September 27, 2021

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Attacks on churches on the rise in Canada after graves were found in boarding schools for indigenous peoples | International

Discovery in the last two months 1,315 unmarked graves in former boarding schools for tribal children Shaken Canada. In this framework of pain and anger over the findings, at least 48 Christian temples – mostly Catholics – have been affected by the fire or other acts of vandalism, in order to force the (already closed) Native population of those institutions. Condemns the events of Canada’s first nations, which define 634 tribal leaders (1.4 million citizens themselves are indigenous, 4.9% of the population); Efforts are needed to build unity and relationships during these difficult times. “I support all my members, regardless of their religion or belief. This is unacceptable,” he said. Global News Keith Crow, Chairman of the Lower Similkameen Reservation.

Of those 48 temples, 21 temples have been partially or completely burnt down by fire. They are being questioned by police as a “suspicious fire”. In addition to the Catholic churches, the Anglican, Orthodox Copts and Vietnamese allied churches of the United Church of Canada were also damaged. The first fire broke out on June 21 at Sacred Heart Church in Penticton Reserve (British Columbia). The most recent took place on the 19th at St. George’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Surrey (in the same province).

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At least 27 other temples have been affected by various types of destruction, especially those painted in red. On June 26, a statue of John Paul II next to St. Rosary’s Church in Edmonton, Alberta, was attacked with that paint. Messages written on temple walls and doors in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta were repeated on several occasions: “We were children”; “Our lives are important”; “215” (number of tombs found in Kamloops). Vancouver Police spokesman Steve Addison warned last week, “There are better ways to show vision, anger and frustration. People may think they are doing a good thing, but they are not.”

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the move “unacceptable and wrong.” Trudeau said he understood the anger of many people, especially the federal government and the Catholic Church, which managed most of the centers that opened between 1883 and 1996, but stressed that this was “not the way to achieve justice.” “We need to work together to correct past mistakes,” he added.

On May 27, the first discovery of unidentified graves was announced at the former Kamloops boarding school. The Marvel and St. Eugene Mission Internship cases were later made public. The most recent, on July 12, occurred on Cooper Island. These centers were part of a network of boarding schools in Canada, forcing and educating more than 150,000 indigenous children in a dominant culture. Although the management of the centers was the responsibility of Christian groups (more than 70% Catholics), the federal government funded these institutions.

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The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created in its 2015 report to analyze what happened at the centers where corporal punishment, sexual violence, neglect and racism are common on the Internet. In 2019, the organization established that at least 4,134 children died in these centers, but some experts have raised the death toll to more than 6,000. Many families do not ask again from their children. Poor nutrition, overcrowding and lack of heat were common in many of these companies. Madeleine Basil, originally from the Adigamek community of Vemodaci (Quebec Province), spent a decade at the Point Blue boarding school run by Oblate missionaries. “They were abandoned years ago. My family had no choice but to be forced by the federal government. My sister died in that place at the age of nine,” he says.

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The Catholic Church has received an avalanche of criticism. The Pope has not yet apologized, and as requested by tribal communities The loan of $ 21.3 million (approximately .4 14.4 million) is in line with the repair agreements reached in 2007. We express our solidarity with the affected communities and strongly oppose any form of violence or vandalism against any faith community, “said a spokesman for the Canadian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Leaders of Protestant faiths, such as the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the National Council of Canadian Muslims, have joined the condemnation.

The United Church in Anglicans and Canada runs some boarding schools for tribal children, but, unlike the Catholic Church, they have apologized and paid the amounts specified in the compensation agreements.