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Statement on targeting places of worship

05 July 2021
We grieve the tragedy evidenced by the unmarked graves of Indigenous residential school children and the deep pain and trauma this news has caused so many. It is vital to affirm the truth of what has been shared in the testimonies revealed in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports, even as they continue to cause grief and anger. We lament the neglect, violence and abuse done in the name of Christianity.
 
We are also deeply saddened by the vandalism and destruction of places of worship. We echo the comments of many Indigenous leaders who have condemned these attacks. They affirm that those who attend these churches do so to worship, and to find comfort and solace. The churches on reserves are the churches of their communities.
 
We affirm that all places of worship, regardless of religion, should be protected from vandalism and violence.
 
The path forward is to journey towards right relationships.
 
As we stated June 2:
We’ve heard clearly from Indigenous sisters and brothers that reconciliation will not come by words alone, but with action and we are committed to listening, learning and then acting. Led by the Holy Spirit, we remain steadfast in that commitment.