Members of a Surrey Church have released a statement calling on government officials to prevent arson-based crimes after a fire destroyed their church.
According to the statement, in the early morning of July 19, at around 3:30 am, flames broke out and engulfed St. George Coptic Orthodox Church.
“Our Church was more than a building. It brought together a diverse congregation of Coptic, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Iraqi, and Lebanese Orthodox believers.
A fundraiser has been created by a member of the church.
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“It is the duty of our elected officials to provide equal safety measures to protect all citizens and places of worship irrespective of their religious affiliation and cultural identity,” reads a statement from the Surrey church.
The fundraiser, which has already received thousands of dollars, was created by Sozan Kran, who states that the church was burned on her daughter’s birthday.
“As a birthday gift, she just wants people to help her as much or as little as they can to help raise money and awareness to all the churches that are being burnt in Canada,” reads a statement on the fundraiser page.
Kran also points out that Justin Trudeau has yet to address this issue on the national stage.
“While we are in shock and devastated by this loss, we hold firm to the belief that a church is far more than a building, and we will come together as a community to rebuild,” said Parish Priest, Fr. Bisenty Gerges.
The church is also accepting donations directly on its website.