Friday, July 23, 2021

Spree of church burnings in Canada continues

(National Review) - Members of the St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Surrey, British Columbia, were shocked to discover that the church burned to the ground on Monday morning, the latest in a rash of church burnings and vandalism across Canada in recent weeks. I am still surprised this isn't front page news everywhere. Also shocked a bit to see some people who should know better advocating for further destruction.

“It’s been an extremely tragic and difficult event for us to grasp and to wrap our heads around,” Steven Faltas, a board member for St. George, told National Review. “Somewhere between 300 and 400 families attended this church quite regularly, with nearly daily services and activities being offered. So for it to overnight not be there anymore has been extremely difficult for us to deal with and to absorb.”

Several churches have burned to the ground in Canada in recent weeks, with additional churches and a statue of St. John Paul vandalized. The incidents were perpetrated from British Columbia all the way to Nova Scotia.

The burnings and vandalism began after First Nation tribes discovered unmarked graves at the sites of former so-called Indian residential schools. These schools were established in the 1830s to assimilate indigenous children into Canadian society, and some continued to operate until the 1990s.

A 2015 government commission found that the residential-schools system constituted a “cultural genocide,” and former pupils have detailed allegations of sexual and physical abuse at the schools. Over 1,000 unmarked graves were discovered by various tribes over the past several months.

A majority of the schools were operated by the Catholic Church in Canada. Most of the churches that have burned to the ground since the discoveries of unmarked graves were Catholic, such as the 100-year-old St. Jean Baptiste Church in Morinville, Alberta.

However, the St. George Coptic Church fire is unusual in that the church has no connection to the Indian residential-school program.

“The Coptic Orthodox church . . . doesn’t have an affiliation with the residential-school program,” Faltas said. “The Coptic church in Vancouver is approximately 30 years old so, based on the timeline that I’m aware of, that’s quite a few years after the residential-school program was stopped.”

The circumstances surrounding the burning remain murky. An unidentified white woman set fire to a wreath on the church door on July 14, in footage captured by a surveillance camera. The fact that the church burned down several days later has raised suspicions of arson: “It’s hard not to think that these two instances have some commonalities,” Faltas commented.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Surrey did not respond to National Review’s request for comment in time for publication. The RCMP has already termed the fires at St. George and other churches as “suspicious.”

“The RCMP is tracking/investigating these crimes where we are the police of jurisdiction,” RCMP spokesperson Robin Percival told the Daily Caller on Tuesday.

“We’re reaching out to all levels of government for assistance, knowing that we’ve been innocent bystanders to a political mess that we weren’t involved with,” Faltas said.

Faltas added that the Coptic community in Surrey would regroup following the burning.

“As believers we rely on our scripture and the word of God to remind us of the promises He has made,” Faltas said. “And even though today might be a day of mourning, tomorrow will be a day of joy.”


  1. Ongoing blood libel against the Church in Canada.

  2. It is a horror. There is no excuse for burning churches. Neither is there any excuse for Christians to not recognize that we are all created in the image and likeness of God and that we all have sinned and fallen short. Repentance is the path to salvation.

    In situations like this people are looking for justice and retribution. But as Shakespeare said "In the course of justice none of us should see salvation" Out Lord said. "I will have mercy, not sacrifice"

    That bring said the "blood libel" against the Church is a form of justice. Repentance is neither easy nor without pain especially when facing egregious acts of one's forbearers.

  3. They found graves in old cemeteries that were no longer maintained from an era before antibiotics.

  4. The US government is also conducting an investigation of "Indian Boarding Schools" and unmarked child graves. There is at least one such school in my state. While surely in "the woke" spirit, there is real meat for repentance here. While no Orthodox were involved, it was largely a "mission" to 'Christianize', i e. make white native children.

    Since a good deal of the current Orthodox spirit is still ethnic centered Greek, Arab, Slav comes first, it is a sprit which produces meat for our repentance too

  5. ‘I am inclined to think that we had better look unflinchingly at the work we have done; like puppies, we must have ‘our noses rubbed in it’. A man, now penitent, who has once seduced and abandoned a girl and then lost sight of her, had better not avert his eyes from the crude realities of the life she may now be living. For the same reason we ought to read the psalms that curse the oppressor; read them with fear. Who knows what imprecations of the same sort have been uttered against ourselves? What prayers have Red men, and Black, and Brown and Yellow, sent up against us to their gods or sometimes to God Himself? All over the earth the White Man’s offence ‘smells to heaven’: massacres, broken treaties, theft, kidnappings, enslavement, deportation, floggings, beatings-up, rape, insult, mockery, and odious hypocrisy make up that smell.’

    - C. S. Lewis

    May God help us. Deepest Shane that a churches of people fleeing religious persecute would be caught up in this as well as many indigenous churches. It does call to mind the destruction of Orthodox Churches in Russia by baptised Orthodox Christians in 1920s.

    The discovery of graves though known for years has unleashed a very scary anger against Christianity and the Catholics churches response has not helped.