The famous Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire on Monday. Fortunately, due to the church being under renovation, multiple artifacts had been removed from the site and placed in the Louvre museum.  The over-800-year-old church is guessed to have burnt down from the center of the roof, and the damage is so intense that even $1 billion dollars raised from France’s billionaires may not help. However, President Emmanuel Macron has called for the cathedral to be rebuilt in five years and the burning of the iconic cathedral in Paris has dominated international news, which has bolstered public donations to the rebuilding.

The Notre Dame Cathedral is no stranger to rebuilding. The over 800 year old church does not maintain its original structure and facets, being redone over multiple times in a way that keeps the cathedral a religious building that is important to many and evolves with the masses. Whether it be completed in five years or later, Notre Dame will be whole again—the fact is certain.

However, the extensive coverage of the cathedral shows the darker history of the cathedral and the privilege it holds. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam and had a fire the exact same day and time as the Notre Dame was burning. Stunningly, the mosque has yet to receive as much media coverage as the Catholic church.

The Notre Dame Cathedral represents the faith of many Catholics internationally, but it also represents the white-centric strength and impact of colonialism still taking priority.

Due to the impact of colonialism in different countries of Africa, the economic industry has continuously suffered. Additionally, the government in African countries have been weakened and suffering due to the lasting effects of colonization and the native government is no longer as sturdy and supported due to the history of being ruled over previously.

Countries like America that have been colonized by Christians seem to have recovered from religious colonization, yet America is still facing setbacks of its rule by others in following the example of being colonized and setting forth its own form of colonization. In addition, America is still facing setbacks from colonization by not recognizing how racialized colonization has affected the country. Latin America also seems to be faring the same sort way with discriminating due to race. 

Whether it be obviously suffering countries such as the ones within Africa or countries within the Americas, the Catholic colonization impacts many lives.

The long lasting effects of colonialism, largely implemented by the Catholic Church’s determination to colonize and spread their religion through various countries and succeeding with Christianity taking root in multiple powerful European countries are still around today. Mainly, obvious discrimination based on race and subtle discrimination that is prevalent when a non-Western religion like Islam receives less media traction.

The damage to the mosque may have been less intense, but the idea is still the same that each religious buildings deserved the same air time and attention. The lack of this equality emphasizes that the power the Catholic church has held in colonization and in racism maintains its strength today.

Photo: Parhlo News

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