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BARRHEAD, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) — Two historic Christian churches in Canada were intentionally set on fire late last week in what police said were suspected acts of arson.

The incident has Conservative political leaders calling for an end to “attacks” on Christianity after more than 100 churches having been targeted with arson or vandalism since 2021.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) say St. Aidan’s Church, known as Glenreagh Church, and Pioneer Church, a United Church, both located in Barrhead, a town 120 miles northwest of Alberta’s capital Edmonton, were destroyed by arson within only two hours of each other on the evening of December 7.

No one was reported to have been hurt in the fires, but both churches have been extensively damaged, likely beyond repair, despite the best efforts of the Barrhead Fire Services, which was onsite quickly.

Barrhead RCMP confirmed that an initial investigation has determined that both fires were intentionally set. However, an exact motive is not yet clear.

According to eyewitnesses on the ground, two older pickup trucks were seen fleeing the scene.

An initial investigation by fire examiners confirmed that both fires were deliberately set.

Local resident Edith Strawson, whose dad helped build St. Aidan’s Church over 100 years ago, and who got married in the church, as well as some of her kids, said, “We’re putting this back together.”

“We just can’t let that happen and just leave it,” she said as per a CTV report.

Attacks on Christianity ‘must’ stop say conservative leaders

Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) Pierre Poilievre condemned the attacks.

“These are absolutely despicable attacks on the Christian community,” Poilievre wrote Friday on X (formerly Twitter).

“Police must find and arrest the criminals responsible for setting fire to these two churches.”

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, the leader of the United Conservative Party, said church burnings have “no place in Alberta” and those who destroyed the churches by arson need to stand for their “crimes.”

She also confirmed that the RCMP is investigating the church fires “as suspected cases of arson.”

“Images like these have no place in Alberta,” Smith wrote Friday on X (formerly Twitter).

“To the parishioners of these churches and to the Christian community across our province, I stand in solidarity with you against all forms of hate.”

Smith said that the church burnings “are condemned in the strongest possible terms and those perpetrating these crimes must be brought to justice.”

“I am closely monitoring this unfolding situation along with Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services Mike Ellis,” she added.

Since the spring of 2021, well over 100 churches, most of them Catholic, but all Christian have either been burned or vandalized across Canada. The attacks on the churches came shortly after the unconfirmed discovery of “unmarked graves” at now-closed residential schools once run by the Church in parts of the country.

In 2021 and 2022, the mainstream media ran with inflammatory and dubious claims that hundreds of children were buried and disregarded by Catholic priests and nuns who ran some of the schools.

Despite the church burnings, the federal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has done nothing substantial to bring those responsible to justice, nor to stem the root cause of the burnings.

Instead, a little over a month ago, Liberal and NDP Members of Parliament (MPs) struck down a Conservative Party of Canada motion that would have condemned incidents of church burnings and acts of vandalism.

In August of 2022, LifeSiteNews reported about the destruction by fire of one of the oldest standing Catholic churches in Alberta. Police at the time said the fire was a “suspicious” incident.

Despite the massive number of church fires in Canada, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez in May made a brazen suggestion recently that the recent slew of anti-Christian church burnings in Canada could be remedied through further “online” internet regulation.

Those with any information on the church fires are asked to contact Barrhead RCMP at 403-780-674-4848.