Religion

  • Canada Fails Afghan Religious Minorities

    Human rights workers tell Susan Korah it’s inexplicable Canada hasn’t prioritized the rescue of Christians and minority Muslims.

    Afghanistan’s religious minorities are facing nothing less than a genocide but the Canadian government has yet to make a firm commitment to protect some of the most vulnerable among them, say Canadian human rights activists.

    Hazaras and Christians – ...

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  • Downing a Fighter for Indigenous Kids

    Alan Hustak reports on the removal of a statue honouring the 19th-century priest who suffered a nervous breakdown battling Ottawa over its abusive residential school system.

    The statue of a priest whose Indigenous students were originally taught in Cree, and who fought forced removal of Indigenous children from their parents, is slated for removal from a Saskatchewan cemetery.

    The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina has...

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  • Reality in Truth and Reconciliation

    In this homily, Father Cristino Bouvette says the enduring faith of his Indigenous grandmother shows the real peace of Christ heals even the torments of residential schools.

    One of the most consequential conversations I ever had was with my grandmother- whom most of her younger grandchildren affectionately called ‘Kokum’ – the Cree word for grandma – within my first couple of years of seminary studies.

    I had known by then...

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  • Enduring Patience for Lasting Peace

    Despite the intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Susan Korah reports, undaunted groups seek just solutions that benefit both sides.

    A just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine seems as illusory as a mirage in the desert, particularly since the recent outbreak of violence following expulsion of 40 Palestinian families from Sheik Jarrah in East Jerusalem to make room for Israeli...

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  • Grave Men Facing A Grave Faith

    Jonathon Van Maren reports on a series of leading serious intellectuals who recognize the need for Christianity’s resurrection but can’t quite bring the faith to life in themselves.

    Earlier this month, I spent some time on the phone with Niall Ferguson, the Scottish historian and Milbank Family Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, for a ...

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  • Charting Educational Justice

    Brett Fawcett argues Alberta charter schools should be free to operate on religious grounds to meet the just vision of Canada’s founding constitutional vision.

    What does a just education look like?

    We talk a lot about what it means to provide a quality education to our children, but perhaps we’ve forgotten that you can’t have a good education without it also being a just education. In virt...

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  • When A Pope Comes Home

    The welcome for Pope Francis on his visit to Iraq was a memorable first step. Now hope must become reality, Susan Korah reports.

    A calculated risk in the face of pandemic fears and potential security threats, the visit of Pope Francis to Iraq brought incalculable benefits, say members of the country’s indigenous Christian community. 

    Traumatized by years of violence and hate w...

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  • The Spiritual Connection of Violence

    Robert Joustra writes that last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol isn’t a phenomenon of lone nutters but the toxicity of radicalized communities persistent even among religious faithful.

    In 2015 I spent my summer months hosted by St. Ignatius University in the central Belgian city of Antwerp. We were studying religious radicalization, and Antwerp was an auspicious setting. 

    At the time, the number of European Muslims leaving to join ...

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  • Saying “Non” to Potpourri Pluralism

    There’s much wrong with increasingly closed secularism in France and Québec yet both societies understand diversity requires strong ground rules, Robert Joustra argues.

    Unity and civility can be abusive demands when placed on us by the powerful. But diversity and pluralism, likewise, are also not self-evident goods. The hallowed middle ground – a modest unity – is the sacred but lost country so many multicultural explorers...

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  • ABCs of Amy Coney Barrett’s Faith

    Failure to understand deeply religious people will underlie a lot of words thrown at the U.S. Supreme Court nominee this week, Father Raymond de Souza writes.

    Hearings that begin today on Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the American Supreme Court will bring out abundant words beginning with C. Conservative. Constitutionalist. Catholic – or “devout Catholic” in this case. Charismatic Christian. And Cult. 

    ...

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  • When Mass Kneeling Replaces Faith

    A generation raised without religious faith is suddenly dropping to its knees to plead its causes. Peter Menzies asks whether it’s the spirit moving – or another triumph of marketing.

    A few Sunday mornings ago, I came across the broadcast of a church service on Radio-Canada and, not surprisingly, there was almost no one in the congregation.

    The service aimed at francophone audiences was applicably Roman Catholic. The eglise...

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  • Too Soon To Despair For Andrew Scheer

    Convivium’s Rebecca Darwent argues that, attacks from his political and media enemies withstanding, Canadians haven’t rejected the federal Conservative leader because of his religious faith.

    Jagmeet Singh pronounced last week that the 2019 election results meant something “very clear” for Canadians: Andrew Scheer cannot be prime minister. Not because of his dual citizenship, nor his fib about once being an insurance broker, nor the party’s prop...

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  • The Better Way For Elizabeth May

    Father Raymond de Souza recommends the Green Party leader stop apologizing for her Christian faith and recognize that politics won’t save the world. Christ already has.

