Farmers Market

Einblick

Farfalline

Bilmek

Lewis & Quark

Bilmek

Churches Under Attack

During Holy Week, Notre-Dame Cathedral lost its spires and two-thirds of its roof in a tragic fire. The Cathedral was not the only church attacked, but one among many.

Germany

On the night before Easter Sunday, a Somali man stormed St. Paul's Church in Munich, injuring 24 people. Four people were even hospitalized. Eyewitnesses say that he threw stones at the attendees and shouted "Allahu Akbar." Officially though, the man was "mentally confused" and only shouted unintelligible words. 

Canada

On the 9th of April, Tuesday, a 165-year-old Anglican church was razed to the ground. The media calls it "suspicious," but there have been no further reports so far. St. James Anglican Church has been standing since 1863, and many parishioners were devasted to find their church destroyed.

Earlier this year, Murray United Church and Crossroads Community Church in Merritt, BC, caught fire. Murray United totally burned down while Crossroads Community was saved. The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police -- the federal and national police force of Canada) has arrested a suspect, but the case has not been opened in court yet.

United States

This is probably the one that most Americans know --- three black churches in one Lousiana parish were burnt down within ten days of each other.

The suspect, Holden Matthews, has been charged with arson and hate crime. He pleaded not guilty to everything, but officials claim that they found incriminating evidence on his phone, including recordings and location history.

Sri Lanka

On Easter Sunday, suicide bombings in churches, shrines, and hotels killed at least 253 people and wounded 500. ISIS claimed responsibility for these attacks.
Photo credit: Al Jazeera


In response, the government imposed a curfew and temporarily banned social media, drones, and burqas (technically "face veils"). It also suspended visa-free entry for 39 countries as the terrorists had foreign links.

To find the latest updates, please click here.

Also, who the heck is an "Easter worshipper"?

France

You all know it, the Notre Dame Cathedral. According to Google Trends, searches for Notre Dame outnumbered Sri Lanka by five to nine times. People apparently care more about an old historical relic than dead people.

Classified as an accident, the police will carry out a "long and complex investigation."

According to Benjamin Mouton, Notre Dame's former chief architect, it is actually very hard to set the Cathedral on fire because no electric cable or appliance and no source of heat can be placed in the attic, where the fire began. A sophisticated alarm system was also in place. The fire broke out more than an hour after the workers left. No welding was used to make the scaffolding. It seems odd that the fire would break out from nothing and burn for hours.

The whole Western world expressed its sadness and desire to rebuild it as a better cathedral. So far, nearly 1 billion Euros ($1.1 billion USD) have been pledged to rebuild the cathedral. France's Prime Minister, Macron, promised that "the new building will be much better than the last one."

Most of the secular newspapers such as BBC, CNN, NYTimes, Guardian, FoxNews, etc. mourn the loss of a historical relic, the loss of something that cannot be replaced.

I, however, am even more saddened by their response. There has been no mention of God, not even one. The reporters only mourn the loss of a piece of French identity or their "destiny" as Macron calls it. Where is God in all this?

It seems as if the ashes of Notre Dame symbolizes the ashes of Christianity in France, in Europe. 

For the last few decades, churches have been getting emptier and colder. In 2018 alone, more than 800 churches in France were attacked or vandalized. According to Pew Research Center, out of 66-68% of Christians in France, only 18% are practicing Christians, meaning that they go to at least once a month. In contrast, Muslims make up 9% of the population. In Western Europe, 91% of the people surveyed say that they are baptized but only 22% regularly attend church.

Our Response

When we read of these happenings, we naturally feel sad. Jesus once said, "The world has hated them [the disciples], because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14). Note that in verse 13, Jesus prays that His disciples will have His joy "made full in themselves." We are not of the world, and the world will hate us just because we are different. In trials, however, our joys will be made full.

These incidents reflect that Christianity is no longer the majority religion of Europe (with America following close behind) and that we need to be ready to give a good account to those who ask it of us. This is the result of centuries of turning away from God, eventually totally "kicking" Him out of the world. So let us pray for this world and proactively share the Gospel. 
| Designed by Colorlib