By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy Need
(Worthy News) - Police in Canada are concerned about growing anti-Christian sentiments after dozens of churches were attacked, with at least ten churches destroyed by fires.
Some Christian sources attributed the violence in recent months to “far-left terrorists” with a Marxist ideology to strike fear among practicing Christians.
Officials didn’t confirm these findings, but police in Canada’s city of Vancouver reportedly noted a sharp increase in vandalism against churches since June.
Vatican Radio citing police figures, reported 13 incidents, including rocks thrown at windows, graffiti, and arson threats in the Vancouver area alone.
In the neighboring suburb of Surrey, a Coptic Orthodox Church was reportedly destroyed by fire on July 19, just days after an earlier arson attempt failed.
“We’re growing more concerned each day by the escalation of these crimes and their brazen nature. And we’re calling on the people responsible for these crimes to stop,” said Sergeant Steve Addison in remarks quoted by Vatican Radio.
The incidents seem part of a larger trend of violence against churches in Canada. Twenty-one churches were torched in recent months, including “completely destroyed,” according to church sources.
Scores of other church buildings were vandalized or desecrated throughout the country, officials say.
The attacks came after the discovery of 1,000 graves of indigenous children near residential schools - many of which were run by the Catholic Church
These institutions were part of an abusive system that Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission called 'cultural genocide' in 2015
The system saw indigenous children taken from their homes and families and placed in schools to isolate them from their native culture.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said the pope would meet with Canada’s three main Indigenous groups at the Vatican in December.
Ahead of that meeting, Indigenous leaders have spoken out against the attacks on churches. “Destroying property will not help us build the peaceful, better, and accepting Canada we all want and need,” said Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegard.
Vatican Radio quoted him as saying that he believes “in processes that unite rather than divide.” Violence, he added, “must be replaced by turning to the ceremony and all that our old people taught us about peaceful co-existence and mutual respect.”
Thoughtful dialogue, not destruction, “is the way through this,” he stressed. Catholic leaders expressed similar views. The Archdiocese said the “right path forward is one of reconciliation, dialogue, and atonement with Indigenous people,” Vatican Radio said.
No known arrests were made, but police in Vancouver said in published remarks they were working to prevent crimes and are calling for increased vigilance.
"Fortunately, nobody has been hurt in these Vancouver incidents, and most of the damage has been minor," added Sergeant Addison
But with violence ongoing, there are worries of possible causalities and more destroyed churches.