Fire at United Church in Prince George under investigation as arson

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      Yet another church in B.C. has been hit by a fire suspected to be arson.

      Prince George RCMP stated in a news release that it received a call for assistance from Prince George Fire Services for a fire outside a church in the 3500 block of 5th Avenue.

      The Prince George Citizen identified the building as the Trinity United Church, which describes itself as a “progressively grounded church community rooted in the teaching of Jesus and a mission to make a difference in the world”.

      Prince George RCMP Const. Jennifer Cooper stated that an RCMP fire investigator determined that the fire was a result of arson.

      The fire remains under investigation and anyone with information about or surveillance footage related to this incident, or who was in the area between 1:45 and 2:25 a.m., is asked to contact Prince George RCMP or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers.

      In the wake of the confirmation of hundreds of unmarked graves at residential schools across Canada, including in B.C., several churches have been vandalized or burnt down.

      In addition to churches in Yellowknife, Calgary, Edmonton, and near Halifax, churches in B.C. that have been targeted by vandalism or fire include:

      • Sacred Heart Church on Green Mountain Road, located on Penticton Indian Band lands, burned down on June 21;
      • Gregory’s Church on Nk’mip Road, located on Osoyoos Indian Band lands, burned down on June 21;
      • Ann’s Catholic Church on Upper Similkameen Indian Band lands, near Hedley, burned down on June 26;
      • Chopaka Catholic Church on Lower Similkameen Indian Band lands at Chopaka burned down on June 26;
      • Paul’s Anglican Church in Gitwangak, where one fire took place on June 26 before it was destroyed in a second fire on July 1;
      • orange paint was found splashed on St. Jude's Parish in Vancouver on July 1;
      • a “suspicious” fire at St. Columba Church in Tofino was contained on July 2. 
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.