    Despite profound differences, I am fond of Elizabeth May. She is forthright – with perhaps the freedom that leading a small party allows – and seems good fun. We have hosted her at our Cardus Ottawa office for a panel discussion. When I have run across the ...

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  • Is Canada Deaf to Religious Persecution?

    In a world awakening to the catastrophe of anti-faith violence, Canada has apparently hit the snooze button on the alarm, reports Convivium contributor Susan Korah.

    The Canadian election of October 2019 will clearly not be fought and won on the killing fields of the Middle East or in Uyghur re-education camps in China. But a foreign policy that pays little more than lip service to an important aspect of international h...

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  • Following The Yellow Arrows

    Eighty-year-old Betty Hope Gittens walked the Camino with a God-given strength and the assurance that He would be with her through every step of the way – a journey she compares to walking the way of God’s will for her life.

    With her youthful appearance and straight-as-an arrow posture, 80-year-old Betty Hope Gittens exudes irresistible charm and positive energy. She could easily be strutting down a catwalk modelling fashions for stylish seniors.  Instead, she celebrated turnin...

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  • Encouraging Faith and Family

    The issues of social isolation and loneliness in Canada are important challenges in our times, writes Cardus Executive Vice President Ray Pennings. Instead of doing away with family life and religiosity as an attempt at social progress, we should recognize the good these factors play in our lives.

    Social isolation and loneliness are some of the most important challenges of our times – one that governments alone can’t fix. Frankly, the problem is too big for the politicians. Consider some of the basic findings from a new Angus Reid Institute (ARI) stu...

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  • The Barometer of the Heart

    In an age marked by distraction and fragmentation, the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal are choosing a life marked by deep joy, service to the poor, and a community of faithfulness. Convivium's Hannah Marazzi sits down with Father Emmanuel Mansford, vocations director for the New York chapter to discuss vocation, trust, and deep community. 

    Photo by Patrick Dunford 

    Convivium: For those who are unfamiliar, who are the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal? 

    Father Emmanuel Mansford: We are a new religious community, fou...

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  • Building Beyond Bill 21

    Quebec’s law banning public displays of religious symbols has affronted advocates of religious freedom across Canada. But Convivium’s Peter Stockland reports on plans by Montreal Catholics to turn the secularist tide and create strong communities of faith.

    Quebec’s government has declared the province an aggressively secular society with the passage of Bill 21 banning the wearing of religious clothing and symbols in certain public service workplaces.

    Montreal’s E...

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  • Figuring Out Social Isolation

    Twenty-three per cent of Canadians suffer from extreme social isolation and loneliness, according to a recent Angus Reid Institute survey in partnership with Cardus. Convivium sits down with executive director Ray Pennings to discuss this and other results from the survey.

    Convivium: The main findings come as no surprise to Cardus, but I assume will come as a surprise to an awful lot of people – the role that faith and active participation in religious communities have in ...

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  • We've Got to Talk

    Recently, Convivium has run columns rebutting accusations of discrimination against an independent Christian school in Surrey, B.C. Today, Cardus Executive Vice-President Ray Pennings unveils research showing religious schools are needed precisely because faithful North Americans have deep misgivings about government-run schools harming spiritual formation.  

    This piece was originally published on the Barna blog.

    Navigating the issue of children’s spiritual formation can be difficult in the current North American co...

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  • The Beam of Christian Schooling

    Attacking faith-based institutions for upholding codes of conduct ignores the Charter, violates the spirit of pluralism, and risks undermining religious freedom, argues lawyer Barry Bussey.

    CBC News “Go Public” ran a story recently about the “dark secret” of religious schools. Initially, the story got a lot of attention, but was then swept away as the SNC-Lavalin scandal took on new life with Minister Jane Philpott’s resignation from the feder...

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  • Association Not Discrimination

    A B.C. faith-based school’s dismissal of a teacher for sexual conduct contrary to its standards is neither shocking nor discriminatory, notes Ottawa constitutional lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos. In fact, he says, it’s protected by Charter of Rights rulings that date back to 1984.  

    This week, news broke about a teacher at Surrey Christian School in British Columbia, being asked approximately two y...

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  • Faith Among the Seconds

    Through often painful moments listening to a broken man at an Ottawa drop-in centre, Joyce Deng began to hear God’s voice in the briefest of encounters.

    “When you homeless, you don’t wanna hear much of that, cause it’s like, when you get through talking about Jesus, I gotta go back to living in this empty building, you know?" 

    - Mitch Albom, Have a Little Faith

    Last year, I w...

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  • Faith Among the Seconds

    Through often painful moments listening to a broken man at an Ottawa drop-in centre, Joyce Deng began to hear God’s voice in the briefest of encounters.

    “When you homeless, you don’t wanna hear much of that, cause it’s like, when you get through talking about Jesus, I gotta go back to living in this empty building, you know?" 

    - Mitch Albom, Have a Little Faith

    Last year, I w...

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