Christians 'under siege', Sydney archbishop says in wake of Notre-Dame blaze

Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher Source: AAP

Catholic Archbishop of Sydney says he hopes the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire was not a deliberate attack.

Sydney's Catholic leader believes Christians around the world are "under siege" and hopes the fire at Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral was not a deliberate attack.

Investigators believe the blaze, which destroyed most of the roof of the 850-year-old architectural icon, was an accident possibly linked to renovation works.

But Archbishop Anthony Fisher said after hearing of a recent "catalogue of fires" at churches in France, "it really struck me that we are, in some ways, under siege."

"Particularly at this time, we know there are those in the world who are opposed to all religion or opposed to our religion and it looks like some of them are determined to make that clear by burning down our buildings," he told 2GB radio on Thursday.

"I hope that's not what was behind what happened at Notre-Dame Cathedral. I think the determination of the French people to rebuild it is a very Christian response.

"It says we won't give in to such evil; that we know there's a rhythm of death and resurrection in all our lives - and that's true even for our church buildings."

On the eve of Good Friday and the Easter long weekend, Mr Fisher reiterated the need for good to triumph over evil and to look after society's most vulnerable.

Conspiracies around what caused the fire have also flourished in the wake of the devastating blaze. 

Right-wing commentators seized upon the incident to spread false anti-Islamic narratives.

Alt-right figures took to social media to share a number of hoaxes, including a video which purported to show Muslim people 'laughing'in reaction to a video of the cathedral burning, and another which had unrelated audio of people shouting "Allahu Akbar" edited over the top.

Source AAP - SBS

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