We will share bi-monthly newsletters to inform about topics and issues related to civic religious literacy. If you would like to receive these newsletters, please subscribe here.
Our past newsletters are posted online here.
April 2019 Newsletter
The April 16 Alberta election looms, as does the October federal election. There are many things happening regionally, provincially, and federally, in relation to these elections (and separate from them). Here are some of the new headlines.
- In Quebec, the Coalition Avenir Quebec party tabled Bill 21 on March 28, 2019, “An act respecting the laïcité of the state.” (Original French bill here.) The public is speaking up. This newsletter lists a few headlines from outspoken professionals.
- In British Columbia, the Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, one of the oldest Sikh temples in Canada, celebrated its 100-year anniversary.
- Across Canada, treaties were made with Indigenous peoples. There is now a common practice to refer to one’s land based on the treaty that was made. Prof. Eaglewoman explains the relationship of treaties from an Indigenous perspective.
- A March 2019 report shares new findings about Canadian Jews – Jewish communities in Montreal and Winnipeg are decreasing. Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary are growing, and Vancouver has the Canada’s fastest-growing Jewish community. Also, the understanding of being Jewish differs among denominations and age groups.
On May 21, Canada celebrates the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. As religion, spirituality, and belief overlap with culture, or are one and the same for many people, CCRL celebrates the World Day too.
These headlines and more are noted below in this bi-monthly newsletter.
News, reports, and research headlines (Canada and global) related to religious literacy. Follow our Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts for headlines on a regular basis. As a reminder, these headlines do not indicate endorsement but are shared for the purpose of awareness.
- From sacred to secular: Canada set to lose 9,000 churches, warns national heritage group CBC News
- No retreat on advancement of religion Convivium
- New survey reveals behaviours and attitudes of Canadian Jews The Canadian Jewish News
- The Canadian millennials choosing God in a secular world National Post
- ‘Our people are still so much in need of healing’ Anglican Journal
- Addendum to 2018 Terror Report Not Enough World Sikh Organization
- Should non-Inuit performers be allowed to throat sing? Nunatsiaq News
- On-the-land STEM program for high school credit to expand to northern Indigenous communities CBC News Indigenous
- Dechinta ‘bush university’ eyes expansion with 5 years of federal funding CBC News North
- Imam sheds light on Islam Yukon News
- Cultural experience makes an impact with Chemainus Secondary students Chemainus Valley Courier
- New Westminster Sikh temple celebrates 100-year anniversary CBC British Columbia
- B.C., Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs begin new reconciliation process CBC British Columbia
- B.C. court hears religious doctrine emphasized obedience to men in child-bride case Vancouver Sun
- The legal conflict between equality rights and freedom of religion The Conversation
- B.C. legislature celebrates Sikh holiday for first time Coast Mountain News
- MRU cancels speech by ex-Muslim-turned-atheist in light of New Zealand terror attack CBC News Calgary
- Place ‘dangerous’ far-right group on terror list, Alberta Muslim council urges Ottawa CBC Edmonton
- Alberta school boards intervene in Catholic school funding rights case Calgary Sun
- Updated guidelines for scattering cremated ashes following cultural and religious traditions Alberta Gov.
- Buddhist monk spreading good Karma on the Prairies CTV News Saskatoon
- L’arrivée d’un groupe évangélique à l’École Taché soulève des questions Ici-Radio Canada
- Yellow vests frustrated at being ostracized by carbon-tax opponents Regina Leader-Post
- Forum to focus on fear of violence in faith community Winnipeg Free Press
- Saskatchewan reverend awarded for veteran mental health support Regina Leader-Post
- Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives celebrates Sikh Heritage Month all April-long Region of Peel
- Treaty relationships from an Indigenous perspective Net News Ledger
- Jewish group criticizes sign at Mississauga school that references testing on Palestinian prisoners Global News
- A week of identity issues in Canadian politics NCPR
- Couple’s young daughters taken from Canada to child-custody limbo in Casablanca National Post
- «Je refuse à 100% d’enlever mon voile» dit une finissante en éducation TVA Nouvelles
- Un collectif d’universitaires s’oppose au projet de loi sur la laïcité Ici-Radio Canada
- ‘Our values exclude exclusion’: Westmount High students protest proposed ban on religious symbols CBC News
- Quebec to bar public servants from wearing religious symbols BBC News
- Fariha Naqvi-Mohamed: How about focusing on Quebec’s education system? The Montreal Gazette
- Encore: The what, why and where to of Quebec’s Bill 21 The Lawyer’s Daily
- Maritimers show empathy after terrorist attack on New Zealand mosques: Halifax imam CTV News Atlantic
- P.E.I. tourism industry eager to entice more Chinese visitors to the province Journal Pioneer
- Mi’kmaq traditions guide boxer in Halifax APTN News
- Green MLA’s motion aims to do away with daily Lord’s Prayer CBC News
- How China turned a city into a prison NY Times
- Growing up in Northern Ireland’s tiny Jewish community BBC News
- Islamic banking in Ethiopia offers Muslims financial inclusion Al Jazeera
- Sri Lanka urged to halt death penalty plan Regina Leader-Post
- The Latest: LGBTQ parents’ group applauds Mormon change Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
Religious Literacy Thought Corner
There are a growing number of audio resources on religious literacy. Here are two:
Cultural/Holy days (April and May 2019)
This table describes the dates generally commemorated or observed by many individuals within a community. Some individuals from each community may not adhere to the cultural/holy days themselves. It is not a comprehensive list of cultural/holy days worldwide but a list of those most commonly recognized across parts of Canada.
We wish happiness and/or rejuvenating contemplation to all who may commemorate these cultural/holy days in the coming months.
- Apr 14 – Rama Navami (Hindu); Vaisakhi/Baisakhi (Sikh)
- Apr 19 – New Year (Theravadan Buddhism); Good Friday (Christian); Passover begins (Jewish remembrance, until April 27); Wind Moon (Wiccan)
- Apr 21 – Easter (Christian)
- Apr 28 – Orthodox Easter (Christian Orthodox)
- May 1 – Beltane (Wiccan)
- May 6 – Ramadan begins (Muslim celebration, until June 5)
- May 18 – Flower Moon (Wiccan)
- May 19 – Vesak or Buddha Purnima, day commemorating Buddha’s birth (Mahayana tradition), and day commemorating his birth, enlightenment and passing to Nirvana (Theravadan Buddhism)