Sacred Heart Mission on Penticton Indian Band land in B.C. following a suspicious fire at the church. Photo by Fr. Obi Ibekwe

Database tracks attacks on churches in Canada

By 
  • December 1, 2021

There have been 57 reported attacks on Catholic churches across Canada so far in 2021, the highest number for any single year stretching back to 2010, according to a new database tracking such attacks.

The Catholic Civil Rights League launched its Church Attacks Database just before the beginning of Advent,

“We got the impression that no one was really keeping score. No one was counting these things,” CCRL executive director Christian Elia told The Catholic Register.

A summer of anger directed at the Church, following the discovery of unmarked graves for children on the grounds of Catholic-run residential schools, is entirely responsible for this year’s increase in vandalism, church burnings and other troubles, Elia said.

The League is not trying to cast Catholics as victims, Elia said.

Elias wants to be careful not to prejudge any of the attacks on Catholic Church properties as hate crimes.

“We’re trying not to use that type of terminology,” he said. “Some may very well be the result of mental illness, mischief. … We really just want to be factual.”

Reports of vandalism and related incidents can be made to ccrl.ca.

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