The WEA Secretary General meets with Archbishop Justin Welby and David Wells in Rome to discuss Canadian ingenious children’s graves
In Rome the Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), Archbishop Thomas Schirrmacher, met with Archbishop Justin Welby, the Primate of the Church of England and symbolic head primus inter pares of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and Reverend David Wells from Canada, General Superintendent of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC), Vice-Chair of the Pentecostal World Fellowship and former Chair of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), the Canadian member of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).
The purpose was to discuss consequences for the churches out of the finding of 215 graves of indigenous children mid 2021, which were stolen from their parents and raised in the Christian school Kamloops Indian Residential School, a finding, that not only shock Canada at large, but especially all Christian churches. Starting in the 19th century, Canada was home to a system of residential schools, mostly operated by churches, that Indigenous children were forced to attend. The system went into decline during the 1970s, with the last school closing in 1996. In 2015, the Anglican Archbishop of Vancouver, J. Michael Miller, issued a letter repeating the archdiocese’s apology for the role the church played in the federal government’s residential school policy.
Wells informed the Archbishops about the reaction of the churches in Canada, including the evangelical and pentecostal churches, as Archbishop Welby plans to visit Canada and Archbishop Schirrmacher will speak to the EFC soon.
Schirrmacher stated, that he sees it as a very positive development, that churches, who themselves have not directly involved in the system of stealing children, because they did not run schools, apologies and seek forgiveness and reconciliation anyway, as the system was not questioned by any major voice of Christians for a long time. The racist view of indigenous people allowed an ongoing and repeated crime, which Christians themselves would have seen as very grave, if done to themselves. Stealing children from their parents for cultural assimilation also puts the high view of the family among Evangelicals upside down.