“Dark Days for Religious Freedom”: Journalist compares Canadian Church arson to “crystal nacht”


As fires continue to burn in Canada, a right-wing journalist compares the wave of arson attacks on churches to the first signs of systematic persecution of the Jewish people as Nazi Germany approached.

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Ezra Levant, founder of right-wing outlet Rebel News, expressed his concerns on Wednesday, during an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

“I am reluctant to use the word ‘Kristallnacht’, because we are not there yet,” he said. “It was the ‘Night of Broken Glass’ in pre-Holocaust Germany, where they destroyed, burned and killed Jewish synagogues. He was a precursor to the Holocaust.

“Obviously,” Levant continued, “we haven’t gotten that far yet. But what do you call it when literally dozens of churches are systematically vandalized, torched?

The conservative commentator’s remarks come as several churches – mostly belonging to Catholic or Anglican denominations – have been set on fire amid the discovery of anonymous graves in former schools for indigenous children.

Approximately 150,000 Aboriginal Canadians were forced to attend the “Indian Residential School System”, which was largely run by the Catholic Church, over a period of 120 years. In 2015, a government commission concluded that the system was guilty of a so-called “cultural genocide” against indigenous groups.

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Since May, more than 1,100 anonymous graves of children have been discovered on the former grounds of these long shuttered schools in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered a gentle condemnation of the attacks at the end of June, saying that “destroying places of worship” is “not the way to go”.

He offered a somewhat stronger message at the end of last week, calling the arson attacks “unacceptable and wrong”, adding, however, that he “understands[s] anger.”

“But I can’t help but think that burning churches is in fact depriving people who need mourning, healing and mourning places where they can cry, think and seek support,” the prime minister said. .

Despite Trudeau’s comments, the head of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association approved the arson attacks, calling for more churches to be burned down.

“Burn everything,” tweeted Harsha Walia, executive director of the association, according to CBN News.

And Gerald Butts, the former Canadian Principal Secretary to Trudeau, describes fires as “understandable”.

First Nations leaders and members, however, are calling for an end to the church fires. Jenn Allan-Riley, an indigenous Pentecostal minister, said such actions are “not our way.”

“We don’t have a crowd,” she said. “We don’t spread hatred. We love people. We do not destroy other people’s places of religion. We ask the people who start these fires to stop now. “

Levant, for his part, criticized Trudeau for not proposing a bolder condemnation of what he described as a “wave of anti-church hate crimes.”

“Justin Trudeau, who is normally the first and most awake, waited a week before saying anything,” he explained. “And he literally said, ‘This is not the way to go.’ It was as hard as it was.

Levant criticized the prime minister for being more focused on banning freedom of expression on the internet than to end the assault on churches in Canada, including a Protestant congregation Vietnamese refugees.

“I think these are dark days for religious freedom in Canada,” he concluded.

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