Arsonists accused of destroying 4 churches in weeks, 15 hit during year

 December 27, 2023

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Multiple arsonists have been targeting Christian churches across Canada, with the toll so far four during just the weeks before Christmas and 15 for the year.

report from the Post Millennial explains that the latest fire was just days before Christmas, and while Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre said the motivation was "anti-Christian hatred."

Two churches were torched in Barrhead, north of Edmonton, when St. Mary Abbots Anglican church and St. Aidan's Church were hit on Dec. 7.

The next happened on Dec. 15 in Janvier, north of Fort McMurray, when an unused St. Gabriel Catholic Mission was torched.

Then on Dec. 20, "a suspected arsonist leveled the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Beiseker, just northeast of Calgary," the report said.

Poilievre posted on social media, "My thoughts are with the Seventh Day Adventist community in Beiseker, AB mourning the loss of their church at the hands of an arsonist. This is the 4th church in 2 weeks to be targeted by acts of violent anti-Christian hatred."

Premier Danielle Smith added to the platform, "Images like these have no place in Alberta. To the parishioners of these churches and to the Christian community across our province, I stand in solidarity with you against all forms of hate."

The report explained there were 15 "suspicious" church fires reported to police during 2023, and suspects have been arrested in five cases.

The National Post said the RCMP said it had no evidence the firsts were from "anti-Christian animus," and authorities explained the suspects already arrested had had mental health issues or were intoxicated.

It explained both of the churches in Barrhead were "historical," and while integral to the community, were not the site of regularly scheduled services.

Shane Janvier, of the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation, charged, "The significance of this old church in the community — lots of celebrations at this church over the years, lots of weddings, lots of baptisms, this is a place where we’ve come to say our last respects to our loved ones and our ancestors … enough’s enough. We’ve gotta start looking out for one another as a community."

The report noted that Canada also saw "a rash of church fires" during the summer months of 2021.

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