Toronto, ON April 5, 2023
Dear supporters and friends of the CCRL,
If you are in a position to increase your almsgiving this Lenten period as we approach the Holy Triduum, we ask that you remember the CCRL.
For years now the CCRL has been working diligently to collect information and document acts of vandalism against Catholic churches and sites across Canada through our Church Attacks Database.
This project has kept us quite busy as unfortunately, attacks against Catholic churches and institutions are increasing at an alarming rate. We have collected a substantial amount of data to support this. The League reported in August on the Statistics Canada finding of a 260 percent increase in anti-Catholic violence between 2020 and 2021.
The CCRL’s Church Attacks Database documents the burnings of 46 Catholic churches in Canada during this period. That is a staggering number, which has largely been underreported. Including not only church burnings, but graffiti, desecrations, public disturbances, broken stained glass windows, theft, and public disturbances, the League has documented 173 occurrences of attacks on Catholic churches.
Sadly, our research indicates that incidents of church attacks increase at Christmas and Easter. As so, we are bracing ourselves and keeping watch as we prepare to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord.
There have been acts of vandalism at Ukrainian Catholic churches in Canada, largely unreported by the mainstream media. There was an attack on a Ukrainian Catholic priest and his family, which was particularly violent. The rectory was set ablaze with the priest and his family narrowly escaping.
We continue to monitor this situation as we also prepare for the second anniversary of what has been called the 2021 summer of church burnings in Canada, complete with its own Wikipedia entry.
We are at the point now where the scale and complexity of the data and the importance of this project have outgrown our current systems, and so, we are undertaking a project to upgrade and expand our database.
The new system will be a bespoke solution, custom built from the ground up to be tailored to our needs and data. This will enable us to document incidents more effectively and will provide the public with a user-friendly and feature-rich way to browse, search, and analyze the data collected by the CCRL.
We appeal to you to help us in this endeavour by donating to the CCRL this Holy Week.
The CCRL is providing Canada’s only nationwide database that tracks and records attacks against our churches and other Catholic properties. We also wish to maintain a record of arrests and convictions from such attacks. We will follow through to make sure that law enforcement responds with vigor to this alarming trend in anti-Catholic violence.
We pray that you may have a serene Holy Week and a blessed Holy Triduum as we prepare for the Resurrection of our Lord.
We appeal to any of you who are able to send a donation to the CCRL by clicking here or by mailing a cheque to the CCRL at 2305 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M6S 1P1, or by calling the office at (416) 466-8244 or 1-844-722-CCRL.
About the CCRL
Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) (www.ccrl.ca) assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. The CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization with a large nationwide membership base. The CCRL is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.
To donate to the CCRL, please click here.
For further information:
Christian Domenic Elia, PhD
CCRL Executive Director