Canadian Churches Are Burning, but Where Is the Outrage?

In late May, nearly 215 unmarked graves were found near a boarding school for Indigenous children in Ontario, Canada. Since then, more than 50 churches have been vandalized, desecrated or burned to the ground.

Yet, according to National Post columnist Rex Murphy, nobody in the Canadian government seems to care, most of all about Christians. Murphy pointed out that, considering the scale of these events, the reaction has been "utterly underwhelming."

Last week, the Canadian government hosted a pair of summits on consecutive days to combat antisemitism and Islamophobia, yet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said little, if anything, Murphy says, about the Christian churches being burned.

"What I find rather inexplicable is that while our federal government is rightly attending to acts of discrimination targeting Jewish and Muslim worshippers, there is, as far as can be determined, no scheduled summit dealing with the current wave of destructive hostility directed toward Christian worshippers," Murphy wrote. "This is something more than puzzling."

Candice Malcolm, a columnist for True North News, is similarly befuddled at the lack of response from the Canadian government about the church vandalism, violence and destruction. Malcolm says 50 communities "have been robbed of a sacred space to pray and effectively stripped of a fundamental right we hold in Canada"—so much so that it is the very first right enumerated in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which says:

"Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law ... Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of conscience and religion."

Yet Malcom says some are being given special consideration over others.

"The freedom to pray and the right to access your place of worship must apply to all Canadians," he wrote. "And yet, our government is failing to uphold these rights for too many. So, where are the politicians? Where are the police? Why aren't these churches being protected?"

During the pandemic, Canadian pastors have been arrested, like Pastor Tim Stephens, for violating his province's COVID-19 rules. Pastor Arthur Pawlowski was arrested by policy in Calgary for the same violations, along with his brother, David.

Malcolm reported that Trudeau said on July 2 that he "understands the anger" and "gently" pushed back by saying the attacks were "unacceptable and wrong," but that he has "been silent ever since."

She also reported that CTV News showed footage of an arsonist attacking a church, but the reporter chose to protect her identity by blurring her face during the attack.

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