Statement on the Attack on Canadian ChurchesPublished on July 26, 2021
This past week, yet another church in Canada has fallen victim to a fire which officials have deemed ‘suspicious’. St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Surrey, British Columbia — which was the site of an attempted arson attack the week prior — burned to the ground.
These recent attacks on Canadian churches are both troubling and heartbreaking. Canada is a land that guarantees the free and safe practising of religion by virtue of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and is a beacon of both religious pluralism and tolerance to much of the world. With this in mind, this no-doubt intentional coordination of attacks on innocent churches and their congregations is unacceptable, and perpetrators must be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law.
This recent attack on St. George Coptic Orthodox Church is particularly troubling, given that the Coptic Egyptian community is one that sought refuge in Canada as they found themselves the targets of merciless campaigns of anti-Christian violence in their homeland if Egypt by extremists. With these wounds and their trauma still fresh in their collective memory, the heinous destruction of their place of worship will no doubt bring back many unpleasant memories of a not-too distant painful past.
I call for peace and unity amongst all the peoples of Canada as we continue our collective journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Please support the effort in rebuilding the church of my good friend & community leader MPP Sheref Sabaawy on his Go Fund Me page here. It is difficult times like these that define a generation, we will get through this the only way we know as Canadians, by sticking together and accepting each one other. As friends, neighbour’s & people of all faiths, we have each other’s backs.
In Health & Happiness,
RN, MPP Mississauga-Centre