There is something about distance, numbers and repetition that I have always found peculiar in terms of evoking reaction. I find this is especially true when thinking about anti-religious persecution.

Published in Register Columnists

Carl Hétu has watched the disappearance of Christians in the Middle East by the thousands. Lately, he’s begun to wonder if he’s seeing it begin in Canada, too.

Published in Peter Stockland
The Catholic Church in Nova Scotia has recently been exposed to unfriendly fire.
Published in Register Columnists

ROSEBURG, Ore. - The gunman behind the Oct. 1 massacre at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg reportedly asked students whether they were Christian.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - "Do something to put a stop to the violence and oppression," Pope Francis asked the international community after calling attention once again to the fate of persecuted Christians, especially in the Middle East.

Published in Vatican

JERUSALEM - Ahead of Pope Francis’ Holy Land visit, the heads of Christian churches in the region plan to launch an international awareness campaign following a series of anti-Christian vandalism believed to have been carried out by Jewish extremists.

Published in International

OTTAWA - A Hamilton, Ont., father battling to protect his children from anti- Christian indoctrination in the public schools says he is only seeking the same rights of religious accommodation like those already accorded Muslims.

Dr. Steve Tourloukis, a Greek Orthodox believer, is taking the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board to court, seeking a declarative ruling that recognizes his right to be informed when a classroom will be teaching curriculum contrary to his Christian faith, the right to have his children exempted from such teaching and an acknowledgement from the court of parents’ rights to educate their children.

What’s at stake is the “ability to influence the moral development of our children,” he said. “Education is a way to recruit child soldiers. In 20 years there will be no Christians left to fight the battle.” The school system is imposing an “unlearning process” on children to undermine the traditional beliefs they are taught at home.

Ahead of court appearances Nov. 21 and 22 in Hamilton, Tourloukis spoke in two Catholic venues in Ottawa Nov. 17, warning the same provincial equity and inclusiveness strategy is being foisted on Catholic schools.

Tourloukis said he is “heartbroken” about what has happened in Catholic schools, pointing to the province’s forcing gay-straight alliances upon the system in its equity legislation. Taking his children, aged six and eight, out of the public system and into the Catholic schools would not protect them from the kind of indoctrination he is already taking on.

“The Catholic schools are like the Vancouver safe injection site,” he said. “The drugs are the same but the needles are cleaner. As a parent, I want to choose what’s best for my kids, not what causes them the least harm.”

Tourloukis said he is only asking for the same religious accommodation that is accorded Muslims. Muslim students can be exempted from any school discussion of Christmas, Easter or Halloween, while their requests for special prayer time are accommodated as are requests to opt-out of gym for modesty reasons or out of music classes for religious reasons.

“I’m only asking for what other faiths receive,” he said.

The school board was not interested in learning about his concerns as a Christian, he said. Instead, he confronted a “bigoted stereotype” that paints Christians as homophobes.

The board is treating constitutional rights of religious freedom as if they are subject to the Ontario Equity Policy and not the other way around, he said. He said he was told it was too difficult for the board to inform him about when subject matter might come up.

Tourloukis decried the fact there is no organized inter-denominational effort to “stop this madness.”

“Our collective response as parents and as the Body of Christ has been pathetically underwhelming,” he said.

“We have failed to recognize our sacred responsibility to our children. I’m doing nothing heroic. These are my children for crying out loud. I will not be an accomplice in the corruption of my children.”

He pointed out Catholics should not blame their leaders. The gay community is excellent at organization and even though it is relatively small in number, when one speaks up politicians know many more stand behind them.

Tourloukis’ lawyer, Ottawa-based Albertos Polizogopoulos, said the court battle could cost $50,000, but could go up tenfold should the case end up at the Supreme Court of Canada.

More information about Tourloukis’ case can be found at www.defendingparents.com, which is raising money for similar parental rights cases elsewhere in Canada.

Published in Canada