Pope apologizes for ‘evil’ inflicted on Indigenous people

Pope apologizes for ‘evil’ inflicted on Indigenous people
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Islam News – Pope Francis offered a sweeping apology for the Catholic Church’s role in running boarding schools in Canada where Indigenous children were sexually and physically abused and where many died.

“I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples,” Francis said at the site of a former residential school in Maskwacis, Alberta, a place of horrors for the children forced to attend it between 1894 and 1976.

Survivors had long called on the church to take responsibility for its role in the abusive institutions. For some, Francis’ apology was a chance to let go of their pain, while others said a lot more still needed to be done.

Background: From the 1880s through the 1990s, the Canadian government forcibly removed at least 150,000 ​Indigenous children from their homes and sent ​them t​o residential schools to assimilate them.

The schools inflicted physical, sexual and mental abuse; erased languages; and used Christianity as a weapon to break the cultures and communities of Indigenous people. Christian churches operated most of the schools for the government. Catholic orders were responsible for running 60 to 70 percent of the roughly 130 schools, where thousands of children died.

Related: The U.S. also continues to wrestle with the legacy of its government-run schools for Native American children. An Interior Department investigation released this year cataloged brutal conditions at more than 400 boarding schools that the federal government forced Native children to attend between 1819 and 1969.

Source: The New York Times

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