Calgary police investigating vandalism of ten churches overnight as hate crime

Calgary police said in a statement that the department is investigating vandalism of 10 churches in Calgary, Alberta, Canada during the night of Wednesday, June 30, 2021, or into the early morning hours of Thursday, July 1, 2021.

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Overnight or into the early morning, orange and red paint was placed on the exterior of the ten churches in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

One of the ten had its windows smashed in so paint could be thrown into the interior of the church.

The Calrgay police reported that handprints, the number “215”, and other markings suggest that the vandalism of the churches was in response to the graves discovered at former residential schools.

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The police say that investigators are currently examining evidence at the scenes and are looking for CCTV footage that could help identify suspects. Additionally, they say that the Hate Crime and Extremism Unit is involved in the investigation because the locations vandalized are all part of the Christian faith.

The ten churches involved include: 

  • Saint Bonaventure Catholic Church at 1600 Acadia Dr. S.E.
  • Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church at 819 13 Ave. S.W.
  • Saint Mary’s Cathedral at 219 18 Ave. S.W.
  • Sacred Heart Church and Columbarium at 1307 14 St. S.W.
  • Grace Presbyterian Church at 1009 15 Ave. S.W.
  • Saint Luke’s Parish at 1566 Northmount Dr. N.W.
  • Holy Trinity Church at 1525 45 St. S.E.
  • Saint Anthony’s Catholic Parish at 5340 4 St. S.W.
  • All Nations Full Gospel Church at 1403 8 Ave. S.E.
  • Saint Joseph Catholic Church at 640 19 Ave. N.W.

Jason Kenney, the Premier of Alberta, responded to the reports of the vandalism across Alberta calling it “appalling”. 

Adding that “This happened today at an African Evangelical Church in Calgary. The congregation is made up entirely of new Canadians, many of whom came here as refugees fleeing countries where Churches are often vandalized & burned down.

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