HomeNewsWorldFires Destroy Two Churches...

Fires Destroy Two Churches in Canada’s Indigenous Reserves

Canada mourns as two more Catholic churches located in Indigenous communities were burned overnight. Two similar fires in British Columbia were reported less than a week ago, according to German news broadcaster, Deutsche Welle.

St. Anne’s Church on Upper Similkameen Indian Band land, and the Chopaka Church on the lands of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band have gone up in flames around 3 a.m. on June 26. Both churches, more than 100 years old, were burned to the ground and authorities considered the two fires as “suspicious.”

These churches represent a place of worship for community members as well as gathering spaces for many, for various celebrations and times of loss. It will be felt deeply for those that sought comfort and solace in the Church. —Similkameen Indian Bands

Sergeant Jason Bayda of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada’s national police force, said they are “looking to determine any possible connection to the church fires in both Penticton and Oliver on June 21, 2021.”

RCMP issued a statement after the previous week’s fires, saying investigators “won’t speculate on a motive.”

The Similkameen Indian Bands have expressed their disbelief and anger over the burning of their churches, reports Peace Arch News. They issued a press release stating that, “These churches represent a place of worship for community members as well as gathering spaces for many, for various celebrations and times of loss. It will be felt deeply for those that sought comfort and solace in the Church.”

The churches were historical landmarks in the Indigenous reserves. The Lower Similkameen Indian Band recalled how some of their community members gathered in church.

“This is a symptom of the intergenerational trauma our survivors and intergenerational descendants are experiencing, there are supports to help deal with these emotions in a more healing way,” the Lower Similkameen said.

“While we cannot speculate that the person(s) responsible had any connections to our Communities of Upper and Lower Similkameen, all we can do now is be there to support others during this time of loss in community and the loss of our historical landmarks,” reads the press release.

The groups also issued a request to: “Please be respectful while the LSIB and USIB confirm what next steps will be taken with this loss and now recovery of such landmarks and historical gathering places known in the Similkameen Valley.”

The church fires followed the discovery of nearly a thousand unmarked graves at former church-run residential schools where Indigenous children were removed from their homes, forced to convert to Christianity and prohibited from practicing their native customs, language and traditions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued an apology for Canada’s longtime Indigenous assimilation policy which ended in the 1990s.

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Most Popular

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be the first to.know what's happening in the Christian community

More from Author

Hallow App Launches 2022 Advent Prayer Challenge

Hallow, a Christian prayer app, launched this year's Advent challenge with cast members from the hit series The Chosen joining the program.

Group Gives 10,000 Bibles to London’s Children

The Trinitarian Bible Society announced that over 10,000 Bibles have been given to London schools within three years.

Prayer, Faith Can Help Teens with Mental Health Issues

A study on teens and young adults confirmed that those who pray and have a relationship with God were more likely to flourish in life more than their peers.

More than 7,000 Kids Decide to Follow Jesus –YFC

The Youth for Christ announced that 7,323 kids and teens decided to follow Jesus Christ this year, twice the record reported in 2021.

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Hallow App Launches 2022 Advent Prayer Challenge

Hallow, a Christian prayer app, launched this year's Advent challenge with cast members from the hit series The Chosen joining the program.

Group Gives 10,000 Bibles to London’s Children

The Trinitarian Bible Society announced that over 10,000 Bibles have been given to London schools within three years.

Prayer, Faith Can Help Teens with Mental Health Issues

A study on teens and young adults confirmed that those who pray and have a relationship with God were more likely to flourish in life more than their peers.

Count Your Blessings Daily, Not Just Once a Year

I heard about a family seated around their table looking at the beautiful golden-brown turkey. Dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, various vegetables, and casseroles complemented the turkey. From the oldest to the youngest, they went around and expressed their praise.

More than 7,000 Kids Decide to Follow Jesus –YFC

The Youth for Christ announced that 7,323 kids and teens decided to follow Jesus Christ this year, twice the record reported in 2021.

Billy Graham Archive & Research Center is Now Open

The new Billy Graham Archive and Research Center opened in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 7, the birthday of the late evangelist.

MercyMe hopes new album can help heal divisions: ‘We’ve got a divided body of Christ’ 

Bart Millard and his MercyMe bandmates began writing some of the songs on their latest album in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, long before the nation was divided over issues that now dominate the headlines.  Millard, though, believes the album’s release in 2022 had been God’s plan...

‘Praise the Lord!’ Ukrainian Christians Cheer Kherson Liberation

Ukrainian Christians celebrate the liberation of Kherson with cheers of praise and thanksgiving, seven months after Russia occupied the city.

JESUS Film Makes History, Now Translated in 2,000 Languages

The JESUS film makes history as it is now translated into its 2,000th language making it the most translated film of all time.

U.S. Renews Calls Against Blasphemy Laws

The United States joined 15 countries in expressing concern over international blasphemy laws.

Franklin Graham Attracts Record-breaking Audience in Italy

More than 13,200 people gathered for an evangelical outreach led by Franklin Graham in Milan, Italy on October 29.

A Hindu PM Marks a Historic Moment in the UK

Rishi Sunak becomes Britain's first Hindu prime minister. He is also the first person of color to hold the highest office in the UK.