acts of destruction has recently multiplied in Canada against Catholic churches. Incidents following the discovery of thousands of graves of Indigenous children at the sites of former Catholic-run residential schools.

In an article published on July 2, the Canadian newspaper Western Standard listed 23 attacks on Catholic churches in Canada, including at least five that were completely ravaged by fires.

A wave of attacks following several successive discoveries anonymous mass graves in former residential schools led by the Catholic Church in the last century.

The news site reports that while most units of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have been reluctant to officially link these incidents in churches with the discovery of children's bodies, they have called these acts of vandalism. as "suspect".

The most destructive fires have occurred primarily in western Canada, but there have been other minor fires and acts of destruction against other churches in eastern Canada.

Indigenous leaders condemned the attacks and called for more peaceful approaches to address "the sense of rage, frustration and pain" that gripped First Nations communities after the discovery of these anonymous graves. "Burning places is not our way of doing things," said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, "Our way of doing things is to build relationships and come together" he added. , comments reported by CTV News.

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also condemned this wave of violence against Catholic churches at a press conference on Monday. "I fully understand the anger and sorrow that so many people feel," said the politician, adding that he nevertheless condemns the burning of churches.

“It's just not correct. It is a shame ”insisted the Prime Minister, adding that these acts of vandalism will“ prevent people who seek comfort in times of mourning from being able to visit their own places of worship ”.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Article originally published in July 2021. 

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