House of Prayer Alliance Church in southeast Calgary was set ablaze on the evening of Sunday, July 4. Calgary had seen 11 churches vandalized in one night last week, but Christians held out hope that the acts of arson that have destroyed churches across Canada would not come to Calgary. Those hopes were short-lived.
After the unabated vandalism of Christian places of worship in the city, Calgary police insisted that they had increased patrols of churches to prevent this from occurring again. Clearly the increased patrols were insufficient.
On Sunday evening, just after the time of the fire, I saw no fewer than five police vehicles set up to catch speeders on a short drive across the city, which raises serious questions as to the extent to which law enforcement is prioritizing these cases. Eleven acts of vandalism and an arson against a targeted faith group in a matter of days is a five-alarm emergency situation, not a situation for five cops to be making ticket quotas. Many are wondering if the police would have a suspect in custody if they put as much effort into arresting the terrorists behind these attacks as they put into tracking down and arresting pastors.
Police confirmed that they have ample evidence, including CCTV footage and physical evidence, from a number of last week’s crime scenes, but that these details would not be released to the public due to the ongoing investigation. We were also told that officers are working around the clock combing through evidence. While we appreciate these assurances, immediate and meaningful action is required to prevent further attacks and to hold the guilty parties responsible.
The church building damaged on Sunday was home to four church congregations, including Filipino and Vietnamese worship communities. Many Vietnamese Christians fled communist oppression in their motherland and sought religious freedom and tolerance in Canada — they have instead been met with further persecution. The destruction and vandalism of churches is not justice or retribution for the crimes of the past, rather they will create new wounds that will once again take generations to heal.
Ezra Levant could not sit idly by while Christian communities are being victimized, so he has offered $10,000 of his own money for any information that leads to the arrest of a suspect. For full details, or if you have information to share, please visit FindTheArsonist.com.