We share bi-monthly newsletters to inform about topics and issues related to civic religious literacy. Subscribe here to receive them directly.
Our past newsletters are posted online here.
June 2020 Newsletter
April and May were new and trying times across Canada, as it was for us too. Over 95% of our team are front-line workers on a regular basis who offer essential services or offer direct support to others on the front-lines. In that time and now, our team’s dedication to serve all members of society and promote equity even in crisis was clear and strong. To recognize their commitment, we thanked each one individually through a daily shout-out on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and continue to be grateful for all they do.
As June begins, the pandemic continues to affect our daily lives, but so does the growing discussion of racism in our society, as noted by the news headlines below. The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has ignited the recognition of racism across Canada. It is causing us to reflect on the behavioural and systemic racism that is rising against certain groups during the pandemic, such as anti-Asian racism, and highlighting the forms of racism that existed before the pandemic, such as anti-Black, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and anti-Indigenous racism.
Religious literacy helps us understand the diversity in each targeted group, and reminds us that race, ethnicity, and religion can be closely intertwined. Through intersectionality, we understand that harm experienced by marginalized individuals is compounded based on the multiple aspects of their identity that are marginalized. We also understand as members of our team belong to different marginalized groups and/or support those who are marginalized.
However, as we were optimistic when the pandemic started, we continue to be optimistic now. We are thankful to have the knowledge and skill set to address both behavioural and system racism, and especially when it relates to religious, spiritual, and non-religious aspects of identity and society. We are thankful for the scheduled engagements we have on these matters and we will continue to add new ones online. We are also thankful that we have been engaging in these conversations since our work began.
Now, as we proceed in these difficult times, we look to you and invite you to work with us. The pandemic and the protests are revealing the cracks in our systems but also the strength in society. We know we have the strength and skills for this new time.
If you, your organization, or contacts would like to collaborate with us, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to offer financial support to this work too, we would be grateful since we have yet to receive government funding for our work.
Thank you and we look forward to working with you.
CCRL Executive Director & Co-Founder
These current headlines reflect how religious, spiritual, non-religious perspectives remain part of our daily lives and society. They show the struggles, virtues, and influence of Canadians in local and global communities before and through the pandemic. We are clearly speaking more openly about racism too.
Follow our Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts for headlines on a regular basis. Note, these headlines do not indicate endorsement but are shared for the purpose of awareness.
- ‘It’s really comforting’: Islamic call to prayer heard for 1st time in Canada amid coronavirus Global News
- Why religious freedom stokes coronavirus protests in the U.S., but not Canada The Conversation
- Opinion: How Ravi Zacharias changed the way evangelism is done Religion News Service
- How Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation aims to revitalize critical salmon stocks in Yukon The Narwhal
- ‘Indigenous voice matters:’ What to watch this June CBC
- Trudeau announces additional funding for Indigenous health, economies and social supports Nunavut News
- Muslim teen in hijab punched repeatedly during alleged hate crime on transit CTV News
- Vancouver’s oldest mosque to broadcast call to prayer for first time in its history CBC BC
- Human Rights Tribunal denies church’s request to toss out White Rock Pride Society’s complaint Surrey Now-Leader
- Fort McMurray’s flood disaster was foreseeable and preventable The Conversation
- Monday marks reopening of places of worship in Calgary Cape Breton Post
- Family of two slain Metis hunters says goodbye at ceremony north of Glendon Edmonton Journal
- Solomon Elimimian, Cody Fajardo speak out against racism Regina Leader-Post
- Eid Mubarak! Here’s how some Muslims in Manitoba are breaking tradition this year CBC
- Psych assessment sought for man charged with recent ‘religious based’ vandalism Saskatoon Star Phoenix
- Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare offers land acknowledgement and welcome CBC
- WARMINGTON: Drive-in churches given green light Saltwire
- Legal group threatens court challenge over right of Ontario Orthodox Jews to worship during pandemic National Post
- Sœurs de Sainte-Anne: «On est des oubliées» La Presse
- Le clergé embarrassé par le patrimoine Le Devoir
- Legault supports protesters, but says there’s no systemic racism in Quebec Montreal Gazette
- Some P.E.I. churches preparing for religious gatherings in the next phase CBC PEI
- Newfoundland faith leaders adapt to COVID-19 restrictions, embrace technology Saltwire
- Physical distancing doesn’t dampen spirits at these Newfoundland weddings The Telegram
- Ambassador Brownback Warns About The COVID-19 Related Burdens Faced By Religious Minorities Forbes
- India’s treatment of Muslims and migrants puts lives at risk during COVID-19 The Conversation
- “Their War Against Education”: Armed Group Attacks on Teachers, Students, and Schools in Burkina Faso Human Rights Watch
- Nigerian atheist faces death threats for blasphemy against Islam Global Voices
- Myanmar Christians Split Over Canadian Pastor Arrested for Violating COVID-19 Restrictions Christianity Today
- George Floyd death: Trump’s church visit shocks religious leaders BBC News
Religious Literacy Thought Corner
Unique to this issue, this list focuses on responses and resources to COVID-19 in relation to religious literacy.
- Fighting COVID-19: Sikhs + PPE #AskCanadianSikhs, a podcast hosted by the World Sikh Organization of Canada
- None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada by Drs. Joel Thiessen and Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme
- An Institutional History of Religious Freedom in Canada, an 2nd Edition by Cardus
- A question of legacy: Cree writing and the origin of the syllabics CBC Interactives
- Grandfather Teachings Elder Hazel and the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, updated weekly
- The Spirit of Reconciliation, edited by Rev. Dr. Aldred and Rabbi Dr. Duhan-Kaplan, a project by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and the Vancouver School of Theology
- The crossover of religion and sport, a CBC interview recording
- Eight free academic journal articles from the British Journal of Religious Education
Cultural/Holy days (June & July 2020)
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.
As the world commemorates many of these important days from home, our team wishes you a rejuvenating time of contemplation and (virtual) community support.
JUNE 7 – Trinity Sunday (some Christians)
JUNE 11 – Corpus Christi (some Christians)
JUNE 16 – Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Sahib (Sikhs)
JUNE 23 – Rath Yatra (some Hindus)
JUNE 24 – St. Jean Baptiste (Catholics, predominantly in Quebec)
JULY 9 – Martyrdom of the Báb (Baha’is)
JULY 24 – Pioneer Day (Latter Day Saints)
JULY 25 – Nag Panchami (Hindus)
JULY 29 – Tisha B’Av (ends on July 30, some Jewish people)
JULY 31 – Eid-al-Adha (Muslim)